It is important to remember that building a website takes thought and time, but it might be worth the effort! Websites are the most original form of having an online presence, but in order to be successful, it must be well planned and organized. Websites can be used to link social media accounts, set up e-mail marketing or create an online store to sell your products. When creating a website, start by answering the following questions:
What is the purpose of my website?
A website can have more than one purpose. In fact, it should serve several purposes. For example your website objectives can include something like to enhance digital communication with your audience, provide marketing and technical support for your business or organization and to give an informative summary of your organization.
Who is your audience?
If you have a good idea about who will be visiting your site, think about what they might want to see. It’s also a good idea to request feedback from your clients to get ideas from their interests about what to feature on your website.
What content, resources and services do you want to provide?
Knowing what to include in your website prior to creating it will help the organizational part of the website, and your audience will be able to navigate through it easily. Resources and services can include technical support and online sales, but the content should include anything that will promote your business or organization. This includes graphics, virtual tours, links and extra resources, contact information, location services and details about the history, mission, products, brand, etc. Website visitors should be able to find what they are looking for within three mouse clicks of the homepage. Examples of additional pages include topics like “about, contact, products/services,” etc.
Page design should be clean and simple. You should find a balance between not enough content/design and too much detail. You don’t want to lose the focus of your audience by not having enough material, but you also don’t want to confuse them with too much going on within the website. Simple navigation is also important because it leads the visitors to each page, and it can also direct them back to the homepage.
The homepage should include the name of the organization and logo, a brief description to establish your credentials and photos that promote the description. Contact information (email, phone, fax, physical and mailing address) and hours of operation should also be easily found on the homepage or within a contact page.
What do you want your website to look like?
If you have a vision in mind, find a website building template that will keep you on track to reach your goal. How many pages do you want? Is there a certain format that you want to stick to? Are there certain pictures that you want to promote on your homepage?
What is your competition doing online?
It is perfectly fine to get ideas from other websites especially those that provide a similar service.
What is your budget?
Unfortunately, having a successful website will cost you, but it doesn’t have to break the bank! With the help of website building sites like WordPress, Wix and Weebly you can create your website for a small fee and/or monthly subscription.
It is also possible to purchase and own your own domain name with the help of sites like Network Solutions and GoDaddy. Domain names should be short and easy to remember (relating to your organization). Helpful hint: the domain name for the website (example.com) is very important, and should always be purchased and owned by the business or organization. Domains can be purchased for as little as $4 per month making it possible to keep your website under $100 per year.
Visit our blog regularly to stay updated on how to use the digital sites for building and maintaining your website!