Building a Website for Your Business
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of an online presence for businesses and the benefits of e-commerce. To stay competitive in the ever-growing and fast-developing world of business ownership an online platform is essential. Websites are the starting point for building your business’ profile and following. Cyber world is often the first point of contact between a consumer and a business. Consumers consult the internet for everything from service and product research to operating hours, location, and reputation. Having an easy to navigate and simple website adds instant value to your business and allows you to expand your market easily and cost-affectively.
You don’t need to be a graphic designer, web designer or software developer to build a website for your business, it has never been easier to do it yourself!
Defining your business
Your business’ website will become the most recognised virtual reflection of your business so ensure it gives an accurate depiction of your business. After the business name and/or logo, the first thing viewers should see is a simple summary of what your business does. Don’t ever assume your business speaks for itself, you need to be clear about what it is that your business provides consumers and why they should choose you.
Choose a colour scheme that reflects your business. If you have already established your business, you will generally have a pre-established colour scheme. Although introducing additional colours may brighten up your website and avoid repetition. Find colours that both work together and work for you. For example, if your business is a fine dining restaurant, using bright and playful colours might not be the best representation of your business. Alternatively, if you have a cheerful café, using bright and inviting colours could be a great fit!
Choosing your domain name
Your domain name is the URL you’ll be using for your business’ website. Ensure it is short, easy to remember and relates to your business. Create a list of a few suitable domain names keeping in mind that your first pick may not be available.
Once you’ve settled on a few domain names, check their availabilities through you’re preferred domain registrar such as, Crazy Domains, Wix.com, GoDaddy, Squarespace etc. Once you have found an available domain name, purchase it, and save it somewhere you won’t forget it. If you have not registered your business name, your domain name could be infringing on someone else’s copyright – make sure you have registered with ASIC before choosing your domain name.
When searching your domain name, some registrars will give you various top-level domain options. While most websites use the top-level domain ‘.com’, feel free to explore other options such as ‘.net’, ‘.co’, ‘.biz’ etc. Keeping in mind, other top-level domain options may not be as memorable as the widely recognised ‘.com’.
Choosing a host
While larger companies and franchises often host their own websites using software developers and web designers, for small business owners this is simply not feasible. There are two options depending on how much traffic you think your website will attract.
- Shared web host: this is the cheapest and easiest option for small businesses generally not offering e-commerce. This option means you’ll be sharing a server with other sites which may cause your website to be slow during high traffic periods.
- Private server: this is going to cost significantly more, although for any e-commerce business, it will be worth it in the long run. This will avoid competition with other sites and increase your speed.
There are countless website hosts to choose from making it easy for anyone to setup a website for their business. Do some research and exploration to find the best host to suit your business needs.
Keep an eye on your website’s performance and viewer trends. Down the track you may find your chosen provider is no longer suitable for your needs. You can upgrade to a different web host or collaborate with multiple providers.
Your website doesn’t have to be loaded with information and visuals, in fact, this can often confuse the eye and overwhelm the viewer. Cleating a clean layout with easy to read text and a focal point will create a user-friendly experience. Make your home page simple and attractive including your business name, a brief summary of what your business provides and a selection bar for navigating the website.
Each page of your website should have a natural path for the eye to follow. A great way of doing this is through the use of white space. Don’t assume your viewers will follow your website the way you have intended, get some friends to view the layout and provide feedback before making it public.
Try to avoid dark backgrounds with light writing, this is very strenuous on the eye and may deter viewers. Keep it clean and simple, less is more! Include images to break up the text, be sure the images are high quality as on large screens they may appear blurry or pixelated. If you’re business is complicated leading to a text heavy pages, consider using short videos with visual and verbal explanations, this will be more engaging for the view.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. There is no better time to explore your creative side than now! Try to avoid putting time pressure on yourself and don’t settle on your first result. Be open to constructive criticism and experiment with different styles and colours.
Before publishing your website, ensure it is operating properly on all internet browsers and is accessible on all smart devices.
Your website should directly target and appeal to your market. Do some research to make sure you are appropriately reaching and engaging your target market. Advertise on appropriate platforms to reach your customer base and include content that will engage them.