So you have your shiny new business up and running, but now you need a website, or possibly your website will be your new business? There are many options, and this only adds to the confusion. This article will outline a few different options and how to prepare the necessary items required for your website design process to go smoothly.
- Build a website yourself, or have a friend/family member build it for you
- Go online and find a website builder; this is software that allows you to create your site
- Hire a professional web designer or design firm to develop your website
Your choice depends on how serious you are about your business and its importance to your income; it should not be based on the cost. For example, if you are starting a hobby and want to create an excellent blog to show it off to friends and family, then your best bet is option 1 or 2. However, if you are going to rely on your website for income, or at least want it to generate leads and sales for your business, which are vital to its growth and survival, you want to make sure your website is the best it can be. It’s not the 90s anymore, and a website is now an essential part of any business, so you should certainly not cut corners in this segment of your advertising budget, as it will only hurt your business down the road.
So in case you have not guessed it yet, we recommend option 3, you should hire a firm to build your website, because it’s too big a project and far too important for one person to learn from scratch. The required tasks, such as design, development, marketing, and maintaining a website effectively, need an experienced team with specialists in each area. Here are just a few of the services necessary to run a website.
Custom Web Design
You want to make sure that your design is unique; you don’t want to have the same site as your competitor, it’s crucial to stand out from the competition, and it’s likely your customers will review your website first. Make sure it’s designed well, easy to navigate to the target goal you have in mind, and built with human users and search engines in mind.
A responsive website is currently the best way to build a new website. Responsive means it will respond to different screen sizes on mobile devices, laptops, PCs, etc. The screen adjusts to allow the user to view elements on the page easier than if they were viewing it in the same format on all screens. For example, on an iPhone usually, the screen will morph into a layout similar to an iPhone app. The menu shrinks down to a mini menu icon, also known as a hamburger menu because it looks similar to one, and the text and images are enlarged, so they are easier to read. Please read this blog post on responsive web design for a full explanation.
Your website color scheme should match your logo many times. When a web designer builds your website, they will also offer you a logo design. First, check their portfolio and make sure their style is in line with your branding. If they are a good fit, then it will usually be good to have them design your logo along with your website because they will match perfectly. A logo is essential for your branding; it should be easy to remember and very professional-looking.
The website hosting you choose could make or break your business, depending on the type of website you need to build. For example, if you only want a small 10-page website for a mom-and-pop store, a shared hosting provider will do the trick nicely. You can find thousands of shared hosting providers with a quick Google search. However, if your website is going to rely on lots of traffic to build income and leads, then it needs to be able to support this traffic. You don’t want your site caving in when it matters most, such as when you run a TV ad and get thousands of visitors in one day, this could cost you a ton of money. So, in this case, you want to make sure it can support traffic spikes. I highly recommend either a dedicated server or at least a VPS (virtual private server), allowing you to grow and handle traffic spikes.
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing
- Facebook Page
- Twitter Page
- LinkedIn Page
- Pinterest Page
- Email marketing
- Link building
- Content marketing
- Video Advertising
- Local SEO and Marketing
- Google Local Listings
- Related directories
- Pay Per Click
- Google AdWords
- LinkedIn Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Twitter Ads
- Video Advertising
A shared hosting environment or a managed server will usually include a server administration service that will cover most of the required duties involved in maintaining your server. However, suppose you are running your server, and it’s not managed. In that case, you will need to hire a server administrator to perform upgrades and maintain a secure environment for your websites to run.
Once your website is built, much like a plant, it needs to grow, or it will die. You will need to perform upgrades to software and systems used to run the site and regular backups to ensure your valuable content is not lost. It’s usually a good idea to have the same company that built your site do the maintenance because they know the site very well and can tell what is wrong much faster, saving you money.