Marketing & Small Business

How To Not Screw Up Your First Website

November 1, 2021


Now Trending:


I'm a solo filmmaker, story strategist, SEO consultant, and educator. I'm here to either help you grow your business or start making films! Can't wait to meetcha! While you're here, make sure you sign up for the filmmaking newsletter. Or grab the free SEO Checklist for Beginners.


Free Quiz: Discover Your Filmmaker Archetype


Plus find out the exact GEAR you need to get started. Plus get tips on next steps you can take to advance your career.

27 Tips to Get Your Website More Traffic


Get my SEO Checklist for Beginners. This starter checklist will give you an overview of what it takes to drive more traffic to your site.

Article by Colette Nichol, Solo Filmmaker and Story Strategist

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

5 Tips on How To Get Started with Your First Website

I started designing websites in 2010. I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself.

And I’ve seen a whole lot of website pain and heartache. Many of my friends in small business have had epic trials and tribulations when it comes to their websites.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Here are a few of my recommendations to steer you away from any painful mistakes when getting started with your first website.

1. FIND A GOOD WEBSITE DESIGNER…who you like…as a person.

A few tips for when you are looking for a designer:

1. Make sure you will own all the content and design files.

2. Make sure you pay for the domain and hosting yourself (don’t let the service provider do this). This means you control it, and can’t get burned.

3. Make sure you get delivery dates in your contract.

4. Make sure you like their portfolio! 🙂


If you want to learn more about website design before hiring someone check out Minima Design. Michelle has tons of amazing resources. Here’s a link to her amazing Site Launch Guide.


If you’d like to be able to do website updates yourself, easily without hassle, go with a Squarespace website designer.

Squarespace has the nicest interface, so doing your own updates is easy peasy even if you don’t like tech.

There are other options like Wix and … well, others. They are fine too. So if you’re already using one of them don’t worry. But I prefer Squarespace because it makes easy, flawless website design possible. Plus it has everything you’ll ever need on a website.


I pretty much despise WordPress.

I’ve built a site on it. I’ve looked at other people’s WordPress sites from the inside. Only use WordPress if you’re using a designer and you don’t want to tweak the look and feel of your site yourself. Ever. WordPress is great for customization.

But it’s full of tech details the average business owner doesn’t want to deal with!

The current blog post you’re reading is on a WordPress-hosted blog, but again, I don’t recommend this for most people because it’s complicated.


If you’re planning on writing all the content for your website yourself, the Marie Forleo/Laura Belgray Copy Cure Course is invaluable.

Many people underestimate the power of the written word to turn browsers into customers. But it’s actually even more important than your design.

One of the main things that will affect whether someone buys from you or not is whether the words you use to appeal to them.

Do your words speak to them? If you’re planning on writing your own website copy and you’re in an industry where making sales can be tough, you need to take a copywriting course.

Learn Filmmaking and Get the Gear Guide

If you’re interested in learning filmmaking, check out the Solo Filmmaking Mentorship Program I created for aspiring filmmakers and video creators. It usually goes live once per year. So I recommend getting the Story Envelope Filmmaking letter which comes out a couple of times per month. That way, you can get filmmaking tips for free and find out when the filmmaking course is going live again.

Also, before you go, grab the Solo Filmmaking Gear Guide and Checklist for Beginners.

About the Author

Hi! I’m Colette Nichol. I’m a solo filmmaker and story strategist based out of rainy Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been making videos and micro films for small businesses and global brands since 2014.

Plus, I LOVE to help aspiring filmmakers pursue their dreams and start making films. This blog is designed to help you gain the knowledge you need to become a filmmaker.

If you want more, get on the waitlist for the Story Envelope Academy Solo Filmmaking Mentorship Program. It opens up one time per year and is the best way to become a filmmaking or video pro fast!

CLICK HERE to get on the solo filmmaking mentorship waitlist.

I'm Colette Nichol!

Welcome! I’m a story strategist, SEO consultant, filmmaker, and digital media consultant based out of rainy Vancouver, Canada. My mission is to give you the tools and tactics you need to achieve your dreams!

If you're here for filmmaking training, please join the inbox party: take my free mini-course and start building a filmmaking and video creation skill set.


ahoy there!