You need a new site. But…where do you start?
Whether you’re starting a completely new business or your business is going through a lot of change, how your website represents you accurately is important. And one of the most common questions I’m asked by prospective clients is this:
“Where do I start?”
Let me get this out of the way first: what you use to design your site doesn’t matter. Not now.
Most people are confused because they look at themes, other sites and website building software / apps / systems and they aren’t sure what to use. WordPress? Drupal? Joomla? Muse? Dreamweaver? Rapidweaver? Wix? Weebly?
There are a lot of options out there. But let’s not worry about that. Because, folks, this is NOT your starting point.
YOU are your starting point.
I’ll explain. Or rather, I’ll ask you a few questions. And then this will become very clear. These questions, by the way, are the starting point I use when talking to a new client to see if we’re a good fit:
- What do you do? Is this a new business? Established business?
- What is your target market? And who are your ideal customers? Who do you serve? Who do you not serve?
- What are your products and services? And what do they do for your customers?
- Do you have pictures of yourself, your team, your location, and your products and services that are current? In different sizes and angles and that show important details to customers?
- Who will build and design your site? You? A member of your team? A professional designer?
You have the answers, and more. Great! Start building your new site.
If you have the answers to all of the above questions – what you do, your mission statement, descriptions, pricing and images of your products, and plan of action for your new site – then you are well on your way!
You aren’t clear about your message, and have little else in the way of content. Hold off on your site design.
But if you don’t have answers, or, you haven’t given these issues much thought, don’t panic. But now isn’t the time to think about what you’ll use to build and design your website. Now is the time to sit down, think about why you need your new site, and what you’re going to put into it, and map out a plan of action. Starting with the answers to the questions above, then outlining a strategy for how your site will attract visitors, then convert them into loyal visitors, is most important.
Once you have your content ready and a strategy for how you will make your website help your business grow, then you are truly ready for deciding between WordPress, Joomla, Squarespace and all of those other great options.
Because the truth is this: if you don’t have your content, what are you going to put in your pages?
Always, always, ALWAYS start with YOU.
About the author
I'm a writer and a web designer. I create one-of-a-kind websites for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I help my clients expand their audiences, get more customers and make mo' money. Get my FREE PDF checklist, "10 Elements Your Website Needs to be Highly Effective" when you subscribe to my monthly newsletter for industry news, writing and design tips and special offers.