We entrepreneurs known for being independent and doing things ourselves. For the true DIYI-er, building your own website can be a real playground. But getting ahead of yourself can cost you additional time, frustration and even money later when you realize there are things you should have taken into consideration and didn’t.
As with any project you undertake, a little planning goes a long way. Here are some pointers:
Do your research. It’s tempting to use a site builder because someone you know used it to build their site, but is it really the right fit for you? Ask yourself some key questions as you research which tool best fits your need. Will your site need to include an online store? Do you plan to incorporate a blog into the site? How will you collect and store customer information from contact forms and other interactive features of your site? The answers to these and other questions can impact which website builder you use and how you use it. Even if you are not adding an online store now, but think you will in the future, make sure the builder you are using can accommodate them.
Map out your pages. Before you start building, think about what pages you need to include and what content should be on each one. A flowchart can be a very helpful tool in this process as you map out pages and sub-pages. For example, rather than describing all your services in detail on a single page, it might be better to have a summary page with links to sub-pages that each describe a particular service. When it comes to web page content and keeping your visitor’s attention, in most cases less is more.
Incorporate your branding. Your website is a marketing tool that should be a part of your overall marketing plan and reflect your brand. When choosing a website template (or designing your own), think about how those colors and design elements can be used in your other marketing materials – business cards, brochures, etc. The last thing you want is one look for your website, a different look for your blog and a different look for your printed materials. Consistency is key in getting the public to recognize your brand when they see it.
These are just a few of the important things to keep in mind when planning your website.
As always, if this is something you would rather hand off to someone who has been there and done that, Freestyle Business Solutions is happy to help.
Next week’s Website Wednesday topic: Using Images on Your Website