An online business without a website is no business at all. There are countless reasons why you should have a professional website, including:
- Your competitors have websites.
- Potential clients are looking for your services online.
- A website is a personal profile for your business.
- It can act as an online brochure.
- It creates a professional impression with visitors.
- It gives information about your business 24/7.
- It's a cheap way to get into business.
- It offers 24/7 customer care.
- Professional branding with domain email addresses.
- It provides instant credibility.
Setting up a website needn't cost an arm and a leg. You can do it yourself if you are half tech-savvy, or if you want a very professional site, consider hiring a professional to develop it for you.
We're going to show you how to do create a website right here.
Webdesign Factors to Consider Before You Buy Your Site
If this is your first website, you have a lot to consider. Some of the aspects of web design will determine the type of hosting and database you select. It also has to match your level of skills and how easily people will be able to find your site.
They say that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but websites are very much judged by their appearance and ease of use - not only for you but most importantly, for your audience.
Here's what you should consider:
1. Who's going to develop your site?
Are you going to design the website, or are you planning to hire someone to do it for you?
If you have the skills, you will save money by doing it yourself.
If you don't have the skills needed to build a quality website, it may be worth your while to rather invest the money into getting a professional to do it for you. You will save a lot of your own time, and spend it on other income producing activities instead.
2. What type of website do you need?
Do you need a professional business site, an online portfolio or a blog? You need to know this before you buy the site. A professional will be able to best advise you on the best platform and hosting package for your needs, provided you have a clear vision about your website goals.
3. Who is your target audience?
If your target audience consists of internet-savvy individuals, you may have to spend some more time to ensure your website is designed to meet their high-level needs. For a less tech-savvy audience, you could probably get away with a less complicated design.
Current design trends are based on:
- clean, simple interface
- user-friendly structure
- responsive design
- and mobile integration
4. How do you want to arrange your content?
Content is extremely important for a website, but where design is concerned, you need to choose your content blocks carefully. The way content is presented will impact on how easily your readers can access the information they are looking for. Once you have a clear idea on how you will organise the content, you can design the site to suit your needs.
If you need certain functionalities, it's important to discuss that with your designer. Some platforms don't allow for too much functionality, and it may be better to go for a site that is coded from scratch.
6. Search Engine Optimisation
SEO important if you want your site to rank in search engines. Without a good ranking, you will have a hard time making money online. Professional designers know how to code a CMS site with built-in SEO options.
7. Coded, Template or CMS
Designers all have strong opinions to support their preferences. The fact remains, however, that if you will be designing your own site, your method will depend on your levvel of experience.
Most platforms offer great templates to work from. Paid themes are usually less buggy and look more professional. Alternatively, you could create the templates from scratch, which does require coding skills.
A designer could could a site from scratch, using your exact specifications. While this may cost more than a free template that you can tweak slightly to personalise, the professionalism will certainly offer long-term benefits.
Once you have made the decision about your goals and specifications, you can go ahead and select a domain name, a hosting package and a content management system.
Here are some great resources related to setting up a new website:
- Google Webmaster Academy
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