Yes, we can launch your site quickly. We all have work to do in advance. Most of this work is ours but some critical tasks will be yours.
Why you’ll love this process:
- Your site gets launched and working for you.
- It’s much more efficient use of your time because you aren’t trying to work on something for a hour, be forced to quit, then try to get back to where you were a week or so later.
- You’ll have our undivided attention and therefore our best work.
Yes, it can be difficult to put aside a whole day. We get that! We ask you to set aside a 5 hour block of time. That way you’ll have time to do your chores before and after. Ideally, we’d like that block to be 10 am to 3 pm Mountain Time but we can tweak that a little if necessary. If you have a full time job, we can schedule your day on a Saturday or Sunday.
Step 1 Planning
We need to get your goals in writing. You can use our online forms to do that or we can do a video call to talk them over – whichever works best for you. This will probably take about an hour and should be done a couple weeks in advance of your one day website build.
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time sensitive. In other words, make sure your goals are clear, realistic, include an end date and a way to know for sure if you reached your goal or fell short. An example might be wanting to increase your average sales price on your foals by 15% over your last 5 years average and achieve that by May 1st of their yearling year.
Not all planning can or should focus on such short term goals. It’s important to start with why you raise or train horses. Of course most of us feel we couldn’t not have horses – but it’s important to think about and write down our overall driving force. Call it a Mission or “your why” or something else. Write it well enough to put in on your About Us page or not.
Do we need to do a huge strategic document that would impress Harvard Business School? Of course not. (If you have that, awesome, just email it to me!) We just need some good notes about why and where you want to go with your operation. That will guide us as we build your site.
Step 2 Gathering information
We will give you lists of important information, in detail, that you will need to put together. This is a pretty good summary.
We might as well start out with one of the most critical items. Photos. And more photos. You need good photos, there is no way around that
Collect good photos we will or even might use and we’ll talk about the best way to get them onto your website given the size, quantity and number of photos you have.
Write your most important text
If you aren’t comfortable writing advertising copy, let us know. If you just want a little proof-reading help, we can do that during your website building day. If you know what you want to say but don’t type well, you can try this technique to dictate to your computer or your phone. If you just want to talk to a human and have them write it, let us know and we’ll quote you copywriting services.
Generally, you’ll need text for your About Us page, individual horse pages which includes every horse that will have their own page – including your horses for sale and possibly stallions and mares. Data is useful to some buyers so do research on the horses in your horses’ pedigrees and have that ready to go.
If you offer services – training, boarding, etc – you’ll want a sales page for each of those.
You know who sells horses or services that are similar to yours. Do a Google search and look at their sites. These can include both current competition and the big names in your discipline. Find three sites that you like and list why you like them. Don’t forget to note what you don’t like too.
If you have a site now, what is it? What do you like and not like about it? Include the appearance and content of the site as well as the process in the backend. That will all go away, but I like to hear what works for you and what doesn’t.
Appearance and other details
You’ll chose from a few layout design choices for your site. If your first reaction is that you want a completely custom made only for you site, we can help with that too. (They start at $3500) However, the DHM system is designed and priced with some efficiencies in mind. One of those most important efficiencies is limits on layout choices. Since your photos of your place and your horses are what people want to focus on, the layout and design should take a back seat anyway.
Soon after you sign up, you’ll get a list of those things we’ll need. We expect you to have some questions. You should expect a few emails back and forth.
You’ll send your logo if you have one right away. Do you need one? Not necessarily.
You’ll need to give us some ideas about your preferred colors. You’ll pick a color scheme that includes your preferred colors.
You’ll need a domain name. If you have one, you will need the login information to that account so we can point it to your site when we are ready to launch. If you don’t have one, you can get your own or we can get it for you. Either way, we need that domain registered in advance of your site build day.
You’ll also need a gmail.com account if you don’t have one already. That will give you automatic and free access to not just email but also Google Docs which is a great way to write up your website copy. In addition, that gmail account will give you access to website tools that can be very useful. I doesn’t have to become your main email. But you might like it.
Step 3 The Big Day
We’ll book a day you pick and spend 5 hours on a video call building your site. Why is a day only 5 hours? First, we will get enough done. Second, it’s pretty intensive work. Third, you have horses to take care of every day; so do we. Cows too.
Step 4 Follow up
If everything we need is available in advance, we should be ready to launch by the end of your build day. However, some things are always left to clean up. We’ll end the day with a good checklist for each of us.
This is the point on this page where we should talk about how awesome it is going to be to have your website done in one day. Except that would be a lie. It is going to be amazing to have your new site launched. Really, truly. You will feel great.
So what is the lie? Launching is not the same as done. Websites are never done. They are a constant work in progress because people want up to date information and they expect that to be on the internet.
The nice thing is, once you have (re)launched your site, it will become easier to do those content updates and you’ll have help if you run into a snag.