If you own your own business and whether you trade online, have a physical store or operate from an office, having a good website should be an essential part of running your company as it will help maximise your chances of success when scaling up!
To help you with the process of creation, we have put together some areas to consider before you start:
1. Why are you building a website?
Make sure you have a clear idea of the purpose of your website and what you want it to achieve for your business. It may be as a platform to sell your goods and services or to provide information on your company. Think before you start and it will make designing the site a lot easier.
2. Who are you targeting?
Awareness of your target audience is important; your website should be designed with them in mind. Using images, colours, fonts and logos appropriate to your demographic will mean they are more likely to engage with your site.
3. What is your budget?
Having a clear idea of budget will reduce the risk of overspending. Using a web designer will cost money but you will be given a clear idea of how much functionality and design you can get for your money. Using a web builder (such as WordPress or Shopify) will also include monthly fees, so be aware of all associated costs.
4. Do your research
Research a wide variety of other websites, analyse those you’ve used in the past. What is good and/or bad about them? Which eye catching techniques do they use and how easy are they to navigate? Arm yourself with as much information as possible before you start.
Aim to create a site that’s easy to use and provides users with a positive experience.
5. Choosing a domain name
This is also known as your website address. You may want to make your name SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) friendly, so include words that are relevant to your product. It should be easy to spell, catchy and try to avoid numbers to make it easier to remember. Also try not to make the name too restricting as you may want to develop your product line in the future.
Once you’ve decided on a name confirm its availability then buy it through a domain registrar.
6. Selecting a website host
A website host offers the technology and services to allow your website to be viewed on the internet and its cost will depend on the support you need.
Once you have a website host you can connect your domain name to the host provider so customers will see your site when they type in the address.
7. Building your pages
Your pages should include a homepage from which you can navigate to other areas of your site. Each page should have a clear purpose with call to actions - for example, sign up, contact us, shop now, learn more, about us etc. The contact page is important so make sure it is easy to find and includes lots of information
Pages should be clear including a well written outline of what your business does.
8. Setting up a payment system
If your products can be purchased online you will need to integrate an electronic payment system with your website.
Some web hosts offer an in-house shopping cart so research the alternatives and make sure you get one that is easy and flexible for your needs.
Look at incorporating an analytics program into your site as this will provide you with analysis on its performance, allowing you to modify pages and maximise its effectiveness.
10. Test your site
Test it thoroughly and get other people to test it as well - familiarity may render you blind to an obvious error. Make sure it works on all major browsers and devices and don’t be in a hurry to get it published, the more you test the smoother your transition will be and the fewer problems you will have in the future.