If you’re going to bother hiring someone to make a nice website for you, you’d be smart to invest in these three “accompaniments” as well – they’ll truly be the icing on the cake 😉
You’ve finally done it. After years of that old website you set up yourself using GoDaddy’s website builder (or goodness knows what else) – you’ve at last decided to hire a real web designer to create a website custom and unique to you, your business, and your customers. Brava!
But now that you’re here, there are just a few additional items – a few accompaniments if you will – that will really take your shiny new website to the next level.
#1: An Email Address to Match Your Domain
It always seems a shame when I’m visiting someone’s website, thinking how professional and well-designed it is, but then when I arrive at the contact page, I see a mere Gmail address listed.
Nothing says “I’m a bit of a newbie to all this” quite like using a Gmail address for your official company email.
Fortunately, setting up an email address to match your website domain (i.e. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) is very easy to do.
Most hosting companies allow you to add an email address through your account, but if you’re a Google/Gmail user as I am, I recommend Google Workspace. Their support team is awesome and can help you get all your various email addresses going to one inbox (if that’s what you wish).
Cost: $12/month per user (this includes unlimited “aliases” i.e. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org as long as they all go to the same user inbox).
Looking for help? Get in touch if you’d like help getting your custom email address set up.
#2: A High-Speed Hosting Plan
There is simply nothing more foolish that investing thousands in a high-quality website, only to have it take 6-10 seconds to load because you opted for the cheapest hosting plan on the market.
If you have a WordPress website, I recommend WordPress-exclusive hosting at a company like WP Engine or Fly Wheel. Their support team will be WordPress experts (a huge asset to have on your side), and because their server tech is geared specifically for WordPress websites, your website will load super fast – usually within 1 second.
And as an added bonus? Your chances of getting hacked also shrink to virtually zero as well. Talk about peace of mind.
Cost: $300/year (and if you’re used to paying something absurd like $2/month for hosting, think of it this way: what do you pay yearly for your cell phone bill? Or Internet? Who decided that website hosting should be dirt cheap? In truth, you get what you pay for).
Looking for help? Get in touch if you’re interested in migrating your website to one of the companies I recommended above for increased site speed. I offer migration services for a flat fee of $500.
#3: Photographs Taken By a Professional Photographer
Sure, stock photographs are great when you take the time to find the really good ones, but they shine best when they’re presented on your website in tandem with photos that are ALL YOURS. Most of us think about having our headshot taken, but when it comes to website photography, that’s really just the beginning. What about photos of you in your workspace/office, or working with a client, or even textural/flat lay photos that you could use as photo backgrounds? When you invest in working with a professional photographer, it provides you with imagery totally unique to you. What could be better than that?
Cost: $500-$2000 depending on the photographer (could include single or multiple locations or wardrobe changes).
Looking for help? Below are some great photographers I know!
Looking for more?
For more from Janelle (that’s me!) on those finer points and nuances of being a rad business owner, you might also enjoy Your Personal Brand: 3 Subtle But Powerful Ways to Step It Up.