Did you recently start a business? If so, you’ve probably thought about setting up a business website. But maybe you don’t know where to begin. And maybe you’re not ready to spend several thousand dollars by working with a web design agency or freelance web designer. What can you do? Well, it’s possible to build your own basic website. I’ll give you an overview of the process.
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Steps to Build Your Own Website
Define Your Goals
Why do you want a website? What do you want it to do for your business? How will you know when your website is successful, or doing its job? How will you know when it’s a failure? These may seem like simple questions with easy answers, but take the time to answer them.
Define Your Audience
Many aspects of your website depend on your target audience: the organizations and individuals that you want to buy your products or services.
So, before you get into design, content, and the rest of your website, start by defining your audience. After all, your website is for your customers, not for you.
Create Your Content
What’s content? The text, images, videos, audio, etc. that your website contains. If you’re on a tight budget, you may create a lot of your content yourself, or find free content that you can legally use.
Here’s advice on how to decide on your website content.
Don’t be dry and informational in your content; be relatable, personal, and human. Show your personality!
Choose Your Website Platform
If you don’t have experience working with websites, you want to choose a website platform that will take care of the technical details for you.
Consider WordPress.com or Squarespace. If you’re building an ecommerce site (if you’ll take payment for products or services right through your website), consider Shopify. WordPress.com and Squarespace can do ecommerce, but Shopify is focused on ecommerce and has more ecommerce features.
One advantage of WordPress.com is that you can easily transition to a self-hosted WordPress site later, which a web design agency can build for you.
Choose Your Design
This is the part most people think of when they think of making a website: the visual design. Make sure your website’s design fits your brand identity (your logo, color scheme, fonts, etc.).
Also, make sure your design is mobile-friendly; that it works well on phones and tablets. More than half of Web traffic comes from mobile devices.
Build the Structure
Now it’s time to build the structure of your website. Think of it as the skeleton. Create the main pages, such as Home, About, Services, and Contact.
If you’ll be blogging (regularly posting articles), which has business benefits, you’ll want to create a blog to contain your posts.
Set up your navigation menu to make it easy for people to find their way to your most important content. That’s good for them, and for you!
Enter Your Content
Once your content is ready, you need to put it on your site. Make it visually attractive, and mobile-friendly.
Promote Your Website
Your website won’t do your business any good if no one goes to it; your website is useless without marketing. And people won’t visit it unless they find out about it somehow. There are many ways to promote a website, including:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click ads (PPC)
- Social media
- Email marketing
If you’re on a tight budget, start with doing as much as you can on your own, for as inexpensively as possible. When you’re able to afford it, hire an agency to handle your online marketing.
Looking for a Professionally Designed Website?
I realize that not all businesses are willing to go the do-it-yourself route. Maybe you want your very first website to look professional. Maybe you want it to be a marketing machine, generating leads for you. Maybe you see the value of a website and are willing to invest in a professionally designed and developed website.
And even if you start with a DIY website, as your business grows you’ll want to upgrade to a more professional website.
When you reach the point that you want professional help from a team with years of WordPress experience, contact us!