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It’s increasingly difficult for businesses to succeed without a web presence, even brick-and-mortar ones. From product research to finding a location and operating hours, consumers use the Internet for everything. An attractive, well-designed website can give your business an edge, and if you sell products, it may open up new markets and expand your market reach.
It is now easy for anyone to use website design software. Developing an attractive and functional website does not require coding knowledge. If you want your website to look professional, be easy for people to find, and portray your company well, you need to follow some basic rules and tips.
You can create your own website by following this step-by-step tutorial.
1. Know what your website is primarily for.
An organization’s website usually serves as a place to post general information about itself or a platform for e-commerce. You need to tell the world exactly what your company does – on the homepage in plain English – regardless of whether the site is a simple one with information about your company or an e-commerce site. The website designer at Followbright, Erin Pheil, warned customers not to root around trying to find if their company can meet their needs.
2. Choose the name of your domain.
An important aspect of your website is the domain name. Sharing it with your existing and potential clients, and promoting it on social media, is what you need to do. Hence, it needs to be descriptive and as easy as possible to remember and type in. Avoid using abbreviations, acronyms, and numbers if you can, to avoid confusing customers.
Choosing a top-level domain, or TLD, is also necessary. You will find these at the end of your domain name, for instance, .com, .net, or .biz. More and more nontraditional TLDs are being used these days.
Location-based TLDs include .NYC, and business-related TLDs include .marketing, .agency, and .law. The most common is still .com, even though these can be descriptive. You can learn more about nontraditional TLDs by reading our article.
3. Choose a host for your website.
Hosting is the storage of all the data for a website on a server that is available to the public all the time. You’ll need an external host if you don’t have the budget to host your own website.
There are two routes you can take, depending on your budget. The less-expensive solution, the shared web host, means your site will be hosted on a shared server. Although devoted hosting is more expensive, you get your own private server, which means your speed won’t be affected by competing sites. Hosting is included in some monthly packages offered by web builder platforms like Squarespace and Wix.
4. Build your web pages.
It takes more than a static homepage to make a good website. Creating multiple pages for different aspects of your business will help to improve accessibility, such as creating a catalog of services or products, or a blog for keeping your customers up to date. You should also make sure that each page of your website supports the primary objective, has a purpose and includes a call to action (such as “learn more,” “join,” “contact us,” or “buy this”).
You should include as much information on your contact page as possible, since it is your customers’ direct link to you (your business’s phone number, email address, and location if you have one). On an “about” page, you may also want to include information about your founding team so that your customers can see the faces behind the brand.