Just about everything is online these days. It’s quite difficult to not find someone or a business online! Websites are the cornerstone for every blogger, entrepreneur, solopreneur, and writer looking to connect with their target market. While the ease of websites has improved over the years, it’s still an overwhelming task, especially if you have never made a website before. Here are some tips to get you started!
The Focus of Your Site:
Now is the time to figure out what it is your website is going to be about. Are you a DIY crafter and want to share your expertise and projects with the world? Do you bake cakes for sale out of your kitchen and want to build engagement with the cakes you make? Do you create jewelry or home décor that you want to sell on your own dedicated website? Each of these different scenarios have unique needs. A craft blogger won’t need a cart service like the jeweler. The cake baker may only want to provide contact information and how to buy a cake. Once you know what your site is about, you can focus on making sure you have those needs fulfilled.
Who Will Host Your Site?
Hosting is a big issue for many people. We highly advise against using a free blog or website. The website addressed for those sites are just too wonky and don’t result in good interaction with a wide range of people in your target market. It’s important to compare web hosts to find the one that is going to work best for you. For those that don’t need shopping carts on their site, a web host that is compatible with WordPress is a fantastic idea. WordPress is so versatile that it can be used for virtually anything. For those that are involved in e-commerce, Shopify is a quick and very popular resource to check into. However, if you do a comparison Big Commerce has a high rating of success and is known for saving folks money.
Ultimately, the hosting is up to you. Things to look for, aside from affordability, are:
- Uptime scores – you want your site up and running as much as possible
- Multiple add on domains – the ability to host as many domains as you need
- Cost for renewal – you may pay a special price at initial sign up with renewal costing more.
- Refund policy – how long do they give you to ask for a refund? Do they have a refund policy?
- E-commerce features – if applicable, do they offer what you need?
- User Friendly – not all web hosts have a dashboard that is easy to use. Check reviews on how user friendly it is!
- E-mail feature – if you need one, do they have it?
Branding Is Everything:
We cannot stress this enough; your brand is everything. It’s essentially your internet ID card. Let’s start with the domain name. It should reflect the purpose of your website! If your friends call you “the crafty queen”, see if it’s available. If you already have a business name, that should be the domain name. Keep it as simple as possible and easy to remember. The easier it is to remember; the more likely people will visit.
It is also a fantastic idea to have a logo created for brand recognition. People can identify plenty of businesses just by seeing a logo without any words to indicate who they are. That goes the same for any website!
Build It And They Will Come:
Get to work on your pages. A “splash” page or home page is where everyone will land when they click your domain or type it in. Make sure it contains your logo and something to tease them to want to click on more. Add an “about” page to explain a little bit about the purpose of your website and your business/blog/ecommerce site. A contact page is also vital so that people can email/call you for more information or to place orders.
Websites are only as hard as you make them. In no time you will be a whiz and gaining plenty of traffic!