How to Design and Launch a Website in One Week

You know you need a website for your small business, but you needed it like… yesterday. You wear a lot of hats, and you probably don’t have many extra hours in your work day. Any time you DO have is spent running your business. You can’t spare months of your valuable time waiting for a custom website or attempting to figure out how to design a website yourself.

So, what’s a busy biz owner to do when you need a website fast?

Well, there’s a way you can design and launch a brand new website for your small business in just ONE week. With dedication and a little time for prep work, your online presence can be transformed from start to finish in just a few days. (Bonus: it’ll only cost you a fraction of the price of your typical custom website).

I’m going to walk you through exactly how it’s done. You ready?


Before we dive in, I want you to know this process is made possible through what I like to call Web Intensives. This offer condenses the web design process into one week to build a stunning site that feels tailor made for your brand… at a fraction of the cost, in less than half the time.

This is accomplished by using a Showit website template as the base, and customizing it to feel like you!

If you’re all about the DIY life, you can definitely use the process outlined in this post to do your own Showit template customization. But if you’re here because you don’t have that kind of time (or energy, let’s be honest), then this post will show you exactly what to expect when you book a Web Intensive!

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get started!

First off, some prep work.

Step 1: Choose Your Template

Like I mentioned above, this process is only possible by using a Showit template as the base for your website design. Don’t let the word “template” scare you. There’s nothing basic or boring about the templates we use around here!

Using a template gives you a tangible baseline for your site, allows for an accelerated timeline, and it’s a MUCH lower investment than a custom website.

If you’ve ever Googled “Showit Templates,” you’ll know there are a LOT of options out there. It can be so hard to choose just one! When you book a Web Intensive with Homeward, I provide a detailed PDF guide that gives you all my best tips for choosing the best Showit template for you. And if you need some direct input, I love helping my clients pick a template I believe will work best for your style and goals!

The guide also links some of my favorite template shops. Want a preview? My favorite templates to customize are from TONIC Site Shop!

(Quick disclaimer: I am a TONIC affiliate. But I only recommend products I honestly love. And I REALLY love these templates. Use my code HOMEWARD for 15% off anything in the shop!)

Step 2: Gather Your Content

After you’ve chosen your dream template, it’s time to collect ALL the content you’ll need for your website. You can’t customize without content!

The basics your site will need are…

  • Photos
  • Copy (the words on the pages)
  • Brand identity files (logos, fonts, color codes, etc.)

My Web Intensive clients will receive a link to a shared Dropbox folder where they will upload their content. Their PDF guide will also walk them through my recommended process for gathering and organizing their content, plus guidance for hiring a copywriter or writing their own copy.

Let the design week begin.

Once you have your template and content, we’re ready to start designing your website! Here’s how my Web Intensive process is scheduled to complete a site in one week:


All website content is due by 9:00 a.m. You’ll also need to make sure your template is connected to your Showit account. Once everything is provided, I start on all the initial site edits:

  • Upload images, graphics, and font files to the Media Library
  • Update the Design Settings with the brand colors and fonts
  • Paste social media links in the Site Settings tab
  • Start replacing the copy one page at a time (starting with the Home page)
  • Adjust the main navigation as needed
  • Design the header and footer
  • Hide or delete any unnecessary sections


This is when I like to do the bulk of the changes to the template. While I’m editing, I’m constantly previewing the site to make sure everything is loading correctly and looking good.

  • Finish replacing the copy one page at a time
  • Select and replace photos with brand photos
  • Make adjustments to section layouts as needed
  • Make color and font adjustments as needed
  • Update all links
  • Create the Privacy Policy / Terms and Conditions page
  • Send a request to Showit support to connect the blog (if needed)

At the end of the day, once most of the site has been customized, I take a screen recording of the site while I talk through the edits. I send it to the client with a preview link to get their feedback.


I ask my clients to provide their feedback by 1:00 p.m. That’s it for Wednesday! The Web Intensive process is an intense process (hence the name!), so I like to have a little mid-week break.

Of course if you’re doing the customizing yourself, you could always split the bulk of the work into two days instead of one!


This day is spent making the final edits to the site. Any changes the client wanted to make are done on Thursday. Sometime that afternoon, I’ll jump on a call with the client for a final review of the site. If the site is approved, I’ll go ahead and start the process of making the site “live,” which means I will:

  • Create a “Coming Soon” page and temporarily set it as the home page
  • Connect the domain name to the new Showit site
  • Publish the website
  • Start testing everything (triple check all links, forms, buttons, etc. on desktop and mobile)


Launch day! Assuming the client is ready to announce their new website, we’ll make sure everything is ready to go on Friday and make the full site public. On that day, we will:

  • Go through the site one last time to check for errors
  • Replace the “Coming Soon” page with the Home page
  • Client makes the announcement!
  • I’ll send a final wrap-up email by the end of the day

My Web Intensive clients also receive 1 extra week of support after their launch in case they run into any issues or questions.

Extra Tips for Planning Your Launch

Part of launching a new website is planning how to announce it to your audience! This is something you can start working on before the Web Intensive week even begins.

Take a few hours to plan and strategize how you’re going to launch your new site. If you’re launching on Friday, set a time for the launch, and start prepping your audience with announcements over the course of the week hinting that something new is coming.

Doing this will build up anticipation for your launch, get your audience excited, AND you won’t blindside them when you launch your new look! 

How can you do this? Here are a few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • Create on-brand countdown graphics and start sharing them 3-5 days before the launch
  • Share sneak peeks on your Instagram stories
  • Create an Instagram Reel hinting at what’s coming
  • Tease it to your subscribers in your email list

You’ll also want to think about HOW you want to make your big announcement!

Will you post a carousel of graphics? An Instagram Reel? Will you go live on Facebook or Instagram to talk about the launch? Or keep it on Stories?

Planning ahead and writing your captions before launch day will save you time and energy, so you can spend the day celebrating instead of stressing about what to say!

Here are a few best practices for crafting your announcement posts:

  • Introduce your new website. Explain it, or tell a story about it. Don’t just post a few screenshots with a boring/basic caption!
  • Share your “why.” What made you decide it was time for a new website? What does this mean for your business moving forward? How will this impact your customers?
  • Don’t forget to give your designer a shoutout 😉

Now you’re ready to design a website for your small business in just ONE week!

If you follow this process for your own website launch, let me know how it helped! I’d love to celebrate with you!

And if a Web Intensive sounds intriguing, go ahead and fill out an inquiry form at the bottom of this page, and we’ll get started on your own one-week transformation.

Are you ready to dive deeper into your business and finally have the brand identity of your dreams?

Ever feel like your branding is all over the place? This workbook walks you through a step-by-step process for discovering what makes your business stand out and creating a vision board that reflects your unique brand style.

How to Discover your Brand Style

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