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Three Things You Need to Know Before Designing Your Website

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I have a quick tutorial today on three things that you need to know before you decide to start designing or have your website designed.

The DNA of Your Brand

So just to jump right in, the first thing that you need to know before you or someone you hire designs your website is the DNA of your brand. And so, what that means is you must know all of those little details about what your brand is, who your brand is and who it's for. Your fonts, your colors, your logo, are not even as important as knowing the mood and style of your brand. OK? And who your brand is targeting. The big reason that's important is because your clients and customers are emotion based, right? So, colors affect emotions, fonts affect emotions, and you want to have a brand that speaks to your client, not just you, right? So, you need to know the DNA of your brand. who your brand is for, know your colors, your fonts, your letter stylings, all those things that make up your visual brand.

Another thing that's a part of your visual brand is the name of your brand, right? So, you're the name of your company or brand is important, or If you're branding yourself, the name may be your own name like mine is. I'm Allison Denise. That's what I use for my name. Whatever the case may be, whenever getting ready to design a website, you're going to want to find a domain name that coincides with your company name, right? So knowing that's another part of the DNA of your brand. So, if you know that that's good, you can search on places like namecheap.com or go daddy.com to see if the domain name that you would like for your business is available. That’s a very important step.

Another thing that's a part of your brand style is your photos. Photos are very, very important on a website they give your site life and they help your target audience get to know you or your products. If you're not placing pictures of yourself you should place pictures of your products. It is a good idea and best practice to have high-quality professional photos. One thing I like to suggest to people who might attempt to use personally taken photos is to make sure that you have a good camera. Make sure that you have good lighting; good lighting is natural lighting. After that, I suggest white lights. I purchased some on Amazon for $40 bucks. 

And then next after that will be white lights, which you can purchase. I've purchased some for like 40 bucks on Amazon. When I first started I took a selfie photo shoot just so that I could have some decent photos to put on my website. it's your first impression when people come to your site, you want them to have a good impression of you. So, your photos, name, fonts, style, and your target market are all parts of the DNA of your brand.

Know the Purpose of Your Site

The second thing you should know is the purpose of your site.  Your website, while you want it to be beautiful, serves more than a purpose of just being a beautiful presence online because it can be as pretty as you want it to be, but if nobody's finding it and nobody's finding use from it, when they find it, then it's really pointless. Right? So, there are different reasons you could want a site built.

  1. You want to have an online presence, outside of social media. You want a place that you can call home for your business and have sales, whether you're selling products or services. When people ask you about what you offer, you send them to your website and they can purchase right there and that’s called e-commerce. We're living in the e-commerce world right now. So online sales are the thing.
  2. Blogging It's good for giving your audience information. That's one thing. It's also good for helping your website get found. If you word your blog properly with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) keywords, this will help Google and search engines find your website. So, it's good for your website to be found and it's good for you to educate your audience and show them that you know what you're talking about. I use my website to showcase some of my work and give people a behind the scenes of the work that I've done. Not only does it help me showcase my work, but it also helps them get an idea of how I work. It also gives them an idea of what they will want for themselves should they decide to work with me or another designer.
  3. Scheduling. A lot of people like to have an online place for people to schedule appointments with them. So, for instance, if you have passion parties or something like that, you want people to go online and schedule the party and not have to call you or message you. I prefer to use acuity scheduling. There's so many that you can choose from. Acuity works well for me, it can be embedded on your website, doesn't have to be, you can use it without a website. They have a free version. And then the next version up is like 10 bucks.

Know the Platform You Want to Use

We know that there are tons and tons of platforms that you can use to build your website. There's Wix, Weebly, WordPress. Squarespace. There's a host of them that I can’t think of right now. WordPress is the most popular one that I can think of. Wix is good for when you're just starting out and you want to try and design it yourself. It has great templates. I've been using Wix for some years now. They've come a very long way. I do most of my designing on Squarespace. When I first started out, I started using WordPress and it's just too complicated. Some people love it and it serves its purpose. There are some things that WordPress can do because of all the plug-ins and add-ons, um, that some others website providers cannot offer or they offer it, but it requires a big work around to do it. But, you know, for the most part, most of us don't need all those bells and whistles. Squarespace on the other hand is very user friendly. After completing clients’ websites, I usually train them so that they can go in and do their own edits. So, I typically recommend Squarespace and it's affordable. If you pay monthly, it's $16 a month, if you pay annually then same plan is $12 a month. So, I think that's pretty good.

I was just talking to a couple of people earlier this week asking them what site their current site is on what platform? And they both said Wix and one was like, I'm paying $20 a month. The other one was paying $25 a month. That's too much, especially if it's not offering you some really great functionality or some stuff you can't get anywhere else. Wix has been notorious for having difficulties being found on Google search. The SEO for Wix sites is a little more difficult than WordPress and Squarespace.

To Hire or Not?

You must know if you want to hire someone to create your site. Find out if they offer support or maintenance or if you're going to have to maintain the site on your own. If it's something that you're going to be maintaining on your own or you want to maintain on your own, make sure you pick a platform that is user-friendly to you. OK? Um, and yeah, that's pretty much it.

 

So, remember

Know Your Brand DNA!

Know the Purpose of Your Site!!

Know What Platform You Want to Use!!!

Need more brand clarity so you CAN be consistent?  Check out my FREE Brand Allure Workbook on what you can use to attract your dream clients or Schedule a Consult with me to discuss my Brand Development Signature Service.  You deserve a beautiful brand you love that sells. Let’s make it happen!

Ciao for Now!

Alli