No matter what type of business you have, you’re going to need a website to provide an overview of your services. Even companies that have been around since the 1940’s now have websites so that they can provide their clients with updates, new products, and general company information. Now that social media has changed the way we engage with people, it’s even more important for you to have a website to send visitors directly to your online brand. But, it can be tough creating a website and costs a lot of money if you have no experience.
People get nervous when thinking about the work involved with websites, so they wait months before setting up their online site. People also think they must have coding experience, but you’ll learn that this is untrue. As a matter of fact, website developers are getting out of the business because there is NO money in website development since much of it can be done within minutes using resources like WordPress. Honestly, the only people who are making money designing websites are those who have been around for several years and need to create something customized for a website, i.e. a tool, advanced portal, or even a community.
If you are starting your own business and want to create an online brand, then consider these important factors before getting started:
For you to excel online and benefit from your website, you need to know your purpose. This will give you direction during the creation process and provide you with insight into design, menu options, content, and where you want banners to appear. This doesn’t have to be hard since following your passion will typically provide you with a great starting point. I’m sure you have decided to start a business for a reason, so understanding “why” is very important.
You can also ask yourself the following questions to help you determine your purpose:
- What is your passion?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Who is your audience?
- What are you selling or writing about?
- Why is this important to you?
- How will you market your website?
If you do a quick search in Google, you’ll find additional questions that will prove helpful for when you put your site together.
In the first step, I asked you to figure out who your audience is because this will help determine website language and your content. For example, if your audience is in North America, then you know to write content in English and cater services to those living in this region. However, if your audience or customer base is in Europe, then you can switch your focus to those living in that region.
In the end, understanding your audience will help guide the direction of your website in terms of language and content focus. This is even more important when you are selling products focusing on a specific age group or region.
For those of you familiar with SEO (search engine optimization), you know how both on-page and off-page SEO distinguishes your rankings. During the setup process, you should know what keywords you want to place on your pages within the title, meta description, and URL. Having a clear indication of your keywords will not only be good for your page titles, but will also help guide your content writing, future optimization, and link-building.
It’s a well-known practice to NOT crowd your navigation (menu) because providing too many options can be confusing to the visitor. During the design process, you should think long and hard about the navigation and how many options you want to provide the visitor. Too many options will push people away from finding the products or services you provide, and too little will push them away from your site decreasing your credibility.
Here is a great starting point for your navigation menu:
- Home button
- About Us
- Contact Us
After you choose your domain, you’ll need a reliable web hosting plan. For those of you not familiar with hosting, here’s a quick definition:
“Web hosting is simply the process of renting out or buying space to house your website on the Internet. Your website and its content have to be served up by a server, which is essentially a computer that connects other web users to your site from anywhere in the world.” – hostingadvice.com
You have so many options, so make sure you do your due diligence in proper research before signing up. From experience, once you are hosting your content, images, and entire website, it will be hard to switch later on. This will require a lot of work and can be very tedious at the same time. Do a quick search on Google for “best web hosting”, and go through the results until you find the right plan for you.
Always start with a beginner plan, which will cost you no more than $3.00-$4.00 per month. Remember, you can always increase the plan later.
These days setting up a website can be done within minutes by using WordPress. Many hosting companies are offering WordPress with their plans, and the installation can be done with the click of a mouse button. Simply install the template, add the menus, and start writing content. Head over to YouTube to find awesome tutorials on how to quickly setup WordPress and work with the interface.
If you still need help getting started, browse on Fiverr, where you’ll find $5.00 WordPress installation gigs being offered to help you get a quality website at a budget-friendly price.
Featured photo credit: Mashable via mashable.com