When should you contact a web designer?

If you’re starting a new business, the to-do-list can become overwhelming and it’s sometimes difficult to know when to get what done. A website can end up being left to the last minute. There might be many reasons why; you’re busy putting capital and finance in place, you don’t want to incur costs too early, or you want to wait until you’re ready to start selling and making money.

Here’s a little advice to make sure you’re getting the right web stages in at the right stage.

The idea is born – now what to name your company

People love to spend ages on the right name for their business and it’s such an exciting process. Sometimes a name is obvious from the start, sometimes it takes a while.

One thing to consider is how will the name translate into a domain name (ie the web address)

  • Is the domain name available without dashes?
  • Is it a common word that will get lost in Google searches?
  • Is it easy to spell? Take it from someone who spent every day spelling the name of her first company – you want something simple!
  • Are people likely to spell the company name wrong? Not always important, but it can affect your SEO later on.
  • Does the name confine you to one industry? Businesses evolve over time, as they should! How a company starts often changes fast and if the company name restricts you to one service or customer sphere, it’s worth considering alternatives.

We work with a lot of entrepreneurs that are now on their second or third business. They come to us from the start because they know that even getting the business name right, combined with the best domain name is key to a great web presence.

If these things are right, then the rest is all flexible and can be created at a later stage.

At the naming stage is a great time to ask advice about your domain name.

If you want to buy your own domain name

Most domain companies (also known as registrars) are great, but beware of those that offer a free domain as they will generally charge you to move the domain. Often the charges are over double what you would pay to buy the domain in the first place and the transfer can be messy.

Read the fine print – or contact a web developer who offers a free web planning session and get them to advise the best way to get the right domain name.

Make sure your domain name is bought in your name / the company name. Some less reputable companies will buy the domain name in their own company name and can refuse to release it later on.

Don’t wait til you’re ready to sell to plan your website

As all project managers know, you can only pick two of these options: fast or cheap or good. If you wait til the last minute to start planning your website, you’ll either pay a lot for the expedience or you’ll end up with something low quality.

Similarly, if you give a web company plenty of time then you can save money and get something that really suits your needs.

Leaving your website til the last minute also impacts your Google Rankings. Getting something started early means your designer can start putting the building blocks in place so that when you go live your website is easily Google-able.

Temporary Websites

It’s always worth considering a nice, simple temporary website while you’re busy planning the real deal. A standard website generally takes about 6 to 8 weeks. Whereas getting something in place that is minimalistic and just says the basics like who you are and how to contact you can be a great solution and can be produced in as little as a week. It then gives you time to get the rest of the website right.

Changing web designers

Sometimes you’re part way through a project and things change, may be your web designer moves, they get too busy (especially if they’re a friend) or it just becomes clear that you’re not getting what you need.

If that happens, we offer a website rescue service where we can take the work that has been started, and using our own software, create a website that is exactly what you need.*

* Terms can apply from your previous designer.

Got a question? Get in touch on 01767 222631.

By leighfrost

Owner of Truesilver Coaching & Marketing. Government funding and business growth specialist.