If you’re going to work with a web designer to build your dream website, you’ll need to do a little bit of homework before you start. Why? The more information you can give your designer up front, the more streamlined the process will be and the more likely you are to get exactly what you want.
If a web designer’s not in your budget right now and you’re looking to DIY your way to an awesome blog, taking the time to plan before you dig in will definitely help you as well, so keep reading.
Set Up A Pinterest Board
Create a Pinterest Board and gather ideas for your dream site. Even if you’re not ready to start actually building it, go ahead and start collecting inspiration as you come across it. Be sure to include good descriptions that remind you why you pinned something. Did you love a logo? Or the way the branding was done? Or the color scheme? Don’t just pin and dash because you will forget what you may have loved down the road.
Pinterest is an amazing search engine! Search for color palettes, blog themes (I love Restored316, Pretty Darn Cute and StudioPress themes!), logo designs, branding boards and more to get started.
Go On A Scouting Mission
Visit oodles of websites, especially websites that fit your same niche. What works for a site? What makes you want to click around? What makes you want to leave a website? If you have taken the time to find several websites that you love and can communicate what you love about them to your designer, that will help them to create your perfect site.
This is such an important step, so don’t skip it!
Lay The Groundwork
If you’re starting a brand new baby blog, be sure to have a good idea of how you want your website to be laid out. What will be the primary purpose of your site? Are you selling something? Are you blogging? Who do you want to visit your site?
Another very important thing for those just getting started is to have at least 5 blog posts (and the photos to go with them), as well as all the words for your “About Me” page, portfolios, etc. ready to send over to your designer.
If you’re an established blogger, take the time to evaluate your website’s structure. Have you let your categories get out of control? Does your navigation menu work? Consider doing a peek test (it can be brutal, but getting unbiased opinions from a user that knows nothing about you or your site is a fantastic way to experience how people interact on your site).
One of the best things you can do for your designer is to take a few minutes to create a site map for her. It can be just a list, if you’re not a flow chart thinker. What to include?
- Site Name
- Site Tagline
- Pages-About Me, Portfolio, Blog, Contact, Shop, Other
- Categories-5-7 categories is a good number to have
- Subcategories-You can do up to 5-7 subcategories for each category. This sounds scary if you’ve never mapped your site out before, but taking the time to break your site’s content down is super helpful when you’re ready to plan content.
Want the worksheet? It’s in the Resource Library. But you’ll need a password, so sign up to be part of the tribe for this and more awesome resources just like it!
Looking for a web designer? I might be your girl! Head on over to the contact page and send me a note!