Putting a new website together is time consuming, even if you have help! Want to know how I know? Because I did it twice, just this year!
Going into the year, I didn’t really have a strong desire to re-do my website. At the time, I was working off a Squarespace template and it seemed to be working well enough… until it wasn’t.
For the first time in my business, I ran into the issue of true competition. Of course, there have always been other private photo editors, but the market was really starting to pick-up, and I was feeling the burn.
So without much of a plan, I decided to purchase a professional Squarespace template and throw some new words and images together. I even introduced three new services! Just like that, my new website was officially live.
But, there was one glaring problem. I created a website I liked, based on words I felt drawn to, with new services I thought clients needed. Feeling panicked about my market, I responded accordingly. I reacted to a situation, instead of acting diligently and with thought.
Now here I am, several months later with another brand new website. But this time, I created a website with purpose and intention. Yes, I’m re-launching my website, again, and here’s why.
Let’s start with the number one thing that caused me to re-do my website… I had outgrown my current website platform.
My business had officially reached a point where I could no longer do what I wanted and felt I needed on my website, with the Squarespace platform. I finally had to admit, that regardless of the template I purchased, Squarespace was limiting the impact I wanted to make with my website.
After much research, and thankfully some amazing referrals, I was directed towards the designers Davey and Krista Jones, who offer beautiful templates on the Showit and WordPress Elementor platforms. While I know that many of my wedding photographer friends are own Showit, I felt really drawn towards Elementor. Now that my website is officially live, I know I made the right decision for me and my business.
MY WEBSITE WASN’T DOING ITS “JOB”
My “job” is to attract wedding photographers who align as my ideal client and want to work with me. I feel confident in my work, but I need a website that adequately reflects that. As an online business, my website is the “brick and mortar store” of my brand. It reflects who I am and what I do.
As a creative, marketing to other creatives, I need a beautiful, but minimalist template that speaks to my clients not only through imagery and words, but a well thought out design. My website’s job is to bring in client inquiries who are a good fit, and to deter clients who aren’t.
Unfortunately, my previous website was sending mixed signals to potential clients. I had unclear messaging from the design all the down to the copy.
MORE ADVANCED DESIGN
In order to create a website that clearly conveyed my message and met all of my criteria, I decided I wanted an option that offered a more advanced design. Due to the nature of my services, I need more than a pretty website. On the flip side, because my ideal client is based more on a photographer’s goals and values rather than brand, I also need a website that can achieve this goal while remaining beautifully simplistic.
My new template on Elementor allows me to emphasize a simple, yet beautiful homepage that also supports me personally as a service based business. I can easily display who I am, what I do, and who I serve while still remaining mindful of the design. In order to keep the site simple, yet professional, and allowing me to focus on some of the key elements; balance, contrast, unity and whitespace.
Of course, I have my template to thank for this, but Elementor allows for these creative touches.
What does it take for a girl to get a beautiful blog sidebar? Apparently, it requires making the switch to WordPress Elementor.
Squarespace has some beautiful blog designs, but if there is something I consistently struggle with on the platform, it is the lack of a sidebar availability.
I’m eager to get back to running a more active blog with this new website, and I am beyond thrilled to finally be doing so with a blog sidebar! The sidebar is a GREAT place to showcase additional blog posts, social media links, a blog search, affiliate links, and SO much more!
Psst, over my sidebar you can learn more about me, search posts, find me on social, and browse some of the blog favorites!
Squarespace has definitely kicked things up a notch with the features they offer, but there’s no denying that WordPress has the Plugin Power.
Thanks to WordPress, I no longer feel limited by the options that can be implemented into my site in order to help me achieve my goals.
My current plugins allow me to hone in on my SEO, stay on top of the game with easy to read Google Analytics, and so much more! For example the Yoast SEO plugin provides guidance on how to make improvements on titles, keywords, formatting, and even overall blog layout.
There’s nothing worse than launching a brand new website, while crossing your fingers and praying that your potential clients discover you on a desktop and not on mobile!
Due to Elementor’s easy to use drag-and-drop design process, it’s easy to have a beautiful site on both. And the best part? I’m not required to do much in terms of mobile responsiveness. Elementor does all the work for me. While designing in desktop mode, it’s easy to toggle between Desktop, Tablet, and Mobile view to make sure every element of the website is responsive.
My favorite feature? If there is a design element that you absolutely love on desktop and doesn’t translate quite as well on Mobile, you can hide it! This allows for the website to flow seamlessly. There’s no overlap, awkward text and images, etc.
Finally, I’m launching a Resource Shop soon!
When I was reviewing WordPress and Showit templates, I tried to take into consideration the future of my business. I knew that I would love to host my shop right on my website, without taking clients away from my site to Shopify. WordPress allows for that flexibility, and I can design a beautiful shop right on my site using Elementor.
Whether you currently have a shop or not, it’s always beneficial to consider the future of your business and plan ahead.