So you have your shiny new business up and running, but now you need a website, or will your website be your new business? There are many options, and this only adds to the confusion. This article will tell you about some of your choices and how to get ready so that your website design goes smoothly.
To Do List for Your First Website…
- 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 own site
- Hire a professional web designer or design firm to build your website
Your choice depends on how serious you are about your business and how important it is to your income. Your choice should not be based on the cost alone. 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, then you want to make sure your website is the best it can be. It’s not the 1990s anymore, and a website is now the most 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, if you have yet to guess it, we recommend option 3. You should hire a firm to build your website because it’s too big a project and too important for one person to learn from scratch. For tasks like designing, building, marketing, and keeping a website running well, you need an experienced team with experts in each area.
Here are just a few of the services required to run a website:
Custom Web Design
You want to make sure that your design is unique by using custom web design. You don’t want to have the same site as your competitor; it’s essential to stand out from the competition, and your website will be the first thing your customers look at. Make sure it’s well designed, easy to navigate, and built with both human users and search engines in mind. Make sure to build the site first for people and then for search engines, focusing most of your attention on mobile, which is now the main way customers use your website.
Responsive Website Design
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. On an iPhone, for instance, the screen usually changes to look like 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 enlarge, 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; often, when a web designer builds your website, they will also offer you a logo design. First, look at their portfolio of logo designs to make sure their style fits with your brand. If they are a good fit, then it is a good idea to have them design your logo along with your website because then they will match perfectly. A logo is crucial for your branding; it should be easy to remember and look professional.
The website hosting you choose could make or break your business, depending on the type of website you need to build. For example, a shared hosting provider will do the trick if you only want a small 10-page website for a mom-and-pop store. You can find thousands of shared hosting providers with a quick Google search. However, if your website relies 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 to cave 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 ensure it can support traffic spikes. I highly recommend either a dedicated server or at least a VPS (virtual private server), as this will allow 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 Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Twitter Ads
- Video Advertising
Most shared hosting environments and managed servers come with a server administration service that takes care of most of the tasks needed to keep your server running. However, suppose, for some reason, you are running your own server, and it’s not managed. In that case, you will also need to hire a server administrator to make sure your website is always up-to-date and safe.
Once your website is built, much like a plant, it needs to grow, or it will die. Even a tiny 10-page website should have a blog where new content can be added to draw in new traffic and increase leads. You’ll also need to keep the software and systems that run the site up-to-date and make regular backups to make sure that your valuable content can be restored if something goes wrong. 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 quickly tell what is wrong, saving you money.
Need help with your website? Get a free consultation.