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Preparing for your website design project can be a little daunting. There’s a lot of content gathering, planning, and organizing involved, and if you’re not prepared, it can sometimes push your project start date back quite a bit.
Below you’ll find an overview of all that’s included for a successful and seamless web design experience, setting you up for success from the very start! Let’s dive in.
BRANDING: Before diving into web design, you’ll want to make sure you have all your branding organized and ready to be implemented and uploaded to your site. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to gather your branding:
-Logo files + favicon
-Color Palette with color hex codes (#000000)
-Pattern designs (if applicable and included in your branding)
-Any additional graphics, videos, etc.
-Brand Style Guide to hand off to your web designer if they didn’t do your branding for you.
CONTENT: If you’re re-branding and already have a website, you’ll likely already have content that your designer will simply transfer over to your new site. However, if you’re going through the brand and web design experience for the first name and don’t already have a website full of content, then you’ll need to either write your own copy (wording) or work with a copywriter to write it for you.
Our Signature Website Planner that’s included in all our web design packages includes prompts and tips to help you write in your best brand voice, but if the idea of writing your own strategic set of words for your entire website feels like a huge feat, then I would definitely recommend hiring a professional copywriter to write them for you.
My go-to gal is Gillian from GG Copywriting. She’s the talented lady behind the words on my website and comes highly, highly recommended!
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS: Professional photos can really make or break your website. Users have very short attention spans and first impressions are imperative to keep people hanging out on your site. Having low-quality images will add to a negative first impression, so be sure to have some great quality images ready to impress!
Here are a couple of ways you can include great imagery on your site:
-Professional photoshoot: A professional brand shoot is always the most ideal way to include quality, branded photos on your site. Hiring a photographer who’s style aligns with your brand can elevate your site in one of the best possible ways! Here’s a link to our guide on how to prepare for your brand photoshoot.
-Source stock imagery: If you’re not able to book a brand photoshoot before your web design project, you can always opt for sourcing stock photography. There are more and more great stock photography options popping up and this is a great alternative to a photoshoot. Just be sure you’re able to source enough on-brand images to fill up an entire website!
Here are some great stock photography options:
–Unsplash (Free images!)
–Sourced Co (Best for wedding pros.)
After you’ve sourced your stock photography or had your photoshoot, you’ll need to make sure you size and name your images in the right way to reap all the SEO benefits! Here’s a post explaining how to properly name and size your photos for your Showit website.
SOCIAL LINKS: This one is easy. Simply put together a list of all your social links and login info in preparation to hand off to your designer. They will need this info to add to your site and having this list ready to go will get you one step ahead!
WEBSITE PAGES: Do you know what website pages you’ll need? Having an idea of the different web pages you’ll need to include on your site is great to start thinking about when beginning your website journey. This is something you can discuss with your designer to get a better idea of your exact needs, but it’s an important aspect to begin thinking about when deciding to move forward with a web design project.
Here’s a list of the most typical pages included in service-based websites:
Home, About, Portfolio, Services, Contact, Blog
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS: Keep a running doc of any client testimonials you receive so you’ll be ready to hand them off to your designer. If you’re able to include photos of your clients with your testimonials, even better!
CONTACT INFO: Similar to your social links, this list will be easy to put together but is also something you’ll need to hand off to your designer so they can include it on your website. You’ll want to include the following:
-Location. Where you’re based, even if you’re an online business serving clients all over the world, people still want to know where you’re located!
-Address (If you have a storefront or physical location.)
-Phone number (If applicable.)
OPT-IN LEAD MAGNETS: Consider a freebie you can offer your audience as a way to begin collecting emails for your email list (if you haven’t started one already.) It doesn’t have to be anything lengthy or extravagant, just something to include on your site that provides value that will entice your reader to trade for their email. An email list is one of the most powerful marketing tools, and you’ll need ways to start collecting those emails!
Here’s a few ideas for a freebie lead magnet:
-PDF guide. Create a guide that won’t take too much work for you to put together, but adds value to your potential clients life. If you’re a photographer, you could put together an outfit guide. If you’re an interior designer, you could put together a guide to your favorite go-to interior paint colors.
-Checklist. Sort of like the one you’re reading! Checklists can be quick and easy to create, and they’re easy to digest for your readers.
-Swipe files. Consider putting together a swipe file for your readers that you don’t mind sharing. For example, if you’re a copywriter, you could put together a social media swipe file that includes twenty attention-grabbing headlines to use for social media posts.
Resource List. Resources lists can be super valuable to your audience. You’re already the expert at what you do, so providing a value-packed list of your best go-to products, services, tools, etc. can make for an irresistible opt-in for your audience.
BLOG CONTENT: If you don’t yet have a blog to transfer your current posts to your new site and are starting from scratch, then it’s important to begin drafting 2-4 posts as early as possible. In order to fully test your new site and make sure everything is working how it should, you’ll need to have at least two blog posts posted before your launch date.
An easy way to do this while your website is being designed is to create drafts in a Google doc, collect the images you’ll want to include in the posts, and have everything ready to post before officially announcing your new website. This way, your designer will be able to fully test your blog to ensure everything is running smoothly.
For a more in-depth overview of what you’ll need to prepare before diving into your web design project, be sure to download our Website Content Checklist to make sure you have everything you’ll need for a seamless and stress-free web design experience, and if you’re interested in a custom Showit website, be sure to reach out via our contact form, we’d love to hear from you!