You’ve decided that you want to launch your new website, now what?

You have an idea in mind, maybe you’ve looked at other websites and done a little competitive analysis. Maybe you’ve done some research into how to build your own website, or how the Web Development process works. Now you’re ready to take the first step towards developing your website.

Before you rush into looking for a Web Developer or building the website yourself, there are a few steps you need to do before you start the journey of actually developing your website.

In this article we go over those steps you need to take before you approach a Web Developer or try to do the task yourself.

Here’s what you need to do before you start your websites development process:

1. Visual Brand Identity

The image for your brand is the first thing customers, clients and users will see when they first land on your website.  This makes visual brand identity the first thing you should cover on your journey to developing your website. If you already have the visual branding done for your business then you are ready to go towards the next step. If you don’t, keep reading as we’ll go over what elements are required in a visual brand identity. A lot goes into building a brand. This article by Canva briefly goes over what exactly goes into building a brand and not just solely in terms of the visual brand identity itself.

5 crucial steps to do before starting your website infographic

Meanwhile we will cover the visual brand identity for your business website here.

The key items that will visually identify your brand on your website are the logo, brand colors, and typography (for the website and print). These 3 key elements make up the visual brand identity for your business and website.

There are two different types of logos that your brand should consist of. The first logo should be a landscape logo. This logo is the preferred version to use for banners, and websites.

For example here is Joty Dosanjh Designs landscape logo we use on our website:

Joty Dosanjh Designs Retina Landscape Logo

The second logo that you should have is a stacked logo. The stacked logo is the preferred version for social media profile pictures, publications, and website favicons.

Here is Joty Dosanjh Designs Stacked logo (also shortened)

Joty Dosanjh Designs stacked logo

After you have your logo’s you will also look into the color palette for your website. As you can see from our website, we at Joty Dosanjh Designs use 4 different colors throughout our website.

The color palette for Joty Dosanjh Designs Branding

Need help with the visual and overall branding of your website?
Learn more about our branding services.

2. Plan your website

You know that you want to build a website for your business. Firstly, you need to start mapping out a plan for that website. How your business operates online is different from how it would operate in person.

The next thing you need to do is establish some goals for your new website. You have to ask yourself what is the purpose of this website? Is it to sell a product online? A service? Essentially, what is this website going to do for your business? In order to start planning out this website you need to establish some goals. For these goals you want to follow the S.M.A.R.T criteria. S.M.A.R.T is an mnemonic acronym that represents Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

Planning your website is one of the 5 crucial steps before starting your website

Here are some tips when establishing those S.M.A.R.T goals:

  • Set your goals to be realistic and specific for effective planning
  • Make sure they are well defined and clear
  • Take your business mission into account and align them accordingly
  • Make sure they are measurable (how you will prove you’re making progress, and adjust your goals accordingly)
  • Set a realistic time frame/end date for your goals

For a more indepth look into S.M.A.R.T goals , check out Hubspot’s article

Thereafter, set your goals onto the actual plan for the website. In terms of your first step, you want to do a competitive analysis and look at some examples of how you would want your business website to be laid out.  When you’re planning out your website you want to look at how many pages you want, and what those pages will contain.

For example, for our website we have the home page (landing page), services pages, about page, portfolio page, contact us page, etc.

In order to make a clear plan of what pages your website will have,  it is then an imperative requirement that you create a site map visualization. This is the planning structure of the actual sitemap which will live on your website as an XML file, and acts like a books table of content for crawlers for Search Engine like Google, Bing etc. It tells these search engines what to index and display on Google Search results.

Here is our initial website sitemap for an example of a visual site map:

The initial sitemap plan for Joty Dosanjh Designs

3. Create your website content

Nobody knows your business like you do. So you have to ask yourself what you want to have displayed in terms of content, which will correspondingly represent your website well. Writing your website content is going to be the most important task you have for your website.

Website content is what will gear your website

Tips to get your started on creating your website content:

  • Look at your site map and start off with the homepage. On the homepage, you want a call to action (CTA), a caption about your business, an introduction about your business and the solution your business represents, and from there also add what you feel is important with regards to representing your website.
  • Apply SEO practices into your content writing
  • Provide relative, to the point information that is easy to read on the web (do not over explain something that is more then 2 paragraph long and make the text ratio on your website outweigh the visual component).
  • Remember to add Call to actions on your pages

Feeling stuck? We can help guide you through your website content as we develop your website. Contact us today!

4. Choose your domain

Choosing a domain for your website sounds easy doesn’t it? Depending on the circumstances however,  it may or may not be. If you’re using your business name you want to make sure the domain is available through a domain provider. A domain provider lets you purchase the domain name for your website. Most domain providers charge anywhere between $10-15 a year for a domain (depending on the amount of years you sign up for the domain).

Selecting your domain is important to your branding and starting your website

However, if the domain is already taken, you have to come up with other alternatives for your domain name which includes shortening your domain name (which in some cases is better as you want people to remember your website’s url).

For instance jotydosanjhdesigns.com is a very long domain name and not one most people will remember hence the reason why we shortened it to jotydesigns.com.

If you live in Canada you may want to get a .ca domain or as we suggest both a  .ca and .com domain so no one can take your domain name. Again for example  if someone types jotydesigns.ca into the browser it will redirect them to jotydesigns.com. The cost between .ca and .com are different, .com usually costs more for Canadians as the cost is paid in US Dollars.

Domain providers we suggest:

Here are some domain providers we suggest:

Webnames: Webnames is a Vancouver owned and operated domain provider since 2000.

Namecheap: Namecheap is an Arizona based domain provider

5. Choosing your hosting provider

Now that you’ve got a domain, you need a place to host your website. Where you are hosting your website could also depend on the type of business you own and the laws governing the jurisdiction in which your hosting provider is based.

Typical shared hosting plans can cost anywhere from $10-$20 dollars a month depending on the requirements your website needs and the promos the company offers (many hosting providers will give you a new customer discount for the initial signup).

Finding a hosting provider is one of 5 crucial steps before starting your website

Hosting providers we suggest:

Hostpapa:  Hostpapa is a Canadian based hosting provider headquartered in Burlington Ontario

BlueHost:  Blue host is an Utah based hosting provider

So now what?

Now that you have completed all the preliminary steps towards creating a website, you’re ready to take the next step which is the actual development of your website. We can develop the website you are looking for. Contact us and let’s make that website into a reality.