Developing your new website

When it comes to building a site, the coding doesn’t happen until you’ve planned + then designed your website. Code without a plan or style is not going to serve your blog / business as well as it could. But once you have those two pieces, it’s time for developing your new website as the middle phase of a new or site redo project.

Those phases are: Planning, Design, Development, Testing + Launch.

Phase Three — Developing your new website

If I could crack my knuckles on command, this is the exact moment in which I would pull that trick out. I loooooove coding. J’adore coding. (Point made?)

For some folks, seeing the mockups is like the site coming to life, but not for me. Once a site starts becoming a thing you can interact with, that is when I feel like it is real. Being able to click buttons or add content in WordPress + see the page change on the frontend are those magic moments for me.

All of that to say, you don’t need a professional to develop your WordPress website.

There are times where it makes sense for you to take development into your own hands. Be it budget, timeline or how young your business is. While I love creating websites from scratch, if your business is less than 3 years old, the odds of your brand evolving from where it is now are significant. Saving your website budget for the years to come is a solid idea.

So how do you go about DIYing development?

Keep it simple, silly. The best way to build your own WordPress website is to use WordPress to build your website.

There are tons of plugins + themes that you could use to develop your dream site, and they are perfectly fine. I have used Divi for a number of projects that had limited budgets or time, or both. Doing that adds cost + complexity to your site, which is why I recommend brand new site owners build their site with the Gutenberg builder that comes with WordPress.

It works. You don’t have to buy anything. And you don’t run the risk of causing accidental conflict with other features of your site.

Get WordPress installed + simply start typing. You can enhance each page or post as you get comfortable with the tool. Plus there are countless WordPress tutorials that you can lean into for help.

(Psssst. I have a free ecourse for learning how to use Gutenberg that you can sign up for here.)

What to expect from a developer

Of course I can’t speak for all WordPress developers in the world. Though I have found that projects have lots in common from developer to developer.

Depending on the complexity of the site, developing your new website could take me 2 weeks to 6 months. Though the normal range falls between 4 to 6 weeks from start to finish.

I work from the design files + site architecture that the client set up in Phase 1 + Phase 2 to add the major components like the header, footer and sidebar. Once those elements are done, I move to static pages (like your homepage), dynamic pages (like the blog landing page), and finish up with additional features like opt-ins. 

The best way for me to get through this phase is with loud music and a plan. Breaking a site into bite-sized chunks allows me to focus on smaller tasks and ensure site functionality before moving on to another element or feature. On 88% of my projects, once the header + footer are done, the site starts to feel like much more than an idea. Adding those small branded elements really kickstarts my momentum + motivation to see the end result.

If you decide to DIY your site, this is a great approach too. Set up the elements that repeat throughout + expand as you have the bandwidth. You can always reach out for help if you find yourself stuck.

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