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5 ways to Prepare for Building A New Website with a Website Designer - Ep. 44

In this blog, I'm going to talk about five ways to prepare for building a new website with a website designer. There are a lot of things that go into a website and I think it's things that people normally don't think about. By preparing your expectations, I'm hoping that it will really alleviate a lot of the stress and it will really help us create a website that is intentional and professional. There's a lot of different ways to create websites and I'm going to be talking about my methods. So if you've been wanting to create a website with me, let's dive in.

1. Save Money for the Cost of the Web Design and Monthly Website Costs

First things first, you need to prepare to save money for the cost of the web design and the monthly website subscription cost.

I'm assuming there are two types of entrepreneurs reading this episode. The first are the entrepreneurs that are in the super beginning stages of their business who have a small budget. If this is you, we're going to start you off with a one-page website. It's the cheapest option, and it's pretty much just a taste into your business. It is best to start with a one-page website, because maybe you're not sure who you're working with yet. You're testing different target audiences, your services, you don't have a set customer flow or a set way of doing your services just yet. We definitely don't want to create an entire 5+ page website if you're not sure what your services are. For a one page website save up for about $800, 4 montly payments of $200. Check out these one page website to see if its right for your business: 49th Forward

Let's say that you get a year into your business and you decide that working with male entrepreneurs is something you don't want to do. There's that first shift in your business. Now you want to target female only clients. If we created a standard website package where you have five plus pages, then you just wasted a lot of money because you invested in the design a little bit too early, and now you have to go back and redesign and re-edit all of your services.

If you've been in business for 2 or 3+ years and you know who you want to work with and you narrowed down your services that's a perfect place to be for a standard website package. Save up for about $2999. 5 monthly payments of $599.80. Check out these standard websites to see if its right for your business: Silver Tip Seafoods

You also need to save up for your domain name, which normally isn't a lot. If you are building your website on Wix, which is my preferred platform they give you a domain name for free for the first year. Sometimes even two years.

Then, you also have to pay for website hosting. Which can be a couple hundred dollars per year. If you pay annually or for multiple years like a 3 year bundle then you get a big chunk of savings.

2. Invest in Brand Photography if you want a Highly Professional Website You need to invest in brand photography if you want a highly professional website. High quality photos are going to be the cherry on top for that professional vibe of your website. My website looks so much better when I added professional photos, but I understand that we all start somewhere and we all can't afford it. Another option is doing a trade with the photographer, trade services or your products. Cheap stock images work as well. If you need to start with photos from your phone, there is nothing wrong with that. We all start somewhere. But eventually you'll need to elevate so when you're ready to get those brand photography photos. I do have a couple of podcast episodes going over outsourcing for your business.

3. Figure Out the Main Goal of Your Website

Here are some example:

  • Book more clients

  • Book more Services

  • Sell products

  • Grow your email list

  • Provide educational information

  • Connect with B2B partners

  • Get needed forms - rentals, permission slips, guides

  • Get needed information - hours, menu

Is the goal of your website to book more clients, book more services? Maybe you want to sell more products or grow your email list? If you're a preschool and the overall goal is to have the forms on your website, we're going to add a page where it's only forms that you can find. Maybe we're also going to have a section for what the quarters are for each semester or the fees that people want to pay, what to expect when you are registering for preschool, how to register for preschool. Now you can see why it's important to know the goals, because now we're adding certain things that need to be on the website.

If you're a physical store, let's say you're a hair salon. Then you want people to book your services, right? So once people book their service, they need to know your location. They also need to know what kind of services you have. So we're going to put starting prices on there, and some examples of the work that you've done on other people, so people can have a reference. Let's say your photography and your main goal is to have people book your services, then people need to know how it works. You need to add FAQs. A section that explains why should they choose you over another photographer? Or maybe we show that through the values that you have as a photographer and also thinking about these goals, it's really good for SEO or search engine optimization. I'll think about keywords for each page. For the homepage of a preschool website, your main keyword is probably going to be Juneau Alaska preschool, because that's what people are using as a Google search. Hopefully they'll land on your homepage and then be able to explore from there. Maybe for the homepage of a hair salon, your keywords are women's haircut in Juneau, Alaska. Knowing your goals is super, super important.

