Keep it Simple: Prep for Your Squarespace Website Series
This blog post is the second in a 4-part series on how to prep your Squarespace website before get into all the techy stuff.
FYI, this whole series covers just Step 2 of the 10 Step Guide to Setting Up Your Squarespace Website from Scratch. For the full monty, read that linked post!
Have you logged into your Squarespace account yet and started editing some pages.
Yes? I don’t blame you. It’s fun. It’s frustrating. It’s intuitive. It’s crazy-making. It’s all those things.
It’s time to stop playing around.
Instead, head back over to your boring old Google doc or Word doc or chicken scratch notepad or where ever you wrote down your website goal.
You did decide on your main website goal, right?
Not yet? Then read how to set your website goals first, then come back.
You’re back now? Good.
Remember, we’re keeping it simple. You already have a service-based business, you’ve got a roster of clients and customers and it’s time you had a decent website.
Step 1 (is done):
You have a goal for your Squarespace website.
Brainstorm! Decide what pages you want on your website.
(Keep in mind that your website will grow as your business grows, so you don’t need to get all ambitious - unless you really want to.)
In that notepad or Google doc, write down all the pages you want. How many is that?
From that list of pages you want, what are the absolute must-have pages you'll add to your main navigation?
(The main navigation are the links at the top of your website that visitors have access to no matter what website page they are on. Or, if on mobile, the ‘hamburger’ stack.)
UPDATE: Things have changed around here...but I don't have time at the moment to rewrite this post. My apologies! My must-have navigation pages have changed from the ones listed below.
In my case, my must-have navigation pages are:
- a Home Page (long scrolling page called Squarespace Designer Partner)
- an About Page
- a Services Page which I call ‘Work with Me’ (it's actually a drop down menu with 2 pages - and one link leads to my Design in a Day collaborator's website!)
- a Blog page.
What are the main navigation pages you want on your Squarespace website?
Next: 2 Reasons why you should create a visual sitemap for your Squarespace Website.
A visual sitemap is basically a flow chart for your website. Here are 2 reasons why you should have one.
1. A visual sitemap will help you organize your website
Start with the main navigation pages, then add interior pages if required.
Remember, keep it simple. How many pages do you really need if you’re just getting started on Squarespace? (Hint: Start with the pages that will bring you clients and customers.)
As you create your visual site map, always remind yourself: what is the website's main goal?
Keep in mind how each page - which will have its own goals - can serve your website's main goal as well.
2. A Visual Sitemap will help you remember what pages go where if you rebuild your site or move pages around
Julienne Desjardins explains why you should have a visual site map - scroll down to point 4. (I agree).
I also like the look of the free tool Bubbl.us for creating a visual sitemap. I use Google Docs and draw by hand, but this looks easier to use.
Here are all the steps you should take before you start building your Squarespace website.
- Decide who is your ideal website visitor (aka potential client or customer)
- Decide what is the main goal of your website?
- Decide what must have pages you'll have in the main navigation (up to 5)
- Create a visual sitemap of your starter website.
Keep it simple.
Need to launch a website
like RIGHT NOW
& no time to learn Squarespace?
Try out Design-in-a-Day, my collaboration with Squarespace expert and web designer Sarah Moon. We'll snap together a polished website based on a Squarespace template that you choose or we recommend.
This is a quick and efficient process to get you online in time for that big opportunity that demands a solid online presence.
Hi, I’m Kath - author of this blog post (and others like it) and copywriter, editor, keyword researcher and website setter upper for Squarespace web designers and service-based entrepreneurs and freelancers. Team up with me to get your web design projects done, like yesterday.
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