Beginners: Read This Before You Start a Website (Checklist)

Beginners: Read This Before You Start a Website (Checklist)

You want to start a website? You should!

All big (or small) ideas can grow into something so much larger when you’re publishing online. Websites aren’t just for businesses or journals, but truly can be tailored to any needs. One of the best parts of websites in today's age is the ability to monetize almost anything. We have the ability to sell products, services, merchandise, phone calls, support, and even link clicks.

Websites are an investment, but a majority of the time are much, much lower cost than a traditional brick and mortar store opening. Building a website is faster and requires less time to build than a storefront. Plus users have the ability to find you across the world when your site follows best practices. 

Many of these best practices, start before the logo is even designed, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. How to prepare to have a site build, and what you should be organized together in one comprehensive folder. 

To save you enormous amounts of time, money, and energy when you begin to start your website development project. We’ve listed them top-down, so don’t skip anything. If you have any questions, please contact us directly, by clicking here.

 

Before you start creating your website, download our free checklist. It has everything in this blog, plus more, in a neat pdf (with photos!).


Website Domain

This is your www.___.com title. Check https://www.godaddy.com/ to see if your website is taken (and purchase it here), but at the end of the day only use .com sites. If you’re still in the naming phase, utilize https://namechk.com/ to see where your possible name is taken and where it's not. 

  • Its best practice to have an identical name across the board online

Logo

Include file formats: Source File (illustrator), Vector, PNG

  • Bonus if you can get a ‘favicon’ from your designer. This is the icon that shows up on a web browser tab
  • You may also want to ask for a social media icon/ image you can use as the profile photo right away as well

Color Palette

4 or 5 colors. 2 contrast (typically a white and a black), 1 primary unique color, 1 or 2 supporting colors that compliment your primary color. Show the color and/or list the HEX code.


Site Description

This description needs to accurately describe what your website is and what the primary mission is. This shows on search engines and every word matters. Maximum, 320 characters. 


Social Media Links

Self-explanatory, but make sure you include your social media links. Assign them usernames prior to sharing the links. Most popular social media sites (for businesses) include Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.


Photography

photo of a aesthetic blog with photography

Most sites will require 15-40 images. It’s always best advised to use your own, but stock is okay as well. The most important thing is to make sure the photos across your site feel cohesive. Similar tones, quality, cropping, size, etc. Utilize the same ‘filter’ on images and crop them at the same size for a fast way to have harmony. For stock imagery, you can use:  https://www.istockphoto.com/es $$$, https://unsplash.com/, https://www.pexels.com/, https://www.shutterstock.com/photos $$$

Bonus: Utilize an app such as Canva to make sure your images are all the same size (ratio). This will also help ensure your images are not too large. (Large file sizes slow down your site dramatically) 


About the author

Users (and Google) want to know who’s running this site, so it’s important we give them context on who we are, where we are from/ any previous accomplishments, and what our mission is. If you’re doing something cool, let’s talk about that in a simple way. Bullet points can help extend your story, and sharing a quote that connects to your mission is unique. Aim for 300-650 words.


Contact Information

Phone number, email, and address are all things search engines take into account when showcasing you. Some people do not want to showcase their personal information.. At the bare minimum be prepared to showcase a city, state, email address. Possibly phone number as well.

Refund Policy

This is a requirement and can be as short or long as you’d like. Please look at a competitor to find theirs for inspiration. Remember, the more thorough you are, the fewer problems you will have with orders. If you’re selling products coming from a different distributor, you may want to make that clear that the policy is different for those items– also include a direct contact to their support team to make life easier for everyone. 


Affiliate Marketing Notice

photo of ari travels travel blog with affiliate marketing

This only applies to users/ businesses utilizing affiliate links, but you are legally required to let users know you have these links on your site– in a very public, or easily accessible way.


Blog Posts

Blogs will be an ongoing part of your business. Have at least 3-6 ready for web launch.

A new website begins to pick up traction after it posts 20 blog posts, with at least 600-1,000+ words. These blogs should all fall within the same web, meaning there are words/ phrases/ sentences that lend themselves to the other blogs you’re posting.

Not into blogging? We are! Let us write blogs for you!


Important things to know about blog posting

  • Your blog title matters- make it catchy and stay under 60 characters
  • Every blog should have a killer image (rectangle. 1200 x 600 pixels recommended)
  • Include a call to action at the bottom of every blog - try and get them to contact you, sign up to your email newsletter, make a purchase, etc.
  • Be consistent with posting. Schedule your posts for the same/ similar days and times. In best case scenario you’re posting 2-3 times per week. Never go more than a month without posting.

Are you ready to begin creating your website? 

Are you looking to stay organized? You can download our complete check list for FREE, here. It includes everything listed here (+ extras) in a neat fashion, along with screenshots on how to prepare your content.

Ready to start a Shopify site on your own? Sign-up here and get your first 14 days, free. Interested in having someone else prepare your content or design your site? We're ready to take on your project- so contact us here!

For all other requests, feel free to contact us, or leave a comment below.

12 comments
  • that free checklist is A++

    Lucky on
  • Thank you so much for having the free checklist. I downloaded it and I’m super impressed. This is very helpful. I have noticed that businesses sometimes try and hide their success secrets, but you guys are willing to share tips and tricks with your audience and that is really cool

    Sevlik on
  • Looked at lots of stock images on the sites you suggested and that was really amazing for you to share this with your followers. I never knew the free stock images existed. There are so many to choose from! Crazy stuff. Awesome.

    Irish W on
  • great resource for those looking to start a website. thank you

    Sara P on
  • great resource for those looking to start a website. thank you

    Sara P on

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