Before you can build a website, you need to set goals, find a platform, choose a domain name and know what features you need.
There is much to consider before you build a website, from content to the site’s overall purpose. With this in mind, it is imperative to look at the bigger picture of website building – if you handle the process correctly from the beginning stages, you can drastically reduce time spent making text, design and other modifications in the future.
You can’t just build a professional website overnight; there are a few components of content and website structure you’ll need to organize first. You must also keep in mind what you want to achieve with your website. If you have a clear vision and goals, you will succeed in building a beautiful, informative website.
These are four questions to ask yourself before starting the website-building process.
1. What are my company’s overall goals?
Deciding to take your business online is a big decision and can be a life-changing experience when it comes to additional responsibilities. With this in mind, before building a website, you should define your goals to have a sense of what you hope to accomplish after penetrating the online market.
When defining business goals, answer the following questions to arrive at a better understanding of your goals and build a plan to accomplish them:
- Will you be able to manage a company blog to provide informative content to potential customers?
- Will building a website increase your overall conversion rate?
- How will you lead qualified traffic to your site?
- How do you want your business to be represented online?
- How will you ensure your site is mobile responsive?
- Where will you get images?
- How much will building a website cost you?
- How will you collect customer reviews?
- Is your website secure?
2. How will I build my website?
The answer to the vast majority of the above questions can be summed up in two words – website builder, which often includes the use of a personalized domain for a small one-time fee.
Website builders allow you to build a website with little to no experience using drag-and-drop editors, templates and SEO tools. The cost of using a website builder is drastically less than that of hiring a developer; it can be as low as a few dollars per month. The turnaround time also has the potential to be a lot shorter than waiting for a developer to create complicated code only they can use to update your site.
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3. How should I choose a domain name?
Next, choosing a domain name can be either one of the most stressful or simplest tasks to undertake. For the purposes of this article, we will simplify the process. Keep in mind three important rules for your domain name:
- It uses keywords and makes sense.
- It’s short and to the point.
- It’s easy to spell and type.
You’ve been there before, trying to recall the name of a website you saw on television or heard on the radio and discovering that the web address was long and difficult to remember. This is exactly what you want to avoid, and the above tips will ensure your domain name is memorable and can be found by search engines.
4. What features should I look for in a website builder?
Features of website builders vary widely, including SEO, third-party integrations, email automation capabilities and the ability to add an online store with dropshipping options. The features you need depend on your goals, but there are some basic features that should come standard, such as unlimited bandwidth and access to live chat or phone support (usually offered 24/7).
If you intend to use functions like building landing pages or adding lead generation forms to your pages, you might look for integrations to email marketing automation services that have a simple sign-up and add them to your marketing conversion funnel automatically.
Lastly, check for integrations with analytics tools like Google Analytics and Insightly, platforms to upload videos such as YouTube, and e-commerce platforms if you wish to sell products online. For e-commerce, Shopify, Wix Stores and Volusion are all great solutions.
There is a vast library of resources available to business owners. My tips are just the beginning, as once your website is built, you’ll have to continually make modifications to your site to provide the most up-to-date content that is of great value to customers.
My name is Marc Dane and I work at Webcreate.io, which provides small businesses with resources like:
Reviews on website building tools
Resources on choosing freelancers
How to build the perfect website
Social media and more