21 Dec 18-Step Guide In Creating A Website For Entrepreneurs
Whether you want to do it yourself or hire a professional, this checklist will definitely help you focus on design, and less about the technical know-how.
Your domain name will serve as your business name in the web. It is considered a unique piece of property that solely belongs to you. Check if your chosen domain is still available by visiting either GoDaddy or NameCheap. Once you have decided on a name, you can purchase it via the aforementioned websites.
Tip: The length of purchase for a domain name can highly influence search engine optimization so better buy a domain name for a 5-10 year period rather than renewing annually.
Now that you have a business name, we need a place to display and build your website. This is what hosting companies are for, they allow you to “rent space” in the web. Choose one that has excellent reviews, great customer service and reasonable pricing.
Navigation is important in website building. If you are to succeed in business, you must be able to successfully guide an average user through the pages of your website. Before deciding on design and other functions, pinpoint the pages you intend to integrate into your website. This will definitely take out the pain of revisions and continuous guessing.
The most commonly used pages are Home, About Us and the Contact Page. Determine whether you want to set up a blog, a page for your services or what other Categories you think is suitable for your website
5. Layout and Design
Now that you’ve figured out the sections that you want to display in your site, the next thing you have to consider is how you want it displayed. Before playing with color, consider how you want the text to be displayed in the website. Do you want to incorporate a slideshow? or a video?
This will depend on whether you want to create your web design from the ground up, or you simply want to purchase a theme or a template and improvise. Whatever your decision may be, make sure that it reflects exactly what you’ve envisioned for your brand.
Take time to brainstorm what you want the “above the fold” part of your website to look like. Above the fold is simply a term used to define the part of your website that displays at first glance, without the need to scroll down.
If you have the layout ready, then you can start deciding with your stylist the colors that you want to use, including the background images, as well as the font.
Tip: The challenge for most designers is trying to hold back and keeping it simple. Remember to always put in mind your end user instead of just thinking about expressing your creative self.
I know.. I know.. You, too, were once obsessed with Comic Sans. But seriously, reminiscing your childhood won’t do much help in website building. Especially if you want your audience to take you seriously as a business. Choose fonts that are simple and professional. Font size should be large enough for a visitor to read visibly.
With layout and design finally done, we can now concentrate on the heart of our website – the CONTENT. So what is content? Unlike its average meaning, web content can mean a lot of things. It could be in the form of articles, ebooks, videos, graphics and even podcasts. Just so we are on the same page, let us summarize content into three things:
Valuable – First and foremost, it must be valuable. It must either inform, inspire, move, motivate or spark the interest of a reader.
Drives Traffic – Content is used to drive traffic. We’re creating this to build our reputation and with the end goal of letting others know who we are.
Connects – Whether you’re selling an item, or you want to earn more subscribers, always keep in mind that your content must either have a call to action, a link, or anything that either promotes your business or services. Otherwise, your content won’t meet its purpose.
The rise of social media sites coupled with the lack of time for reading has brought to us the era of digital artwork. For most, images is a must for websites. If you serve your customers with high quality, customized images instead of those free stock photos you see in most sites, you not only increase your credibility, but you are also able to create a brand that separates you from the rest.
Tip: When creating images for blog posts, always make sure that they are of the right measurement for social media sharing.
There are two factors you should focus on: (1) Compatibility across different browsers and (2) Compatibility across different devices.
With regards the first, one must keep in mind that not everyone has Google Chrome installed on their browsers. Some elderly people still prefer Internet Explorer or they might even be using Mozilla Firefox. Thus, it is better to be prepared than miss out on these customers.
The second talks about responsiveness – whether your website is mobile-friendly and would display properly in any type of device. Creating a responsive website is a little bit expensive, so most would create a separate mobile site instead. Whatever your decision may be, always keep in mind your customer. Mobile responsiveness is also one of Google’s mobile ranking factors, this will help you increase traffic and be much more.
10. Load Time
Is your site’s load time reasonable? Don’t make your visitors leave without even getting a glance at your site by providing them with faster load time. The ideal site comes in 100KB; if you can do it for just 60KB, it’s much better.
11. 404 Pages
Often guests would rearrange or delete a part of the URL to get to a page they want, or to a more broader page than the category they’re looking for. Be sure that your site can easily be navigated in terms of links. If you don’t have a specific page, make sure to tell your audience by creating 404 Pages or displaying a Page Not Found Notification.
12. ALT tags
One of the most important SEO concepts is optimizing your images for search engine use. This means that your images should have a alt tag or description in its code. If an image fails to load, it would display the text encoded in the alt tag instead. Not only will this help your site visitor in understanding what the image is about, it will also help search engines translate your image into a much more suitable search result.
The essence of links is not only found in the increase of your brand’s authority, but more relevantly in the correlation between your content and other content in the web out there. We will only tackle about a few links here.
Your logo should link to your homepage. Often overlooked by webmasters, it is important for a business owner to associate his logo to the main page of the site, rather than redirect them to a new page displaying a larger view of the said image.
Another link you should consider is the structure of your internal links. Is your content interrelated? Are you making use of your blog properly? Instead of redirecting your site visitor to another website by linking to authority pages, why not redirect them to another article in your website that provides supplementary information, or a service that would very much help them in their problem?
Customize permalinks instead of the default URL provided by your webmaster. You definitely don’t want a bunch of number combinations to display in social media sites, do you? Why does it matter? Because it’s one of SEO’s most recognized concepts. How you structure your links will help you be more identical. Better start doing it now while you still have a limited number of pages, rather than having to change it later.
14. Search Function
Google prides itself with its search algorithm. It has made a name for itself because of the term SEARCH. Is your website also making use of the same concept? Can your visitors easily navigate through your pages and immediately find the information they’re looking for?
If you only have a few pages, then the search function wouldn’t be much useful. But for websites with a blogs, and other essential information, offering a search button would be very helpful for visitors.
15. Call to Action Buttons
Take control of your website by telling your visitors what you want them to do. If they’re interested in a specific section, don’t let the connection end there. Provide your audience with bright-colored call to action buttons as you guide them to a more detailed page where you can market or sell your product or services. You can either bring them to a landing page, a contact page or anywhere else in your website which you deem is relevant to his/her search.
16. Social Media
A must-have for every website aiming for high traffic is maintaining a social media reputation. Is your content easily shareable? Have you integrated various social media functions into your site? If not, then now is the best time to place them. You can also create customized social media buttons if you want your website to be more cohesive when it comes to design.
17. Other Website Functions
The best websites know that there is a balance between design and function. If you are a membership site, how do you set up registration? Do you simply let your audience fill up a form, or do you have a separate page that you’d like to give them access to once they’ve signed up?
Other functions would include downloading certain files, email subscription, etc.
Tip: If you’re a WordPress user, check out the various plugins that will help you achieve your goal.
Lastly, let’s not forget measurement. Yes, design and function are important, but analytics tells us exactly how effective are our marketing strategies. We have to ensure growth, and how our website is involved in that growth. Making sales just isn’t enough, we also must consider other factors such as SEO. Analytics will also help us identify the areas where we need to improve in and can lead us to a path towards development.
Do you need an expert to set up your website? We can help! Schedule a free consultation and let us build the perfect website for your business.
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