Welcome to the latest installment of the Day One Strategy series. This is a weekly blog series that will address how to start from scratch. Each week we’ll discuss a new topic and offers tips for the business that is taking their very first step. Last week’s topic was Search Engine Marketing.
Today’s Topic = Creating a Website
Experts can write for days on how to create a website from start to finish. And it would take you months or years to understand everything they have written. And so I want to start with an admission that this is a very rudimentary guide written at a very high level.
If you are just starting out in business, and you have yet to create a website, this is how you should go about getting started.
Domain and Host
First you need to buy a domain name from a site like GoDaddy or Squarespace. Use their tools to find the domain name most applicable that is also available. Ideally you did this when naming your business because the domain name and business name should match.
Either of those companies, along with a whole slew of others, can also host your website for you. The host will essentially manage the domain for you and make sure that people are able to get to your website.
You have a couple of options when it comes to developing your site. Sites like Squarespace and Wordpress have low-cost, easy-to-use content management systems (CMS) that someone with some basic knowledge should be able to use to create a basic website. But most companies opt for a more complex CMS that offers more customizability but requires higher level coding and programming skills.
Either way, you are going to need to hire a website developer (full time or freelance) to do the initial build for you, and likely keep that person or someone else around for future maintenance and updates.
What to Include
At a bare minimum, you will have your homepage. This is the first page people will get to when they type in your URL. The homepage should tell the visitor who you are, what you do, and direct them to what else they can do on your site.
Other common pages will include a contact page with information on how customers can reach you, product pages that list what you sell, and an ecommerce checkout process if you intend to sell online.
The more pages you include, the more complex the site will be, and the longer it will take to build. It may be smart to start small and then add pages as you go, depending on your initial budget and time to launch.
Your goal in designing your company’s website is to make it as easy as possible to navigate. Again, you should hire an experienced web designer to create a design that matches the industry you are in. They should be sure to make the website mobile-friendly, because nearly half of all web traffic is now taking place on smartphones.
Stay tuned next week for another installment. If you have a topic you would like to see covered in the Day One Strategy blog series, use the comments below or contact us today.