In a world where everyone and their cat is online (4.3 billion internet users are online, so more than half of the world population is connected to the internet), having a website has grown to be more than just an option.
It’s an actual necessity. You don’t have to be a multi-billion-dollar organization to have a website these days. In fact, pretty much everyone selling a service or a product, no matter how small their business might be, should have a website.
The great news is that what used to be outrageously expensive and challenging back in the day is now affordable and accessible. Everyone (and their cat) can create a website on Wix – it’s just a matter of dragging, dropping, and using the right elements that will create the right message for your business.
Obviously, it doesn’t matter how large or small your freelancing activity might be – before you launch it into cyberspace, you will want your site to look spotless and meet all the needs you might have. In fact, this is so important that, if this is your first time (or your hundredth, to be honest), the thought of launching your site and missing important details is probably giving you nightmares.
How do you make sure everything is in proper order before you click on the launch button?
We have pulled together a checklist for a Wix website launch so that you can fight pre-launch anxiety and make sure you create a site that’s truly ready to be released into the wild world wide web.
Get the Technicalities
Building a website with a drag and drop editor like Wix is easy – you don’t have to code, you just have to have a decent aesthetic eye and use your mouse to drag and drop. Yes, that easy.
Even so, there are some technicalities you should keep in mind, among which we will mention here the following:
- Getting a domain name. Wix allows you to buy a domain name directly from the platform. Doing this is quite crucial because it will allow you to personalize your website’s name and URL entirely so that it truly represents your services, your personal brand, and your freelance activity. Here’s a Wix-official guide on how you can get a domain name for your Wix site.
- Get an image editor. We really like Canva because it’s just as easy as Wix is, and it allows you to create modern-looking, attractive graphics of all kinds (you can even create a logo here). If you want something more than Canva, you can always go with the already traditional Photoshop (there are quite a lot of online tutorials that will help you learn how to work with it as well).
Can you skip this step?
Absolutely no. Quality images are of the utmost importance because people tend to be very visual (not just online, but offline as well).
- Install Google Analytics. You want this, trust us. It sounds like the most annoying thing in the world, but it’s a treasure trove of data that will help you boost your freelancing business.
Here’s a quick guide on how to get Google Analytics for a Wix website – as you will see, it’s far easier than it sounds!
Define the type
What kind of site do you need? Is it just a site where you will show off your portfolio? Will it be a site that allows you to create different blog posts, pages that show your story, testimonials from users, and so on?
The type of website you want will dictate pretty much everything from hereon: from your site’s name to how you choose to promote it.
Some of the most common types of websites:
- Homepages (most company/ business sites are like this)
- eCommerce (sites that sell products)
- Portfolio (sites that present someone’s work)
- Magazines and blogs (sites focused almost exclusively on articles)
- Landing pages (sites meant to behave as lead magnets on which people land after clicking an ad on Social Media or an email link)
- A contact page (just a page to allow people to reach out to you and contact you or your services)
Many times, a business owns not one but multiple sites (e.g., a homepage/ main one and different landing pages associated with it). Since you run a freelance business, the most common types of sites in this niche are homepages, portfolios, contact pages, and landing pages (but we have seen magazines and blogs as well, especially for writers who wanted to promote their services).
Name It Up
Needless to say, your site’s name is crucial. Choose something out of the box. Back in the day, it used to be very popular to run keyword research and find the ones that have plenty of searches, and low-competition, so that you can use them as the name of your site (and sometimes, the actual name of your business as well).
Since everyone did this, you can imagine the market became saturated in this respect. You can still do it here and there, but as a general rule of thumb, we recommend that you think out of the box.
And here’s a pretty cool tip: start your business name search by searching for a domain first. This way, you won’t be disappointed if you think you have found the best name ever and realize the domain name is already taken.
Pick Your Template
One of the reasons that make Wix such a popular choice is related to the fact that it provides users with a wide range of templates they might want, according to their needs.
Looking for a template for your online portfolio?
Wix has it.
Looking for a template for your eShop?
Wix has it.
Not that we’re glorifying Wix here, but it’s pretty impressive from this point of view.
