Many small business owners tend to think the process of having a website is complicated, expensive and actually not needed, as they depend more on social media platforms to advertise about their products or services. If you want to be just another profile on a social media platform, make it difficult for people to search for you and find you, and be at the mercy of a platform that has its own rules and regulations, and if you don’t care much to measure conversions from views to sales, among many other disadvantages of not having a website, then yes, you probably don’t need a website.
Yet, if you want to be a part of the 21st century, there’s no denying that you need a website. Without a website, you lose opportunities and customers, meaning you lose business.
Conversing and reaching out to potential customers, clients and/or buyers on social media is always encouraged, but is not a replacement for a website. It’s really not as difficult or complicated to own a website as you might think. In fact, it couldn’t be easier than these days. It involves, content, hosting site, domain name, choosing a theme, and configuring your site for others to find it.
With these 5 steps, you can have your website up and running in no time, so let’s kick it!
1. Prepare your content
Consider what you need your website visitors to be able to do on your website. This will help you figure out what sections and pages you want to include. Most likely, a business website will have five essential pages, including Home, Products or Services, About Us, Blog, and Contact Us page. The site needs to be constructed to make it easy for consumers to navigate through it and find what they need. Being well-designed and easy to maneuver will help your business stand out from the crowd. Having relevant and well-written content and other multimedia such as images and videos will help customers understand your products and services and will lead them to trust you more when they want to make a purchase or subscription.
2. Choose a website building and hosting platform
In order to store your images, content and website files, you are going to need a web hosting service. There are literally hundreds of website building platforms, so you really don’t want to choose the first thing you bump into until you become more familiar with these platforms and read about the best ones out there, because it’s going to be a top priority. Some people do build their own from scratch, but that means knowing a little bit of HTML/CSS or other types of coding language. If you’re non-tech, like many others, you need to choose a platform that does most of the work for you. Write down what you plan to have on your site. Your business might be small now and you don’t need much, but you have to put into consideration its future growth so you’d like a platform that offers more than just basic features. Some platforms are free but that means you’d have to pay separately for a host. For a small few, you can find a fully hosted platform, so you will not have to pay separately for hosting. Wix is one example of a popular cloud-based website. You might want to view a helpful wix guide including a money saving promo code when you install it. Wix also comes with a free plan for limited bandwidth and storage, and you can use this plan to test drive their features, and then hop onto their premium plan if you wish. You also have an option to try premium Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure for hosting and you also need to make sure you`re choosing a wise Office 365 Email migration services provider for your website.
3. Choose a domain name
If you’ve chosen a platform that already provides web hosting, then it’s time to choose a domain name which will be your web address. A business website should have a domain name matching the company’s name. Most domain names usually end with dot com, dot org or dot net. Most people will trust dot com names, but now in 2019, you’re going to find other endings, as many dot com names have been taken. Choosing a name is one of the hardest steps. You’ll need something easy to remember, yet catchy and unique. When it comes to domain names, short is good. You can start by collecting say around 10 keywords that describe your website in the best and clearest way possible. When you have a good number of them you can then start to put them together, mix them up, and begin to create some really original domain name ideas.
4. Choose a website theme
When you install a web host, it comes with its own default theme, which you will be changing to suit your business. So you can find themes such as ‘business,’ ‘music,’ ‘online store,’ etc. Choose the theme most suited to your business. The software used can choose for you a theme or teach you how to do it for yourself. Nothing is written in stone, so you can experiment, play around, delete, start over again with different themes and customize things to your liking. You’re going to have a lot of options to choose from in terms of colors, fonts, designs, and different editing functions. They are easy to use once you familiarize yourself with the system. Then the fun part begins when you begin to add your content.
5. Configure Your Website
Now that your website is up and running and you’ve chosen your theme you’ll want to configure your website so that you provide the best user experience. Make it easy for people to find you, set up your navigation and make it easy for your visitors to know what your website is about through providing easy access to the most important parts of your website. Don’t overcrowd your site, especially with too many colors or images, and choose a font that is easy and clear to read so visitors don’t get turned off or distracted from what is important. It’s up to you to organize, separate and highlight all major areas of your site for additional clarity. Install any plugins that you may need to get your website functioning just the way you want and add any final touches that you may want on your website. Once you’ve reached this stage, you can immediately publish your website!
What do consumers want?
Surveys will show that consumers want pages to load quickly and easy to navigate through. Also know that more customers search from their smartphones instead of a computer, so it’s become crucial to make your website mobile-friendly. Top web builder platforms will automatically create mobile-optimized websites for you. These websites are known as ‘responsive’ and can detect the type of device visitors are using and automatically shift the content to give them the best experience. But, whether they access from a smartphone or a laptop, the point is to give consumers the best online experience when they reach your website.