The thought of building your first website for your business is a daunting task. Trust me, I get it.
Most of the time whatever it is that we’re actually passionate about creating or sharing isn’t necessarily tech forward, which means tackling the huge undertaking of creating a website sounds nearly impossible.
The good news is that not only is this a much more manageable task than you might think, but it can also be relative affordable if you do it right the first time around. This is where I come in.
This post has a round up of 5 things you need to know before building your first website. Plus, I go over the pros and cons of hiring a web developer instead of doing it yourself, as well as opting for a coded website versus a drag and drop website.
What To Know Before Building Your First Website
Remember that anytime someone comes to your website, they might be a potential customer. Think about how you want those customers to feel when they experience your website the same way you might think about how you want someone to feel when they walk into your home, studio, or store.
First things first, you’ll want to make sure that your branding is done before you start on your website. If you’re not sure how to establish branding for your new business, check out this post for tips and tricks.
Brand Identity Kit
Once your branding is complete, it’s vital to have your brand identity kit ready to go, as well. Your brand kit will ensure you have a cohesive look and feel across all your channels. This means you’ll have exact hex codes for your colors. And specific numbers for your fonts so that your branding is obvious and complete.
If you’re unsure of what a brand kit is, or what to include in it, check out this post.
High Quality Photos
High quality photos on your website are a must. Remember, this is a visual experience above all else! Investing in high quality photos can certainly be pricey, but trust me when I say they’re worth it. Plus, you can also use those photos for your socials, newsletters, and other marketing needs.
Copywriting For Website
Although websites are a highly visual experience, the copy (or the writing) is also a key feature to hone in on in the creation process. Copywriting for your website will include everything you need to say about what you’re advertising or selling. Take a look at different websites within your industry to get a better understanding of what website copy is.
If you’re not the best writer, or you simply don’t know where to start, you can always hire a website copywriter to give you a hand. This can also be helpful if you want to consider SEO right away in the creation of your website.
SEO is search engine optimization. Strong SEO helps with the visibility of your website. Which is valuable for driving traffic (and hopefully sales) to your site. If you don’t know anything about SEO, don’t worry! There are plenty of experts who can help you with this as you create.
Otherwise, you can always do a little research on your own to learn about the best keywords to include in certain sections. And how to add image descriptions to your photos.
Hiring A Web Developer Versus Building On Your Own
The big question is: can I do this on my own, or do I need to hire a developer? The answer is never simple as it depends on you, your existing skill sets, how much time you have, and how in depth of a website you need to build out.
Below, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each option.
Hiring a web developer can certainly ensure you get the exact website you want in a shorter amount of time than it might take you to play around and create one on your own. Plus, developers tend to have fun tricks up their sleeves to add a little pizazz here or there when you might not have the understanding of doing so on your own.
The downfall of hiring a web developer is that it can be pricey…yes, even if you’re doing a drag and drop website. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a contract with your developer. And that you’re working with someone trustworthy, because they’ll have access to everything on the backend.
I’ve found developers or website editors through Fiverr, Upwork, and by posting about help needed in my IG stories. The best working experiences I’ve had have been with the people coming through my personal Instagram above all else.
On Your Own
The most obvious pro about building your website on your own is that it can save you a few thousand dollars. It’s also incredibly valuable to have this new skillset, as it’s something you’ll continue to use for any and all businesses down the line. You also don’t have to deal with managing someone else, and can be responsible for your own deadlines and execution.
Now, the cons of building a website on your own is that while it seems to save money in some ways, if it takes you three times as long to do it yourself rather than hire someone out, you might be losing money by wasting time within the business. Your time budget is really to consider here. The other con is that if you’re a novice at website building, you most likely won’t be able to build something to the same caliber as a skiller developer.
The good news is that you can learn all you need to know on Youtube university…for free! So, if you have the time to play around with it, then it’s worth giving it a shot.
Coded Website Versus Drag And Drop Website
Lastly, you’ll want to consider if you want to create a website that requires coding (like using a platform like WordPress), rather than using a drag and drop platform (like Squarespace). As someone who has done both options for multiple websites, I can share a pretty accurate round up of pros and cons for each.
The best thing about using a coded website is that you often have access to more features within the site. As well as more options for the visuals of the site. When you have a skilled developer, the options are just about endless with the creation process for your website. Coded websites often have a better SEO than drag and drop sites. But that’s not to say that using a Squarespace site will plummet your SEO, either.
The biggest pitfall of using a coded website is that you’ll always be reliant on a web developer for any changes, uploads, or edits that your site needs unless you learn how to code yourself. I know you’re probably thinking that you won’t make that many changes to it, but trust me when I say there’s constantly little tweaks happening on your website to make sure it’s fresh, updated, and SEO friendly.
Drag And Drop Website
The major pro of choosing a drag and drop website is that it’s user friendly, and super easy to create from top to bottom…even if you’re brand new to making websites. Drag and drop sites often have set templates that you can choose from, and just plug in your brand identity information to make it your own. Because these platforms are so easy to use, they’re also easy to update as needed overtime.
The major con of using a drag and drop site is that you won’t get the same amount of features that you would with a coded site. You might have a specific vision of where exactly you want certain buttons, texts, or photos- and the template that you choose simply won’t let you do that. All in all, it can be too limiting for more intricate sites.
No matter what option you choose, I know your first website is going to be incredible.
Show off your new your new site by sharing it in the comments below!