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Preparing To Build A New Website

Written by: Michael Dean

Owner & Creative Director
Published: March 19, 2023

Written by: Michael Dean

Owner & Creative Director
Published: March 19, 2023

A Guide To Preparing For A New Website Build

Short of building a new website yourself, a process that can take a lot of time and bring with it a lot of frustration, there are a number of things you can do that will save you both time and money once you’ve decided on a web designer to do the work for you. Like any other project, preparing to build a new website requires a plan and that plan can get rather involved depending on the scale of the desired website. So let’s take a look at what you can do to prepare for your new website.

Defining The Structure and Content of Your New Website

The first step may seem pretty obvious…what do you want your new website to look like? Believe it or not, many dive into hiring a web designer without having a clear idea of what they’re looking for in their new website. This is often welcomed by web designers because it not only gives them a chance to create something unique and put their own creative stamp on things, but it also gives them a lot more to bill for. Custom web design is more costly because it often calls for a degree of experimentation on the part of the web designer. As the client, you can save time and some money by first previewing examples of websites and then providing your web designer with snap-shots and some notes describing what you like in each of the examples.

Next, you’ll want to figure out the pages you need and begin giving thought to their content. What do you want on your landing page? The about us page? Services or products page and so on. Most business websites contain the aforementioned pages while some business web sites dig real deep and offer visitors a ton of information, with pages nested under others. So this is also the time to think about structure. By drawing yourself a very simple diagram outlining the structure, you can then delve deeper into creating the content for those pages.

This process is going to take you some time depending on the scale of the web site but it’s work that needs to be done, and if you don’t do it the web designer will have to, but not without several consultations in order to get to know and understand your business. So who better to do this than someone who knows the business best. From there, the web designer can copy and paste your content into the web site and you just saved a good chunk of money.

Customs photo shoots are expensive so purchasing images may be the way to go though you will need custom images of your own products.

Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

People often ask me why a web site build is so expensive. They’ll say “It’s so easy to build websites nowadays!” My response is yes…it’s “easier” but you still have to know what you’re doing and that comes from hours of education and experience, but it also comes down to something people give little thought to…sourcing assets.

Sourcing assets is a fancy way of saying images, video, graphic design elements and other content that go into the website design. As a designer I have spent up to 40 hours in a week reviewing image after image, graphic elements and more, in order to select the right images for the various pages of a website. Time is money as they say and while I don’t mind if someone wants to pay me to do that work, it’s simply another task you can save money on if you take the time to do it yourself. While you have to remember that most images require a license for their use on a commercial website, you can still find a wide variety of images on the web that do not. Most web designers know the sites where you can source such images so all you have to do is ask. Of course this doesn’t help you if you have physical product of your own. If that’s the case, ask your web designer if they know of a good photographer and book a photo shoot.

Savings, Savings, Savings

If you can find the time to do all or even some of the above, you can save yourself a good chunk of change and that will give you room in the budget to hire a reputable web designer to build your new website. Whatever you do don’t fall for some of the ads flying by in your Facebook newsfeed, offering “complete” websites for next to nothing. You’ll either find yourself lured in to some scheme that ends up costing you much more than anticipated in the begining or the entire experience turns in to a nightmare and you get short-changed on website quality and performance.

By taking on some of the above prep work, you can shave off up to 30% or more from your new website build and still hire a qualified pro that will deliver a quality website and the follow-up you may need. And, while I hate to say it, if you really want to save, you can always opt for a pre-made template design that your web designer simply has to customize by adding in your content.

I’m not a fan of template sites because I enjoy building something relatively unique for my customers but I understand that with the cost of everything rising steadily, budgets have grown ever tighter and my priorities are; the success of your marketing initiatives and a healthy return on investment for my clients.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss a new website build or your overall digital marketing strategy and we’ll see if we can’t breath new life into both.

Written by: Michael Dean

Owner & Creative Director

Written by: Michael Dean

Owner & Creative Director

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