Building a website is like building a building. Before you begin, you need to have a plan in place or who knows what you will end up building!
You need to see the website in your mind, or help your web designer see the website in her mind, before either of you ever start building the website.
To get that picture in your mind, I suggest you go look at other websites on the internet. Which ones do you like? Why do you like them? Which ones do you hate? Why?
If you can show your designer several that you like and explain why you like them, it will help her to help you pick out a pre-built theme or to create a custom theme. The more she understands what you like and dislike and what it is about those sites you like or dislike, the better image she can come up with in her mind as to what she can build for you.
If you are choosing a WordPress theme for yourself, it will also help you to know what you like and dislike about other sites. That will help you narrow down the prebuilt themes as you look through them.
There are an overwhelming amount of WordPress themes available today. We have over 200 themes available to our clients and that’s nothing compared to the amount of themes available to you on the web. It’s really hard to choose just one, so the better the picture in your mind before you actually start choosing a theme, the better.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing your theme is what pages you will need on your site. Most sites have a home page, an about page and a contact page. Then there are other pages that make up the ‘meat’ of your site. These could be product pages, membership pages, a blog, informational pages, landing pages, sales pages, or any number of other types of pages based on the type of website you are building.
Are you building a travel blog or an online store? Are you building a membership site for your softball team? Or are you building a site to share the information you’ve gathered on your latest project? What’s the purpose of your site? This will help you and/or your designer to decide what pages you will need on your site.
What content will need to be on these pages? Do you have that already written down somewhere? Do you have a lot of things written or just a small amount? Do you know what you want/need your website to ‘say’? Do you have tons of textual information that needs to be shared?
Do you have images, videos, audios or pdf downloads that need to be available? Do you have enough images to make your site attractive and easy to read? The more images and video you have, the easier your website will be to read and to keep your visitor’s attention. Don’t skimp when it comes to images.
Videos are a must on today’s internet. People want video. They love it and it’s not going away. Do you have videos for your website? If not, do you know how to make them easily? Will you need to hire someone to do the videos? Is this something you will need help with from your designer?
What other information do you need for your website? If you will have downloads, do you have those ready and available? If you need to sell something on your site, do you have a credit card payment processing service already available? Do you have product or service information and prices ready? Will you need maps?
The more you can think through what your website will need and what you want on that website, the better your initial meeting will go with your web designer. If you are building the website yourself, knowing these things ahead of time will get you much further, quicker. Know what you are building before you dive into WordPress or any other web development platform.
You may not know how to pull together all this information. But, hopefully, this will give you a better idea about what you might need. Your web designer can help you with anything you don’t understand or don’t know how to find or pull it together. She can help you pull this together, but the more you can have prepared ahead of time, the quicker your website build will get started and finished. Never start without a plan.
Anything on a theme can be changed, but it’s always best to start with the closest theme to your imagined website as possible. We can change colors, layout, or anything else, but starting with a good theme that is very close will save you time and money in the long run.
With that said, if you find a theme that is almost perfect but it has the wrong color headings or the wrong font, those things can be changed fairly quickly and easily. But even the little things add up and take time. Try to keep them to a minimum.
Hopefully, this has helped you understand what you need to get your website plan started. What information do you need to pull together?
Need help with this stuff? Please contact us We’d be happy to help!