Over the last two months, we’ve reviewed many of the content, design, and technical aspects of planning a website.
These considerations are especially important if you’re replacing an existing site. If your current website isn’t working well for you, you need to identify how it may be lacking and make sure that your new site addresses those issues. Otherwise, there’s really not much point, is there?
If you have a small business and it’s your first website, the basic steps outlined in the Planning a Website the Organized Way series may be all you need to get started, but that’s not to imply that there aren’t other options.
The purpose of this series is to help you make some decisions and develop at least a tentative plan before you or your web designer begins working on your new site.
What is your target launch date?
Think realistically about when you need your new website to be up and running.
Do you need to have a web presence before you announce the launch of your new business? Does your website need a major overhaul before an important speaking engagement or media appearance?
Maybe time isn’t of the essence at all, as long as everything in your website plan is addressed.
If you’re planning to build your own website, keep in mind that it may take longer than you think. You may have heard that you can create your own website in only an hour – and you probably can, if you’re willing to work within the confines of a template and aren’t worried about your brand – but if you’ve invested days or even weeks to develop a website plan, it’s not realistic to think you can put it all together so quickly.
I’ve worked with a number of clients who started to develop their own site, only to discover that they didn’t have the technical skills required to complete the project.
I wish I had found Janet before I ever attempted to redo my website in WordPress by myself. I wasted a lot of time and money trying to do something that was supposedly so easy – but wasn’t for me.
Tanya Whitford, CPO®, Organizing Wonders
Should you decide to do it yourself, be sure you allow plenty of time and that you have access to someone to help you or take over the project should you run into difficulties.
If you prefer to hire a professional, make sure that they’re aware of your deadlines, and be prepared to provide timely feedback to avoid delays and keep the project on track.
How much can you afford to invest?
Notice I said “invest” and not “spend?” Your website is an investment in your business, and a professional design should not be considered a luxury.
That being said, a quality website doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Our WordPress Packages start at $497.00 and include your first six months of web hosting at no additional charge.
What are your top priorities?
You may find that you simply can’t achieve everything in your website plan within the timelines and budget you’ve set.
When that happens, you need to review your plan and identify which features are essential to have right away. As I’ve mentioned before, a website is always a work-in-progress, and there’s no reason you can’t add the other features later.
Discuss your priorities, budget, and timelines with your web designer. He or she will nearly always be happy to work with you to come up with a plan that works for you. If not, find someone who will.
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