Get your website up and running as soon as possible. It’s necessary for credibility and for your potential customers to be able to find you. Regardless of whether your products or services will be sold online, your website is an essential tool to build confidence in your customers when deciding whether or not to purchase your goods. Even if your product is not yet built, you can start your website today. The earlier you build your site, the earlier its content (your products, information, and posts) will start to gather an audience.
OK so now you know you can’t get by without a website. Great. But, how much will it cost you? Probably more money than you’d like to spend, right? If you’ve had a website built for you in the past, or know anyone who has; chances are they paid several thousands (or tens of thousands) of pounds for their site. Well let me fill you in on a little secret. Every Graphic Designer and Web Developer is a lying thief. (OK that’s a little harsh, but we’re trying to make a point). Graphic Designers and Web Developers are great at creating custom websites with cool functions; but if you’re just starting out and have a brick and mortar business this is one business area where you can skip the pros and save your money without sacrificing the professional results.
Here is a quick 3-step DIY Guide to building your first business website.
Step 1: Outline your website content
Your website should include the following standard pages: Homepage, Products & Services, About Us, and Contact Us. You might want to consider including a testimonials, reviews, and a blog. Customer testimonials and reviews are especially helpful for building confidence in your product or service; whereas a blog is a great way to generate traffic to your site and keep visitors coming back. Now you can begin writing the content for each of these pages. Be clear and informative. Don’t try to show off by using fancy, complicated words; the simpler the better. Everyone and anyone who lands on your site should be able to grasp what it is you’re selling.
If you don’t already have one, get started on a logo. You can enlist the help of a Graphic Designer friend (don’t tell them what I said about them above), or use an inexpensive service like Fiverr or Tailor Brands. When creating your logo, consider all the ways in which it will be used: website, letterheads, business cards, bags, boxes, etc. You’ll like need a few variations of your logo to fit each of these. For example, you might have your standard logo, an icon or initials only version, a horizontal version, etc. Check out the different variations of the Coca-Cola and Disney logos.
Step 3: Start building your site
Now here’s where you’re really going to hurt your Graphic Designer/Developer friends; you’re going to use a website template. These are exactly as they sound, website templates that you simply put on a server and fill with your content. There are plenty of beautiful and impressive templates out there, some are free and some are available at minimal cost. Use your new logo to influence the ‘feel’ for your website, is it ultra-modern or retro? Ornate or minimalist? Once you’ve settled on a template, use the content you created above to fill it out and make it your own. Some great sites for finding templates or DIY website builders include: WIX, ThemeForest, and Website Builder.
Voilà! You did it! You built your very own website and at a fraction of the cost. Well done.
Ready. Set. Go!
Regardless of how much or how little work you’ve already put into building your business, there’s always a lot more to do.