Five Questions to Ask Yourself so that You Don't End Up With a Regrettable Website

5 questions to ask yourself so that you don't end up with a regrettable website

Alright alright alright, it's finally time to get that website you've had in mind up and running! Maybe this website relates to a business idea you've been mulling over for a while; maybe you're ready to try out side hustling and you want to get a site together to advertise your services; or perhaps there's something you're passionate about and you're looking for a platform to contribute to the community.

Something is driving you to launch a website, that's awesome.

But now what?! If this is your first time going through the process, you likely have no clue where to start.

The good news is that there are a few key questions you can ask yourself before you launch your website, and they will guide you in the right direction. If you follow these suggestions, you will end up with a website you love and are proud of.

In the awkward/awesome words of Donald Rumsfeld, there are "known knowns", there are "known unknowns" and then there are "unknown unknowns". This is especially true when it comes to launching a website.

Where do you start when you have no clue what to do?

You probably know that you need to buy a domain, set up hosting and then get your site live... but what else?

Yes, there are a lot of things to consider but lucky for you, I'm here to point you in the right direction.

Here are the questions you should ask yourself if you want a website that looks good and works the way you want it to. I suggest grabbing a pen and paper and spending 5-10 minutes answering the following questions. Better yet, click the yellow button below to get the free guide I made to help you out! It's a short time investment but it will seriously give you results.

5 questions to avoid a regrettable website

Want a website that doesn't fill you with regret?

Not sure what questions to ask before getting started on your new site?

I've got you covered. Get the guide today and work through these mandatory questions!

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1. What is the point of your website? What message should it convey?

Every salesperson out there has an elevator pitch, right? Think about how you can apply that to your website.  Since it's often the first point of contact people have with your business,  you want to make it  instantly understandable from the get-go.

Here are a few points to consider when figuring out why you want/need a website:

  • Why do you have a website? Is it personal, professional, part of a hobby, etc.?
  • What differentiates you from everyone else? Are there any unique features that you want to highlight?
  • Who is the target audience of your website? Why should they care about your site in particular?

By identifying the purpose of your website and how it fits with both you and your audience, you'll have a better idea of what you're doing strategically.

2. What does your website need to do?

There are so many features and abilities that your website can have but if we're being honest, you probably don't need all of them.

Take a moment to think about what functionality you need from your website right now (and remember to keep it simple).

Consider the following questions and add some notes as needed:

  • Will you include a blog on your website (author's note: YOU SHOULD!)?
  • Is your site purely informational or is there a call to action (CTA)? If so, what is the CTA?
  • Will you be selling anything on your website?
  • How will you collect payments? Do you need to set up and integrate credit card processing/paypall/etc.?
  • Do you need an FAQ section to support customers?

Write out answers to the questions above in the guide I've created (want it? click any of the yellow buttons!) as well as anything else you can think of.

3. What can you do to measure or track the success of your website?

This point is a little tricky, since the answer will be different for everyone, but it's something you should plan for ahead of time anyway. For example, if you are creating a website purely for fun and you don't plan to use it for business or self-promotion, you likely won't be concerned with stats, sign-ups, bounce rates, etc.

However, if you are using your website for business, there are several ways you can plan to track the success of your website.

These questions will give you some guidance on evaluating the success of your website:

  • What is the first thing you want people to do when they land on your site? How can you best direct them to those profitable or actionable pages and sections of your site?
  • What CTAs are in place on your website? Are you instructing people to make a purchase, sign up for your email list, follow you on social media, or fill out a form?
  • How will you set up Google Analytics to measure and track user behaviour?
  • Do you have site traffic goals that you want to increase over time? What rate are you aiming for?

Keep in mind that how you track success at the launch of your website will vary after you've been live and in business for some time. Success and what that means to you will likely change over time so jot down a few notes for various stages, if applicable.

4. What does your website budget look like?

There are many expenses related to launching and maintaining a website that you might not have considered yet.

First of all, are you planning on DIY'ing your site or are you going to work with a professional? If you don't have time or technical skills on your side, this might be a significant investment. Be sure to speak candidly with your web designer/developer about the functionality you want from your website because that will likely affect pricing. That being said, having these open conversations might help you find a way to bridge the costs.

Be sure to consider the following expenses as well, if you haven't already:

  • If you're making the website yourself, how much will your domain and hosting cost? Are the payments monthly or annual?
  • What is your budget for a premium theme? Many quality themes will only set you back around 50$ and are definitely worth the expense
  • Do you plan to run an email list (author's note: YOU SHOULD!)? There are various options available at different price points from MailChimp's free plan (up to 2000 subscribers), to ConvertKit's middle ground, all the way up to Infusionsoft.
  • Will you hire out the photography or design aspects of your website?

You might end up bootstrapping the site for the first little while and increasing your spending as it starts to generate money (either directly or indirectly).

5. How do your competitors handle their website and online presence?

Take a few moments to look at your website's competitors. These competitors can be your direct peers or the "big fish in the pond" who rule your industry. You don't have to limit yourself to a smaller scale here.

While looking over their sites, take note of the following:

  • What design elements do you like or dislike about their websites?
  • How have they branded their sites?
  • How active are they on social media? Do you like or dislike their presence?
  • Do they have a mailing list? Is it compelling for visitors of their site to join? What type of emails and communications do they send out?
  • Are their websites heavy on images or more focused on written or video content?

These considerations will help guide you in your own website design and build process. Working with a web designer / developer will be much easier if you can show them visually what you like or do not like.

5 questions to avoid a regrettable website

Want a website that doesn't fill you with regret?

Not sure what questions to ask before getting started on your new site?

I've got you covered. Get the guide today and work through these mandatory questions!

Powered by ConvertKit

There you have it! Be sure to grab the guide I've created since it'll help you answer these questions and collect your thoughts. You can print it out and keep it on hand for easy reference moving forward! Just click the yellow button below to grab your free copy. Now it's your turn to tell me about how you approach building a website. Have you considered these questions? Did they come up before you began the project or as you worked your way through to launch? Leave me a note in the comments, I'd love to know!


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Lybs

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Charlotte O'Hara

Vancouver