A step-by-step guide to getting a new, professional website for your business
Whether you have an online business or not, your customers expect to be able to find you online. As we saw during the pandemic, many companies have moved to the internet, providing online services, publishing information about their companies, and making sales. Owning a website has become a necessity rather than a luxury for business owners.
To create a website, below are the five steps you need to follow;
1- Decide on the platform
There are many website platforms available, which may confuse business owners at first. Some of the most popular names are WordPress(.com and .org), Weebly, Wix, Shopify, Squarespace and ShowIt.
You need to choose the best platform for your website by considering the pros and cons. At this stage, all you need to focus on is to decide whether you want a hosted platform or a self-hosted platform. Hosted platforms can be easy, however, they come with their disadvantages. You can read more about why we don’t prefer hosted platforms in our previous article “3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t DIY Your Website”
If you decide on the platform first, it will make your search for a designer and developer easier. Some web designers & developers specialize only in one website platform.
2- Hire a Web Designer & Developer
Once you’ve decided on your platform, you’ll need a web designer and developer to create your website. There are so many web designers and developers, and their prices vary from €50 to €30000+.
It’s important not to choose a web designer based solely on how beautiful their website is. You need to ask the right questions and learn what you will get from your investment. For example, not all web designers develop websites. In some cases, they might outsource some of their services such as development or design.
Here are some of the questions you should be asking your potential web designer & developer:
- Do you work in-house or outsource your projects?
- How will our website project be managed? (timeline, process, point of contact etc.)
- Which platform do you use to build my website?
- Do you work with custom or template websites? (will it be unique to my brand?)
- What other services do you offer? (SEO, copywriting, assistance on hosting and domain name, maintenance services etc.)
Make sure your web designer/developer understands your business’s goals and long-term objectives to ensure the success of your website.
3- Purchase a web hosting and a domain name
If you go for a WordPress(org) website, you need to purchase your domain name & web hosting separately. Some web designers & developers can assist you with this, while others might host your website on their platforms.
It’s important not to choose a domain name and web hosting provider at random. Selecting an SEO friendly name, a well-performing web hosting provider will affect the success of your website.
4- Hire a copywriter
Many business owners overlook the importance of having a well-written and search-engine-optimized website. Nevertheless, writing copy for your target audience will significantly increase the likelihood that they will stay on your website.
While some web designers can provide this service as an add on, working with a professional copywriter makes a difference.
In addition, it’s important to note that web design is an enhancement to web content. Yet, many designers don’t take content into account during the design phase. While a design with “lorem impsum” and placeholders might look great on a designer’s screen, the website might be completely different when the same design is filled with the actual web copy and images. Therefore, it is important to provide the web copy to your designer before the design phase.
5- Make sure your web developer doesn’t just build the pages
The last step is web development. Ensure that your web developer maintains your website’s security, tests forms to make sure everything functions, and optimizes images and codes for maximum performance. Although your hosting provider may affect your website’s performance, your web developer can always take steps to improve it.
Useful tips for creating a website
- Consider what your customers need to know, not just what you want to tell them.
- Outsourcing a professional can make a big difference with your website.
- Your website is never finished. It must be maintained and updated with content all the time to be effective.
- Just having a website doesn’t mean you will be getting website visitors and clients. You need to promote your website so that you can increase your online visibility.
- SEO is a long term investment, therefore many web designers & developers offer on-page SEO as part of their services. This means you will need to work on your website’s SEO continuously.
So now that you know the steps to build a website, contact us today to book a free discovery call! In addition to web design, we also offer free hosting & domain name assistance, web development, search engine optimization and digital marketing services such as email marketing and Google ads.