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Building A Website In 2018

Last updated: 2021-06-01 (originally published on 2018-03-13)   — by Alex Tanglao

If you have a business but don’t have a website, you are losing out on great opportunities for your business. A website is many things for your business: an online storefront, brand ambassador and salesperson. Your customers are going online to research your product, service, and brand as they make purchase decisions. A website can in fact be the most important marketing tool for your business. Having informative and engaging content on your website can help you connect with potential customers. 

Here, we outline the steps for building a website for your business: 

1. Choose a Website Builder

There are plenty of easy-to-use website builders that offer different packages depending on how much you are willing to spend versus how much you feel confident to do yourself. Most website builders operate on a simple drag-and-drop method that guides you through the steps as you go along. You’ll insert text, images and videos yourself without any need to sit through coding classes before you begin. Here are a few to look at and decide which provides the services you’re interested in for your site:

2. Choose your Domain

This is actually probably the hardest part. This is the URL people will type into the address bar to get to your site. You’ll want something that is apt for your business as well as easy to remember. Getting a domain name you like that is short, succinct and available can be a difficult task. Some website builders include a custom domain name when you sign up, but builder’s like WordPress for instance, will provide a domain that includes wordpress in the URL, which makes your site look a bit more Mickey Mouse than you might like. You can also purchase one yourself through a registrar like NameCheap, 123-reg, or GoDaddy.

You’ll also want to have email addresses that match up with your new domain name, which you can arrange inexpensively through Google’s G Suite, or you may find the website builder you’ve chosen also includes email services, which can be an easy option but may cost more for the overall package. Try to opt for a premium domain name like .com, .net, or a localised one like .co.uk as this immediately gives your site more credibility. On the downside, it will also be harder to find an available one but you’ll find that registering a domain name is a much less expensive option than acquiring one that’s already been purchased.

Related reading: 7 Online Marketing Tips For Your Small Business

3. Choose Your Template

One of the reasons website builders are such an effective way to create your own website without coding knowledge is because they have already designed a whole array of sites for you to choose from. All you have to do is have a gander through the different styles and pick the one that’s best suited to your service.

4. Add Text and Images

Once you attract people to your site, you’ll want them to stick around and see what you’ve got to offer. So make sure you choose high resolution images that look crisp and clear when uploaded (with website builders you just need to drag and drop them in) and spend some time writing the text that will inform visitors about what you do and why they need your service. Play around with font sizes and colours to make it look attractive to the eye. Add pages to the menu to separate your offerings into clear sections that are easy to find. Make sure to add an About Us paragraph (people always love to know the story and ethos behind a business) and a Contact Us page, so customers know how to get in touch easily.

5. Proofread, Edit and Test

Now this is will be more time-consuming than you might think. Read and re-read through all the text on your new site. Nothing will send customers running for the hills as fast as a typo or poorly written website that looks like it could be a scam. You want to convey trustworthiness and the best place to start is with a mistake-free site. Test the menu headers and make sure they all link to the page you want them to go to.

Then you’ll want to ensure it works and looks the same no matter which platform customers are viewing it from. Bring up the site on several different browsers like Chrome, Safari and Firefox to ensure the look is uniform on all and check it on mobile too. Ask your friends to preview it and get feedback on their experience so you can make final amendments before unveiling your site to the world.

6. Put in Place a Privacy Policy & Terms of Use  

The aim of a website is to raise awareness for your brand and increase engagement with your potential customers. It is thus important that you put in place the right documents and legal protections to ensure that you establish clearly the rights and obligations of your business vis-à-vis the individuals you engage with online.

Essential legal documents to include on your website include the following:

  • Website Privacy Policy clarifies how data provided by users of your website will be collected and used by your business. Users of your website are deemed to have accepted these terms by if they continue to use your website. By clarifying the scope of data privacy, you can avoid future disputes concerning data privacy infringement. 
 
  • A Website Terms of Use structures the relationship between you as a website operator and your website users by setting out each parties’ rights and obligations. They are made available on your website for users to read and, by continuing to use the site, your visitors are deemed to have accepted these terms.

7. Publish!

Once you’ve completed these steps, and your website looks and functions exactly as you want it to, your new cyber-baby will be ready to make its grand debut to the world wide web. Now, you can get it on search engines like Google so customers will be able to find your new little work of art that will hopefully help do a lot of the hard work to make your business a success.  

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