No small business can afford to be without a website; however, it can be a little intimidating knowing where to start and for good reason. Web design is an art that takes time to master. Luckily, some basic steps can get you started. Here we help remove the mystery of web design to make it less intimidating.
Decide What You Want Your Website To Do
Although your first thought here is probably “to make me rich,” you need to plan how your website will help you reach this goal. Your website is where people will come to get to know your business and understand why you are the company for them, so your first step is to decide what you want people to do once they get there.
For example, do they need to reach out for a quote or consultation? Should they just set up an appointment? Is there information you need to collect from them to help you provide your services more effectively? Do you sell items they can add to a shopping cart? Once you decide what you want people to do when they arrive at your site, you can design a site that allows them to do it easily.
Choose a Domain Name
Sometimes it can be a little more challenging to decide on a domain name. For example, professionals often don’t have a business name per se. This step is important as your domain name should offer a clue about what you offer. It should also use an appropriate top-level domain (TLD), which is the suffix after the required dot. In the case of a professional service, you might choose something other than the common .com or .biz. For example, lawyers could use. law.
However, remembering the KISS theory, .com is an easy go-to. You then have to register your domain name with one of the many domain registrars available, such as Domain.com or GoDaddy. At this stage, you might find the need to add a non-traditional TLD if your name is already taken. If it seems like your domain is already in use, services like GoDaddy will reach out to the owners for a fee.
Choose a Content Management Platform
There are several very effective website platforms available, allowing you to build your own site and manage your own content. For example, WordPress has been around for a long time and has become one of the top choices for DIY designers. You need a platform with which you feel comfortable working, which is often challenging. It takes a certain comfort level with technology along with a keen eye for web design to have these ready-made pages come out looking like they were designed by a pro. However, it is doable if you are intent on learning the ropes, or you can simply take the DIFM (Do it For Me) approach, such as the Managed WordPress solution provided by StealthEnomics.
Identify Your Pages
You will need multiple pages for your site to cover the information you anticipate visitors will be seeking. These pages provide insights into the different aspects of your business–from a simple contact page with an email form, to more detailed pages explaining your products and services. The more involved your products and services, the more complicated your web design becomes. Adding to the challenge is a need to include things such as a catalogue, e-commerce capabilities, and a blog to improve your SEO, all of which, has to be mapped out before you tackle the actual design of your pages.
Although doing your web design yourself might seem a more cost-effective approach, when you look at the work involved, the costs add up. . And you don’t want all that effort to go to waste when you launch your site only to learn no one can find you. A better approach is to make a low-cost investment with a web design company to ensure you can reach your audience.