26 May Building your first website
Building your first business website can be quite a challenge. Here are some tips to get you started. The article has been shortened. Please follow the link to read the full article.
30 Tips for Building Your First Business Website
Published: Oct 20, 2015 Last Updated: Jan 22, 2021 by Annie Pilon
“Don’t know a blog from a website from social media platform? Are you ready for your first business website but don’t know how to get started?
Having a professional, comprehensive website is important for pretty much every new business. But getting started can seem intimidating for those who have never had their own website before. Below are tips for building your first business website.
Have a Clear Goal
Every small business website is different because every one serves a different purpose. If you want your first business website to be a portal for people to buy products, you need to build it around that goal. If you want it to provide information and entice potential clients to call you, you have to build it with that goal in mind. A website without a clear purpose will only cost you time and money while providing little, if any, benefit.
Write Your Own Content
Before getting started with building your first business website, you should decide, at least in basic terms, what you want it to say. According to Emily Bracket, president of design and branding firm Visible Logic, the website owner should at least start the content creation for their own site. Even if you plan to hire someone to edit or polish it, you know the basic message of your company more than anyone else will.
State Your Purpose Clearly and Quickly
You do, however, want to make sure that the written content of your website isn’t too long-winded. Website visitors don’t often spend a lot of time reading through pages of content just to find basic information. So make sure that the important points about your company and its offerings are very clear and easy for visitors to find.
Tell Customers What You Can Do for Them
It can also help to try reading your content as a potential visitor. According to Bracket, a common pitfall she sees among new website owners is a tendency to focus on what they do, rather than what benefit they provide to customers or clients.
Utilize Calls to Action
Another way to make your goals very clear to visitors is to utilize calls to action. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? If so, add a form on your main page. Do you want them to shop through your new collection of products? Tell them so.
Develop a Page Hierarchy
Almost all business websites include at least a few different pages. You might choose to go with a very simple format, including a home page, about page and contact page. Or you might want different pages for your different services, with a main services page that offers a general overview. That’s something you should decide on, or at least consider, before building or hiring someone to build your site.
If you’re unsure of how you want your first business website to look or how you want your content to read, look around for some websites that you really like. Don’t copy them, of course. But looking for some outside inspiration can help you get an idea of what you want from your new site.
Own Your Domain
Bracket also recommends that all businesses purchase an actual domain name. Some providers offer free ones that come with extensions. But yourbusiness.com tends to be more professional and easy to remember than yourbusiness.wordpress.com.
Choose a Reliable Host
There are also plenty of different hosting platforms available. Bracket and her team recommend and mainly work with WordPress, which she says is a great scalable and customizable option. But there are others that you can look into based on the needs for your particular website.
Consider Future Growth
However, if you plan or hope to grow your business quickly, think carefully before choosing a low-cost platform aimed at very small sites. Platforms like Wix and Squarespace can work great for businesses that plan to stay relatively small and use just a few features. But if you ever outgrow them, transferring all of your site content to a new host can be a pain, according to Bracket.
Get a Designer You Admire
If you are going to hire someone to create your first business website, choose someone who you think fits the style of your business. One of the best ways to do this is to look at those sites that you admire and see who’s responsible for the design.
Seek Samples and References
Once you have a few names to consider, take a look at their other work and don’t be afraid to ask for references.”
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