This article will cover the basics you need to know as someone who doesn’t know ANYTHING about website design.
1. To build a successful website for your business, you must have a strategy. You don’t need to know anything about internet strategy, you just need to know why you want to have a website for your business. Do you just want something on your business card with basic information about your company? Do you want people to be able to review testimonials or photos of your work when asked for references. Do you want to educate people about your industry and how you can help? Do you want to be a good place on the internet for people to find information to their questions and then contact you? These are the MOST important questions to determine before you start the web design process.
The reason that these are the most important is because the design will follow the needs. Suppose you want to just have a site people can reference to learn more about you and get your contact information. Well, this is a whole lot different than one that answers people’s frequently asked questions, teaches them what they need to do in hiring a consultant and is easily found via the search engines. One is a one page design that’s based solely on pleasing design and the other is a multi-page site centered on keywords and content. Without a strategy, you’ll make life harder for yourself in the end.
2. If you’ve decided that a one or two page site just with your contact name and some details is best, there’s not much to it. Many template website companies offer very easy “survey” type questions (ex. hours of operation, address, amenities, . . .) for a simple $9/month or thereabouts. That requires no skill, very little money and very little time. Many local companies who just want a “web presence” do this. Seriously, there’s not much to say about that – it’s so simple that way. You’ll be able to use your domain name or get a new one with services like these.
3. If you’d rather have a site that actually generates leads for you from Google or the other search engines, you don’t need more training – you need different tools. There are several internet companies that provide complete content-based site development packages. Content-based means a website that the search engines understand and would be willing to put on Page 1 of their search results as a great site that answers people’s search inquiries.
For a flat fee as little as $299 these packages will provide a “block x block” website building program, keyword analysis, keyword tracking, domain name and domain name hosting (which you normally pay extra for), e-mail accounts, autoresponders, newsletter generators, link building programs, navigation bar, different templates, the ability to create your own webpages elsewhere and import them and much, much more. This method takes a bit more time – but the instructions are normally so easy and straight-forward, monkey could figure it out.
4. And the last thing you need to determine is how much time you’re going to have or make to promote it. In the first example if you intend to promote it by handing out business cards and sponsoring local soccer teams – that will take a certain amount of time and funds. Are you willing to do that? In the second example with the content based site, once you’ve completed your website content and have done what your program analyzer asks regarding the keywords – you may not have to do any advertising. Your good quality content will raise it up in the search engines and people will find you while you sleep.
Either case is great depending on your goals. One is more business card driven and takes more time to promote after development, and the other takes more time to develop. I leave that question in your hands.
The site I use to build all my sites is SiteBuildit. Check out all they have to offer at their website.