Start-ups: 7 steps to think about before creating your website
Startups first need a website to develop their business, to make themselves known and to be able to work. One day or another you will definitely need a website. How 7 steps can help you define what you need to do?
Many people are starting to explain their plans to a digital agency by saying that they “don’t really have an idea about how the site should look like….Except that…”
Upon these experiences, we can identify 7 steps that you should think about BEFORE you decide to create your site. This will help you to get things in order, to see more clearly in your project and to communicate better with your web design agency.
# 1 Define your goals
- Ask yourself what you are going to offer on your site.
- Why do you need a site, why did you set up your business? Force yourself to have a clear idea of your short-term but also long-term goal.
- We should not underestimate the importance of the target group. Understanding who we are talking to can help guide the design of your site and will also help you in the creation of your content.
- What will your site be used for, how will it be the tool of your business?
Ask yourself if your site will help you:
- Generate sales
# 2 Write your website content
Don’t even try to estimate the time your website development project will take if you don’t have its content. This for two reasons: It can create problems in terms of time management and in terms of design (graphics, pictures, text block sizes, etc.). Imagine if we create a filter to go on the pictures when you realize all your pictures are too dark for it. Or if we plan to have wall-to-wall pictures on the main page but you don’t have the correct size for a good resolution. From a text point of view, if we design a smaller text box where your text cannot fit, we need to find a design solution for scrolling, f.ex.. We also need to highlight some parts and organise the menu already in the design phase, so content is actually the most important to have, even before any design ideas.
# 3 Find a name and a server
Usually, finding a name is not a problem, but we also need to buy the domain and put the website on a server. In the development phase, we don’t need the server yet but you should definitely start the purchasing process so that the final site can be put online easily once it’s ready. We can also help you with that, as we have experience with some very reliable services.
# 4 Think about the features you need
Once you have the main design idea and the place where you will stock the website, we will need to know what functions to integrate. We can estimate the budget if we know what features are needed to be integrated in the website.
Webshop features, contact forms, questionnaires, pop ups, member sign in, newsletters, SM, etc. Basically, anything could be done. A simple WordPress plugin can be a solution to a lot of ideas. But some of them have to be configured, or programmed separately which means, you need an expert.
You really need to think about everything you may want to realize in advance. Elements that were not included in the contract might generate unforeseen additional cost.
Furthermore, some features that might seem to be simple at first, might be more complicated. When you say to a web designer: “I’d like to share articles” – he will have a lot of questions. He might be there for you to give you suggestions but you might want to consider more options before deciding. So, it is advised to think about the different features and be as specific as possible about what you want.
# 7 steps : 5 Set a budget
Remember that a site is an investment. There will inevitably be recurring costs to take into account, worth planning them from the start.
- Think of the recurring costs: hosting, domain name, maintenance (there are updates to be made, bugs to be solved, false steps to be rectified, hackers…)
- One-off costs: a theme, a font, a graphic element, a specific plugin.
- Extra costs (depending on your needs): marketing, like Google or Facebook ads, etc.
- Creation cost: if you hire a professional (web designer, graphic designer for the logo or images, digital marketing professional, copywriter, photographer, etc.)
Try to include these costs into your business plan to take into account the expenses envisaged over the year.
# 6 Call a professional
You might want to save money on this and sign a contract with the cheapest offer. But, likely to all other services, it’s not always paying off. Furthermore, you need to find a web design agency that has experience in the style you’d like to follow. A team that can help you in the long term. Sit down with a couple of them to see if you’re speaking the same language. If you don’t see a common path, don’t worry about choosing another one.
# 7 Set a date
Set a deadline or you will never finish working on the website. Remember, it will never be perfect and it doesn’t matter! In addition, you can modify it yourself in WordPress. You might want to modify your content, the color of the texts or reorganize completely certain pages 100 times. But you should now focus on your new clients. You will see that if you wait too long, months will pass and you will still have nothing online.
We would be glad to hear your ideas and discuss the possible solutions. Go through these 7 steps and ask us. Swiss Tomato is here to guide you through this astonishing world. Come and have a tomato juice with us!