Meshing together all the pieces of a site is daunting. I have developed a process over the years that’s worked for me. The tips should help get you started so you don’t have to keep regretting that you didn’t follow through with your ideas.
Do iterations with copy
What I mean by iterations is that you don’t need to worry if copy doesn’t come out as well as “Gone with the Wind” the first time. You can come back and make improvements over time.
Getting the words right on a blog post or site can be a big hang up because there are a thousand ways to write a sentence. You have to use the beauty of the web to your advantage:
- You can make changes on your own time and your own way. Just log into the dashboard and update the copy when you have a flash of insight.
- You don’t need to pay anyone to review and redistribute any changes like an editor or publisher. Go crazy with your oxford comma obsession with all the updates your heart desires.
- You can use Google Analytics to see if your changes improved your site visitors’ stats.
Focus on the main menu
Don’t let the organization of your site scare you. Focus on the menu. This puts you right to work on the bigger picture and creates a boundary for your site.
I am a big believer that a majority, if not all of the site, should be reachable through a single main menu, rather than multiple menus or links scattered throughout the copy. Speaking from my own web adventures, I always return to what seems to be the most important menu on the page to find something. It is frustrating if I can't find a page in it. So spending time on getting the menu right has a good payoff.
The benefits of focusing on a great main menu are:
- It concentrates your time and effort.
- By default, it gives you a hierarchy to work from. That’s faster and clearer than trying to come up with a whole new way of organizing a site.
- You have your most important pages and categories as top level items and break down secondary pages into sub menu items.
- You can jump right into it with Soholaunch out of the box.
Automate as much as possible
Websites have a lot of working parts. It can be overwhelming when you worry about staying on top of them. So let tasks take care of themselves automatically whenever you can.
Here are some examples:
- Let your domain name renew automatically.
- Add tasks on Google calendar as recurring events and make sure you’re sent email reminders about them (this option is in the settings).
- Make sure Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools are installed early on so you can start a good history. Soholaunch makes this easy to do once and be done.
- Set up your shopping cart categories and products in ways that allow for flexibility and less manual updating.