So you got a website template or maybe you’re thinking about getting a template, but you want things done ASAP. I’m talking about a 5 day set up then launched! It IS possible, and I’ve had many customers over the years get their sites done in a DAY and even more in a week or a few weeks. In today’s episode, I’m sharing tips for how to customize and launch your website template faster. Whether you have a template from me or someone else, whether it’s a Showit template or a Squarespace template — doesn’t matter, these tips will help you out!
Your website can’t go to work for your business unless it’s live for the world to see. So, let’s get it live and up asap! Turn the volume up for my top 8 time-saving hacks to get your site up fast!
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:
These tips are coming to you from myself as well as my customers! Remember that these tips are for customizing a template and not for custom work with a designer since that is a TOTALLY different process.
Before diving into the tips, I want you to remember not to beat yourself up if it takes you longer! This is not a race. It’s important that you get your site up in general, but getting it up in 3 days or 3 weeks are both great!
8 Hacks to launch your template QUICKLY
1. Don’t jump right into customizing it immediately!
Get familiar with the website builder before you start customizing everything.
Sometimes people get a new template and then just GO with no strategy or plan and start working on a random page. This might work for some people, but I have a different suggestion.
Start with duplicating a page of the template or creating a new blank page, THEN start playing around. Click on all the tools and buttons and do something with them.
Explore and have fun! You’ll delete that page once you are done! You’re not messing up anything that’s all pretty in the template. You’re just learning.
If that sounds like a silly extra step, just try it for maybe 10 minutes and then move on. You can launch your website template faster if you are more familiar with your software and not have to spend the time undoing anything.
2. Utilize the training content.
This tip goes with the last one, but don’t go at it alone. If you’re using Showit, most people do find it super intuitive, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to launch your website template faster and better with some training.
If you’re a customer of mine, you get a course with your purchase called the Showit Blueprint Course. This course has at least 75 lessons which might sound like too much. Do not worry, you do not have to watch it all whatsoever to get your site live! Some of them won’t apply to you and some repeat information that you might already know.
If you watch them, you’ll feel more confident in what you’re doing once you’ve learned a little bit. Showit is easy to use but it’s easier with a guide!
“This has been one of the best investments in my business. The template is beautifully designed and easily customizable. The course was worth the premium alone. I was impressed with the amount of content included, especially the SEO section. I highly recommend the polish session as well. I feel like Elizabeth is just as invested in my site's success as I am!”
3. Get your photos and copy started before you start on the design.
This one is HUGE for my customers who got their customizations done quickly! Being organized before you dive into everything and having a game plan is helpful.
The way you customize a template in the most basic sense is by adding photos and website copywriting.
3 tips for faster copywriting:
1. Don’t write your copy directly into the template. Start in a document.
2. Use the template as a guide for your copywriting.
3. Look at your copywriting as SECTIONS.
3 tips for faster photos:
1. You can start on the website without your photos.
2. Work with a brand photographer.
3. Utilize some stock images as needed.
“As a copywriter, I enjoyed having a framework for the length of content. It was evident in the design that Elizabeth had a deep understanding of marketing and user experience, which means I only had to make minimal customizations. I can not recommend enough partnering with Elizabeth for her thoughtful and intuitive designs.”
4. Don’t reinvent the wheel on the design.
With my templates and many other templates out there, you can change as much or as little as you want to. The only “must changes” are adding your own copywriting and changing out the images as I said before. But besides that, you can keep the fonts, colors, layout as is.
Some people want to totally change up their template in BIG ways like completely new fonts, new colors, and changing the layout. That’s do-able even if you aren’t a designer!
[Don’t believe me? Check out my showcase page to see how my customers have customized their templates.]
But, this isn’t a necessity. Your website will look different from the template just by changing out the copywriting and images. A fast way to make it quickly more customized is by changing out the fonts or colors. But, if you reinvent the wheel and try to change every single thing, it will take longer. Sticking closer to the template design is really going to help you launch your website template faster!
“The template was set up flawlessly and customizing it was very easy. I had never used ShowIt before, so the blueprint course was super helpful. After watching the first main sections, I felt comfortable DIY-ing the rest on my own but referred back to the blueprint videos when I had questions. I absolutely recommend buying a template from EM Shop - you get so much more than just a template, you get a complete roadmap to make your new website happen quickly and easily!”
5. Let the website template help you create your brand.
You don’t have to have professional branding and logo design done in order to use a website template, especially if you are an online business! If you don’t have brand colors yet, you don’t have a logo or fonts yet. That's OK. The website template can help you get those done.
So many of my customers have told me that their website template helped them create a brand. That doesn’t mean that their brand ended up being the exact same as the templates, but they used it as a starting point.
“My favorite part about my website is it looks like a custom website and brand I spent thousands of dollars on it... even though it's a template. It was SO easy to customize exactly how I wanted it, and have a brand that looks high end and with PERSONALITY.”
6. Just Start.
Starting is the hardest part of doing anything new. Typically once you get going, you’re on a roll. Figure out what the first or next step should be for you. Set aside an hour on your calendar and do that thing.
Once you get started, it becomes easier! You can’t launch your website template faster or at all for that matter if you don’t START.
7. It doesn’t have to be perfect to bring it live.
I think some people mistakenly think of launching their website as if it’s this big moment where it's finished. Like it’s just done and perfect and you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
The reality is that you’ll likely always be updating your site. When you “launch” your site and call it done, for now, it won’t be done forever. Your services will change, you’ll think of new ways to word things that you want to update, or you’ll take new photos and change old ones out.
It’s never done. Your website is fluid and changing. Don’t obsess over it being all the way done to get it out to your audience.
You don’t have to use all the pages that come in the template to bring it live, you don’t have to have all the blogs posts you want live, it doesn’t have to have the perfect photos.
Done is better than perfect, and I know some of you might cringe when I say that.
But it’s true. Your website is going to continue to change over time, and it can’t work for you to help you grow your business unless it’s live! So get it live!
8. Put time on your calendar to work on it and give yourself a due date.
We plan for what’s important to us. If this is just something you always have on your to-do list but it never makes it to your calendar, it will not get done. Put the time in on your calendar to work on your website.
Just like finally launching a podcast or a new course or finishing up a client project that’s taking forever, you will never get it done unless you PLAN time to make it happen.
Announce it in advance maybe, ask someone to hold you accountable. Launching your website template FASTER doesn’t mean you don’t have to still put the work in.
“I tried both Wix and Squarespace sites before finding the Em Shop on Showit. Elizabeth's templates & tutorial videos make building a beautiful and professional website super easy and I am not a tech person!! Because of my other website flops, I was really on the fence about investing in a template but I am SO glad I did and wish I'd done sooner!”