You can even think about the goals for each page. This is something that I do. For your homepage, I like to use that as your navigation. The goal is to help people go from their home page and navigate to other parts of your website. You want people to get to know you and create rapport with you to see if you're a good fit and share the same values as them. For your contact page, people are going to want to know your email, your phone number, your address. Maybe they want to fill out a contact form. If you have services, let's say for my brand and web design pages, I want people to fill out my contact form or email me so I have buttons that bring them to my contact page or my email. If you don't have services and you're selling products, then the main goal of the shop page is for people to buy. So we're going to make sure your buttons are really easy to find, that your product descriptions are on there, that there's a frequently asked questions section. If you have a page on your website where you're selling a course, the goal is for people to buy the course. We're going to think about adding sections that explain what your course is, who the course is for, how long the course takes, etc.

So again, all of these goals, they're going to help you be really intentional about what to include on each page of your website.

4. Block Off Time in Your Calendar to Hand Over Website Content - Be realistic. Expect 1-2 hours minimum

You need to block off time in your calendar to hand over website content. I want you to be realistic, expect anywhere from one to two hours, and this is minimum. This is the biggest holdup in web design, not being able to hand over content. Content are your photos and web copy (which is the text on your website). I can use fillers on your website to get the process moving, but the more content you have for me to plug in, the better experience we're going to have and the less you need to do so you're getting your money's worth and not needing to create your own web copy, unless that's something you want to do.

How do I have you hand over your website copy? I need you to fill out a questionnaire and it can be pretty lengthy. It's around maybe 50 questions. You also need to give me photos, which is why having a brand photo shoot is really helpful because you can send me the gallery link from your photographer. But if you don't have that in place, you're going to have to either search your stock images or download a folder for me so that I can pull from your personal stash. Definitely take the time to fill out the questionnaire and find photos that we can use, because a lot of the effort that you put in, it's going to really show in the final result of the website.

5. Block off time in your calendar for Review Meetings - Design kick off call, Revisions, Website Hand off

For me, this is your design kickoff call, where I take your questionnaire and create a mood board with the information you gave. I also pick different fonts for you to choose from and show you different color palettes. This is so that I have some kind of direction to move forward in when I go to design. Then you'll need to block off time for revisions. Once I give you the proof of the homepage, you need to be able to give me feedback on what you like or don't like. Maybe we need to go back and change some colors, redesign your buttons to be more rounded. Maybe you want the photos corners to berounded as well. You need to make time to tell me these things and feel comfortable in giving me thorough feedback. Don't be shy! You won't offend me it's a part of the process.

You'll need to also make time for our website handoff meeting, where I sit down with you for about an hour to show you the backend of your website. I'll show you how to edit your website, how to add new photos and where everything lives. That's going to be really beneficial for you so you have some kind of confidence on how to move forward with editing your own website. Blocking off time for all of this stuff, is really the only way to get that nice professional website. The more time that passes by, the more money you're leaving on the table. Let's say that you launched your $3,500 website and noticed that you are getting 10 times more bookings than you ever did without your website. You already made your money back, depending on how much your services are, but eventually you're going to make the money back because you're making money from your website.

Your website is definitely an investment. It's not just a one-off thing that you pay for, and then you never see results from it. You're going to see results from it because your website is going to be designed to hit your goals. Whether that was to book more services or sell more products. Your website is an asset that's going to make you money over and over and over again in your business. I cannot stress that enough. So, if you are ready to create a website with me, definitely check out my website, and let's make some magic.


Brand Need a facelift? Check Out These Resources

Z Squared Studio is a Brand and Web Design Studio based in Juneau, Alaska. Check out for custom brand design, Alaska logo design, or web design.

Or sign up for our DIY Brand yourself Mini-Course if you're ready for a stand out, scroll stopping brand without hiring a designer.


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