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A life-saving tip on how to plan a website for your business

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If you’re fed up with procrastinating and ready to take the bull by the horns and build that website you’ve been dreaming of, then the following tip will help you put the “wow” on your how to plan a website process. You’ll be so organized, you’ll be able to plan a website in your sleep!

When it comes to our websites, we all have grandiose dreams and aspirations. We want it to be a one-stop shop, a robot that can do everything for us, a masterpiece of design and functionality that will make the Mona Lisa look like a kindergarten drawing. But let’s be real, that’s just a recipe for disappointment and failure.

Because I’ll be THAT person to tell you this: you can’t have it all from the start…and most likely you don’t need all those features on your site!

This is one reason why you have postponed your website so much. You get overwhelmed by all the things you need to do, all the pages you want, hosting, email marketing, page builders, of everything…when in fact you just need something good to start and build upon it.

It’s important to keep in mind that a website, like any other business project, requires a clear set of goals and priorities. Having a grand vision for your website can be great, but trying to do everything at once can lead to disappointment and failure.

When you think about how to plan a website, it’s important to focus on the important stuff and not get carried away with all the shiny new features. Identify the barebones, the bread, and butter of your website, the thing that will make it work. It could be something as simple as a well-designed layout, a contact form, or the ability to sell products or services. Once you have these essentials down pat, you can start to get fancy and add new features over time, like frosting on a cake or cheese on a pizza.

It’s also important to remember that a website is never truly finished. There will always be something new to add or improve upon. So, don’t let the idea of needing everything all at once hold you back from launching your website. Start with the basics and build upon them as your business and website evolves.

Another important consideration to make is the ease of use and access. Make sure the website is designed and built with accessibility and usability in mind. This will allow your visitors to easily find and access the content they need, and the website will be more likely to convert visitors into customers or clients.

In short, when planning your website, focus on the essentials and set realistic goals for what you want to achieve. Build something good to start, and over time you will be able to expand and improve upon it. This will give you a solid foundation to build upon and it will be less overwhelming for you.

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Before I begin any project, I like to have a little chit-chat with my clients, where we talk about what they want their website to be like, how it should look, what they truly need, and all that jazz. This not only helps me estimate how long it’s gonna take but also gives my client an idea of how much money they need to set aside. But most importantly, it gives them a clear understanding of what they actually need and what they just want, which can be different things. It’s like going to the mall with a budget, you know what you want but sometimes you gotta settle for what you need.

This initial conversation is essential because it sets the foundation for a clear understanding of the project’s goals, timelines, and budgets.

During this talk, I make sure to ask the client a series of questions that will give me a good understanding of what they want to achieve with their website. We discuss what they would like to have on the site, how it should look, and what they actually need. This helps me to create an accurate estimate for the duration of the project and the investment the client should make.

Most importantly, this discussion gives the client clarity on the functionality, design, and number of pages they truly need versus what they might want. For example, a client might want to have an e-commerce section on the website but it’s not something they actually need in order to achieve their main goal. This is where I help the client to understand that and make necessary decisions.

During our chat, I scribble down all the client’s requests, like a spy taking notes. Then we go through the list and pick out the important stuff and the not-so-important stuff. We divide the functionality into “need-to-haves” and “would-be-nice-to-haves”, it’s like going grocery shopping, you have your essentials and your luxuries. This way we make sure we’re focusing on the project’s main objectives and making the most of our time and resources. No need to waste time and money on things that are not truly necessary, we’re all about being efficient here.

How to plan a website: Must-have items

MUST-HAVE items, also known as “bare necessities” or “the bare minimum” are those crucial elements that are needed for your website to function and be considered complete. These items are non-negotiable and skipping them would be like trying to make a sandwich without bread, it just doesn’t work.

Think of Must-Have items like the building blocks of your website. Without them, your website would be nothing more than a sad, empty space on the internet. Like a website ghost town, if you will.

Examples of Must-Have items for a website might include a functional homepage, contact page, and shopping cart on an e-commerce website. A functional homepage is like the welcome mat to your website, it’s the first thing visitors see and sets the tone for their experience. A contact page is like the telephone to your website, it’s how visitors can get in touch with you, and the shopping cart on an e-commerce website is like the cash register in a physical store, it’s how you make money.

In short, Must-Have items are like the bricks that build the house, without them your website would be nothing more than an abandoned shack in the middle of nowhere, a lonely spot in the vast internet.

How to plan a website: Nice-to-have items

NICE-TO-HAVE items, also known as “bonus features” or “icing on the cake” are those fancy little add-ons that can make your website look and feel just a little bit cooler, but they aren’t strictly necessary to keep your website running. Sure, they’re important, but if you’re looking to launch your website on a budget, you can totally skip them and no one will know the difference!

Think of Nice-to-Have items like the cherry on top of your sundae or the extra cheese on your pizza. They make the experience better, but you can still enjoy your sundae or pizza without them.

Examples of Nice-to-Have items for a website might include a search bar, product filters, and a FAQ page. A search bar is great if you have a lot of content on your website, it makes it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for, but if you don’t have a lot of content, you may not need it at all. Product filters are great if you have an e-commerce website, they can help visitors to narrow down their search, but if you don’t have a lot of products, you can probably survive without them. And a FAQ page can be a great way to answer common questions, but if you’re running a one-page website, it’s probably not necessary.

In summary, Nice-to-Have items are exactly like the cherry on top of your sundae, they are not strictly necessary, but they make the experience better. It’s important to be aware of the difference between Must-Have and Nice-to-Have items and prioritize them accordingly, so you can launch your website on time and within budget. Just remember, if you’re trying to launch your website on a tight budget, you can always add those Nice-to-Have items later, it’s not like they’re going anywhere.

By keeping this process in mind, we can avoid getting too caught up in shiny new features that might look cool on someone else’s website but aren’t necessarily important for our own. This way, we can ensure that our website will not only look snazzy but also be functional, and effective, and will provide value to our clients. This helps us to stay focused on what’s important, stay on budget and make sure we stick to the timeline discussed while making sure your website will not only help your business grow but also bring a good experience to your clients. It’s a win-win situation.

And if you’re feeling lost and don’t know where to begin when it comes to how to plan a website, don’t worry, I got your back. Just think of me as your trusty website-building sidekick, ready to guide you through the process and help you navigate the overwhelming sea of options and features out there. Write me a message on the contact page and tell me what you need help with.

Free website planner

GET A FREE website planner

This Website Planner is going to help you get super clear, and organized and help you and your web designer avoid all the newbie mistakes that keep web design projects dragging on and on forever!

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Roxie Hristev - WordPress Designer
Roxie Hristev - WordPress Designer
I love to help women therapists and coaches show who they are through their websites so they can empower more clients with healing abilities. I believe that it should be an easy and affordable process for therapists and coaches to hold space on the Internet.
Load WordPress Sites in as fast as 37ms!

Affiliate Disclosure – Some blog posts and web pages within this site contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you click the link then purchase a product or service from the third-party website. For instance, Elementor Pro, Cloudways, and Astra Pro affiliate links. Purchasing a product or service from the links does not increase your purchase cost, but it is a great way to say β€˜thanks’ to me if you enjoy my content and find my suggestions helpful. Please note that I only recommend products and services that I have personally used or have thoroughly researched. The recommendations are based on my personal experience and research.Β 

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