After years of designing websites for clients, I’ve created a list of things that have made it easier for me. If you are not a seasoned pro designer or a website coder the good news is you can use these resources to help you design your website at any level. I still remember the frustration I experienced trying to learn WordPress for the first time and these tips will help guide you and eliminate stress.
Before you get started make sure that you identify your goals for your website. You should be clear if you want to include a blog, eCommerce, online store, chat feature, testimonial page, FAQs, About, online scheduler, newsletter opt-in, or any other features. It is important for you to build the correct website for your business so that you can create sales funnels to drive traffic through ads, affiliates, and SEO. It will also help you narrow down what you need to get started. By understanding the purpose of your website and your business goals you will attract your ideal target market.
Website Builder + Website Templates
After you have chosen a website builder for your business, I use Showit, Shopify, and WordPress for my clients, then I recommend finding a website template so that you have a jumping-off point. This makes it easier especially if you are not a coder. Whether you decide to build your website on GoDaddy, WordPress, Webflow, Canva, Shopify, Showit, Squarespace, Wix, or any other website builder platform, they all offer free and purchasable templates. You can also find custom-made templates for your business on Etsy, Thrive, Themeforest, Creative Market, Envato, etc. Most website designers like myself sell customizable templates that are easy to use as well. If you have a website budget and want a fully personalized website designed for your business I would love to work with you.
Fonts + Graphics
Once you have settled on a template that matches your overall brand aesthetic you can choose your fonts and graphics. The website builder you are using to build your website will offer you plenty of options for fonts and graphics, however, if you cannot find exactly what you are looking for there are additional resources on MyFonts, Adobe fonts, Envato, Linotype, Fontshop, and many others. Make sure that if you are using a free font you have the appropriate licensing and the same applies to paid fonts.
Photography + Videography
When it comes to content for your website you may need to hire a professional who can help you with your brand photography and videography. If you do not have a budget for outsourcing your content I suggest shooting your own content with whatever camera you have at home and a ring light. You can also use stock images from Adobe, Shutterstock, Moyo, Kaboom Pics, Editorial Stock, Unsplash, Pexels, Social Squares, and Haute Stock. Some stock photos are free while others cost. Make sure that whichever photos and videos you choose that you stick to your brand style guide so you stay “on brand.” This will help you build a recognizable brand and gain brand loyalty.
Email Newsletter Software Tools
Next, you want to make sure you have an opt-in that allows visitors to subscribe to your newsletters, a freebie, or any other promotion. This is important so you can start to build an email list. I use Flodesk (use my code for 50% off MFSTUDIOS) but there are other great platforms you can use such as MailChimp, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, AWeber, and GetResponse to name a few.
If you are new to building a website be sure not to overlook the most important things a responsive site that is mobile friendly, a CTA that lets people know what your offering is, the current promos, deals, products, and services you are offering, and a way they can contact you.
Spend time on your sitemap aka your website blueprint so that you understand the pages your website needs and how they connect together so your site is user-friendly, clear, and easy to navigate. Always make sure to update your website and plug-ins, secure your site, and promote it once it’s live.
Building a website is just a small step to building a business, but when done mindfully and thoughtfully can organically bring you traffic and help you grow your business. Always remember, your website layout is the fun part and the visual representation of the storefront of your business.