Whether you ask someone else to project manage your new website or do it yourself, the business owner, content and development team needs to be on the same page with what pages are needed and how visitors will navigate through the site. So clients can visualize this, I typically create a rough sitemap that looks something like this:
When deciding if you need a separate page for a service such as pre-construction, it’s useful to think about the key words you want to rank for. Listing services separately vs. one general page for services, provides an opportunity to rank in search engines for different terms. Each page should have a unique purpose. You want to avoid creating similar content on each page.
Now that you have a general idea of the content, gather your previous research on sites you like and decide on the look and feel of the site. Keep in one folder all of the identity elements such as the logo and hex values for the company colors.Begin compiling images to support each page including project photos, people shots, awards, etc. Now is the time you want to identify areas where your photos are lacking, so you can either hire a photographer or search for stock images. You don’t want to be fumbling around looking for photos when the site is nearly completed. As much
Select a theme
If you are working with a web developer, they will either create or customize an existing theme for you, based on your needs. However, if you are creating your own website, you will need to find a WordPress theme that fits your objectives. Themeforest has a great selection of templates. With so many choices, the task can be quite daunting. Here are things to look for:
- Make sure the template is fully responsive on all devices.
- Make sure the theme will accommodate popular WordPress plugins such as Askimet for spam, Yoast SEO, Contact Form 7 and integrations to your email marketing platform. Plugins can give your site a wealth of functionality. In general, I like a theme has been highly rated by many users and not one only a few people have purchased.
- If you want to customize the color, make sure the theme supports this. Avoid flashy animations that may slow down your site and keep people from getting the information they need.
- Make sure you can get support when you need it. Check out the reviews.
Once the theme is chosen, content written and photos selected, you will be ready to get started. While we won’t get into the nitty gritty of creating a website, we will help you learn to evaluate an review your site, upon completion. Next up: Contractor Websites Part IV: Final checklist