The first web page went publicly available on August 6, 1991, and it was invented by Berners Lee, an English Engineer, and Computer Scientist. These humble beginnings of the World Wide Web as we know it are hard to believe considering the increasing number of websites available today – with over 1.8billion websites available and counting
Fact is of the nearly 2 billion websites available today, only a quarter dominates the internet space – the rest are struggling. Here is something you basically don’t know, tons of businesses – small business entities especially – still don’t have a website even in the digital age. Perhaps, these businesses base their choice of creating a website on the number of their workforce. If you have this thought in mind, it’s high time you woke up from your slumbers. The benefits of building a business website cannot be overemphasized. To many who think they don’t need a website, think again. Now is the time to break through the inertia of inaction.
Why Create A Website
Are you operating a business without building a website? If you said yes, it’s almost as if your business is non-existence. In today’s digital age, building a strong online presence is a necessity. Many people and businesses do virtually everything via the internet today. Here is the big question, why do people surf the internet and visit websites? The answer is simple – to find information. As a business owner, it is essential to keep your customers updated with the latest information about your products and services. Building a website for your customers is, therefore, a necessity. Here are some benefits of creating a website for your business.
- Advertising and promoting products and services are affordable and cost-effective compared to other means such as television, radio, printed media etc. A website minimizes the cost of advertising.
- Besides its cost-effectiveness, websites are a great tool for advertising and promoting your brand. There are many ways to promote your brand using the internet. You can either use Search Engine Optimization or social media ads.
- Websites make it easy for customers to purchase your products. Many people will be more likely to visit your website rather than visiting your physical location. A website makes it easier to make enquires. This, in turn, improves customer satisfaction.
- With a website, there is no closing time. Your business is available 24/7. Unlike physical location when you have to turn customers away as it approaches closing time, a website makes your business more accessible. All you have to do is to post as much information as possible to help visitors make an informed decision.
- Keep customer updated with information by posting high-quality contents regularly. This helps drive traffic to your site. And more visitors lead to increased sales. The more attractive and informative your website is, the higher the possibility of increasing revenue.
Of course, your business has carved a name for itself locally but have you ever thought of expanding to other cities? There are many people in need of your service out there. You don’t necessarily have to establish a physical location in every city as this will be costly. A website will make your business visible anywhere around the world thus expanding reach. Don’t be a local champion; build a website and start competing with top brands around the world.
Understand What Type of Site You Need
Whether you’re considering building a new website from scratch or want to redesign your existing website, there are some important things to consider. The first step is deciding the right website that best suits your business need. Of course, there are different types of websites to choose from. Your choice of website will depend on your primary objective and the functionality you’ll need to make this a possibility.
The Main Types of Website
Back in the days, there were text-only websites used mainly by public institutions and government agencies for information purposes only. Thanks to technological advancement, there are different types of websites. Considering the various types of websites available nowadays, choosing the right one for you can be daunting. Here is a list of the most popular kinds of websites to help in your decision-making process.
This is one of the most popular types of website due to its marketing benefits. Buyers and sellers can transact easily online thanks to an effective content management system. With an e-commerce website, you showcase your products or services for people to buy. At first, building an e-commerce website might be a challenging task but there are great tools that can simplify the process so you can start selling online.
Corporate sites provide detailed information about a particular company. This site allows businesses to keep customers updated with the latest in products and services as well as progress made. If you’re starting a business in the corporate world, building a business website is a must.
Small and medium-size businesses are now taking the internet by storm today. What’s more, SME websites are a real deal since they are less expensive to maintain and comes with cheaper hosting cost in comparison to corporate websites. This kind of website should be responsive, engaging, easy to navigate, attractive and provide informative details about your product or service. A website with these features will definitely enhance customers experience.
Information websites are particularly helpful. Libraries are fast becoming obsolete as people now turn to the internet to gain access to all kinds of information. Answers to any question that comes to mind can be sourced through the internet. People can learn a lot from the internet. You can take advantage of this inquisitive nature of people by building information website.
Tips to Choose the Best Website Builder
As a small business owner, you are more likely running on a limited budget. Hiring a professional web design agency to build your website can be expensive. Good news is that there are various website builders online that can help you. With the countless number of builders available, choosing the right one can be tricky. These factors listed below will help you make the right decision
Check to see if the website builder is easy to use. It should come with intuitive design, so you can easily find features and upload contents on your site. Many website builders come with all the features you need to build your personal business website.
Another important factor to consider is your budget. Go for a website builder that you can afford. The average cost of setting up a business website are listed below
- Domain name - $10 and above annually
- Hosting - $10 and above a year
- Website maintenance - $400 and above every year
Keep in mind that the cost depends on the quality, and types of website. Above all, your budget should align with your business needs.