Think of what you will include on your site and how your users will use it and choose a template that fits your needs. Also, keep in mind that there might be extras you want to install – such as 123FormBuilder, that will allow you to create quizzes, surveys, and forms of all kinds (from registration forms to lead magnet forms and basic contact forms).
Consider the Brand
You may not run a multi-national business, but that doesn’t mean your site has to be wholly disheveled and brand-less.
Even when you run a freelance business, your branding is essential.
Some of the main elements to consider when you create your personal brand (and want to relay it on your website) include the following:
- Your layout (e.g., an airy layout with plenty of spaces will create a sense of professionalism)
- Your colors (every color has its message and meaning, but it’s quite essential to make sure you don’t go overboard with the whole color scheme – keep it close to your values and what you want your customers to associate you with)
- Your logo (it doesn’t have to be something overboard either, but you do need one if you wish your freelance services to be easily recognizable and to appear professional in the most real sense of the word.
Remember the Design
Keeping in mind some design best practices is always useful. Of course, there are entire books written about this, but the main idea behind good design is that it:
- Attracts people
- Sends out the right message about your freelance business
- Converts more users
- Makes more of them more likely to recommend your business
- Helps with SEO
Here are some of the essentials you should remember in terms of design best practices (on Wix and otherwise, really):
- Choose a font that represents you
- Pick your favicon (the little image that appears in the browser’s tab when your site’s open)
- Place images and CTA’s in a way that makes them noticeable and more convincing
- Choose images that are attractive and in line with your brand
- Include videos (they tend to convert more)
- Keep it user-friendly
If you’re looking to learn more about keeping your design clean, attractive and user-friendly, be sure to check out this resource and this one – we have found it to be quite compelling and easy to understand regardless of how much of a beginner or an advanced site builder you may be.
Choose Your Words Wisely
Naturally, the text you place on your website matters.
You might think you won’t need much text if you run a business that’s very visual (e.g., you’re a wedding photographer), but even in these cases, every word and every comma can make a world of difference.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- When you write your copy, think of your target audience (here’s how to create a buyer persona – or more, if that’s the case for your business).
- Use power words and stay away from words that sound spammy or cliche
- Be unique, find your own voice – in longer texts (such as blog articles) and shorter ones as well (About Us, a landing page/ homepage copy, and so on)
- When writing blog posts or longer pieces of copy, keep sentences and paragraphs short. People rarely actually read online. Most times, they scan – so your text should be easy to read, easy to skim, and easy to browse.
Obviously, there are a million tips you could use when writing content or copy for your freelancing website. As a general rule, you can check out Copyblogger, Hubspot, and the Content Marketing Institute for advice – they are pretty good in this niche especially:).
You may not have been around in the digital sphere back when Mobileggedon hit, but it was a pretty big deal. Today, four years later, having a mobile-friendly website matters more than ever. With more than 60% of Google searches happening on mobile and with Google being quite harsh on sites that are not mobile-friendly, this is an aspect you simply cannot ignore.
Here’s more info on how to make your Wix site mobile-friendly.
Doing a bit of digital and traditional marketing on your site can be a game-changer. We could write an entire compendium on how to do this, but the four main areas you need to consider in terms of making your site findable and efficient include:
- Search Engine Optimization (here’s a guide on the SEO best practices)
- Social Media Marketing (here’s a guide on Social Media Marketing in 2020)
- Email Marketing (here’s a guide on Email Marketing)
- Traditional marketing (believe it or not, adding your site on your business cards, paperback books, and other conventional marketing materials can still work for some audiences)
How do you decide which of these matters more?
You go where your target audience is more likely to be. And then, well, you test different channels and different techniques to see what works best in your case.
Test, Ask for Feedback and Fix
No matter how much you worked on your site and how much attention to detail you put in it, there is always a risk that you missed out on something.
As such, we suggest that you test everything: your pages, your forms, your email integrations, your analytics, and pretty much everything else.
Also, ask your friends and family to review your site and give you some feedback. Having an external point of view can be extremely helpful!
Once you have tested your site and once you have asked people for feedback, move on to fixing what needs to be fixed.
And then, well…
Hit that Publish button and take over the world!