6 Essential Elements to Elevate Your Nonprofit Website

Your nonprofit’s website is more than just an online presence; it’s a vital tool for storytelling and engagement. But making it stand out requires knowing exactly what to include. Let’s dive into the essential elements that can turn your website from good to unforgettable.

A standout nonprofit website is more than just a hub for information; it’s a launchpad for engagement and a beacon for community building. With countless causes vying for attention, your site needs to do more than just exist—it needs to communicate, captivate, and compel. Moving forward, we’ll explore the essential elements that not only pull visitors in but also motivate them to take action, transforming passive interest into active support for your mission.

An overview of the 6 elements

Our exploration will navigate through six fundamental elements that are pivotal for any nonprofit website aiming for impact and engagement:

  1. Impress…Above-the-Fold: Instantly communicate your mission and catch your visitor’s attention.
  2. Create Space for Who You Serve: Ensure your website reflects and resonates with your community.
  3. Display Available Programs Clearly: Highlight your initiatives to showcase your active role and impact.
  4. Easy and Intuitive Donation Process: Remove barriers to giving, making it seamless for supporters to contribute.
  5. Showcasing Upcoming Events: Keep your community engaged and informed about how they can participate.
  6. Make It Clear How People Can Help: Offer clear paths for involvement beyond financial contributions.

Now, let’s dive deeper into each element, exploring how they work together to create a website that’s not just seen but felt, encouraging visitors to engage, contribute, and become part of your community’s story. Each component plays a crucial role in transforming your site into an engaging, action-inspiring platform. Follow along as we break down these elements further, providing you with the insights needed to elevate your online presence effectively.

The 6 Must-Have Features for Your Nonprofit’s Website

1. Impress…Above-the-Fold

Visiting a website without clear messaging is like opening a book to a random page—you’re intrigued but have no context. The content above-the-fold should serves as the book cover, offering a snapshot that invites readers into your story.

“Above-the-fold” is the part of the website visible without scrolling, crucial for making a strong first impression. It includes the hero section but also extends to your menu header, call-to-actions, logo, and all other elements that may appear at the top of you home page. This area should clearly articulate your nonprofit’s mission and how visitors can engage. It’s about using concise language and compelling visuals to instantly convey who you are, what you stand for, and how visitors can help. This not only captures attention but also encourages further exploration, setting the stage for a deeper connection with your cause.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Clarity Above-the-Fold

Navigating a website should never feel like deciphering a puzzle. Clear messaging right at the outset not only guides your visitors but also aligns them with your mission from the first click. The absence of this clarity can create a disconnect, affecting everything from engagement to donations. Let’s examine the specific drawbacks of overlooking this critical element, highlighting the importance of getting it right.

What happens if you do?

  • Ensures visitors immediately understand your mission
  • Encourages further exploration of your site
  • Increases the likelihood of engagement and support

What happens if you don’t?

  • Confusion overshadows visitor engagement
  • Initial interest quickly fades without clear direction
  • Potential supporters leave, reducing donation opportunities
  • The essence of your cause becomes muddled
  • High bounce rates reflect missed connections

How To Implement Clear Messaging

Turning the tide from confusion to clarity on your website is more straightforward than you might think. By focusing on a few key improvements, you can significantly enhance your site’s above-the-fold content. Here are practical steps to ensure your message hits home immediately.

  1. Craft a concise, impactful mission statement inside your hero section
  2. Highlight a clear call to action under your statement
  3. Select imagery or a video that complements your message
  4. Regularly review and adjust for clarity

2. Create a Space for Who You Serve

Create Space for Who You Serve: Understanding Your Audience

Just as every story needs an audience, your nonprofit website must resonate with the people you aim to serve. This connection begins with creating a space on your website that acknowledges their needs, challenges, and aspirations.

What happens if you do?

  • Fosters a sense of belonging by showing your audience they are recognized and valued
  • Boosts engagement when people see their experiences mirrored
  • Encourages donations by demonstrating the impact of contributions on real lives
  • Directs individuals to helpful resources, ensuring they can easily access the support and information they need
  • Strengthens community by reinforcing your commitment to serving and understanding your audience’s needs

What happens if you don’t?

  • Visitors may feel overlooked, reducing engagement
  • Engagement and interaction rates may drop
  • Supporters struggle to see the direct impact of their contributions
  • A generic approach may fail to communicate your organization’s unique mission
  • Community members might not find the resources or support they seek

Implementing Audience-Specific Spaces on Your Website

Crafting a website that speaks directly to your audience is both an art and a science. By integrating specific elements and strategies, you can ensure your digital space welcomes and engages those you’re committed to helping. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Create pages for each audience which include tailored resources and information
  2. Include short descriptions (info boxes) and links on your home page and menu that lead to these spaces
  3. Ensure your website content throughout highlights your audience where relevant and links to their respective pages

3. Display Available Programs Clearly

You have important programs to offer and too often, organizations may not include all or up-to-date programs on their website. You may know your programs internally but it is so important to share that with those who may visit your website. Your programs show your mission in-action. But if visitors can’t easily find or understand these initiatives on your website, you’re missing a critical opportunity to showcase the impact and breadth of your work.

What happens if you do?

  • Directly informs visitors about the scope of your work and its impact
  • Facilitates deeper engagement and understanding through clear program descriptions
  • Sparks interest in targeted support or participation by highlighting specific initiatives
  • Demonstrates your nonprofit’s active role in making a difference with well-presented programs
  • Builds trust with supporters and beneficiaries by being transparent about your activities

What happens if you don’t?

  • Visitors may miss understanding the full extent of your impact
  • Potential volunteers and donors deterred by lack of clarity on how to contribute
  • Missed opportunities for targeted engagement and support
  • Questioned credibility if information on activities isn’t easily accessible
  • Beneficiaries unaware of the resources available to them

How to Showcase Your Programs Effectively

Implementing a strategy to clearly display your programs can greatly enhance your website’s utility and appeal.

  1. Organize programs into easily navigable sections
  2. Use engaging descriptions and visuals for each program
  3. Include clear calls to action, guiding visitors on involvement
  4. Offer testimonials or success stories illustrating program impact
  5. Keep program pages updated with the latest information and outcomes

Ensuring your programs are displayed clearly and compellingly invites visitors to delve deeper into your mission, encouraging engagement, support, and participation. This approach not only serves your current audience but also attracts new supporters, amplifying your nonprofit’s reach and impact.

4. Easy and Intutive Donation Process

Too often overlooked, your donation interface and process is essential to your mission. Therefore, creating a simple and intuitive interface is not optional. The ease with which someone can support your cause is pivotal. A complicated or unclear donation process can quickly deter even the most enthusiastic potential donors. Here’s why streamlining this process is crucial for your nonprofit’s growth and how to ensure your website facilitates every step of the way.

What happens if you do?

  • Ensures quick and hassle-free support from visitors, maximizing donation opportunities
  • Simplifies the donor’s journey, encouraging more frequent and larger contributions
  • Reduces the risk of abandonment mid-donation due to frustration or confusion
  • Enhances the overall user experience, aligning with expectations for modern website interactions
  • Reflects the professionalism and efficiency of your organization, building trust with potential donors

What happens if you don’t?

  • Potential donors leave before completing their contributions, feeling discouraged by complexity
  • Lost donation opportunities directly impact the resources available for your programs and services
  • A negative donation experience can deter future engagement and support from the community
  • Failing to offer multiple donation options limits accessibility and convenience for diverse donors
  • Lack of clear guidance or reassurance during the donation process can raise concerns over security and use of funds

Steps to Optimize Your Donation Process

Creating an easy and intuitive donation process on your website not only supports your immediate fundraising goals but also fosters a lasting relationship with your donors. Here’s how you can optimize your process:

  1. Streamline the donation form to include only essential information
  2. Offer multiple payment methods to accommodate donor preferences
  3. Ensure the donation button is prominently displayed on every page
  4. Provide clear instructions and support for any questions or issues
  5. Utilize third-party donation software that will simpliy the process

By removing barriers to donate, you open the door to greater support and engagement, fueling your mission for the long term.

