Making the decision to get a new website for your business can be both exciting, and a little daunting. Whether it’s your first time getting a website, or you have a website that doesn’t work for your needs anymore, let’s talk about your options.
Typically, within web design, you can go two different routes. The first is custom design, and the second is DIY design.
Custom design means that you’re working 1:1 with a designer who will create your website for you.
If you’re going the custom route, you’ll want to find a designer to help you who specializes in the website builder of your choice. (Your designer can also provide guidance on choosing the builder that’s best for your business).
DIY design is hands-on, you’re creating your website yourself – either from scratch or with a template.
Let’s talk more about DIY design with a template. It is a little more budget-friendly, and having the template to start with makes the website design process easier.
If you’re interested in going the DIY route, let’s talk about the steps you’ll need to go through to create the site of your dreams.
There’s a lot of website builders out there: Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, and – my personal favorite – Showit.
I am a Showit website designer. Showit is my website builder of choice, and I recommend for creative, service-based entrepreneurs (coaches, photographers, designers, copywriters, etc.).
(To help with you compare builders, I’ve written blog posts on
It’s not that I don’t like Wix or WordPress or Squarespace at all – I do, I just prefer Showit. It’s super user-friendly, while also giving you so much creative freedom and versatility. You can create a quality website easily, without being put in a box – which is something that I haven’t experienced with other website builders.
However, I know people with successful businesses that have websites on all different platforms and love them. It’s really up to you which builder you use. I’m not going to bash any one platform and tell you that Showit is the only way to go.
With that said, Showit is the platform that I recommend for service-based business owners. If you do have a product-based business, I recommend Shopify instead of Showit. Shopify is made specifically for e-commerce, and has more of the tools you need for your shop than Showit will.
If you’re mainly a service-based business, but you want to have a small shop on the side, consider integrating Showit with Shopify lite. (I did this on a site that I designed for Angela Monica. Her shop pages were built in Showit, but all of the product listings and shopping cart function using Shopify).
Again, these are just my recommendations, it’s totally up to you which website builder you go with. If you’re not sure, get a free trial of each option you’re considering so that you can explore and find what you feel comfortable with.
It really comes down to what you feel comfortable and confident in creating a quality website with.
Once you’ve chosen a website builder, the next step is to understand what you need in a website. Depending on your business and what you offer, you may need certain features on your website to support your goals.
You’ll also want to consider your brand style. All of this will influence the type of template you are looking for.
For example, a photographer who offers high-end wedding photography is going to need a different website than a t-shirt designer who sells shirts for elementary school teachers.
Here are some factors to consider that will influence your website needs:
I have a free guide to choosing a website template for your creative business. If you’re a coach, photographer, copywriter – any type of service-based business – it will help you build a “website wishlist” to make choosing your template easier!
All of the website builders we’ve talked about – Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, Shopify, and Showit – offer templates to make the DIY process easier for you. (Shopify and WordPress call their templates “themes”).
I sell Showit website templates for service-based creatives in my shop. They are strategically designed to help you stand out online and connect confidently with your audience. Every template purchase includes access to my course, the Website Workshop, which guides you through the DIY design process.
Starting with a template will make the DIY process easier for you. All you’ll have to do is change colors, fonts, images, add in your text content, and make layout tweaks. The framework of the design has already been created for you.
Preparing the text (a.k.a. copywriting) and images that you will add to your website ahead of time will make the customization process easier. I also recommend taking time to plan out what fonts and color scheme you will use.
Ashlyn Writes shares great tips for DIY website copywriting on her YouTube channel. Be sure to check her out if you need help with this step!
Once you have all of your content prepared, it’s time for my favorite part – customizing the template!
You’ll dive into your website builder and start making changes to bring the site of your dreams to life. While most of the website builders on the market today are user-friendly, there is always going to be a learning curve. Inside of the Website Workshop, I provide template buyers with Showit tutorials to make learning the how to edit their template easier.
Before you publish your new site, you may want to connect to a custom domain! This is the .com part of your URL, and many business owners use their business name as their domain.
For example, my domain is mayapalmerdesigns.com
You can get a domain name for an affordable price from a domain registrar, like GoDaddy. There are other options out there, but I am most familiar with GoDaddy, so that’s what I recommend. Domains form GoDaddy are usually around $11.99-$17.99/yr, but the price will depend on the particular domain name you choose.
Once you have your domain selected, you’ll be able to connect it to your site. Every website builder should have instructions available on how to do this for their platform. The support team for your builder should also be able to help you with connecting it.
Those are all the steps that I recommend going through if you’re looking to get a new website for your business.
Decide whether you’d like to go the custom design or DIY route. If you’re going the custom route, you’ll want to find a designer to help you who specializes in the website builder of your choice. (Your designer can also provide guidance on choosing the builder that’s best for your business).
If you’re going the DIY route:
There you have it – an overview of some things to consider if you’re looking for a new website right now. I hope this was helpful! I’m cheering for you as you embark on this website journey.
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