I’m pretty sure you know the importance of having a quality site just like I have learned over time. And, If you have been conducting business online for a while, you may been thinking about building one from scratch or to go for an upgrade.
As solopreneurs and small businesses owners we do need to look forward to build strong online presences and periodically look at our existing website and ask ourselves if a site makeover could help push us toward another level.
That means making everything around your site practical and prioritizing valuable information.
I was overwhelmed about the idea at first even though I know how to design and code. But, I found that everything came together more easily when I took the time to make a step-by-step plan first. The detailed guide helped me avoid confusion and make sure I finished everything necessary to make my website work without pulling my hair out.
Rebuilding or redesigning a website should always start with a plan, and a plan makes more sense when you have a goal. That’s a very general way of putting what I’m going to cover up below.
List all the pages and features your website needs to reach its goal.
Although an ecommerce shop will end up having different things than a informative website or a niche affiliate site, they all have several needs in common. These include an About Me page, Products or Services, FAQ, and a gallery or portfolio if you provide a service. One of my goals while working on my makeover was to make sure everyone who comes to my site can learn about who I am and what I can do to help them.
Research methods for making each page better at achieving its goal.
Make sure you’re filling your pages with valuable content. Each block of text, graphic, or other elements should have a real purpose behind it. I can’t stress that enough.
Learn to define a main information for each page.
Your website is your primary platform for attracting attention and convincing people to hire you to perform a needed service. Even if your social media pages have a lot of followers, it doesn’t mean that those numbers do not necessarily translate into signups, contants, or purchases.
Each page of the website after its makeover needs a focus. Since I sell my services, the bulk of the pages have to do with describing what I do and how my creative process works.
Consider how user-friendly your website will be.
I absolutely knew I did not want my site pages to become more confusing, time-consuming, or awkward to navigate and get information from. So, making your website comfortable to use needs to be part of the plan. Some additions that can help: include a button that scrolls to the top of the page, clear navigation menus with home page link, and responsive layouts that look great on mobile devices and phones.
Sketch site layouts and where each element should go for maximum effect.
I tend to go overboard sometimes with my own brand’s visual identity. In the pencil-and-paper planning stages, I have to practice some self-control and focus on branding design without getting in the way of the content’s message. Of course, if you tend toward excessive minimalism, now is the time to fill in the gaps on your site.
Pick the best platform possible for your website.
Without a doubt, I use and recommend a self-hosted WordPress for content management. With plugins and templates, WP lets you create any type of site you need to build your business, even e-commerce shops. I find it to be a unique combination of easy-to-use and powerful and gives me the type of control over my site that I want.
If WordPress does not work for you, there are other options like Squarespace and the non-self-hosted version of WP, WordPress.com.
I hope these tips help you plan and organize your new website launch or assist with a website makeover. You can download the accompanying website planning worksheet for additional guidance. It lets you fill in your specific details as you work step-by-step through the best website building practices.
Feel free to leave a comment or question below if you need help.