You’ve decided to create a website to market your products or services. More and more people start their information searches online, so having a website is logical next step. But without web development skills or knowledge, how do you build and market a website?
To help you bring your business online, we’ve laid out these steps for you: The website concept •Choose and register a domain name •Write a site outline •Get a website template The website •Write your website content •Make your website user friendly •Put together an e-commerce system The online presence •Choose a web host •Set up your website •Market your website
1. The website concept Choose and register a domain name
Your domain name should represent your business and be easy to spell and remember. Your company name is obvious choice, but if name is long, you may want to use a shortened version of it.
The domain name extension is part that comes after main part of name and dot. Dot com (.com) names are most popular for businesses. If your business is specific to a country outside US, a country-specific extension helps show this. Country-specific domain extensions have rules relevant to country they represent, such as that you’re a resident of that country or have a registered business in that country.
To find out if a domain name is available, go to Whois Source (http://www.whois.sc/) or domain name registrar of your choice. Whois Source has a name spinner tool, which suggests variations of a name if one you want is taken.
Once you choose a domain name, register it as soon as possible with a low price domains (http//www.lowpricedomains.com) provider. It might not be available next day. Be sure to renew it before it expires — your company identity will become linked with this name.
Write a site outline
What content do you want at your website? These pages are standard for most business websites:
•Home •About Us •Contact
If you offer just a few products or services, one page for each product or service will work fine. On other hand, if your company provides a range of products or services, your site will be easier to navigate if you group products or services into a separate directory for each group.
Good website content not only helps site visitors decide on your products or services, but it also helps increase traffic to your website. If you’re selling purple widgets, for example, a page on how to use purple widgets will bring your site more hits via search engines. It will also provide content that webmasters of other sites as well as posters in forums might link to.
With site outline ready, you’re ready for next step. Get a website template
Pre-made website templates (http://www.templatetour.com) vary in quality, but they can be customized, and they save you time. If you plan to buy a pre-made website template, consider these features when choosing a template:
•Does design convey a professional image that fits with your business? •Do pages download within a reasonable time? •Does design look good in all of most common screen resolutions and browsers? •Does template come with a site builder that formats your content for you?
If you prefer to have an original website template but you don’t have web design skills, we recommend that you hire a professional web designer (http://design.websitesource.com). To choose a web designer, look at several web designers’ portfolios to see whose web designs meet above criteria and suit your personal tastes.
2. The website Write your website content
Web readers are different from print readers. Web readers want to know right away if a page has information they’re looking for. If it doesn’t, they may use Back button to go to another site.
You can hire a copywriter to write your website content, or your web designer may work with a web writer. Or, you can write your website content yourself.
Tips on writing for Web:
•Organize your content with headings and subheadings. •Tell readers what each page is about near top of each page. •Write clear, concise sentences in short paragraphs or bullet format. •Use tables to display data such as product and price comparisons. •Provide details about your products and services. Imagine what you’d want to know if you were looking for products or services that you provide, and make this information easily accessible at your website.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a major part of web writing. Use keywords (words that people will enter in search engines to find information) throughout your content and in your title and headings in particular. The use of keywords also helps people find information they’re looking for. Make your website user friendly
Once site visitors come to your website, you want them to feel comfortable and to spend time reading content. If your site is difficult to read or to navigate, you’ll lose visitors. Make sure that your website has following: