When taking on a building project there are certain steps everyone will take, including hiring expert builders, planning how it will look before you start, and putting together a timeline to work towards. The same can be said when undertaking a new website build.
No matter your industry or the type of business you have, a website is the modern day shop window, and there’s no point operating without having a professional-looking site.
Whether you’re creating your first website, or updating an existing platform, follow our top tips to ensure you have a smooth and timely build.
At the very start, there are two research steps to take:
- Look at web designers/agencies and view sites they have created. They will be more than happy to have a chat before you hire them and, as you’ll be in contact a lot, develop a good relationship from the very start.
- To help your business stand out from the crowd, your website needs to be unique and bespoke to you. However, there’s no harm looking at what others are doing, and this doesn’t just go for those in the same industry as you. A quick search of ‘nicely designed websites’ brings up hundreds of lists of good looking websites. See if there’s anything you like, as you may find some inspiration for your upcoming build.
2. Have a clear vision
This research will help you pull together a vision for your website. Your web design agency will bring your ideas to life and give advice about what will and won’t work, and they will welcome input from you. This could be that you would prefer it to be image led, or there’s a certain function you would like the site to have, or even a particular colour palette.
3. Know what content you want
Even if you want something image led, it’s vital the visual and text elements work seamlessly together so your messages are communicated clearly to your audience. We would always recommend working with a professional copywriter, or preferably a web design agency that can provide a bespoke copywriting service. Before writing a word, a good wordsmith will arrange to meet you and learn everything about your company, from your values and your target market, to your expert team and company vision. Once the copy has been written, don’t be afraid to ask for tweaks before it’s added to the site, as you know your company better than anyone.
4. Request and stick to a timeline
There may be a particular date you would like your website to be live by – ensure everyone involved knows this from the very start. Ask for a timeline from your design agency and if there are deadlines for you to provide information, meet them, as this will help ensure a smooth and timely build. Your agency will probably schedule regular update meetings with you, but if not, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to find out how it’s going.
FYI – building a website is not an overnight job. On average, from the initial meeting to pressing the go live button, it can take 2-3 months (longer if you require bespoke functionality), so ensure you give enough time for the process to be completed.
5. Look ahead
Throughout your build, the term SEO (search engine optimisation), which helps your site appear high up on web searches, will probably come up quite a bit. As one aspect that can affect SEO is regular website content updates, at the outset think about how you’re going to continue to add to your site in the future. This could be including a news or blog page into the build, regularly adding a visual gallery, or uploading new testimonials.
6. Promote it
You don’t need to wait for your shiny new website to go live before promoting it. Talk about it on your social media channels or add a note to a current website to say something new is coming. After all, any way you can engage with potential clients and customers to encourage them to revisit your site at a later date, can only be a good thing.