All businesses that exist in the digital age which we are all currently living in need a website. There aren’t really any other ways to look at it; if you want to achieve a high level of success, you’re going to need to have an online presence.
The easiest way for people to find your company will be through a search engine such as Google, that’s how most people will attempt to find out more about your venture. Therefore, when people search for your company on Google and fail to find a legitimate website attached to the business, they’ll stop searching immediately and look elsewhere for other similar firms. You do not want to let this happen, so you’re going to have to build a website.
I’ve never built a website before! …Don’t worry
The truth is that most modern business ventures with professional-looking websites aren’t exactly built from the ground up. They’re often created through a service such as Wix or WordPress, which provide business owners with templates and free-to-use design packages that help making a new website so much easier.
Long gone are the days of having to write separate bits of code to cover every single tiny detail across a business’ webpage. So, don’t be put off of the idea of having to build a website for a new business, because the chances are it’ll be much easier than you’re currently anticipating it to be.
What should I use to build my website?
In order to create a website that is clean, polished and easy to use (always consider the user experience), you’ll want to utilise some kind of website builder. If you’re a coder with a wealth of past experience, you’ll likely just go ahead and design your own website. Hat’s off to you if you’re capable of doing that, but most business owners don’t have a web design degree to fall back on, so we’re here to help you.
It comes down to two
Most people will find them either choosing to use WordPress or Wix when it comes to creating their business website. If you’ve been researching and reading up on the topic area then you’ve likely seen a few adverts for both website template services on YouTube, etc.
We’ll run you through a few of the main details of them both to help you make a decision on which will be the best fit for your unique set of circumstances and needs.
WordPress has been used to build so many websites over the years and it gives users a great set of tools and preset selections to choose from when creating a new site. You can customise most themes on there to make them feel more like your own and do anything from changing menu bars, adding social media links to the homepage, setting up a separate area for blog posts and more. This set of tools give website creators a lot of freedom and customisability, allowing them to make something that is in line with their way of thinking and that is able to capture the look of their own brand.
You should however keep in mind that a lot of the higher quality features are locked behind payment walls, which means if you don’t want to go digging deep into your pockets just yet, you may want to look elsewhere. A simple quick purchase will gain you access to the goodies however, so unless you’re looking to start things off with zero spending, then you’ll be more than fine to use WordPress.
• Lots of creative freedom and customization options
• Extensive custom ‘menu bar’ options
• Blog posts don’t have to be attached to the homepage
• Best features are locked behind pay walls
• If you want access to everything it gets pricey
• Not an easy process to integrate shop features
Wix is quite similar to WordPress in what it actually offers its users for free, as the best content is once again locked behind paywalls and things can start to quickly get pricey.
Wix offers a basic website builder that is free of charge. However, there are two major downsides to it. First, it adds Wix branded advertisements on the top and bottom of your website. Second, you cannot use a custom domain name for your site, so your website address will be: username.wix.com/site name.
It is worth noting that WordPress also offers its own branding throughout the free versions of it, but it is not as prominently placed as it is on Wix webpages.
Apart from that, the basic plan does not offer necessary add-ons such as Google Analytics, Favicons, eCommerce, etc. To remove ads and get additional features from their apps market, you’ll have to upgrade to one of the premium plans they offer.
• Arguably easier to make your site look professional than on WordPress
• Good level of customisation, particularly with layout and colour scheme options
• Social media links are easily integrated throughout the site
• It gets pricey very quickly with multiple paywalls
• Some things take a long time to learn
• The basic features aren’t as good as WordPress’
WordPress is the winner if you want more flexibility at a lower cost, but Wix will be your winner if your business is already well-developed and you’re willing to pay to take it to the next stage from a digital point of view. This is why the whole decision-making process depends on your own business’ predicament; if you are only just starting out in the world of business, you’re bound to have different needs to someone that has been working their way up the industry for years and years.
Assess your own situation and have a vision of where you see your company heading over the next few years and try to base your web design on those factors.
Build a great small business website
There are multiple things you need to consider before continuing on to create a website for your own small business venture; you need to make a great website! Here are a handful of things that should be crossing your mind when building your website:
Get the perfect domain name
Your domain name, otherwise called your website address, is regularly the entry point to your website. It is significant that it establishes a decent connection for convenience purposes, just as for search engine optimisation (SEO).