5. Showcasing Upcoming Events

People love events! They’re a great way to bring people out who otherwise may not know about your cause or bring the people together who do. Showcasing and encourgaging attendance to your nonprpfti’s events goes a long way by keeping existing members happy and engaged through direct partipication and often fun. However, if your website doesn’t effectively highlight these events, you could be missing out on significant engagement and support opportunities. Let’s explore the importance of showcasing events and how to do it right.

What happens if you do?

  • Increases awareness and participation by making event details easily accessible
  • Encourages community engagement, strengthening bonds with supporters
  • Boosts fundraising efforts by highlighting opportunities to contribute
  • Showcases the dynamic and active nature of your organization
  • Provides a platform to celebrate successes and share future goals with your audience

What happens if you don’t?

  • Lower event attendance due to lack of visibility
  • Missed chances for fundraising and community building around events
  • Reduced engagement from supporters who might not be aware of how active your organization is
  • A gap in communicating the full scope of your organization’s work and its impact on the community
  • Potential supporters remain unaware of ways to get involved or contribute

How to Effectively Feature Your Events

Effectively showcasing your events on your website not only promotes greater participation and support but also highlights the vibrancy and impact of your nonprofit. Let’s talk about how you can do this with your website:

  1. Create a dedicated events section on your website with easy navigation
  2. Use engaging visuals and compelling descriptions for each event (you can use images from the past events too!)
  3. Include all necessary details: date, time, location (or link for virtual events), and how to participate or register (with links!)
  4. Promote upcoming events prominently on your homepage and through regular updates
  5. Make use of social media to promote the event page on your website

By making event information accessible and engaging, you invite your community to join you in making a difference, one event at a time.

6. Make It Clear How People Can Help

Empowering Action Through Clarity

While donations are crucial, understanding the multifaceted ways individuals can support your cause is key to fostering a robust community around your nonprofit. As you increase traffic to your website, more visitors to your website, and have more attention to your nonprofit overall, people will want to know what they can do to help. This sixth step is to ensure your website makes it very clear what someone can do to help. We’ll dive into why you should do this further and how you can do it.

What happens if you do?

  • Clarifies the various ways to support, encouraging broader engagement
  • Empowers visitors by providing multiple avenues for involvement
  • Increases the likelihood of assistance that matches individual capabilities and interests

What happens if you don’t?

  • Potential supporters may feel unsure how to contribute, leading to inaction
  • Missed opportunities for volunteerism, partnerships, and non-monetary donations
  • A lack of diverse engagement can limit your nonprofit’s reach and impact
  • Supporters who prefer non-financial contributions might feel excluded

Guiding Supporters with Clear Information

From volunteering and in-kind donations to advocacy and community partnerships, highlighting these pathways allows your nonprofit to tap into the full spectrum of community support, driving your mission forward with the collective power of your engaged and diverse supporter base. Let’s dive into the “how”.

  1. Clearly list all the ways individuals can support your mission, from volunteering to advocacy
  2. Include a step-by-step for these different avenues of involvement
  3. Provide detailed descriptions and instructions for each type of support
  4. Feature stories or testimonials that highlight the impact of various forms of assistance and what the volunteer experience is like
  5. Ensure navigation to support options is intuitive and accessible from anywhere on your site

YOUR Next Steps (Taking Action)

There you have it! Those are the 6 elements we think would be important for your organization.

It’s pretty easy to read and enjoy an article like this, understanding the importance of the steps outline, but it’s much harder to do something effective with the information. So I like to take a moment to ask you to take a moment to decide what can be done. I understand. Running a nonprofit is in no way easy. We only have so much time in a day and everything cannot be done at once. But….we can organize and we can schedule. So take a minute or two to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Which of these elements could best help our organization?
  2. Who can implement the steps for that element on our existing website?
  3. When can they do this?
  4. What do I need to do to put this on their schedule?

By asking yourself these questions, you are more likely to think on these things in a tangible and more like to make them happen so you can eventually see the impact they can have on your business.

Now it’s your turn!


It’s clear that a strategic approach to web design goes a long way in amplifying your mission. From ensuring your message is unmistakably clear to making it effortless for supporters to contribute, every detail matters in creating a site that not only attracts but deeply engages!

So we hope this article has been helpful in shedding light on the critical components of a successful nonprofit website. If you have questions or need expert assistance in implementing these ideas, MarvelousWeb is absolutely here for you. MarvelousWeb specializes in crafting websites that resonate with the heart of nonprofit missions, ensuring your website is not only visually appealing but deeply functional and aligned with your goals. Whether you’re looking to start from scratch or refine your existing site, our team is ready to help you make a lasting impact.

Feel free to give us a call or use the form on our contact page to let us know how we can help you!

The Power of Storytelling: How a Great Website Can Amplify Your Non-Profit’s Mission

In the realm of non-profit organizations, where every word, image, and action holds the power to inspire change, a website is more than a digital footprint. It’s a storyteller, a narrator of your mission, painting the world you envision. At MarvelousWeb Media, we recognize the monumental role a website plays in echoing the voice of a cause. This article delves into the art of storytelling through web design, highlighting how a thoughtfully crafted website can become a beacon, illuminating your non-profit’s mission.

Crafting a Digital Narrative

Your website is the digital narrator of your story. But it’s not just about what you tell; it’s about how you tell it. In our approach to web design, we focus on weaving a narrative that resonates with your audience. It’s about creating a journey that guides visitors from awareness to action. Every color, every layout, and every word is chosen to echo your mission and values. When someone visits your website, they aren’t just browsing information; they are stepping into your story, experiencing your vision and passion.

Visual Storytelling: More Than Words

A picture speaks a thousand words, and in the case of non-profits, perhaps even more. Utilizing compelling imagery and videos, we create a visual tapestry that tells your story even before a single word is read. These visuals aren’t mere decorations; they are powerful tools that evoke emotions, build connections, and spur actions. Our team at MarvelousWeb Media understands the delicate balance of aesthetics and message, ensuring your cause is portrayed in the most impactful way.

User Experience: The Path of Engagement

An engaging story is one that is easy to follow. The same goes for websites. User experience (UX) is pivotal in our design process. We ensure that navigating your website is intuitive, informative, and inspiring. From seamless navigation to interactive elements, each aspect is curated to keep your audience engaged and moving towards the desired action, be it donating, volunteering, or spreading the word.

Content That Connects and Converts

Words have the power to move mountains, and in your case, hearts and minds. Our content strategy intertwines with design to ensure your message is not just seen but felt. We craft content that speaks directly to your audience, conveying your mission in a language that they understand and relate to. It’s about creating a conversation, not a monologue.

SEO: Amplifying Your Voice

In the digital age, being heard amidst the noise is a challenge. That’s where SEO comes in. We optimize your website to ensure it reaches the right ears. By enhancing your online visibility, we make sure your story isn’t just told; it’s heard far and wide.

Conclusion: Your Mission, Our Canvas

At MarvelousWeb Media, we believe that every non-profit has a unique story deserving of a grand stage. Your mission becomes our canvas, and together, we paint a digital masterpiece that not only tells your story but also invites the world to be a part of it. Let’s collaborate to amplify your mission through the power of storytelling in web design.

How To PLAN Out A High Converting WordPress Website (Don’t Skip!)

Do not just dive into building…….please.

If there was one thing you got out of this post, that’s what it would be.

WordPress is no small feat if you are just getting started. There is plenty of learning and WordPress setup to do for you to come out with a functional website. A lack of a planning can certainly hurt your results and leave you wondering why you even tried.

So in this post I am going to take you through a process that will help you plan out a website that will give back what you put in. You’re going to learn what you need to make a professional layout and navigation that will ensure users find what they need and stay on the website.

This is a bit of what we do here for website planning at MarvelousWeb Media to create powerful websites that double conversions on launch with our redesigns. I want to teach and share this with you to create a more navigable world and help you get better results from your efforts. So let’s get into the details.

We’ll start with why.

Keep and Convert Planning

Oh boy, there are so many quotes related to the importance planning. I’m gonna go with this one:

“An hour of planning can save you hours of doing.”

In my previous article, The Absolute Best Way to Setup a WordPress Site, we discussed how ranking on Google comes down to getting people to click with a great title and keeping them on your page. Those two elements together are all Google needs to know you should stay high up in the rankings.

