Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse: 3 Times When You Shouldn’t Start a New Website
Nothing boosts brand confidence like a new website.
As a symbol of professionalism and business competency, the allure of a website revamp is all too real. So what’s there to lose?
Believe it or not, there are times when moving forward with that dreamy new website does not make sense.
Without considering the following factors, what should be a powerful brand tool could actually manifest itself as an unstrategic waste of time, energy, and money.
So while the idea of fresh graphics, vibrant colors, and cool-factor functionality might make you want to take the leap, it’s crucial not to get ahead of yourself.
If you’re unsure about investing in a new website, here are three times when pursuing a website overhaul is too much, too soon.
1. You haven’t decided on a business name or other core brand elements.
If your business name is not set in stone, it’s definitely too soon to build a new website.
You must work on building your brand identity first and foremost. How else will you keep your website’s look and feel cohesive and consistent throughout?
People don’t want to buy from businesses with an unfocused brand. A website with less-than-precise branding says that you might not thoroughly meet your clients’ needs, or even take their problems seriously.
Along with a name, there are some other key elements of brand identity to solidify before you build and launch your website:
Your logo contains the ingredients that are going to be baked into every other piece of your marketing, including your website and any future digital or print marketing. Everything should visually and thoughtfully tie back to your logo.
Your typography further solidifies your brand by speaking to the character of your company. The perfect font is not only clear and readable but complements the styling in your logo.
- Color palette.
It’s no secret that color is linked to our emotional experiences, and how customers feel about purchasing decisions. Picking the color palette that best reflects the energy and feel of your brand is key.
As a visual designer, I help clients solidify these elements as part of developing their brand focus.
2. You aren’t clear on what you do and how you do it well.
You’re not ready to build a new website until you can clearly describe in your own (succinct) words:
- What does your business offer?
- What makes your business stand out?
- How can your prospects take action?
Maybe your company is making a strategic pivot, or maybe you have multiple offerings and want to focus on one service in particular.
Regardless, take the time to work with a brand strategist before you dive into the tactical work of building out an online site.
I recently worked with a client who planned to offer personal retreats for educators and corporate leaders. However, he didn’t have his retreat structure or ideal client mapped out yet, nor a solidified logo. Therefore, I advised him against launching his website yet, and instead helped him define his core identity and designed a logo for him. As a result, his messaging was specific and the ‘special sauce’ of his visual style was nailed down beautifully.
From there, we had a much better footing to work through the design and launch of his website from start to finish.
3. You’re in peak season.
Is it your company’s busiest time of year?
If so, then now is not the time to approach something as major as building out a new brand website. Whether it’s your team’s efficiency, level of customer service, or even the quality of the new website itself, something is sure to suffer in the process.
There are many key decisions that go into building out a website, and this work can’t be done well in a day or a week. You need time to work through them.
These strategic elements include:
- Determining your core messaging
- Building your website structure
- Identifying your primary call-to-action
If you revamp your website in a weekend, it will show.
Your customers will recognize that you just slapped this project together and will respond (or probably not respond) to your brand’s low-quality look, structure, and content.
Building a website too quickly is like attempting to renovate your bathroom in one weekend. It just doesn’t make sense.
There’s no way you can get everything in place that fast, at least not at the level of quality you need. It’s necessary to map out a coordinated game plan that incorporates all the moving pieces, from plumbers to contractors to tilers. (At the very least, you need to source a sink and toilet that are good quality and will work!)
Take your time. Take it slow. Your business reputation depends on it.
A premature website won’t meet your goals.
It’s true that the vast majority of businesses need a website.
But all businesses need a strategy above all else – otherwise, their website is bound to be ineffective.
If you aren’t crystal clear on how your website fits into your overall objectives, it’s time to take a step back and do the necessary strategic planning. Only then can you ensure your time, energy, and resources are being spent where they matter most.
Once your brand is clear and focused, a website can help you reach your goals.
Grab my Project Start guide to see if we’re a good match to build that shiny new website together!
- Peak season is not the time for a new website. Keep your focus and energy where it matters most during the busy months – on your employees and on your customers.
- Quality matters. People don’t want to buy from businesses that are unfocused in their branding, so take the time to present your company well.
- Brand strategy comes before website creation. If you don’t have your visual brand identity, messaging strategy, or key offerings solidified, it’s too soon to build a new website.
- Building a website too fast is detrimental. Before you dive in, make sure you are utilizing your time, energy, and resources effectively.
It's hard to market an unfocused brand.
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