New Website Design Tips - Where To Start
Where and how do you start your new small business website? Read on and see our top tips on how and what you need to start your new website design.
The all-important website domain name is the best place to start for any website project.
Think of two or three .com domain names that are short, memorable, and descriptive to what your small business is all about. Then go see if those names are available to reserve at Go Daddy Domains Registrar for example.
- If you should use a .org, .biz, .co or .site website address – there are lots of options today including .yourlastname or whatever you can think of really. You should always try to obtain a .com or .net website address if possible but there are a number of cases where these other naming conventions should be considered. For example if your business or company is a nonprofit organization then you should get a .org as your main domain, then maybe consider the .com, .net, etc., if you feel they are important to your business goals. This also protects them from other business purchasing those domain versions.
- Using an abbreviated name if your company name is very long. You can then redirect the abbreviated name and use it on business cards and other printed media so it’s easy for your customer to remember and type into a browser.
- Always be sure to purchase your long website name as your main website address because the keywords in the address are important to search engines. For example buy the RealyCoolRedWidgetsSeattle.com as the long address if that is really the name of your company. Then get a shorter one as mentioned above for print media.
- Always purchase the website address for at least three to five years to take advantage of the best possible discounts.
- Be aware of super cheap domain name registrars because later when you need to manage that website address the tools of a super cheap registrar can be lackluster at best.
For your next step you will want to search for things like; “website hosting” and local “website designers”. If you found our website that way then you’re well on your way.
Many website hosting companies will provide you with free tools to build your website. Look into them, it could save you a bundle of cash, but free website builders are inherently limited compared to the design tools a professional website designer has. Often those free website builders don’t provide the search engine optimization (SEO) tools needed to promote your small business website to search engines like Google so that your website is actually found.
For Website Hosting
- For website hosting looking at Go Daddy, Blue Host, or SiteGround Registrar and Hosting could all be a good resource depending on your project. They provide quality hosting, consistent up time and some of the best in customer support at a cost effective price. Be sure of what tools your hosting company has to offer, you may not need all the bells and whistles to start but you should consider more than super basic economy hosting for most business.
- Always compare the two above items keeping in mind the size of website you want and what you want it to do for your business. Don’t pay for more website hosting space than you will need for your project. Most website hosting today will provide a base line SSL certificate with your hosting. Be sure this is included or your purchase one. The SSL certificate provides your website with the https as a secure server connection. Google now requires this for increased search engine rankings, plus it looks great to your customer. If you’re not sure or would like a free consultation on either of the above items Feel Free to Contact Us.
What else should I consider when building my small business website?
- Are you selling products online, if so how many? You may be looking for a simple Pay Pal buy button type shopping cart for a few products or for customers to pay for a service or membership. Or you may need a full blown shopping cart ecommerce solution to sell 1,000s of products online with customer management, inventory controls, shipping options, social media and more. Take a minute to review our Online Shopping Cart Design Services for more on the online shopping cart solution we offer. There are also already built solutions like Shopify that may be good for your needs. But then your building everything, paying monthly for the service and the SEO may not be ideal for your marketing.
- Start with what you know. If your company already has good logo, colors or graphics of some type that represent your business then use them. Have you done print brochures or flyers? Many times the design, colors, photos and text can be pulled from these promotional items to get your website started. Do you need Website Logo Design Services? We can help with that.
- Conduct some research. Spend some time searching similar websites that relate to what your website will be about. What is your competition doing on their websites? Who is your customer? What pages do want to have besides a home page; like the contact, about, pages, maybe employment and team pages? Knowing these things can help with the layout and organization of the information you want to present on your new website.
- Forms can be a very important part of your website. They give you orders for product, tell you what your customer wants, produce sales leads for your small business or give you feedback on the services you provide. A well thought out form can save you and your customer a lot of time and increase sales. We can also include links to third-party from services you may use.
One time cost with NO monthly maintenance fees!
Below is a list of design idea questions that should help get you going in the right direction when making plans for the design or redesign of your small business website.
Who is your target audience? What are they looking for from your website?
Do you have a website log designed and if so what two or three basic colors would you like to use in the design?
Will you need to have a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress to maintain your website? Do you want to manage your content?
What time frame do you want your website to be done in? Will it be done in stages?
Have you seen websites by other companies in your industry? What do you like and dislike about these websites?
Who is your competition and how does their website look and function?
Do you have the text, photos and videos that you want to use on your website clearly labeled and organized?
What products or services are you providing? Do you have all the descriptions well organized, written out and ready to go?
Are you selling online? How do you want your products displayed? And do you have your product data?
What is the scope of your website – small business, ecommerce, corporate, personal, blog, etc.?
What other ways do you plan on promoting your business? Will these methods have the website address as a prominent feature?
Have you created a keyword list of search terms you want your website to rank well for in search engines?
Do you have a basic business Gmail account so we can submit your website right to Google and attach website analytics and search console to your project?
How much do you want to spend on your new website, what is your budget range?
What social media will you need to have active on the website?
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