So what we’ll be doing is focusing on the Keep part. Getting visitors to stay on your website after they click. I am going to outline a process that you should follow for every single page on your website. This is powerful stuff and I wish I could add more sensationalism to it but this is the reality of a website that performs excellently.

If you follow these steps below, you will create a powerful website that converts, ranks, and certainly impresses.

Are you ready to become a website planning expert?

The First and Most Important Steps

We are going to go through each step to plan out a high converting WordPress website that will get you noticeably better results than if you didn’t. You’ll want to follow these steps for each page, with a little more time and effort put onto the home page. My goal here is to lay this all out so well that you find you don’t even need to hire a developer. Because with the right website planning, the results are your to get.

With that said, let’s start with the first step, identifying your ideal customer/client.

1) Identifying Your Ideal Customer/Client

Don’t be scared! I am not going to ask you to create a customer avatar where you need to have a photo of an ideal client, know how many family members they have, what magazines they read and so on. None of that! We’re going to do this is the simplest way possible.

I am going to have you put together a single sentence which will define your customer enough to help you with the rest of the steps and planning. If you don’t know who you’re designing your website for, then you can’t help them.

If you don’t know who you’re designing your website for, then you can’t help them.

Here’s what your identifying sentence should include:

  • Demographic – gender(s) and age should suffice( go into more depth if you need like salary, location, etc)
  • Your Offer
  • Problem you solve for your customer
Demographic – The Who

You want to know these details as they will inform how your website will look, what it will say, and in a lot of cases, even the size of the font and other accessible type elements.

As an example, if you mostly service seniors, then having larger text, clear navigation (no hamburger menus), and an easy to find phone and form is important here. Or let’s say you serve high-end clientele that make over $1,000,000/yr. You might want to have a more sleek high-end design that better appeals to them and does utilize more modern elements that might not be suitable for seniors. So having this clear in your head is critical.

Your Offer – The What

For this section we want to create a nice hefty list of what makes you unique in offering your services and what you do for your clients. To keep it simple, I won’t divide this further and we’ll have things can go within the same list. We’ll use personal training for an example. Here’s what they might list off:

  • I offer plans that they can take home
  • With me, they get consistency and someone that’s going to keep them on the top of their game
  • They get to contact me 24/7 with any questions or concerns
  • We include an online community of all our members to collab and motivate each other
  • We do all this at a very affordable rate
Problem You Solve – The Why

Now, the next element is getting clear on what your ideal customer/client’s problem is. In other words, WHY do they hire you? There’s a couple ways to answer this, so let’s use the example of an personal trainer. People hire a personal trainer because of the following problems (I encourage you to try and think of more:

  • They aren’t happy with their appearance
  • They aren’t eating as healthy as they know they should
  • They don’t know how to to lose weight
  • They aren’t as strong as they’d like to be
  • They want to drop 10 pounds and reach their goal weight.

And the list goes on. Make sure you go through your typical customer’s problems and list them all out. As many as you can. We’ll go over what to do with that info in a sec.

Tip: If you want to take it a step further add to your list, things that they might feel about their problem in their every day like this, “they feel unhappy when they look in the mirror or can’t fit on their old jeans” or “they aren’t as confident as they’d like to be in public”. These sorts of insights and statements are POWERFUL and you’ll learn how to use them in just a bit.

Now let’s put it all together where you can fill in the blanks:

My ideal customer/client is (demographic), they hire me because [their problem].

And here’s an example: My ideal customer is a 30+ year old male looking for workout plans, personal attention, and our tight knit community. They hire me because they don’t feel confident and want to reach their ideal goal weight while gaining more muscle.

With the biggest part out of the way let’s move onto research and competition.

Action Steps:
  1. Define your demographic
  2. Make a list of what you offer and your uniques
  3. Create a list of problems you solve for your clients/customers

2) Researching the Competition

If it wasn’t #2 in my list, I’d say it’s the most important thing. Researching your competition is a part of business and it’s going to go a long way with website planning. If you don’t want to do it, just know that everyone else is. I think it is a very old rule of war, business, society, and so on. If you don’t know what other people are doing, how can you truly compete? It’s a very real question. So what I want you to do is find your top 3 competitors.

And yes, I understand that maybe you’ve just started your business, and don’t have true “across the street” competition yet. In that case just find 3 people that are where you want to be with your business.

What you want to note is what are they doing right with their website. What points are they hitting for similar clientele? What features? What pages?

For this step, I want you to take note of what you like about the website and what you admire in terms of content and point they are making. Write down the things that make sense to you.

Action Steps:
  1. Find 3 competitors
  2. Jot down what you like about their websites

The Page Building Steps

Now we get to the individual page steps of website planning. Here we want to iterate through these options as you work on each and every page. In other words, for every page, you should have the below listed out for it.

1) Key Elements – The Question

Now, with that done, we’re going to do something a little odd. We are going to write a list of things that are simply important.

Let me explain.

Whenever I build out a website, there are things that seriously matter to the website. I break these things down into what I call Key Elements. It means things that must go on the website in some form or another. We’ll organize these “things” in the next step.

Alright, so here’s the brain space for this:

Keeping in mind your demographic that you serve, what you offer, and what their problems are, create a list of key terms, copy, or ideas that MUST go on your website to service your ideal customer/client. i.e. What will people want to know when they browse your page? Why are they on that page? What are they looking for? What kinds of questions might they ask?

I think examples are useful so let’s go with a digital agency home page for this one. Here’s what I might write for a digital agency website. They may need to know…..

  • what our services are
  • why we are different
  • who is on our team
  • our advertising certifications
  • how many years we’ve been around

Now let’s do this for a digital agency PPC (pay-per-click) page. Here’s what people might wonder:

  • Are you a certified Google Partner?
  • Can you handle my budget?
  • How do you charge for PPC?
  • And so on…..

And keep in mind for this step, you can use what clients or customers in the past have already asked you about your business or individual services overall.

So what we want to do with this information, is ensure that as we write content, as we decide on what sections for each page, that we are able to check off all of these things. By checking off, I mean have a solution and answer on the page for everything. Leaving no one to wonder.

It’s not an easy step, but I simply want you to try your very best.

Here’s a few examples. They may need to know…..

  • what our services are – Have a section on your home page that lists all of your services
  • why we are different – Have a section that clearly says what makes you different and why they should choose you. In fact, here’s a great place to utilize the list of uniques you made above.
  • who is on our team – Show your team members and even talk a bit about who each person is what they do

Do you see how you can utilize this info to create a website that answers people’s concerns and clear away any questions or reasons to not go with you?

Action Steps:

(For each page)

  1. Create a list of key elements that provides the likely information your customer will want to know as it pertains to each page

2) Sections – The Answer

We’ve listed out key elements for our page, now we want to structure it.

Sections are how we divide important content on a page. If you have a typical home page, you might have a hero section, services/products section, reviews section, about us section, and contact section. All to help split content and what you want you customer to know into clear digestible areas. So in the key elements discussion above, I showed examples of how you can answer your ideal customer’s questions and concerns with sections. So that’s what we’ll do in this step.

Every key element you come up with needs to fit into a corresponding section that you create. So if you have a key element, you need to make sure it can properly fit into a section on your page. Look at other websites to help you with this step and make sure you are answering a good amount of what you customers might be asking (or have directly asked in the past).

Let’s walk through this together, using a digital agency PPC service page as an example.

We know people will wonder the following:

  • What is PPC?
  • How can it benefit me?
  • What results have you gotten in the past?
  • Are you a certified Google Partner?
  • Can you handle my budget?
  • How do you charge for PPC?
  • Do you serve my industry?

And again, try to recall what customers have asked you in the past about your own services. Really take the time to do this. 

Now looking at the elements/questions above, let’s think on how we can arrange the info. An overview section including the benefits of PPC probably wouldn’t hurt. We should probably show our results in a section. And it seems a section about our certifications and qualifications would help. Next let’s group the budget and industry together as it relates to Who. Let’s end with our pricing structure.

Here’s what it would look like organized:

Overview Section

  • What is PPC?
  • How can it benefit me?

Results Section

  • What results have you gotten in the past?

Certifications and Qualifications Section

  • Are you a certified Google Partner?

