I Need A Website For My Small Business
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Hanging up your Open sign is a great feeling but it takes a lot of work to get there and even more to stay there. These days a website is an integral part of any small business, but how do you make sure your website really works for your business? Should you build your own website using one of the many do it yourself solutions? Should you look for someone to build your website for you? Well, the answer is... it depends.
Before you embark on your website building adventure, why not take our quick quiz and find out if you should DIY (do it yourself) or hire a Pro.
How many people use the internet? How about 2 and a half BILLION people! (give or take a few hundred thousand)
And how many of those people have made a purchase online or contacted a company via the company's website?
Would you believe about 90% of those folks?
That's a huge amount of business to miss out on because you don't have a great website.
YOU NEED A GREAT WEBSITE!
DIY TIPS - Building Your Own Website
Good job! It sounds like you've got what it takes to tackle your website project. Read on for some helpful advice.
Here's What You Need
Here's a list of the basic necessities you'll need to start your new website.
This is where your website will live. There are a few different extensions available. The .com extension is the most recognized along with .org and .net. You'll register (buy) your domain name for a set period of time in yearly increments.
Hosting is where you will store all the files for your website. It's kind of like leasing space for your store or office, except in a digital sense. There are lots of hosting providers and plans available. As with most things, buyer beware is good advice to heed.
Before you begin to add content to your website you'll need to decide what type of platform to use. When I first started building websites we used HTML and CSS. These days the way to go is with a CMS (Content Management System).
Now you need content for your website; the actual text, images, and video that makes up your website.
Of course, if you use one of the DIY website builders you simplify some of the steps. You won't have to worry about what platform to use or who to choose for hosting. Most DIY options provide one-stop shopping with domain registration and hosting as part of the package.
These are a few of the DIY website builders. Buyer beware and make sure and read the fine print if you decide to use one of these. Double and triple check pricing.
While some DIY website builders promote FREE websites, there is usually a payment involved somewhere in the process.
Keep an eye out for upsells and the "free to build but pay to publish" trap.
Our DIY Website Tips
- Spend some time choosing a domain name. (.com is preferred)
- You can usually get a deal if you buy your domain and hosting from the same vendor. (but you don't have to)
- Don't skimp on hosting. (there is nothing worse than a slow website or one that's down a lot) Look for SSD storage
- High-quality stock photographs are better than lesser quality photos of your own
- Stay away from Flash, it's horrible for SEO
- Pick one or two fonts and stick to them consistently
- Choose colors carefully. In most cases, reserved is better than bright and bold
- Limit the use of gimmicky effects. (in fact, just skip them)
- Submit your site to Google and Bing
- Don't forget about Social Media
Once you have your website online, you'll need to monitor it and make adjustments, sometimes daily. Don't expect to see your site show up in searches for a while. We have had sites take up to six months before they began to show up in the rankings.
We wish you success in your website efforts. If you get stuck... well, you know the number. (573) 746-2528
You Should Hire a Pro
You should fire yourself as your website person. That's probably what you would expect us to tell you since we are in the business of developing websites, but we're being honest with you.
You've seen the ads about how easy it is to create your own website and maybe you've even started down that road. Our recommendation? Fire Yourself today. Here's why.
The Time Factor
The time you spend working on your own website is time taken away from running your business. You're going to spend a lot of time finding your way around and figuring things out. That's all unproductive time. Not to mention that you probably need your website up and running pronto.
It's possible you can create your own website and make it look exactly how you want it to look. Be careful here. You'd be surprised what an effect aesthetics can have on how visitors perceive your business. What you think looks great may not be received with the same enthusiasm by the visitors to your website. Colors, textures, typography, and knowing when to apply various effects are crucial to a great website.
Want To Get Found Online?
You can create a gorgeous website but it won't do you much good if nobody ever sees it. It is critical to incorporate SEO right from the beginning of the design process. Without solid Organic SEO your chances of turning up in a favorable position in search results is very poor. Think you know SEO? Think again. SEO is a constantly changing field and takes a ton of time and effort to stay current with the technology.
Stick With What You're Great At
Chances are you don't design and create websites for a living. We do and we think we're pretty darned good at what we do. You're probably pretty good at what you do too. So let's both do what we do best!
Are You Fired?
We gave you our honest advice. It's up to you now. Firing yourself is never easy but if you find yourself fired, we'd be interested in discussing your project. Here's our number if you're ready: (573) 746-2528.
If you decide to continue with building your own website, we can help there too. We would be happy to answer questions or get you headed in the right direction so you can make the best of the situation. Remember that number? (573) 746-2528.