How to get started building a Website
Does my Business need a Website?
In today’s age of technology and smart phones, where do consumers first turn to when looking to learn more about a business? That’s right, a Website.
It’s really not a question of do I need a Website. It’s really a question of when and how should my business get a Website. In this article, I shall help you get started in the process owning a website.
What are the first things to know about setting up a Website?
Some have worries about what a Website might cost. Others might be worried about where to begin. Others still, might be concerned about the time it might take to maintain a Website. Fear not, a Website might seem intimidating at first. But I bet that you felt the same about your very first job that you had no experience in. You learned that job and soon it was no sweat to go into work. Just like that, I shall give you all you need to get started on this new avenue of your business!
Necessary Costs. There are some costs that are 100% necessary to get started on a Website. Such as your Domain (yourbusiness.com or your-organization.org), Hosting and an SSL for your Domain (security). A simple way to explain this is a storefront. All the signs pointing to your business are like the Domain. And the Hosting is like the building itself, where everything happens. Lastly your SSL gives your customers a sense of security but at the same time keeps the baddies out. You can't have one without the other. With that in mind how much do these cost? Pretty reasonable. Domains start at $15 per year for ‘.com’ domains. Hosting starts around $100 per year. And SSL starts at Free to $30 per year depending on who you choose for hosting. Nothing scary, right?
Costs to Consider. You may be wondering, What about the cost of the website itself? That really depends on what your business is looking to accomplish through the site. You may want to ask yourself: Does my business just need to get the word out about what my business does? Or am I selling a product on my site? Or is my business looking to grow? With those questions in mind you have a few options. (1) "Build it yourself" website. as opposed to (2) Hosting a custom made website. Some on a budget go for the first option since most hosting providers have a “Build it yourself” website option. Keep this in mind when using any “Build it yourself” websites. While using a “Build it yourself” site has cost advantage and is a little less complicated to work with, it may hinder you when needing to expand. Consider first not "how much can I spend on a website" but "where do I see your business in 5, 10, 15 years"! For businesses that want to expand, not only fast, and big, don’t even look in the direction of a “Build it yourself” website. They hire a Web Designer and Developer to build a website that can be easily expanded in the future. On the flip side a small restaurant may only need basic information on their site. Is there still an advantage to hiring a Web Designer or Developer? Yes! A talented Web Designer can go beyond what “Build it yourself” websites offer. They can tailor completely to your brand. Then your website can fully reflect your business. Another advantage is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There's no limits on SEO when you hire a Web Designer or Developer to build your custom website. So where do I even begin?
Where to start.
- Your 'Why' (Your Why is the purpose, the cause, or the belief that drives your business)
- Your Brand (An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets)
- Your ideas (Your future vision of your business)
- Products/Services that set you apart from your competition
- Team/Personal Bios
- Customer Testimonials
- Description of Business
- Eye catching Images and Video (We live in an increasingly visual age)
- Social Media (Post regularly)
- Business Finder Sites (Yelp, Manta, etc)
- SEO (Let the world know)
With all this time your putting in, so far, you may wonder how much more time do I need to devote to my site?
Maintaining a site. Again this depends on the type of site you have. For informational sites you should make sure that all information on your site is current; (e.g.) Business times, Menus, Staff, Services, Products, etc… You also need to make regular posts to your Social Media.
For anything beyond an informational site, expect a minimum of an hour a day. Since time is money, you can save time by hiring a dedicated employee for site maintenance and Social Media post or some Web Designers/Developers offer site maintenance if your are strapped for time.
So now you're ready to get started!
“But wait, there’s so much more I don’t get!”.
Ah yes, we have only scratched the surface. Look for the next article to get down to the nitty-gritty of each aspect of getting started with your website!