Industry & Who We Serve Section

  • Can you handle my budget?
  • Do you serve my industry?

Pricing Section

  • How do you charge for PPC?

Yay! We now have the sections for our page. Now, what you would do next is write your content for each section so that it answers each of the questions you’ve listed out. At this point, you’ve created a very useful page for your customer or client that answers their biggest concerns and questions.

By being the most helpful, you are not only providing the most value but you also are keeping people on your website longer and showing Google, you should stay in the ranks.

Consider Wireframes

You can consider using wireframes to build out your sections. It could prove rather useful but I wouldn’t say you must do it for these steps. It’s a more advanced step in website planning but not necessary for this tutorial.

Either way, here’s what that would look like.


You made it through! I assure you, if you follow these website planning steps as you build your own website, you will stand far out in front of the competition and move your own website along faster than anyone else doing it themselves. Not only that you end these steps, with a THOROUGH list of who your customer is, what they want for themselves, how they feel, and how you uniquely help them solve those problems.

You will be able to use all of the work you’ve done here for marketing, social media, hiring help, and then some!

You are the 1%

I want to end by saying, you are the 1% and they go far. 99%  of people who read this article will not follow it. Website planning is the hard stuff that yields the best results meaning most won’t do it. If you’ve made it down here and have done the steps, you are going to do excellent in your business. So keep at it, utilize this content to the max and I’ll see you next time!

If you have any questions, let me know below. I’d love to answer.

WordPress or Squarespace? (What You Need to Make a Decision Now)

Wordpress vs Squarespace (What You Need to Make a Decision Now)

Well, well, well, you’re ready to get a new website huh? Well, you’re in the right place!

In this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about WordPress vs Squarespace and by the end, I promise, you will know exactly which is right for you. There are some main areas to hit on and I believe, once we have gone through them all, you will confidently be able to decide which one is right for you, right now.

Who Am I To Tell You Whether WordPress or Squarespace is Better

Oh, hi there, my name is Hannah. I own MarvelousWeb Media. I mostly build on WordPress but have had the opportunity to build around a dozen sites on the Squarespace platform. I’ve also done Squarespace to WordPress transfers as well. (It’s probably useful to know that these transfers occur when people are ready to get serious about their business and want to upgrade with the help of a professional.)

So let’s dive in, and I’ll help you decide what makes the most sense for you.

Why a Website is Crucial

First, you’re certainly on the right track. You know you need a website for your business and now you are simply deciding what you will use to build it. So congrats! I wish you the best in getting your website up and empowering your business even more.

As a website designer, I know how important a website is. I’ve seen people swear by word of mouth but from the stats I’ve seen first hand and website can ONLY help your business grow faster. I like to think of a website as a free 24/7 salesman working around the clock to get you new clients or customers. So I’d rather have one than not.

You’ll find as you go along your online journey that a website is what it’s cracked up to be. You’ll find it to be a very useful tool as you look to sell your products or services.

Now, let’s talk about the two platforms that we are comparing.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) that allows you to build a customize a website without any technical or backend knowledge. You can skip the degrees and get right too it!

WordPress powers about 40% of all websites on the internet so it must offer something that these other platforms don’t. As a developer, I chose WordPress as my main way of producing websites because I wanted to be able to do any my client’s heart desires. Whether it’s a custom social media platform, an custom designed ecommerce store, or a complex business website, I have not hit any limits yet.

To put it simply…..there is something for everything with WordPress. Between pages, posts, plugins & themes, you can achieve what you want on WordPress.

What is Squarespace

Squarespace is a online website builder and hosting platform. They have come a long way in over the years and remain the only website builder I recommend if you aren’t going with WordPress and need something cheaper at a lower budget with a lighter learning curve.

Squarespace offers many great tools that you will most likely need with your online journey. They offer ecommerce tools for selling your own products, booking solutions, email, and so on and so on. I find that most people in the beginning of their business will find this useful.

And the thing I find most impressive about Squarespace is that it designs for you, but more on that later….for now, understand, Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder that was created to help you put up a professional online presence fast and easy.

WordPress vs Squarespace

Now the fun begins. I have put together a list of everything that is relevant when choosing between the two. After working with both the platforms so long, you can trust me when I say the points outline below are all that matters. Those points being the following:

Price – which one is most cost-effective and what goes into the total

Ease of Use – which platform is easiest to use and get into to pop out a great, useful website for your business

Skill Required to Design – which one best allows you to go right in and produce a great looking website

Customization – how much you can do with each of the platforms

Best for Beginners – if you’re just starting out which is the most appropriate choice

Now, we dive off into battle, squaring off WordPress and Squarespace.

Comparing What Matters WordPress vs Squarespace



With WordPress the price varies because you might need a handful of things. When thinking about price with WordPress you must consider a few things:

Hosting – $8/mo – Depending who you get it through and the type. We charge $35/mo. Managed WordPress hosting costs a bit more but saves you a lot of setup time.

Domain – $14.99/yr – I HIGHLY recommend Namecheap)

Themes – $0 – You shouldn’t need to pay for a theme. I’d go with GeneratePress, OceanWP and use a page builder plugin instead.

Plugins – $49/yr – This would cover a great page builder like Elementor that comes with templates and let’s you build what you want. It’s a much smarter route than purchasing a limiting theme.

That brings you to a total of $159.99 per year to run a WordPress site. Adding plugins like WooCommerce for selling products, booking, events, or membership portals is free, or at least, I can guarantee you can make it happen for free. If you choose to get more features within plugins that offer these extras, then you still won’t be spending too much. Again, you can usually get away with utilizing these types of plugins for free.


Squarespace is a bit easier. They have a few plans to choose from and you can get add-ons as needed.

If you need the mother of basic, then their personal plan will run you $168/yr. This means no professional email, no commerce, no scheduling, no booking, no member areas and so forth. Each of those options will cost you extra.

If you needed an ecommerce website, your smallest commerce plan will be around $324/yr. This still doesn’t include features like booking or member areas. Each add-on like those will run you another $168/yr each.

So the costs add up quick with Squarespace.

Who Comes Out On Top? WordPress

Ease of Use


You will need to learn some things if choosing WordPress. If you build your own website with this great platform, you will come out the other side a more knowledgeable business owner. I believe it will only help you to have these basic skills. Plus the good news is, there’s so much content about the platform and how to get started with the basics. There are 1-hour “from scratch WordPress build” tutorials in plenty on Youtube. You can tap into any and just get started. Even better to choose one using a page builder, like Elementor.

With WordPress, you’ll need to add the most relevant plugins, learn how to use each, have a good run down of the Dashboard and where everything important is located. If you’re using a page builder, you can totally skip needing to understand code to builder something beautiful.

And it is very important to note, that in my experience there are only 2 reasons people have issues with WordPress (based on what people come to me for after trying on their own):

  1. Using a fully predesigned theme which limits their ability to add or remove what they would like
  2. A lack of knowledge in how to effectively structure a website or online store so that it will garner great results

Using a page builder and following a tutorial or course help exactly with the above. I’d even watch or read a thing or two on creating an effective website. (I’ll have an article and video on that soon!). With that WordPress becomes a bit easier to use. It’s just about knowing the best place to start.


I’ll be totally honest with you. Squarespace is pretty easy to use. That’s what you’re paying for! But as with any platform that gains significant traction, features go up along with complexity. You’ll see Squarespace building services more and more because their platform is getting just a little bit more complicated.

As I mentioned above, I have built Squarespace websites for clients. They paid me to build out a website on their “easy-to-us” platform. So you might see the issue here. They’ve gotten a bit too complex to be known as the easy website building platform.

Even with all that said, it is still easier than WordPress. Everything is under one roof, you don’t need to worry about plugins, you can get what you need in one platform. With their simplified website building tools, it comes out on top again because there is much less thinking you need to do to create a good looking website…..which leads us to our next point.

Who Comes Out On Top? Squarespace

Skill – Ability to build great looking websites


If I sat you down at these platforms and said to you “build a good looking website!”, your results with WordPress would be a bit iffy (unless you’re a technology savvy experience artist). If you’re going my recommended route with WordPress and using a page builder, you’ll find you can do anything. And sometimes that freedom given because of a lack of a pre-designed theme, can lead to bad results aesthetically. And that’s okay! We all have our jobs to do so I certainly won’t hold that against you. It takes many years to become good at web design so that is why it’s okay and that’s why it’s unlikely to hit it out of the park the first time around with WordPress.

Take Note: The biggest advantage you can get is using one of their pre-built templates that come with the Pro version. It’s different than using a theme you purchase because they are built using Elementor. So you’ll have full control over it after it populates your page.


I’d argue that it’s hard to build an ugly website with Squarespace. Because of their “limiting” tools, color integration, and block elements, you can’t do anything less than beautiful. It’s always a great experience to me as a web designer and developer because I don’t even need to create mockups sometimes to build something that looks nice. It’s very easy to design and build in browser with Squarespace. Just try it! You can’t mess it up, it’s amazing!

It’s another reason I much prefer Squarespace over Wix. It is far superior in every way in my opinion. Where Wix has hefty code and not the greatest design hand-holding, Squarespace shines through with lighter weight code for loading and SEO purposes and a design system in place that doesn’t let you go wrong.

Who Comes Out On Top? Squarespace


If you want to stand out online, a unique website is key. Not only do you want the website to fulfill your business needs, you also will do well to have a design that looks great and stands out. With my client websites, I make it a priority to make sure when they are being compared to their competition, they are the ones that stand out! So let’s compare the two and talk about what ‘customization” even means.

Customization: In the case of these two platforms we are comparing, customization means, you want something to happen and you can easily make that thing happen. This could be implementing booking, it mean adding in cool animations, implementing uncommon layouts, displaying content based on certain user conditions, and so on.


I’ll come right out with it, WordPress wins in this category. At MarvelousWeb Media, we design first, then build. WordPress + Elementor has never limited us in implementing the design. So simply put, whatever you see, you can create with WordPress. And this goes far beyond just design, even with function, I have yet to find limits with this platform.


Squarespace is not the winner here. Their platform is limited from design to functionality. You aren’t going to easily create what you imagine. In order to make their platform easier to use while letting you produce a good looking website, they have to limit you. This limits what I can do as developer and what you can do as a user. I’ve personally found it much more challenging to create from design in Squarespace than in WordPress. For that reason, Squarespace doesn’t win to me.

Who Comes Out On Top? WordPress

Best for Beginners

This topic is a bit simpler. It ultimately comes down to willingness to learn and what you want to produce.


WordPress is your choice if you are looking to learn because ultimately no matter what you do, you’ll always be a beginner if it’s something new. But just like playing an instrument, some are harder to get into. So if you are open to a slightly longer learning curve, go with WordPress.


If you choose Squarespace, you WILL have a good looking website up faster and it is that simple. You will understand how to get everything connected quicker than you would with WordPress so for that reason, Squarespace is the choice. WordPress is more powerful and customizable but if that’s not what you need right now, go with Squarespace.

Who Comes Out On Top? Squarespace

The Results of WordPress vs Squarespace

When Squarespace is Right For You

If you are a beginner, (and I’m saying this as a WordPress developer), I’ll recommend Squarespace. But only if you need something very simple, up and running fast, and cannot (important keyword here) afford to pay someone to develop it for you. Squarespace comes with a host of features and gives you the tools to do everything from a membership site to an ecommerce store but if you need something that is fully custom, you’ll find it gets a bit limited.

Let’s break it down a bit:

  • Have a low budget
  • Cannot afford a professional to plan and design for you
  • Want to get started right away and have something up soon
  • You have a strong idea of the informational elements you want to include on your website
  • Technology in general isn’t painful to you and you are happy to learn
  • And again, simple, simple, simple!

When WordPress is the Right Choice

You won’t be limited with WordPress. If you want to place a form over an image in a random place, WordPress has you covered. If you want to hide content to a certain user and display to others, WordPress! If you want a unique blend of a membership, ecommerce, and a blog and need to connect it all how you want, WordPress is your choice. If you want to show 2 phone numbers and a CTA (call-to-action) button in the header on the right side of the menu with a custom top bar, WordPress has you covered. You can do anything. If you need that versatility and are willing to learn how to implement what you want, then WordPress is the right choice for you.

Let’s break it down a bit:

  • Need something custom and unique to you
  • Know that you will pay for a professional down the line
  • Don’t have a good budget and need ecommerce or membership features
  • Open to the extra learning involved to get something simple up
  • You don’t want any limits whatsoever on what you create


If you had to take away just a couple things it’d be the following:

  1. Squarespace is an affordable, easy option that let’s you get a basic informational website up quick. I have found in my experience building well over 100 websites that it’s actually nicer, as a WordPress Developer, to start fresh with WordPress. I and probably many other web developers have their way of doing things and starting off with WordPress, installing your own plugins, can take more time to sync up with our own favorite tools. Leaving Squarespace as a good option even if you want to have a more custom website in the future.
  2. WordPress is great if you’re willing to learn and put in the time to do your website right with this platform. I recommend reading The Absolute Best Way to Setup a WordPress Website to get started the best way. It’s also a great option if you want to put whatever you want wherever you want. If you set it up right and use the correct tools, you’ll have a great head start, and a lot of useful knowledge to show for it. Heck, you might even enjoy it!

No matter what, just know that as you get more serious with your business and start growing, you will almost certainly upgrade to WordPress or an equivalent CMS. Hey, maybe I’ll be your choice for that upgrade : )

Now go forth and choose!

I hope this article is helpful to you! It’s my pleasure to distill all this information that I’ve learned over 10 years working with WordPress. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to let me know below.

How to Hire a Web Designer: 12 Mistakes NOT to Make!

Whether you’re starting up an online store or getting your brick and mortar business some online notoriety, a good website is everything in today’s digital age. But before you can show off a great website, you need to figure out how to hire a web designer who can build a website that meets your needs and represents your brand. After all, what is web design without the right web designer.

Web design services aren’t hard to come by. Good web design services are! If you’re not sure what you’re doing, you could end up paying big bucks for a lackluster website—or worse, hiring a web designer who can’t give you what you need. Avoiding these situations means paying close attention to the hiring process and vetting your choice in web designer carefully.

Below are 12 mistakes to avoid when you decide to hire a website designer. Stepping over these pitfalls will help you avoid a lot of headaches, and make sure you end up working with a designer who can deliver the stunning website you need to be successful.

1. Hiring solely based on price

How much should you pay for web design? There’s no good answer to this question. Every website is different and needs a different level of work. A simple restaurant website with a few pages and a hosted menu won’t take nearly as long to set up as an online store with thousands of products!

The real answer to the question of cost is to not hire based on dollar figures. Here’s an example. Say there are two designers vying for your website—one quotes you $200 and one quotes you $600. On the surface, the choice is clear. But the low-cost designer might not give you the same caliber website the higher-priced designer will. Things like clean site code, reliable hosting, wireframe options and more factor into the higher price, and they provide a lot of value that actually saves you money in the long run.

Price is important, but it shouldn’t be the only factor you look at when hiring a designer.

2. Only looking for a local firm

The internet has made the world smaller, and that’s great for finding a professional who can meet your needs. There might only be 3-4 web designers in Lancaster, OH, limiting your hiring options if you need a website created. However, you can just as easily hop online and choose from thousands in nearby Columbus, OH, where more professionals means more opportunities to find the perfect hire.

Don’t feel constrained to looking locally for a website designer. Bakersfield, CA; Billings, MT; Baton Rouge, LA; Boston, MA—it doesn’t matter where they’re located! What matters is their ability to provide you with the website you need, at a competitive price, with the support you need to successfully launch it. Pigeonholing yourself to your local area could mean settling for inferior talent, high prices or inflexible designers.

3. Hiring a ‘graphic’ designer

If you’re not digitally savvy, one of the biggest pitfalls to watch out for is one of nomenclature. A graphic designer isn’t the same thing as a website designer. Sure, a web designer is going to use graphics and layout techniques to make your website pop, but that doesn’t make any old graphic designer a web designer.

Web designers don’t just understand layout and design. What makes them valuable is their experience with coding—specifically HTML and CSS, among other languages like Java and Ruby. These are the building blocks of what people see when they interact with your website. Pretty pictures and vivid colors mean nothing without the coding to coordinate them online. This is why website designers trump graphic designers.

4. “Just make it look good”

Something every website designer absolutely hates hearing is “just make it look good.” This is usually in response to the question, “did you have any design ideas in mind?”

Web designers ask for your input for a reason! Saying “just make it look good” is the equivalent of telling your waiter “just bring me something tasty.” You need to have an opinion. Without any input, a designer has no idea where to start, and the web design process becomes a much more tedious one. You don’t need to know exactly what you want, but you need to provide some answers.

To remedy this, most designers and developers have a quick questionnaire you’ll need to fill out. Be as thorough as possible when answering questions and you’ll find that the website you get is as good (or better!) than the one you want.

5. Working with a middle-man

Today, there’s no shortage of freelance web design platforms out there, built to aggregate candidates and make them easier to browse. The problem is, many of these platforms act as a middle-man—meaning you need to contact the designer you want through the platform. In some cases, this is okay… but it’s important to be wary of the potential for pitfalls.

For example, some platforms may take a cut of the final transaction—either from you or the designer you choose. In other situations, these middle-man platforms make it harder to communicate with the professional you’ve hired. They might even mask the identity of the designer, so you have no real idea of who you’re doing business with.

It’s always best to deal directly with the web designer you’ve hired. Not only does it offer easier communication, it’s also good for long-term partnerships. Remember, your website will need updates and changes in the future! Best to work with someone you can develop a rapport with.

6. Not having examples or ideas

In the same vein as “just make it look good,” one of the worst things to do when hiring a web designer is to start looking before you know what you need or want. The more clear-cut decisions you can make before you start talking with a developer, the smoother the process will go. At a basic level, you should answer a few simple questions:

  • What’s the purpose of your website? (lead-gen, branding, information)
  • What kind of content do you want on it? (gallery, pricing, service info)
  • Do you have any materials? (pictures, logos, existing copy)
  • What’s your budget?
  • What’s your timeline?

Answers to these questions will provide tons of context for the designer you hire and give them a basic concept to focus on. Even better is to have competitor links or URLs of websites you like, so the designer can use them for inspiration.

7. Not getting a native CMS

CMS stands for “Content Management System,” and it’s something your website absolutely needs. A CMS is where all the images, blog posts and hosted files of your website will live. Having them all in one place, easily accessed and updated, is important for maintaining your website. Every time you want to upload a new image or post a new article, you’ll interact with the CMS. A website without a convenient CMS will make it very hard to do these things.

The problem is, not every website designer gives thought to a native CMS. It’s best to work with a designer who builds on a platform like WordPress or HubSpot, which have powerful CMS’, instead of platforms like Wix or a similar website builder, which don’t. Ask a designer what platform they build on and make sure it offers a native CMS, and avoid choosing a designer who doesn’t know what a CMS is or who designs without a CMS in mind.

8. Not establishing a sitemap

Building a website is about more than putting together good-looking graphics and a few clickable icons. The foundation of a website is the sitemap—a layout of all the pages needed to create an online experience. Before any design work begins, you should have an idea of what you want your sitemap to be. Not only does this frame the scope of your website, it also likely impacts the price and timeline for completion.

Do you need a simple long-scrolling landing page? Half a dozen pages to explain your business? Hundreds of pages for each of your many products? Get a feel for how many pages you think you’ll need, as well as the nature of those pages. A simple contact page might not require a whole lot of design work, where product pages might be better templated, for example.

Establishing your sitemap is going to make finding a website designer easier. They’ll understand your needs better upfront, and you’re likely to attract designers who have experience with similar site sizes and types.

9. Not asking questions

Hiring a designer to build your website is the same fundamental process as hiring a professional for anything else. That is to say, you’re relying on their expertise. Ask questions!

Not asking questions leaves a major gap in expectations. “Do you have experience integrating ecommerce capabilities?” It’s a simple question, but a tremendously important one to ask. If the purpose of your site is to sell things and you hire a web designer without ecommerce experience, you’re likely not going to get the best product. Ask about capabilities, experience, design approach, process and anything else that might impact the final website you expect to get from someone.

Asking questions is a natural part of the process when hiring a web designer, so don’t be afraid to get picky. Someone who knows their stuff won’t have any trouble providing straight answers to your questions.

10. Build in revisions and feedback

When you think you’ve found the right web designer to hire, make sure you take the time to establish a process for revisions and feedback. Building a website isn’t a one-and-done process most times. You need a way to let your designer know what you like and don’t like, what needs changing and what doesn’t work. Design work is subject to change—make sure you have a way to request those changes.

Most designers will approach revisions in one of two ways. Some give a defined revisions period—“I offer free revisions for 14 days, then for $X per hour after 14 days.” Others d it incrementally—“I offer three rounds of free revisions and $X per hour for every subsequent round.” These terms are fairly standard. Make sure you understand them and, if they’re abnormal, get clarification. It’s well-within your right to ask for revisions and provide feedback, but you need to make sure it’s through a mutually agreed-upon process.

11. Not establishing a scope of work

As a business owner, think of hiring a website designer as delegating work. And, just like you’d delegate work to an in-house employee, you need to define the scope of work. You can’t just say “build me a website” and expect your vision to be fulfilled!

Take the time to define the full scope of work of your design project. That means going beyond the actual design process. Focus on things like timeline (when do you want it done?) and support services (social media or email integration). Get a comprehensive quote for a comprehensive plan—it’s the only way to hire a designer with confidence. Remember to put the scope of work in writing and have clear dates and deadlines set, too. It’s the best way to start on the same page, with the same expectations.

12. Avoid bad gut feelings

One of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring web developers is ignoring their gut. They get a bad feeling about something and instead of addressing it, they sweep it under the rug and deal with it later. Unfortunately, this leaves them vulnerable.

Maybe the web designer you’re interviewing is reluctant to show you their portfolio? Their rates seem too good to be true? They’re erratic with their communication and hard to get a hold of? Don’t ignore these red flags! Listen to your gut when it says to proceed with caution and you’ll end up making a good decision about the designer you ultimately choose.

Hiring a web designer isn’t something you do every day. Avoid these 12 mistakes and you’ll do just fine! Remember, the key to finding the right designer is to ask the right questions, take the time to evaluate your needs and maintain a good level of communication. Learning how to hire a web designer is easier than you think!

How Much Should You Pay for a Website?

$2000 – $100000 dollars. There! You happy? The price is going to vary greatly based on what you need and I break all that down below.

Simple Breakdown

Costs What You Get Good Idea/Bad Idea
$200 You are getting the cheapest website you can find. A web designer in this range will build it from a template and send it you. You’ll likely get zero say and it is unlikely to look good or meet your business goals. Bad
$2000 You’re going to get an okay looking site. However don’t expect it to fully meet your needs or be fully custom developed. This is likely one person just getting started so the experience and expertise won’t be there to help you make the right online decisions. Good if you have a strict low budget
$20000 You’re very likely to be getting a really talented team in this range that will give you all the bells and whistles. They know their marketing and SEO and are going to ask you questions to help you build the best online presence. Good

Most Important Takeaway From This Table of Costs?

I hope it makes you happy to see numbers but you MUST understand that price is not truly an accurate indicator of service. In the very beginning I sold fully custom awesome websites for $200 because I was young and that worked. I did full marketing SEO work when I sold websites at $2000 and really knew my stuff by then.

The price doesn’t say everything. There are many people out there that enter the Web Design arena, produce shoddy or just plain wrong work, and charge $10000 for it. I have seen it and I have had to fix it too. The price is not a true indicator of quality is what I am trying to say.

Take into account the less exciting details below to understand pricing a bit more.

The Details of Website Costs

Looking to save some money aren’t ya? Do you really have to choose the 4 or 5 figure bid over the 3 figure one? Spending money on your business can hurt sometimes, I know. But sometimes it is necessary in order to grow in the long run. A website may or may not seem like a important expense to you. You may be biting your tongue trying to figure out if it’s worth the cost. In this article we’ll dive into a bit of pricing and the true business value of a website. So let’s jump right into it!

