Getting your website designed by a website designer is an exciting step and a big undertaking. Here are three questions you should answer before getting started working with a website designer.
1. What functionalities should your website have?
Knowing what you want your website should do comes before everything else. For example, do you want to promote yoga retreats? Then an events calendar could be a great feature to have, because it will make managing your events much easier. Or do you want to start a blog? Add a shop? Even if you don’t want any of this right from the get-go, it’s a good idea to think ahead, because this should inform your next decision:
To-Do: Write out a list of functionalities you’d like to have on your website, now and in the future.
2. What platform should your website be on?
Before you hire a website designer, you’ll have to first decide which website builder you want to use. Most designers specialize in one tool and even certain themes, for example I only work with WordPress.org and the Avada theme.
Because I specialize, I know what I’m doing, and I can keep my costs low. Designers who say they can work with anything and everything are either VERY experienced, and thus expensive, or they are lying and probably won’t do a very good job.
The most popular website platform out there is still wordpress.org. That’s the self-hosted version, meaning you pay for your hosting (for example with Siteground*) and nothing else. Click here to read a blog post I wrote on how WordPress compares to Wix and Squarespace.
To-Do: Check out platform comparison blog posts, website examples, ask your colleagues or sign up for trials. If you’re still stuck, talk to a website designer and get some recommendations based on your requirements.
3. Do you have content ready to put on your website?
I’ve worked with clients who didn’t have any copy or images ready for me when we started and with others who provided everything, and I have to say that I believe that you get much better results when you have great images and content input ready.
Normally I discuss the sitemap and what pages we need with my clients first. Based on that I give them a to-do list with content they need to prepare. Even though I’m not a copy writer I’m normally providing copy for things like your contact page or newsletter sign up form.
Delivering your content up front will save the designer (and you) time and it also allows your designer to optimize your content for SEO, for example use your content to set up your meta description, alt tags for images etc.
If you only write your copy after the pages have been designed everything needs to be looked at twice (which will increase costs) and it can make it difficult to fit your content into the design. It’s really much better if as much as possible is there before the actual design work starts.
To-Do: Start collecting photos of yourself, copy for your about page and services, and input for any other content you want on your website, like products, retreats or workshops. Schedule a photo shoot if necessary.
The website platform, number of your pages and the features you want are what most prices are based on. With those details clear, you’ll be able to get exact quotes that you can compare before picking your perfect website designer and get the ball rolling on your fab new website!