When is a website template a good fit for you?
How do you know when you should DIY your website and what’s the best way to do that? Let’s talk about it!
When you’re building a business, even in the early stages, it’s inevitable that you come to a point where you say ok…I can’t go on any longer without a website. This is a natural occurrence.
When we are first starting out we are bootstrapping EVERYTHING…just making it work to get started. We improve as we go, and to ultimately do anything we can to help us increase sales.
There’s typically 2 camps of people.
- Small business owners starting out with a budget to invest
- Small business owners DIY-ing all the things to keep costs down
If you’re in camp 1 where you have money set aside to invest in your business out the gate, I love that for you, and by all means, invest in someone to help build your website from the very beginning.
But if you’re in the 2nd camp, this is for you because today we are talking all about how to effectively DIY your website so you can have a website you absolutely love AND feel empowered to do so on your own.
So how do we DIY our websites the smartest way possible? Something to note is you’ll need to purchase a website domain so you can have your own URL that we will connect to your website. So make sure you can get that. And from there…we will start at step 1..
Step 1: Choose a Platform
We recommend that you first choose a platform that works best for you. A platform that’s a good fit for you is going to give you a much better DIY experience because you will be able to feel more confident when you find a platform that makes sense for you.
Our two recommended platforms for DIYers starting out is either ShowIt or Squarespace, but Showit is our absolute fave.
Showit includes all the benefits of a wordpress blogging platform with a drag and drop visual builder so you can have the power of the wordpress site AND a website that’s easy to update on your own. If you’re torn between platforms, no worries! Do a trial and see how you feel about it. Choose the one that feels most intuitive to you. For a free month after you subscribe, Click here!
Step 2: TEMPLATES
If you’re going to DIY your website, a template is a must! A website template is going to give you a framework to build on so you can have a website that’s laid out strategically for conversion (aka to encourage people to inquire), and be able to customize it on your own to your brand colors, fonts and overall aesthetic.
Think of your website template like a new house that’s staged! The example is going to show you what’s possible, but you can bring in your own furniture, paint colors and wall art to really transform the space and make it your own. That’s the benefit of working with a well designed template.
Step 3: CONTENT
One of the things we ALWAYS advise on is content for your website. Before you ever sit down to work on your website, start on your content first.
Make a list of all the pages you know you need on your website. For most service providers, we recommend: Home, About, Services (or multiple services pages per service for example a photographer we would do a weddings page and a families page separately because those are two different experience).
We love a juicy services page because essentially a services page is a sales page and it needs the info your customers need to make a decision to inquire. That’s why we recommend multiple, but if that feels like too much, one services page that summarizes what you offer can be a great solution.
From there, we’d recommend a Blog if you are interested in creating content on your website to help with your SEO.
We have a free Website Copy Workbook to help you write your content for your website following our recommended outline.
After your written content, the next step is pulling together any imagery! We recommend a headshot for your about page, any imagery you may have that relates to your services or we recommend stock photo resources like Styled Stock Society, Elevae Visuals (formerly Social Squares), and there’s also free sources like Unsplash and Pexels that can be great for visuals.
If you have the option to invest in a custom brand photoshoot this will make your website next level! 10/10 recommend even if you are doing a headshot swap with a friend (photographers I’m looking at you!) Or if you can barter your services in a beneficial way with a photographer, this can be a great way to network and to have a mutually beneficial relationship for both of you.
Now it’s time to start building your site!
DIY-ing your website doesn’t have to be something that’s out of reach for you. There is a way that you can build a website you absolutely love AND feel confident while you’re doing it. This is exactly why we created the J. Alexandria Creative website template shop for Showit websites.
With your JAC ShowIt template, you will receive a Website Launch Playbook that walks you step by step through the entire DIY process. And what that means to you is you receive a video tutorial library for your exact template so you know exactly how to customize each and every element on your own.
Let me tell you about Chelsea!
Chelsea is a family photographer who was looking to create an elevated and editorial feel for her beach photography website. She decided to use the Brigitte Template to customize for her brand, and she said “All the videos Jade created were step by step. So user friendly coming from someone who is a creative (but not a visionar until I can actually see it in and dive in with little to no technical knowledge). I was so impressed with the functionality of the template and Showit in general. Truly a platform that given the resources and a true cheerleader who walks with you through the process, you can do this!” Chelsea was able to DIY her site with the resources and was able to create a site she was proud of following the JAC Website Launch Playbook with her Brigitte Template.
If you’re looking for a way to DIY your site in a way that makes you feel empowered and prepared, JAC SHowit templates are for you. Use promo code: LAUNCH to save 10% off!
To hear more from Jade Buford on tips and tricks for your website, LISTEN NOW!
Did you love finding a guide to help with your DIY website? To see more from Jade Buford and the J Alexandria Creative team, visit our website & follow us on socials. Thanks so much to those of you who listened or read this post to learn which website platforms will be the best fit for you and your business!
Want to hear more of The Brand Files? Click Here for Episode 07!