There are just 4 factors to consider when it comes to website pricing on your end. You need to understand

  1. Person/Company Past Experience
  2. Potential Results
  3. The Person/Company as a Whole
  4. Scope

You should understand these 4 factors and more importantly, the result of each factor. In other words, how it translates to your business in the long run. Please read this article and carefully to get a full understanding as your business is on the line here.

Web Designer’s Past Experience

Yes. When you pay higher prices you pay for experience. in this example, that web developer charging you more may have more experience. They’ll have more ideas on how you can improve your site and get more value out of it. They’ll know what works based on their experience!

Having past experience also gives you the opportunity to see their past work and whether or not it meets your standards.

With an experienced developer, you’ll go through less project hiccups during the project and there’s less of chance they’ll just up and abandon you. This has happened to so many of my current clients. 50% of my clients have gone with the lower bid before working me and the person was more than likely overwhelmed by the project that they just ghost my client. The reliability factor in the website marketing industry is a huge issue so be weary of someone with no experience if your project is important and requires a tentative eye.

In addition to reducing the risk of someone taking your money and leaving, a web designer with past experience will have a smoother process which means less headache for you. I know this because in the beginning, my projects were rough. After doing this for so many years, I have the process down smoothly. So you can focus on your business and not worry about every phase of the project.

It really is worth the price.

Some Caveats

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “aren’t there companies that charge low fees and have tons of experience?”. Yes there are! Just keep in mind, in this industry, you must compromise to achieve that. These companies that pop out full websites for practically nothing are very template based and aren’t worried about website conversion and ROI. Being template based, you can say bye to customization. If you don’t care about any of those things you are good to go with the lower bid!

Potential Results

A good redesign or rebranding can double, triple, or quadruple your results! Get a new website up can get you more exposure bringing you more business as it makes the sale for you.

Websites play a huge part in all types of business or personal ventures. What do you need a website for?

  • Do you want a better image online that represents who you are and what you’re accomplished?
  • Is branding the #1 goal for you?
  • Do you need higher conversions or feel your design is outdated? Outdated design usually means lower conversions.
  • Do you just need simple fixes done on the website?
  • Do you feel your online marketing can be improved as a whole in addition to just creating a website?

There are so many uses for a web designer (or as we say here website marketers). Know what you need first because results may vary. Let them know your issue and see how they respond. Do they know what it takes to solve your problem? Do they have past results that prove they can help you with your ultimate goal and reason for getting a website done?

Know what you need and make sure your chosen designer understands the issue and potential results fixing the issue can get. If they can help you increase your revenue or improve your brand for better exposure, I’d say that’s worth the higher price, wouldn’t you?

The Web Design Relationship

I don’t know about you but I like to work with good people so this part is simple. Are you happy with the experience so far? Sometimes you pay for a good partner. Working with a marketing partner that’s friendly, gets along with you, and is there to help you when you need help is a BIG deal and easily worth the price.

So know the kind of relationship you want with your web designer and choose the one that provides that experience.


Scope is probably an obvious one but worth mentioning still. Scope is the size of the project. It shows how much the project entails in terms of functionality and ultimately time on the end of the developer. It can change the pricing greatly. For example, if you needed membership or ecommerce functionality on the site, that adds a lot of time as there is more work and setup that goes into these website elements. You will pay more for them.

One thing I can guarantee you is someone charging low pricing (under $2000) for ecommerce setup WILL NOT do a complete job or allow any changes to the already incomplete job within the price range. I’d bet my front door on it!

So beware low pricing and understand common web design costs for additions like ecommerce. Scope is related to time and understand higher pricing will reflect that.

Now Go and Choose Wisely

web design pricing guide

Keep these 4 factors in mind with pricing. I just don’t want people to run into mistakes that end up costing them more in the long run. It is very common for most consumers, including myself, to choose the option that means less up front but that often isn’t the best option. In everything we do, we should always think long term. That’s how business works, relationships work, money works, and so on.

So save yourself the trouble and use the four key factors to choose your web designer carefully.

Don’t Build a Website Until You Have a SOLID Web Strategy

I would LOVE to get right into the meat of this article because everything in here is absolutely essential to building a site that will get you sales, calls, and leads — but it may be important to start with the what and why first if you don’t mind. So…

What is a Web Strategy?

Web strategy is not discussed often enough in web design. The truth is most designers you encounter don’t have much knowledge of what this is and no intent on doing anything after your site is built. But web strategy is essential, otherwise you might as well not build a website.

A web strategy is a plan of action to get your website out. To get qualified traffic coming in and then get that traffic to take a specified action. A web strategy involves your website first and then everything else you may need outside of that. So for example, you need to make sure you have the right keywords on your website and you also need to setup the appropriate social media channels outside of your website.

It is a complete plan of action for leads through the site after it is built.

Why Bother?

Well, if you care to get any business or customers, it kind of matters. You see, many people think they can build a site and people will just come. It is important to keep in mind that a new site is just one of the ten million made that month. I don’t mean to get you down, but that is the truth. The good news is that most of those websites do what I mentioned previously. They just build it and that’s it. Most will not get their site out there by implementing a website strategy. So read on to learn exactly how I do it here at MarvelousWeb Media. Follow this plan of action and you will EASILY make your website stand out amoungst millions!

Let’s Dive In

Your site has to be built for your audience

Traffic doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t convert it. Before you do anything outside of the site you must make sure it is something your audience will like. Learn what your audience values when it comes to your services. Understand their motivations and what they are looking for when they browse for your services.

Let’s say you are a roofer in this example. What would your customers value? Let’s explore:

  • Someone who needs a roof on their house is looking for something that will last a long time and not degrade and cause damage in the long run. It needs to be solid and long lasting.
    • What do you do? Show warranties on your work within the website (preferably the home page). Make it clear in the copy that you do a solid job and all your roofs stand the test of time.
  • In most home services, trust is a big deal. You have someone coming to your house, you don’t want it to just be any random person. Establishing trust is very important to your customers.
    • What do you do?  Show that you have been doing this a long time. Show any reviews you may have from past customers. Show any accreditations you may have from popular companies like BBB.
  • Your customers may wonder if you offer what they need and if you do a good job.
    • What do you do? Display photos of past work. Explain clearly who you serve and what you offer. Do you only work on commercial roofs or do you serve residential and commercial? Make this clear right off the bat on the home page. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time if you don’t offer what they need.

Take this example and apply it to your own business. Really think hard about your customer and what they may find important. You can even think over frequently asked questions to get a good idea of what people are concerned about when it comes to your service. Then take the answers and address them on the website.

Other key elements to making a high converting site are having a nice readable font, a clear call to action, and an easy to navigate menu.

When I build a site here at MarvelousWeb, I ask specific questions to my clients that help me get all these little details out. If you were interested in starting a project with me you could get a taste of those questions on the Get Started  form.

Getting Those Keywords Just Right

When I say keywords in this sense, I am referring to keywords as they relate to Google but also as they relate to your customers. We’ll start with customer keywords.

Customer Keywords

Customer keywords are what I call keywords that mean a lot to your customers. Since I just got finished with a home remodeling website that will be the example for this bit.

If you were a home remodeler what are some words your customers may use. You would find that “dream kitchen” or “dream bathroom” are really big ones. So you would want to play on that in your copy for the site.

Other phrases they may relate are “transforming your space”, “perfect family area”, or “extra space”. These are all important phrases for someone who is remodeling their kitchen or basement so you will want to use them throughout the site to show them that you understand and can really deliver on what they need.

So know your customer, understand what they recognize and relate to, and use that in your website. That’s an essential key to conversions.

SEO keywords

Recognize and use high volume search terms on the website. This will get it on the search engines radar so they know what you offer and can rank/index you accordingly. Make sure to use your company name in the actually text of the site, not just the logo. Google can’t read an image. Also use the name of your services where it is sensible. All this will ensure you rank for your own company name and can get indexed for the right services.

You’ll find that just doing this is usually enough because the majority of search terms revolve around the name of your service. So going back to our example, if you were a bathroom remodeler, you would use that term on the website and that is also what people might search to find you.

