What to do to prepare for a new website design

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Purchase your domain name
Now is the time to go ahead and secure your domain name. Securing your domain name is like getting a cell phone number or an address. This is how people will find you on the internet. Your domain name is your internet address. Fortunately, this is very easy to do. There are several domain registrars available for you to search for and purchase your domain name. Some places you can start are Domins.com, Godaddy, Namecheap, Google, and Name.com. A more extensive list and reviews can be found here: https://hostingfacts.com/domain-registrars/. Domain registration should cost you anywhere from $10 – $20/year. You can look for coupons on a site like retailmenot.com or by doing a search on google for “domain registrar coupons”. Often securing your domain for more than a year will give you a larger discount on your initial purchase.

Create your logo
If you don’t already have one, you will need to have a logo created. It is important to choose a color pallet that will represent your company and set you apart from your competition. See the paragraph below titled “Decide on Color Pallet”. This should help arm you with some knowledge about choosing the correct colors. If you already have a logo, make sure you have requested all of the correct file types from your designer. Your website designer will prefer an ai, eps, or png file to use on your new site. If you need help designing a new logo, we recommend 99designs, Deluxe, or our sister company Atlanta Graphic Design.

Decide what pages you need
Once you have your domain and logo, it’s time to start planning your site. Knowing the number of pages you need, will help a website developer give you a more accurate estimate. First, create an outline to list out all of the pages that you want on your site. Don’t forget to add, often overlooked pages like, Privacy policy, terms of service, search results, 404, and blog category pages. Check out your competition, and study their website architecture. Which pages draw your attention the most? How did they label their pages in the site navigation?

Create your content
Now that you have your pages listed, it time to write content or at least a content outline. If you plan on having your website developer work with a copywriter to write your content, you still want to have an outline to give to the copywriter. This will save you, and them, a lot of time; not to mention it should lower the cost. To create an outline start with your about us page or your services page. I find it easier for clients to work on these pages first than starting with the home page. Ask yourself What sort of content would your visitors be looking for? What topics are most important? Remember, all of this is just a guide to give to your website developer. A good developer will help you create an overall content strategy and goals for your site. Here’s a good read on creating a content outline: https://www.juliemyoung.com/blog/2011/3/3/how-to-write-a-web-content-outline-in-6-steps.html

Decide on your color pallet
Did you know that 85 percent of shoppers base their product purchasing decisions on color? Choosing the right color pallet for your site is very important. When thinking about color, consider who is your target audience, and what type of emotions you are trying to arouse. You will want to have a primary color, secondary color, and accent color. If you have a logo or brand guide, you will be able to start there. You also will want to take a look at your competitors’ sites and either use similar colors used in your industry or do something completely opposite. Your website designer will help you with this, but it is good to be armed with this knowledge ahead of time. Here is a resource that may be helpful: https://neilpatel.com/blog/website-color-scheme/

By all means, this is not a comprehensive list of things to do or consider. Based on my experience, when a new customer comes to us, haven giving thought to all of these items, it is very easy for us to provide an estimate (it usually makes the project go a lot faster). I hope this information is helpful to you. Have a great day.

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