PLANNING YOUR CAKE BUSINESS WEBSITE

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Portions of this post are taken from my DIY Your Baking Business Website course.  For more information about that, click here.

Before you dive into building your cake decorating or baking business website, you need to take some time to plan out what you are going to create.  A website without a purpose, or clear function, will not be worth the time you’ll take to create it.

Likewise, a website than has good content, but doesn’t align with your business and brand style, will not help you attract the right kind of customers and will leave those who do visit confused about your message.

The two keys to a good website are CONTENT & STYLING.

 

What content might your website need?

Firstly you must decide what you want out of your website.  

Will it be...

  • An online shop to sell your products directly?

  • A portfolio for your cake creations?

  • Somewhere for people to understand your brand and make contact with you?

  • A blog sharing behind the scenes from your kitchen or baking tips?

  • An information hub for you to direct customers to, containing answers to FAQ’s?

Your website can cover a number of these elements but it should be serving one primary purpose, meaning when visitors land on your page they understand straight away what they are to do.

In this post I have broken down all of the pages you might want to include in your website, and what content would be on each of these pages, so go have a read on that to find out more and to have some guidance on choosing your pages.

If I’m not hiring a designer, how to I go about picking a style?

You know your business better than anyone, and I’m willing to bet you’re at least a bit creative if you can decorate beautiful cakes and bakes.  So with some careful thought and analysis of your business, you can create a brand style for your website that will reflect your business.

At this stage you probably fall into one of two categories.  You have a logo, that you use on your FB page and business cards but are unsure how to translate that into a full brand style for your website. Or, you are starting from scratch - either you have no logo and branding at all, or you want to completely redesign what you have.  Let’s go over both scenarios.

YOU ALREADY HAVE A LOGO

Assuming you are happy with the logo you are currently working with, that you have designed yourself or have had a designer create for you, you most likely have a basic colour palette and one or two fonts to get you started.  That’s great, you are most of the way there!

For most websites, or actually any piece of design, two fonts is enough.  These can include your logo as well, but if you have a very graphic font used in your logo it is best to keep it there only.  If you have a secondary font in your logo, this can be used as one of your website fonts, or find one that is as close to it as possible.  Otherwise, go for a ‘stand out’ heading font, and a simpler, very clear body font, which will make up the bulk of the text on your site.

Again, you should have some kind of colour palette in your existing logo, so depending on how many you already have, stick with them or add a couple more to compliment them.  So, if you have a lot of pale shades in your logo, it’s likely you will need something a bit stronger to use on your website to attract some attention or to create a heading.  If you have a lot of brights, some softer tones will add some relief throughout the larger area of a website.

YOU’RE STARTING FROM SCRATCH

It might seem daunting when you’re starting with a totally blank canvas when it comes to your website, but don’t worry, like I always say - keep it simple.  I’ve covered designing your own logo with the free online design tool Canva in this blog post, so once you’re finished here go and watch my video tutorial to get designing your logo.

Before you start styling your website you are going to want to have a basic style guide to refer to, to help you keep a consistent look throughout.  As I mentioned above, fonts and colours are key, along with any graphics, photos and patterns.

By running through the questions in the PDF download you will start to build up a picture of your target audience and who you are hoping to appeal to with your website.  This will inform the decisions you make when putting your style guide together.

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COLOUR

You don’t have to create a colour palette from thin air.  There are excellent free tools online that will help you build up a palette of colours to use, that will include the HEX code for you to paste into your Squarespace styling panel and use the exact colour on your website.

Some of my favourites are:

Coolors - This is a fairly simple interface that will generate palette for you, until you find one you like, and then customise by locking certain colours, and tweaking them to find the correct shade.

Adobe Color - Giving you more control over the colour palette but with an easy to use colour wheel which you can drag to find a palette you love.

Canva - With Canva you can upload a colour containing colours and shades you love and it will automatically generate a colour palette for you to use or customise.

TYPE

After colour, typefaces, or fonts, will be one of the most important elements to your websites styling.  It’s important to understand a little about what fonts work well together, and to not to overboard using different styles.  

There are excellent guides and resources online, two of my favourites are below:

Font Pair - Lists pairs of Google Fonts which work well together.  This is particularly useful Squarespace and Canva both use Google Fonts in their database.

The Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing - An in depth article from Canva which explains the ins and outs of fonts and using them together - definitely worth a read.

 

With all of that in mind, have a look at the questions in the PDF download and start to analyse what your website will be for and what people will take away from it.  Get clear, right from the start, on your mission.  Answer the questions and use them as reference when you move on to the next stages of the process.

Then think about how the styling can help to enhance the user experience, attract your perfect customer and perfectly show-off what you and your cake business are all about.

Portions of this post are taken from my DIY Your Baking Business Website course.  For more information about that, click here.


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Kirsty Montgomery

Bake This Happen