What To Expect When Expecting A Website

What to expect when expecting a website: The first trimester

[This is the first article in a three-part installment]

Congratulations! You’re expanding your marketing family; this is a huge step. So…what now? Where do you start? How much does a website cost? How long will it take to build a website? At first, the decision to create a website can be overwhelming. Don’t worry! Understanding all the steps involved will help ease the process.

First step: Planning.

Carve out time to familiarize yourself with the language of a website. Look into the importance of mobile devices, and the difference between adaptive and responsive sites. The more you familiarize yourself, the more prepared you'll be for starting your website.

Second Step: Find out what works best for you.

Are you tech-savvy? Do you have time to maintain your site? Do you get easily frustrated? Sometimes to cut costs, people overlook the benefits of having a creative agency build a custom site. Though template websites can provide a quick and simple route to building your own site, they are often frustrating to use, have limited style options, and require maintenance that makes customer service — please hold! — an imperative.

If you’re looking for a custom site, do your research. Ask other business owners for input. If you like someone’s site, reach out and ask who designed it. Look locally — you’d be surprised at how many creative agencies operate right under your nose. If you hear about an agency or come across a freelance designer, immediately check their online portfolio. If you like what you see, don’t be shy, contact them!

Third Step: How much are you willing to spend?

Bottom line, every site is unique. Websites are tailored to each client. Know your budget and do your research. You need to know what you’re comfortable spending.

Food for thought:  A site is an extension of your brand, and this is the perfect time to address any brand insecurities you might be grappling with. Yes, rebranding will increase the price tag, but your brand defines your business and builds trust. Other key factors in price are functionalities: online storefronts, message boards, and client booking capabilities. When you lay out all of your site’s functionalities on the front end, preparing for any further additions, you’ll have a clear estimate. 

Step four: Stay on top of due dates.

Agencies put together time and event schedules that outline due dates, meetings, and special events. Agencies will craft this schedule based on your proposal. On average, a website will take roughly three months from start to finish. Both you and your chosen agency are accountable for meeting deadlines, and any delays in delivering content or gaining approval will impact the launch date of your site.

A website can feel like a huge undertaking. But understanding the language, knowing who is building your site, establishing a budget, and keeping track of when items are due will help make the process feel effortless.

Check back in a few weeks for the second trimester!

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