A good website design can help you attract more clients, and a great website can help you retain existing clients.
A great website design should be easy to navigate, simple, and clear. When designing your website, the design of your pages should always come before the design of your logo and branding.
With this article, you will be able to easily design your website, whether it is for a small business or a large corporation.
Here are 10 keys to a great website:
A website host (website hosting provider) is a company that offers the technology and services necessary for a website to be viewed on the internet.
You connect your domain name to your hosting provider so that when users visit your website address, they are shown the website that you store on your hosting account.
Hosting services can cost anywhere between $2 to $100+ per month, depending on the kind of technology and support you choose. You can usually get a discount if you purchase a yearly plan as opposed to a monthly plan.
Some popular website hosting companies:
Your domain name, also known as your website address, is often the entry point to your site.
It is important that it makes a good impression for usability purposes, as well as for search engine optimization (SEO).
Here are some tips for coming up with an optimal domain name:
Here are a couple of examples where you can purchase a domain for your website:
It is important to let people know who you are and what you do right away so they don’t feel confused when they visit your small business website.
Make sure your main homepage banner (also known as a “hero section”) and subsequent banners are visual representations of your services, and also that you have an introductory text near the top of the page that describes who you are and what you do.
Additionally, make sure both your main and footer navigation menus have “About Us” page links easily accessible so people can click them and read more about your business in-depth.
A content management system (CMS) is a software program or application that is used to create and manage digital content.
A good CMS will help you maintain your site, and you don’t need much technical knowledge to use it. You should choose a CMS that is designed for your unique needs; different systems are used for different reasons, such as user-friendliness, extensibility, and budget.
The following are some popular systems with descriptions of their strengths and weaknesses.
It has a vast, active support community and many useful plugins to extend the functionality of your site. WordPress is also free and relatively simple to install.
I normally recommend that small businesses use WordPress to create their websites, due to its flexibility and extensibility.
It must be noted, however, that WordPress’s biggest weakness is security – because it is so popular, hackers target it the most. Your WordPress site needs to be regularly maintained and secured so it is not hacked.
Also, it is difficult to secure every single third-party plugin, so keeping your WordPress site secure must be an ongoing commitment through various best practices (checking to see if your plugins have been updated within the past few months, making sure it is a plugin provided in the official WordPress repository, deleting unused plugins immediately, etc.).
Wix is also a drag-and-drop builder – you can freely drag and drop elements anywhere on the page. The learning curve to using Wix is even shorter than other platforms, if you need to publish a site quickly, this may be your best option.
Wix has a lot more templates than other platforms to choose from, but once you choose a template, you must stick with it or be forced to completely rebuild your site.
It has a straightforward drag and drop interface. It supports in-store sales, which is great if you have a physical store as well as an online one.
However, the cheapest plan is $29/month. The most expensive is $299/month and includes more features. You get a discount for paying for a year upfront.
If you plan on selling goods and/or services through your website, you will need the right technology to do so. (In case that you do not currently sell anything, you may want to consider doing so since e-commerce could potentially increase your profits.)
Whenever decide to allow users to financially transact with you online, you will need to choose the right platform for your business model.
Here are some popular small business e-commerce platforms:
Like WordPress, there are many plugins available, and it attaches to WordPress, which makes it extremely flexible.
There are many free and premium themes pre-built for WooCommerce. If you are not tech-savvy, you will most likely need a web designer to help you set it up and use it. WooCommerce also offers a very high amount of capabilities and scalability that your small business might need.
You will have to upgrade your Wix account and subscribe to Shopify in order to use it.
It is not a WordPress extension like WooCommerce – it is a standalone platform that is hosted on the Shopify server – so if you have the main website, your e-commerce site would technically be separate from that.
You can link to your Shopify account from your regular website built with WordPress, Drupal, Wix, etc. unless your main website has a Shopify integration plugin.
SEO is a set of practices you apply to your website to ensure search engines index and rank your website appropriately and then show it to search engine users.
Once your website is “crawling” by search engines, it competes with websites that have similar content. The better your website design and content are, the higher your site will show up on search engine result pages.
SEO mainly includes the following practices:
Make sure your small business website interface leaves a positive impression that drives results.
You can do so by implementing the following suggestions:
Both content quantity and freshness are important to search engines, so it’s important that you create a plan to publish quality articles and/or blog posts on your site and on external sites that link to your site.
If you want to rank highly in search engine results and encourage people to return to your site again and again, you will have to update your website with new and relevant content as frequently as possible.
A website shouldn’t be created and then allowed to grow stale. In order to have a successful website that ranks well in search engines and doesn’t get hacked, you need to make sure it is properly maintained.
Here are some tips to create a small business website maintenance plan:
As you can tell after reading this article, creating a great small business website may not be as simple as you first thought.
However, if you follow the keys in this article, your small business will have an excellent chance of succeeding in the online marketplace.
If this article helped you, you learned new things you didn’t know before about website design?
Please, write in the comment section below!