You’ve got a powerful message to share, are craving the freedom to work for yourself, and now it’s just about making that a reality.
Believe me; I’ve been there!
When I first built my own website, there felt like just so many things to think about and consider.
That’s why I’ve created this ultimate checklist for you filled with tips and tricks and everything you need to think about when it comes to launching your website, particularly from the design side.
*psst! I’m a website designer for online entrepreneurs, and while I’ll cover all kinds of awesome info and tips in this post, you’ll have a few other elements to consider as well! So be sure to check out that at the bottom of this post! Happy reading!
Before you can build out your website, you’ll need to begin with your brand identity’s conceptualization. This is the representation of your brand visually (in terms of colors, logo, typography) and how you speak, the vibe of your brand, your brand’s values, and the mission your brand is here to accomplish.
Here are some prompts and questions to ask yourself at this stage…
You can create a private Pinterest board at this stage so you can gather all of these pieces into a visual representation! From there, you can narrow things down to create your brand’s moodboard.
When you’re ready to create your mood board, here’s a template for you to make it super simple and easy!
After you’ve gathered your inspiration onto your Pinterest board, it’s time to narrow things down to create your brand’s impactful identity!
You’ll begin to see common imagery, colors and themes as you review your Pinterest board, which will start to give you a clear idea of the look and feel you’re going for.
Now is a great time to play around with creating your beautiful color palette. Coolors is my go-to tool for this.
I recommend downloading my free Mood Board template + guide to lead you through this stage!
Now that you’ve developed your brand identity, it’s time to start creating your website! There are many different options for you regarding the website platform you use, such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress. But my personal favorite? Showit.
*I am not paid in any way or form by Showit to say that! 😂 I just am a major, major fan*
I love Showit so much because it’s loaded with benefits, especially for the early-stage entrepreneur. I actually wrote an entire post about Showit’s benefits, but I’ll cover a few here too!
Here are just 10 of the many reasons why I use (and design on) Showit!
Now, before you actually start designing your website, you’ll need to think about your website copy strategy. This is really, really important because design and copy are like BFFs and work to support one another.
Here are examples of copy strategies you could use for your website:
I suggest that if copywriting isn’t your zone of genius, you invest in a copywriter because while design is essential to welcoming your leads and allowing them to feel your business and what you stand for, your copy is what will convert them.
That said, if you have copy skills and love writing, DIY may be perfect for you! Check out this post on how to write an about me page for getting started!
Next, you’re going to need to pick your design strategy!
Similar to copy, you can use the following strategies for your web design:
I recommend that you use a website template if you are leaning towards the DIY route. This will ensure you have an optimized layout for your website and will make your life a hell of a lot easier!
I say this all the time because it is so important: you need to take the time to consider the one core goal of your website. What is the core next action that you would want your dream client to take?
Is it to:
Whatever it is, it’s good to have one core goal so that you can optimize your websites’ call to action accordingly. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have other Calls to Action (CTAs) on your website, but there needs to be one core action and goal, especially as you get started to ensure a smooth and precise user experience and drive conversions!
Did you know that you have five seconds when someone lands on your homepage to make an impression? If they don’t understand the essence of who you are and what you offer within those 5 seconds, they’re bouncing.
It’s harsh, but it’s true.
Online consumers have a shorter attention span than ever before and are busier than ever before. They don’t have the energy to waste precious brain calories on deciphering a mixed message!
Make sure your site passes this test!
You’re going to want to make sure that your core 3 pages (Home, About and Services) answer some key questions. This will come to play more in your copy strategy but is still entirely relevant to your design process as well!
As a designer, I have a recommended layout for these pages!
Here are the key elements and sections of a strong home page:
Your services page is one of the essential core website pages because, hey – it’s where you sell your services and make your bread and butter!
There is a recommended layout for this page to ensure you’re taking your reader on a journey with you and that you’re accurately conveying information to them in an order that makes SENSE and clicks like one puzzle piece building upon another.
Feeling fancy? Here are a few bonuses you could include if relevant:
✨ A link to your portfolio page
✨ A short bio
✨ Addressing your mission or vision
✨ Highlighting a unique methodology or approach you bring to the table
✨ An overview of the experience of working with you
NO TWO ABOUT pages are the exact same, but there is an ideal flow and structure for laying out your design and copy so that you can genuinely take your prospect on a story and a journey.
Here are the key elements and sections to layout on your about page…
PSST. My website templates are all designed with optimized layouts like this already, so you don’t have to worry about that when you purchase one! My goal with every single template I create is to ensure you’re taking your prospects on a journey.
This is SUPER super important, now more than ever, because most of your traffic will be mobile traffic.
Take the time to ensure that the text is large enough to read and that all buttons are large enough to click.
PSST: If you’re designing on Showit, save yourself valuable time and energy by designing the mobile + desktop versions of your website simultaneously!
‘Social proof’ like feedback, testimonials, and any other elements that illustrate the true transformation that your clients go through when working with you will allow prospects to get to know more about the genuine and authentic experience behind your work.
It’s okay if you only have one or two feedback pieces like this when you get started! You’ll grow from there!
Almost there! Before you publish your website, get a second set of eyes to test and check before launch (time to phone a friend!) Have them review both the mobile and desktop versions for you, test all buttons, fill in all forms, try all links.
The best way to do this is to ask another online business friend who is also building their website. That way you can do this for each other! Sharing is caring!
Finally, be sure you plan your time well and give yourself a time buffer before your launch date for domain configuration and tech support.
Remember I said there are other elements beyond design you’ll want to consider in your website launch process? These are the other elements to consider:
It’s Time To Put Those Dreams Of Yours Into Action! …
The Template shop is the one-stop-shop for Website + Social Media Graphics Templates thoughtfully designed + curated for the passionate female entrepreneur!
With Showit website templates for as little as $97, my mission is to make beautiful design more accessible to new entrepreneurs.
How to Design a High-Converting Sales Page
7 Things To Include on Your Website Homepage To Connect With Dream Clients
How To Write an About Me Page: 5 Tips From a Website Copywriter
Quick Website Tips to Instantly Improve Your Conversion Rate
5 Benefits of Using a Creative Website Template for your Showit Site
Why I Design On Showit: 10 Showit Website Tips
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