I’ll just cut to the chase. Note that some of these might not apply to your business, depending on your individual situation.
- Pick a domain name. Dot Com’s are still the favored TLD (top level domain), so go with that if you can. Try to pick a name with two words or less, and with as few letters as possible.
- Decide who is in charge of making decisions regarding the website. I cannot stress this enough. Having ten people, each having equal input to additions and changes can quickly become a nightmare for everyone involved. Especially if there is little communication within the group that is making the decision. Keep the influential people to a minimum, and pick a single person to communicate the requirements.
- Have an idea about what you would like to accomplish. What features do you want? What is the goal of the website? Is there a general color scheme you would like to use?
- Gather content. It’s not important to know exactly how it will all fit in immediately, but it is a good idea to gather up photos, lists of pages you would like to have, bios, text for areas like the “About” page, etc. You will be online much faster by having done a little preparation beforehand. Promise.
- Create a list of questions you might have, however long that list might be. Email it to MidState Design, or whatever company you’re working with. (Hopefully it will be MidState Design!).
- Try to get an idea of the scope of the project. Try not to underestimate it. Most people start with a simple page or two, then wind up with 15-20 pages as things progress. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does take away from some of the planning stages that might have gone into the setup.
- Feel free to draw up pages which show elements in different areas. A slider here, an ad there, an article on top. Although thing might change, it can help to expedite the process, getting you online faster. And perhaps, making profits.
- Choose a hosting company. MidState Design hosts companies on our own server which provides enormous benefits. There are a lot of other hosting companies out there that promise you the world, and give you something else entirely. In fact, MidState Design just moved from a company which was so interested in profits, that clients came last. You won’t have to worry about that here. Clients will ALWAYS come first as long as I own this business.
- Figure out how you are going to pay for it. MidState Design has an easy financing option available which might help. You can Contact me for more information. MidState Design requires 50% down on all jobs and is non-refundable after the site has been started. The remainder of the payment shall come due when the website it is finished.
- Slate in some time that you will actually dedicate to the website. Both before, and after it goes online.
- Get, and learn how to use a password manager. You are going to want one. I cannot imagine how I would get through the day without one.
- Update your personal computer and make sure it’s protected by an up to date antivirus program. This is just good practice.
I’ve seen all of this take very little time, and I’ve seen it take months. It just depends on how much you really want to do, and how much time you can dedicate to getting the info to the web designer.
This are just tips, and they are not meant to discourage anyone. If want to ‘wing it’, you can. I’ve handled those jobs many times. But if you want to structure things out better, in advanced, the tips above will help you.
As always, you can contact MidState Design with questions you might have about this process. I will be happy to speak with you an let you know about the options available.
The time is now! Are you ready to get online and get busy?
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