Jumping into a website design can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not quite sure how to prepare. Whether you are working with a designer or taking on a DIY website, these 3 things you need to do before building a website will set you up for success. Not to mention, save you some serious heartache.
We walk each of our clients through these steps. It doesn’t matter if you are in your first year of business or 10th, the same steps apply.
3 Things You Need To Do Before Building A Website
Define Your Style
List 3-5 adjectives you connect with that describe your business. These need to be expressive words. Once you have your words, try looking up their synonyms to see if there are words you connect with even more. For example: Joyful, on it’s own, is great…but let’s try some others; Cheerful, Lighthearted, Bright, Bubbly.
Build a style/mood board based on your chosen words. You can use any medium you’d like to create a mood board. My personal favorite is Pinterest. Pinterest is truly one of the greatest resources out there for quality image search results. Use your words in the search bar and pin the images that reflect your brand. Choose images that include texture, colors, inspirational images, architecture, fashion.
Refine your style board by keeping only the things you truly LOVE. Once you have your board full of images, go back through them. You want to delete images that you like and keep the ones you love. Think about it like shopping for an outfit. You pick out several items: shoes, jeans, tops, maybe some accessories. You try everything on. You have the items that make you feel amazing and you put the others on the return rack. It is the same approach to your brand style board.
Create A Brand Position Statement
A short statement that explains who you are and how you can help your client get exactly what they want. You want to answer the question of, what problem you are solving for your client. Be clear and bring your problem and solution full circle. Here is our brand position on our website: “You need a professional website, but you not a designer. Ace & Whim builds modern websites you can be proud to show your clients.”
Organize Your Images
Keeping in mind YOUR style board, select only the images that connect to your words and brand. It is always better to have a refined portfolio that includes consistent imagery. Let’s say for example your words are: Whimsical, Wild & Genuine, you would choose images that express these things in their content, style and subject. If you had a beautiful image in a church, it may not quite fit your branded style. It’s an image you’d include in a full gallery of someones wedding, but not on your home page.
Group your images into categories for your website (wedding, family, editorial..) Create individual folders on your desktop to keep things tidy and simplify exporting.
Pro-tip– create a “Best Of” folder for images to use mainly on your home page for a great first impression. These images should showcase your favorite images of all time as well as follow your branded style board.