You know you need a website. Actually, you’ve known for quite a while that you need a website. And maybe you already have some ideas for what you’d like your website to look like, or you’ve started collecting some content even. But you’re not exactly sure where to start. Or maybe you’ve tried to start a few times and always gotten stuck. I know this feeling well. I’ve been there myself with both this portfolio website and my teaching resources website.
Here’s my professional advice on how to stop procrastinating and build a website:
>Get ideas from other websites.
Collect examples of other website you like, and then just copy them. If you change the content, colors, and fonts, no one will know, I promise! You can find sites that aren’t even related to yours, it’s fine. If you like the layout and the feel of the site, you can use that as a guide to build your own website. Keep a list of links to the sites (and even specific pages) that you like, and what you like about them. Use that to help you get started building your own DIY website.
Isn’t this unethical? It is if you copy everything directly without changing it! If you copy their images and text, it’s definitely unethical. But if you just like their layout or colors and use that as inspiration, it’s fine! Artists get ideas from other artists all the time! Just don’t do an exact copy and you’re good to go.
>Just make a decision.
If you’re stuck here, trust my advice and go with WordPress and Divi. Divi has a 30 day guarantee, so the most you’ll be out is the $36 for the hosting (which you could use if you decide to stick with WP and a different theme, anyway). Wouldn’t you pay $36 for a chance at finally getting this off your to do list?
Don’t let yourself get stuck in analysis paralysis. There are lots of website builders and tools out there. Just pick one and get started moving in the right direction.
>Connect all the tech to help you get started.
This part can be overwhelming, but honestly, making the decision and choosing a platform was the biggest hurdle. This is just a collection of mildly annoying tasks. Break them up into little pieces. Most of them can be done in 5-15 minutes. It’s a lot of little, easy steps, so that’s a lot of accomplishment to look forward to! Once you have that part done, the rest is just playing around with it and fun stuff. Getting this out of the way could be the boost you need to finally get this done.
Connecting all the tech is sometimes the one huge obstacle that you need to clear to get everything else moving. If you’re procrastinating because you don’t know how to do this one step, then you’re holding up everything else in the process. Set up some time and gather your patience and get this one thing done, and you’ll be surprised how quickly the rest of your website comes together. Use this step by step guide to help you get going.
>Maybe you’re stuck because you don’t actually know what you need on your website.
You know you’re not organized yet and haven’t thought through everything you’d need, whether you DIY it or hire a web developer. If that sounds like you, read this to give yourself some structure. A little clarity goes a long way here!!
Start by collecting all of the information you think your potential clients or customers might need. Organize it into sections or pages that you’ll want on your website, and go from there. Look at the websites of your competitors and see what they have on their sites, and collect similar relevant information about your own products or services. You can create a Pinterest board or just a file folder of screenshots on your desktop. Having a frame of reference can really help with this. And, once you know what you want to put on your site, it’s a lot easier and more motivating to actually build it!
>Focus on getting the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) website up.
Maybe you’re stuck because you think your website has to be this whole thing and that’s overwhelming you. It’s possible you’re setting the bar too high for yourself and that’s stopping you from even getting started. What if you just try to get the bare minimum you need for a website up and running instead? Wouldn’t a basic, one-page website be better than nothing?
Once you have a basic page up, you can always go back and add to it or jazz it up. But having something is better than nothing. I love the saying ‘done is better than perfect.’ If you’re getting stuck on going down all the rabbit holes for what your website could have, then you could end up just spiraling instead of moving forward. Decide what the bare minimum is and go build at least that much. You can always come back to it!
>Just hire someone!
This is definitely the most expensive option, but it might be worth it if you really can’t break out of the overwhelm. If you’re choosing a web developer, make sure to ask what platform they will be building your site on and what their level of expertise is with that platform. If you’re building on a website builder, like Wix or Weebly, you probably don’t really need a developer. But, if you want a WordPress site, you might want to choose this route and hire an expert. Be sure to ask about themes and how easy your site will be to maintain once they are done building it!
If you’d like to work with me on your website, you can contact me here. I work almost exclusively with Divi and WordPress, and you can get a free Divi theme by hiring me to build your website. Check out all of my reviews on my Upwork profile to see what other clients think of my work.