Plugins are software used to enhance the capability of a website builder. Be sure to choose a builder with ample plugins for SEO, collaboration, social media integration and many more.
Choose a builder that integrates perfectly with other supporting platforms including marketing, design and social media. The best website builders that fit this category include Squarespace, WordPress, and Weebly.
Prior to publishing contents on your website, you need to edit and preview for any errors. Choose a website builder that allows you to preview the webpage to give you an idea of how it will look when published.
This is one great way to choose the best website builder ever. Prior to making getting the right website builder, read online reviews. These reviews can help you make an informed decision on choosing the right website creator for your business needs. Don’t just believe what you see on the company’s website. Dig deeper and read reviews. You will learn more about the company this way.
The Most Popular Website builder
As a business owner, you know your website is a vital marketing tool. Many people visit your website to get information. The design and contents on your web pages can make the difference. Due to the relevance of owning a business website, careful consideration must be taken in finding the right website builder for your business needs.
Yes, there are lots of different options for website creators on the web, but not all platforms are created equal. Each builder has their own unique features hence you should only go for the one that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that your choice of platform will make an impact on your website quality. Here are the top 3 recommendations.
This is one of the most user-friendly platforms for building a website. One major problem online business owner face is the inability to make changes easily to their website. Squarespace allows for easy website management. Highlights of the platform include mobile friendliness, automatic updates, responsive and compatibility with all device.
WordPress is another great option with loads of flexibility with plugins and coding. However, WordPress online platform can help you troubleshoot any issue you might have. Unlike Squarespace, they do not have a 24/7 online support team that can respond to any queries or issues you might have. However, WordPress is a very powerful tool for designing a website and offers a more flexible option.
This platform is specifically designed for e-commerce websites. Businesses have plenty of amazing and beautiful templates to choose from. Equally impressive is the fact that Shopify integrates with dozens of payment gateways to accept all kinds of credit cards. So if you consider building a website for your e-commerce business then you should consider using Shopify
What You Need To Create a Website
One of the problems most people face when building a website is trying to do too much. And with time you become overwhelmed and spend the entire time doing nothing – does this sound familiar. If you are considering building a website for your business, here are some basic things you need
The first step to creating a business website is to get a domain name. It is your digital address that is unique to your business. With this, people can visit your website and find information about your business. There are lots of domain name providers online. However, you need to check the availability of your domain name and how much it will cost. On average, domain name cost around $10 - $15 annually.
Professional Business Email Account
Another important aspect is creating a unique business email address. If you’re serious about building a strong online presence, then you should create a professional business email address. This is very important. There is nothing more effective in building your business credibility than a unique company email address. Remember not to go for free business email accounts – it’s unprofessional. If you want to gain credibility and build trust, use a professional business email address with your website domain name. It’s cheap and affordable.
Website Creator Software
A website creator is a software package that streamlines the process of building your website. Some of the most popular website builders include Squarespace, Shopify, Wix, and WordPress. Creating a website has never been easier with these platforms. Keep in mind that each platform has its own unique feature so choose according to your business need.
Web hosting is the storage unit where the contents of your site are stored on the web. When a visitor types in your domain name in a web browser, the browser gets information about your website from your hosting service. Your choice of web hosting service depends on the number of traffic to your website. Cost of hosting varies and it depends on traffic frequency as you will need to upgrade to a more advanced version as the traffic keeps building.
Website Template Design
Today, you don’t need the services of a website designer as you can choose from the many website template designs available for you. It gives you a faster, easy and affordable way of designing a website. As a first-timer, you don’t need to spend so thousands hiring a website designer for a personalized website design. While a beautiful custom design might help, the success of a business is built around real data and user experience. Start out with a website template design to know what works then you can upgrade to a custom website in the future.
Logo Design and High-Quality Images
Using a business logo and high-quality images is a great way to help build credibility and trust in the business world. It sets you apart as a unique brand. Creating a logo doesn’t have to be difficult. You can either hire a logo designer or use a log generator to create your custom logo. High-quality images, on the other hand, will help make your website look more professional. Even if you are not a good photographer, there are sites where you can get royalty free images for a fee, of course. These images will help boost the professionalism of your website.
Useful Tips for Creating a Website
A website cannot succeed solely through attractive design or engaging contents. Here are some useful tips to ensure you’re heading in the right direction and aren’t sending your visitors away.
- Keep your homepage minimalistic and free of irrelevant contents
- Keep your web pages organized in a logical manner
- Write copy in a friendly tone and use familiar terminologies
- Provide useful and relevant information about your products and services
- Don’t overhype your brand
- Incorporate visual contents to tell your story
- Create a unique landing page for specific information
- Always keep your website updated
- Make it easy for customers to reach you
- Make sure your site is easy to navigate and user-friendly
- Design with a visual hierarchy in mind