Keep it as short as possible – Make it short so it is easy to remember and type correctly.
Use the proper domain extension – Always do your best to make your website a dot com domain name (as opposed to .net, .co, etc.) unless it is more appropriate to use another extension, such as .gov, .edu, or .org.
Avoid numbers and hyphens – Adding complex characters to your domain name will make it awkward for customers to search for and even remember. Keep things basic and you’ll find yourself having a much greater level of success.
Make the address broad to facilitate future growth – For example, Amazon.com is a much broader website address than BooksOnline.com and allows Amazon to sell pretty much every type of consumer good instead of books only, as was its original purpose.
Ensure it is memorable – With so many websites on the internet, it is important that your website name is catchy so people will remember how to access it in the future.
Check if the price is right – Determine if you can purchase your desired website address at a reasonable price since most good domain names are taken and will need to be bought from the current owner.
Avoid nonsensical names – Choose a name that conveys a meaning so that users will know immediately what your business is. Yahoo and Google are catchy names, but they were very expensive to brand, and your small business may not have the same budget.
Decide the main role of your site
A business website by and large fills in as a space to give general information about your organisation or an immediate platform for online sales. Regardless of whether you make a basic site that educates people about what your venture stands for, or a more unpredictable online business webpage, the main thing you should do is say what your company does – on the landing page in plain terms. Try not to make clients root around to find if your firm can do what they need.
Make sure it describes what your business is
It is essential to tell your audience what your identity is and what you do straight away, so they don’t feel confounded when they visit your company website. Ensure your main landing page banner (otherwise called a “hero image”) and resulting flags are visual portrayals of your administrations, and furthermore that you have a basic book snippet close to the highest point of the page that depicts what your identity is and what you do.
Also, ensure both your principle and footer route menus have “About Us” page interfaces effectively available so individuals can click them and read more about your business inside and out.
Select a top e-Commerce platform
With no other option, shoppers moved online and during the months of April, May and June of this year, retailers reported a significant surge in e-commerce sales. In fact, retailer giant Amazon stated that their sales soared by a huge 40%. This is further proof that when a level of uncertainty hits the public, they’d rather act safely and spend their hard-earned cash online.
With that being said, the shift to online shopping was happening far before the impacts of 2020 begin to shake up all of our lives.
This means that your website needs to take full advantage of eCommerce sales; set up your online shop with the best possible eCommerce platform that is currently available in today’s marketplace.
Test your site before it goes live
Prior to shouting from the rooftops that your website is live, ensure it works with every single significant browser, such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Navigate each page and different feature on each program to guarantee pictures appear, links are active and right and the configuration looks smooth.
This will obviously take an extended amount of time, yet the effort you put in now will save you from future complaints from guests and visitors who can’t get to specific sections of your site. You want it to work for everyone and make sure that they are all having the best possible experience, so put in the working hours now before it’s too late. If people notice your website isn’t working right they’ll likely not award it with a second chance in the future to win them over.
Likewise, ensure that your site shows up correctly on mobile phones and other devices like tablets. This progression ought not be ignored, as Google and other search engines have relocated to portable first ordering, which focuses on the presentation of the mobile version of your site when it comes to rankings. If you want your website to get noticed, it needs to display properly on any and all current mobile devices out there.
Remember to cater to your customer base
When you’re deciding between the two services we have suggested here in this article, you need to keep in mind that convenience is the most important aspect of the customer experience.
In the current era we’re all living through the truly digital age where everything is online. If your business isn’t accessible on the internet in 2020 and beyond, you may as well forget about growth, improved sales and gaining a wider overall audience.
Your products and services won’t be viewed as legitimate if they’re not backed up with a well-established and accessible website that can be easily located and viewed. Beyond this, your business will not succeed if you don’t meet the needs of the modern-day customer, which are largely focused on online experience and satisfaction.
The first thing people will likely come across when first discovering and visiting your website will be the homepage, so don’t lose their attention straight away. By keeping things simple and easy to follow right from the main page of your website, you’ll give off a more welcoming vibe to your audience from the get-go.
Consider having an image or two and some clear menus but avoid a page that is text heavy and jam-packed with information. If that’s what your audience is looking for, they’ll click through your website to find it; don’t worry about telling them everything at once.