Your small business website is going to be the first contact you have with potential customers and clients. And depending on the site of your business and whether it’s a service based site, ecommerce site, whether you want to automate the booking side of your business. Will depend on the investment you will need to make.
The good thing about web design is in doesn’t matter whether you work with a web designer in Hobart, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane. It can all be created virtually for you.
Whatever you are needing your website for though ensure it’s a responsive web design so no matter what device your user is on, what screen size they have or what mobile phone they are using. Your website will display properly.
If this is your first website, then it will all be new to you too. And like many things as business owners we all learn from experience. And when first starting out you don’t know what you don’t know until you know it. I’ve written the below tips and advice that you should know before engaging a web designer.
Do your research though still and ensure you engage a web designer that will help meet your goals and expectations.
1. Plan your SEO
Planning your SEO from the start or planning it in conjunction with planning your business website is great practise.
Find a WordPress web designer that knows their SEO or consult an SEO expert to start with, so your website is set up for SEO correctly from the get go.
Not all web designers understand the intricacies that are SEO but hopefully, they’ll know the importance and be able to guide you in the direction of an SEO expert that they normally use.
By planning your SEO from the start, you can ensure your menus and URL names are the best they can be.
Planning your SEO from the start saves double handling too. Which means you should save some $$$. We all want to save some $$$ don’t we?
Your SEO can obviously be implemented after the build but if you are thinking about your SEO and what you should be targeting from the beginning all these things can be implemented as the site is designed and set up.
2. Know your website goals
Think about your website and what you want it to achieve.
- Is it to sell your products or services?
- Or is it a place for potential customers or clients to find out information about what you do and how you can help them?
- Are you wanting to grow your email list and start them into your sales funnel?
- Is it to direct them to your bricks and mortar store or office?
- Is it to book a meeting or discovery call?
By knowing your WordPress website goals this will help you plan your website and how you are going to direct your website visitors around your site with calls to action.
3. Know your target market too
Knowing your target market will help with the planning of your website from the
When you know who you’re talking to and designing for. It will make your messaging, CTA’s (call to actions) and ?? much more easier.
4. Website hosting
Hosting can make or break a site and it can be a royal pain to move a site to new hosting. It’s doable of course but if you choose could hosting from the start. That’s one less headache you’ll have down the track.
I personally use Siteground and it’s who I recommend to clients. They have some great plans at some great starter prices too. And I’ve been really impressed with their service too when I’ve needed some extra support or to ask a question.
5. Prioritse your wants and needs
Know what’s important for your site. Not just for the immediate future though but consider how your business is going to grow and what this may mean for your website.
By having this insight, it will help you plan your website structure.
The less you have to rejig your URL structure and hierarchy down the track the better.
Remember any URL that is changed needs to have the old URL redirected to the new one, so you don’t get a 404 error.
But with each redirect, you lose some SEO goodness. If you put a bit of forethought in now you might be able to avoid redirecting anything down the track.
Sometimes, it’s unavoidable and if it’s in the best interest of your website and visitor UX (user experience) then definitely go ahead with it.
6. Do your platform research
Research your platforms. 99.9% of the time I recommend WordPress websites but depending on your needs and technical ability I will recommend Shopify sometimes for ecommerce.
When it comes to Shopify there’s less to maintain after but there are a few things when it comes to SEO that really frustrates me with Shopify. Which is why WordPress is my platform of choice.
But if you aren’t techie minded then Shopify may be a better website platform for you. I’m always happy to discuss your situation too and make my recommendations.
7. Here’s a few tips for after the website build
Once your site is built too whatever you do ensure you get full admin access and better yet ensure this is a part of your initial contract.
Even if you don’t want to manage your site after the build when it comes to website updates and backups, etc. It’s in your best interest to ensure you have access. You wouldn’t buy a building or a shop and not get the key, would you? So, ensure you have full access to the back end of your website, along with hosting and domain name if your web designer has set that up too.
Another very important thing is to ensure you have a backup plugin set up that runs regularly too. The amount of small businesses I’ve spoken to in the past few months that don’t have a backup or there is one installed, but it’s never been set up is a bit scary.
Ideally, you want the backup to sync off site too just in case you ever got locked out of your website backend. I’m a big supporter of backups and contingency plans.
Are you empowered to engage a website designer?
After reading all of my tips and advice are you empowered and confident now to engage a website designer?
Don’t forget we offer web design services, and of course plan, the SEO from the get go. If you’d like to have a chat about your website needs. Reach out. I’m happy to chat about what you’re wanting and give advice about what would best suit your needs.