Trade Effectively From Home - A Beginner’s Guide To Starting A Website

Setting up a business is a big undertaking and sometimes not having the knowledge of how to set up a company website gets left until much later in the process. In fact, managing a sustainable website for your business is really about understanding the stages of generating one and the options available. 

Here I take a look at how to get you started.

Who is the website for?

Before we start discussing the options available let's ask a question which may sound simple, but is actually deeper than you think - Who is it for?

Obviously, the website is to showcase your brand and what you provide, but it's important to think about your target audience. Take time to research how to communicate your service to them if they don’t understand any jargon you know naturally.

Take a look at brand leaders - websites that are linked to your industry and also websites that aren't.  What do they do well? If you are selling a product online, look at the navigation, the 'About Us page', how easy it is to order and the returns policy. Can you replicate the best parts of these websites in your own website?

Ensure your planned domain is available

Nothing can put a bigger dampener on your business than discovering another company has your planned URL, therefore it is imperative that you use facilities like Wix or GoDaddy to ensure that your planned website name does clash with another business.

You can choose a variety of ways to display a URL. As an example you could choose to have it as melsbarbershop or mels-barbershop or a myriad of other ways. Check also which suffix is available such as .com, or .net. If you are shipping internationally, choosing one of the .com domains is advisable.

If they are all available, it would be recommended to register them all to avoid anyone else coming along and registering a similar domain.

Choosing the right hosting

You are going to need to store a lot of data over time, so searching for a reliable web hosting provider is very important. Providers such as Bluehost, GreenGeeks and many others are available to review online and you need to look into how speedy, how secure and how responsive they are for your website's needs.

Don’t always go straight for the cheapest option to save some pennies. Look into reviews and what you get for your money. If it's worth paying a bit more for a top service then it will save you in the long run, should anything bad happen.

Build yourself vs. an external developer

You may want the challenge of building your own website, however, if you don’t know how to do this effectively,  it will show and you could even lose sales.  Challenges such as making it mobile-friendly or integrating a shopping cart could be embarrassing if you get it wrong.

Whilst there are plenty of free website building options on the internet, many business owners delegate their website to web development professionals for a setup fee and monthly charge which comes with the added benefits of having professional programmers, designers and web hosting.

Maintaining the website can also be a time-consuming practice so this may also be handed to the developers. If you do this you will be safe in the knowledge that if any problems occur, then the best people will be here to handle it for you.

Selling? Shopping cart or eCommerce

Selling your products on your website may be a focus for you, so it is important to understand your options.

If your focus is a website solely for selling on the internet then an eCommerce solution like Shopify is the best way to go.

There are plenty of options available, again it is best to research and review each one to see what feedback is suitable for your needs.

Happy with the result?

Ensure that you are happy with the way the website runs and the content before publishing it to the web. Get as many second opinions and allow someone to give the site a test run for functionality before introducing it to the world.

To make it look professional you need to ensure it is all running correctly and has no small spelling mistakes, you have clear photos of the products you are selling and that your branding is clear.

Link to Media

Ensure your new website URL is promoted on all your materials like your business cards and social media sites to bring traffic to your website. The site alone will not promote itself.

Enquire about SEO to help boost your presence on search results for your business within your industry sector online. Stockport website design firms have extensive knowledge for not just responsive web design but also Search Engine Optimization to help you trade more effectively on the internet.

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