Moving Off Site and Getting Traffic

I’ll make this section simple with three key ways to get traffic. People may try to complicate this but it doesn’t get any harder than this. These are the three ways to get traffic to your site

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is an excellent way to get traffic to your site. It is actually what I consider the best way to get traffic to your site. I love SEO because it is the modern billboard. If you were the leader in your industry in the 80s you would have billboards everywhere. That is how people would know you are the top dog in the area for your service offering. You would have those cheesy commercials on every channel and everyone would know who you are.

But in the 21st century that is not how things work. People are looking online to find what they need.

If you really are the dominate business in your industry you will rank high on Google. Especially in your local area. And you will reap all the benefits that come from it. If someone is on the first page, I promise you they are paying for it and getting that money back ten fold. So that is why SEO is the number way to get traffic. The only issue is that it takes time, financial investment, and patience. This makes it harder for some small businesses to take the leap but they really shouldn’t let that be a barrier because it all pays off big time in the end.

For SEO, you need to decide on your keywords and find places where you can post your link.

Social Media

Most social media channels are perfect for building a brand and getting people talking about you. Even though it may not translate to direct sales or traffic, getting people to talk about your business is a big deal. It seriously helps in growing your authority online.

If web traffic and sales are your goals, I think Facebook might serve you well. Not just a Facebook page but also Facebook ads. Get in on it while it’s hot!

Other social media like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn can really help you to boost your business depending on what you have to offer.

If you aren’t feeling you need social media, at least get a Facebook page up. Like, come on man.


Google Ads, Facebook ads, Youtube ads — when used correctly, these can be the lifeblood of your business. People may want to complicate PPC (pay per click) but it is rather simple. Focus on ROI. Ensure for every $10 you spend you get a minimum of $10 back. But that’s a poor goal. You should look to get at ten times your investment back from your ad spend. If you spend $100, you should get $1000 back in return. If you can get this result consistently, all you need to do from there is scale. Invest more and get more back. That is literally it (but not really. you need to be able to handle all the business coming in properly and then leverage that new business to get more business and have the team ready to handle even more and scale accordingly, then review and innovate to make sure your business lasts and doesn’t move backwards, then……..but that’s pretty much it.)

But there has to be more to it right?

Well, yeah. You of course need to put in the work to get those results. You need good ad copy and more important than that you need to know who your target audience is. You can run great ads with wonderful copy all day but if you are targeting someone who isn’t in your audience, your money will be for naught.

Other great free methods

Don’t have a lot of money to invest in your business? That’s fine for a while.

If you really can’t put any money into ads or SEO or social media, there are some other options out there for you.

The first thing I recommend to my clients is a Google Listing. Even if you don’t have a physical location, a Google Listing is a must. I have multiple clients who get most of their business just from a Google My Business Listing. It pretty much counts as free SEO in my opinion. Slap some reviews on there and you could take over locally!

If you need any help with this, I’d be more than happy to assist. Head on over to my Contact page and let me know you’re interested.

Chances are you already have a listing for your business but it hasn’t been claimed yet. If that’s the case, you need to claim it right now. Anyone can claim it in the mean time, taking away your access. You really do not want that to happen.

Offline guerrilla marketing

I may be young but I still know the importance of word-of-mouth, cold calling, and hanging up some flyers in your neighborhood or reaching out to some friends so they can spread the word. You can place business cards in books at the library, or walk right into a place where your ideal customer is and put up your business card somewhere. Good old fashion guerrilla marketing never hurts. It can actually be fun.

And the final free method is learning.

You can learn SEO and how to properly use social media. If you learn it, you can implement it yourself. It mostly comes down to whether you have the time or not but it is totally an option. One of my favorite sites for online learning is Udemy!

Wrapping it all up

This is it and don’t forget it.

When it comes to growing your business, this is it. This is how you get your name out there. This is how you get traffic to your site. This is how people can start to find you on Google. This is it.

So if you are wondering, “hey, my new site is up now how do I get traffic and sales?”, this is how. You need a Google Listing, you need social media, you need SEO or ads running. That is how you will get sales and traffic. Get an awesome website designed to be the center of it all and you will take off.

If you have any questions let me know. I love being able to help out whoever I can and give free advice to those who ask. Just let me know your name, business, and what you do.

Making a Website is Hard???

Updated January 12, 2024

Is it easy to make a website?

Do you need to know AJAX, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, jQuery, Python, PHP and other complex languages to design a website? Well we are going to figure that out right now. Let’s see how “easy” it is to make a website…

Erasing All the Confusion

I was in a local forum on Alignable recently answering common questions about starting a website, specifically an ecommerce site. I scrolled through the answers and saw so many web designers formulating their answers to scare the person who asked the question. They were saying that to make a site you need to learn AJAX, and networks, and all the common languages of web development. They were saying even when you make a website you are just a pebble in the ocean and you need their help to make that not so.

My face was one of utter confusion. I had to check for a moment and make sure the past 10 years of me designing websites was real, because everything they were saying was such rubbish.

“You know that you can get a decent site up without ever even looking at code?”

No exaggeration there. When I started so many years ago, HTML scared me too. I saw it and did everything I could to avoid it. And guess what? I was still able to make websites, sell products, create landing pages, embed optin forms, and so much more. No coding required.

No Worries

So no worries, ok? A basic website does not require a thousand years of programming knowledge. You can build one right on WordPress with little to no experience. Now, you may be thinking about other platforms. You know, the ones that promise no knowledge of anything and you can build your own perfect site. Sites like Wix and Squarespace.

I will not be nice here or hold anything back.

I don’t exactly like those website builders and my clients don’t either. Nearly half of my clients have come to me from one of those website builders because they just couldn’t deal with it anymore. And many of my hours were spent in just the transfer to WordPress.

UPDATE: Many of my new clients since I wrote this article have needed website conversions from Wix to WordPress because they really want to be able to customize and easily update their site. They had only started their site with Wix because they needed “something” up, but as soon as they were able, they came to a professional. Just like all of us, having something truly unique to you and your business is so important. 

UPDATE: I have to be honest, I kind of lowkey like Squarespace. I don’t use it for client websites but if you have a decent monthly budget and want something up quick that will look great and not cost thousands, Squarespace is……I have to say this……not a bad platform. It just ain’t bad and I wasn’t even paid to say this!

My advice is to stay away because while you don’t need to code to make a great website, you need experience. Experience in marketing, website planning, digital strategy, SEO, and user experience (UX).

It’s Not About Looks

A website must have substance. It must have purpose. Mostly anyone can design a decent looking website but whether or not they design it to convert leads into customers is another story. A website is useless if it doesn’t convert or optimize traffic. Designing a website for me is fun and my knowledge of the industry and experience makes it simple but not easy. I put a lot into the process before I even work on the design. That’s how much there is to it all.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you can’t create a high converting website. You can learn anything if you put in the time and practice. It’s just important to know that is the deciding factor on whether a website is easy to make or not. You can make a great looking site without touching a bit of code but will it work and do its job, which is to help you reach your revenue goals? That is what really matters.

So What’s the Point of Me

You can learn how to create a WordPress site easily. You can purchase a theme to get the look you want. You can put in the time to learn what makes a website convert. WordPress has loads of plugins to solve most problems you may have so why would anyone hire me?

Here’s why most do:
  • Higher end website with cool effects and a premium look
  • My years of experience in creating sites that convert and generate good revenue
  • Time (really big one) – why waste time learning skills you will only need to use once and not hire someone who does only this for a living every day
  • Customization – I love coding and my clients love having a design that is perfect and designed special for them. I don’t use themes.
  • Assistance – if something goes wrong, I am here to fix any problems rapidly with your site
  • Special Functionality – this is where the serious programming comes in, but I happen to love it!
  • Beyond the Site – what do you do after the site is finally up? You can’t have leads without traffic.
  • Further guidance – I don’t just do websites. I look at your whole business to see what can be done to get you to your goals fastest with a good ROI

You Can Do Pretty Well On Your Own

Coding isn’t really the problem at all. You can do pretty well on your own. It is only when you really want to amp things up that someone like me may come into play. Otherwise, it is pretty hard for me to tell you that making a website is hard or that you need to know every programming language in the book. You can do anything if you put in the time and effort.

Because the process of creating a high converting website takes time to learn, I put together a short ebook to summarize my process for making a normal website into one that pumps customers into your business. If you don’t have it already, you can download it here.