What decisions do I have to make before I build a website, and what things can be changed later?

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Building a new website or redesigning your current website can be a huge and overwhelming task. You’re probably wondering, “What decisions do I have to make before I build a website?” It can be really helpful to know which decisions you have to get right and which ones you can be flexible on and change later.

Website decisions that are easy to change later:

Domain name: True, you might lose some SEO traction and have a little bit of downtime. But, if you decide you hate your domain name or think of a better one later on, you can always migrate your website to a new name. I recommend keeping the old name and forwarding it to the new one so there’s no confusion and you don’t lose any traffic. Check out this article if you need help picking a domain name.

Hosting: Most hosting companies are happy to help you transfer your site over to their services. SiteGround helps you do it for free. So if you chose a bargain basement hosting service and now you’re having trouble getting an SSL or struggling with storage limits or site speed, you can always switch over.

Content: This one always surprises me. Most of my clients hold off on building their websites because they think they need to have all their content and images and everything ready to go before they start. Definitely not!! Don’t let this overwhelm you and keep you from getting started. On WordPress, it’s super easy to update and change content and images, especially if you have the Divi theme.

Website decisions that are harder to change later:

Platform: If you want to change from a website builder (like Wix or SquareSpace) to WordPress or vice versa, that’s going to require basically rebuilding your website. Think carefully about what you want for your site and how much you want to pay long term before choosing. Website builders can seem like an easier way to get started, and they are, but long term they might not be the best choice. So you might end up right back at the beginning when you’re ready to stop paying monthly for your site. Check out this article for advice on choosing the right website platform from the start.

Theme: This one depends. If you just have a free theme and you want to swap it out and see what it looks like, that can be a pretty quick task. However, if you’re switching to a premium theme or switching between premium themes, you might have to essentially rebuild your whole site. Or, if you have a lot of customization already done on your site, you could lose all of that work if you switch out your theme.

If you’re planning on using a premium theme eventually, I’d recommend choosing carefully and building your site properly from the start. Read this blog post for more information about WordPress themes.

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