Learn about the top tips to focus on when starting to build a business website.
Nowadays, having a website for your business is considered to be one of the most essential elements needed to prosper. The world is glued to the internet, after all, and so naturally building a highly accessible, professional website should be high on your priorities.
But building a website from scratch can often sound a tad overwhelming. So, with that in mind, let’s tackle each major stage of the initial process, from planning, all the way to building and marketing.
Top 5 Business Website Building Tips
1. Know Your Website’s Needs
Why you need a business website is fairly obvious. But establishing its functionality, bells and whistles, and how you intend to convert visitors into customers, will need to be clearly thought out before you start shopping for web hosts.
So, what do you want to achieve through your business website? Will it exist for visitors to buy products – whatever they may be – directly from the site? So they can get quotes or make appointments? Or is it simply a place for them to learn more about your company? Maybe it’s all of these things?
You may not know exactly what you want, but it is important to at least have a discernable, fundamental goal in mind. With this step complete, you can now begin to list the kinds of website features required to achieve that goal.
2. Know Your Website’s Budget
When it comes to setting a budget, it’s a number only you can reach. It all depends on your unique business ambitions, technical expertise, and also time constraints. For instance, a simple, moderate traffic SMB site, which you design, maintain and run yourself, could get off the ground at a low cost.
But if you don’t have the time or knowhow to work on the site, you’d have to employ a web developer to create and run it on your behalf. This would obviously be more expensive – so be realistic about your expertise and available time upfront.
Are you planning to build a website to promote and increase sales for your traditional ‘physical’ store? The day-to-day running of a business website can be a time-consuming task. So, even if you do have the technical knowhow, the important question will still be: Do you have the time?
Once again, be honest and realistic about both what you can do, and whether you have the time to do it.
3. Research How to Build Your Website
As we’ve already touched on, there are different ways to go about building your website. If you’d rather hire a professional to take on the project and running duties, that’s fine. But if you’d rather take it on yourself, there’s one option in particular that’s worth considering.
For people who lack traditional web developing skills and want a streamlined, user-friendly ride when it comes to creating their website, they will often choose a WordPress & Website Builder package.
WordPress is one of the most popular web-building platforms in the world, and when combined with a built-in website builder, many consider it the ultimate simplified DIY solution to what can feel like a daunting task. Many web hosts offer this option for cheap, highly competitive prices.
(If all this preparedness is starting to feel kind of overkill, try to look at it this way: When you know where you’re sailing, how you want to navigate the seas, and have a budget in mind, the blueprints for your ship become a lot clearer.)
4. Create Your Website’s Layout & Content
OK, now we’re getting somewhere. You know the main purpose of your website, what kind of features you need, have an approximate budget, and have researched how to build it. But now it’s time to consider how you want your site to look, function, and feel.
Since the presentation and usability of websites is crucial in preventing visitors from bouncing over to your competitors, your content and layout needs to be as spot on as possible. Too much content, it’s information overload. Too little, visitors become frustrated or suspicious.
Content refers to anything that communicates and informs visitors about your business, so your website will need copy and media, such as images and videos. Someone will have to create all that content – whether it’s you or a third party. To understand the kind and amount of material necessary, you’ll need to address layout.
A quick and easy way to get the ball rolling is to check out some of your competitors’ websites for inspiration. If they’ve been around a while, this points to success in their approach to design. And if they’re doing something right, then, well, noting their strengths is going to help.
At the bare minimum, an ecommerce site needs a Home, eStore (Product), About Us and Contact page. Get a grip on these fundamental pages; think about what you want to say about your company, your ethos, staff and products, while considering the most effective way to present it. (Tip: Try to see your design from the perspective of a visitor.)
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5. Build, Launch & Market Your Website
Finally! Now that you’ve done all the necessary research, have your content ready, and have an idea of how the finished website will look and function, you’re ready to approach a web host.
Once you’ve registered a domain name and have chosen the best package to meet your specific needs, it’s time to start uploading all of your images, videos and prewritten copy.
If you’ve sought the expertise of a web developer, you’ll need to provide them with all of that content, and, ensure that they clearly understand the main objective of your site, including how it should look, function, and importantly ‘feel’.
If you choose a DIY option like a WordPress & Website Builder package, you’ll need to upload the content yourself, choose a theme, and tinker around with the layout and navigation until you’re satisfied.
After you’ve allowed yourself some time to celebrate, it’s time to turn your attention towards marketing your brand new website. Remember, a freshly built website is also invisible – in other words, nobody knows it exists!
Online marketing is a vast topic – way beyond the scope of this site building guide – but there are some key areas to focus on. They are: SEO (Search Engine Optimization), creating search engine-friendly content; Social Media Marketing, creating a strong, positive social media presence to gain traction; and Email Marketing, establishing visitor bonding and repeat traffic.
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