Have you ever tackled something you’ve never done before, and after a few hours realized it’s taking way longer than expected? And before you know it, your whole day is gone? That’s a pretty common scenario when it comes to building websites for the first time – and we don’t want it to happen when you start designing your own. It doesn’t have to be hard, but like any project, it takes planning!

You need to draft content, collect images, lay out your pages, and decide what will go where. Sound confusing? It’s really not. But a lot of time can into figuring that stuff out, especially if you don’t go in with a plan. We’ve gathered a few tips that will help you get organized so knocking out your website is a piece of cake. Take a gander:

Create a plan of action

Before you get rockin’ and rollin’, it’s important that you determine what you want visitors to do, see, and learn from your small business website. Decide if you want them to:

You might want to make several or all of those options available to your visitors – which is awesome! But if you don’t know where to start, print and fill out this helpful pre-planning guide. It will help you get started on the right foot and focus on your goals. Once you figure out and concentrate on what you want your website to accomplish, the design process will be a cinch!

Get organized

Gather images, brochures, business handouts and any other written and visual communication you have already created and actively use for your business. These are great resources to pull content from! Why do more work than you have to when you’ve already put sweat and tears into making awesome stuff!

Buckle down and focus

It’s easy to get distracted, especially when working online – that’s where most time is wasted! Create a list of things you want to do, and keep it short and simple. That way, you can focus on tackling a basic website. Once you check everything off your list, publish your site. The sooner it’s online and available to potential customers, the better. From there, you can make embellishments – add detail, incorporate features and widgets, and take your website from basic to killer!

Your website is intended to drive business and increase income – you shouldn’t have to pull yourself away from what makes you money to spend countless hours designing a site. Use these tips to design a beautiful website, and you’ll save time and frustration. Happy designing!

Also published on Medium.