Why should you take great care in building a website?
A business website is like the reception wing of a luxurious hotel; it automatically shapes the opinion of guests about the quality of services they should expect. Of course, there might be a disconnection between their assumptions and what is actually obtainable, but it is common knowledge that first impressions matter a lot and in business, the first impression has to be excellent to guarantee a second impression.
An organization’s website is its main gateway to reach its target audience and so the construct of your business website goes a long way in determining business patronage which is a critical factor for every business.
Simply put, a tacky and poorly designed website would not inspire confidence in prospective clients and would likely deter people from pursuing further business ties with a business outfit.
With this in mind, it is imperative that in creating a business website, adequate care should be taken by the entrepreneur to ensure that the end result is standard and would have the potentials to project the business outfit as both professional and capable of delivering excellent products and services to its customers.
List of ten free website builders for small businesses
Not every entrepreneur possesses the technological acumen to create a website. Even where there is an availability of the technical know-how, scarcity of funds might be a limiting factor to small business owners who desire to build websites for their businesses.
These free website builders will equip small business owners with the basic tools and knowledge needed to create websites that would propel their firms to the heights of entrepreneurial excellence. They include:
- Site builder
- WordPress (self hosted)
- IM Creator
These online tools come with basic designs and you can add your own domain name for extra fees. So, don’t expect too much in terms of customizations and professional optimization. On the other hand, you can choose a professional and premium service like InMotion Hosting that offer more options, tools, and of course a customer support by phone and more.
The company offers an installer software for popular open source applications like WordPress and even eCommerce tools like PrestaShop and others.
Tips to design a good website for a small business
The following tips if adhered to would lead to the creation of an excellent website.
1. Clearly define your goal
In creating a website for any company, it has to be done with the overriding goal in mind.
If you want the website as a portal for your customers to acquire your products, then you have to build the website with this objective in mind.
Also, if you wish to provide information that would lure potential clients to you, the goal must be well defined and it’s important to keep things simple.
Creating a website without a clearly defined purpose would only lead to a waste of time and resources.
2. Develop your own content
You should decide what you want your website to say about your business before you initiate the process of building it.
Being the owner of the website, the onus lies on you to spearhead the content creation for your website even if you intend hiring someone else to edit or beef it up. This is because as the entrepreneur, you have a superior knowledge of the basic message of your company more than anyone else.
3. Do not beat about the bush
In writing your website content, you must state your purpose clearly and quickly. Website visitors would be disgruntled if they have to spend a lot of time reading through pages of content in search of important points about your business or the products or services you are offering.
4. Create a page hierarchy
Most business websites have at least a few different pages. You might choose to create different pages for the different services you provide with a main page that gives a general overview.
You might also consider going with the simple format of having a Home page, About page and Contact page. It is imperative to decide on this before you start building your website.
5. Seek for external inspiration
If you are undecided about how you want your website to look, you could take a look at websites you really like. Do not copy them though; but by study them, you could gain new ideas about what you would want for your new site.
6. Have your own domain
As a matter of expediency, all businesses should purchase an actual domain name. Some providers offer free ones that come with the likelihood of extensions. But owning your domain makes your website look more professional and makes it easier for people to remember your web address. Take a look at these professional and biggest domain name registrars.
7. Select a reliable host
Several hosting platforms are available today. You should study the existing hosting platforms and select the one that best suits the needs of your particular website. It’s a great idea to choose a hosting that offers fast servers, free domain and high level of security and support.
8. Get a trusted web designer
If you plan on hiring someone to create a website for your business, and then choose a designer whose works fit the style of your business, the best way to go about doing this is to look at one of the websites you admire and hire the person responsible for designing it.
9. Avoid free themes
Using free themes for your website is not advisable because often times they are not as secure as the purchased ones. An inexpensive investment in a good theme would keep your business website secure. Instead, use of these trusted theme marketplaces with professional designs and clean code.
10. Set up easy contacts
Your business website should include your business contact information. This can either be phone numbers, address, email address, social media accounts or all of the above. If you provide people with adequate means of contacting you, then it is more likely that they are going to feel more comfortable reaching out to you.
11. Simplify Design Elements
Whether you are just choosing a template or working with a designer, you have to keep your design elements simple. Do not be too adventurous with different design elements. Abide with a few colors or textures and avoid adding too many fonts or type sizes.
12. Include valuable images
Images go a long way in adding interest to your business website. You could include relevant images like team pictures, examples of your products or services etc.
13. Insist on a mobile friendly website
Regardless of what type of content you decide to include in your business website, ensure that the site is mobile friendly. Operating a website that is not mobile optimized can drive away your customers, hurt your search engine optimization and make your website look unprofessional.
Conclusively, it is important to keep things simple and ensure you don’t get stuck trying to achieve that perfect outlook for your website. Most businesses make upgrades as it becomes required and kick starting the process of getting your first business website should be your objective, so start today!
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