Planning Session – Put Your Ducks in a Row


Today is all about planning the website. It’s also about progress, but planning is the theme.

I bit the bullet and went ahead a bought a theme today. It’s pretty neat so far, and fortunately I had zero content to worry about mucking up by changing over. I realized that the snazzy Shapely Theme by Colorlib was exactly what it said it was: a one page WordPress theme. I spent a few hours trying to teach myself some “CSS” (Cascading Style Sheets) so that I could change the font color and weird purple buttons to a more manly gray.

I was stalling.

I knew I should “do it right” from the start and go with a prepaid and more robust theme but I thought I could make it work. Maybe I can, but I don’t want to spend weeks fidgeting with a website homepage and become an expert in web design. I’m a furniture maker, not a programmer. So, I did some reading, some looking and bought a commercial theme that works with WooCommerce and comes with actual documentation and support. Nothing against Shapely, it was seriously just a front page theme and I had no idea how to go about making the rest of the website. More to come on the theme I chose and how I’m managing to not break it.

Anyways, back to planning.

Naturally, like any millennial, and I use the term loosely, I googled how to make a good WordPress eCommerce site. I kind of did this after I bought the domain and the server space but it’s probably best if you do this small exercise first. That search led me to the WordPress Codex. There is some pretty useful stuff in there, but most of it is voodoo mumbo jumbo to mean (so far). Don’t let that stop you from going through the planning exercise in their First Steps with WordPress guide. They ask you to write, on paper, some things to describe your site.

  1. What am I going to do with this?
  2. Who is going to read this?
  3. What kinds of information will I be posting?
  4. Why am I doing this?
  5. Who am I doing this for?
  6. How often am I going to be posting and adding information?

My planning list ended up looking something like this:

planning session

Planning on paper

In English, my answers read as follows:

  1. Website to host the products for the business. Blog to document building, tips and random stuff.
  2. Customers, bloggers, DIY, entrepreneurs
  3. Legal business; financial; web; product; photography/film; physical business
  4. Platform to sell products with a pay-it-forward mentality. Teaching others brings in clients
  5. Myself – finally taking the plunge
  6. Daily at first until social media followers catch on

I will say that the activity seems to be a bit driven towards blogging, what with it being a WordPress planner and the questions about post frequency, but the exercise does have merit. In paragraph form, my responses look like this:

This website will be dedicated to creating a marketplace for my products while sharing how I went about building a business. The audience will be customers bloggers, DIYers and those entrepreneurs trying to start out. I will be adding posts daily about business, finances, legal stuff, my products, film and the physical business. I am doing this because I need to see the challenge through myself.

There’s my planning session in a neat package. I think it does help to define your goals and definitely what kind and how you set up your website. This will come in handy in helping to choose the web platform that best suits your application. Post up your paragraphs, I’d love to see them.

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