How to Build Your Website
We're tired of hearing that social media is taking over the world. Yawn. But does that mean we should scrap our websites, just make a killer Facebook page and call it a day? No. Websites are still important, as they lend credibility to your company or services. And a good website will do so much more than that. Here are some tips for making the most of your website.
1. Come up with a great domain name.
Much like a book's cover, a name is the first impression people will have of your company. This is one of your most important decisions, next to what you will name your first child. (Alright, we're exaggerating.) But seriously, take your time when thinking of a domain name. Make sure it is memorable, easy to type, and has keywords. Here are some other great tips for choosing your domain from our friends at GoDaddy.
2. Shell out (a tiny bit) of cash.
If your website involves no upfront money, it's probably going to flop. Remember, this is not the blog you had in middle school. A .com domain costs $0.99 at GoDaddy. All you have to do is search your name, make sure no one has already lay claim to it, and buy that puppy up. A self-hosted website is where you want to be. Being hosted on a 3rd party site means that site owns your site and information. A self-hosted site tells the world that you are a serious entrepreneur because you're willing to make an investment in your virtual appearance. Site hosting such as Bluehost costs $3-6 per month. Not much considering that's just about your daily coffee budget.
3. Get out the pencil and paper.
Woah cowboy. We know you want to go live right away, but we advise you to take a step back. Draw a mockup of what you want the site to look like (no matter your drawing ability). This will help you visualize the user flow and work out any kinks in logistics.
4. Do some "online shopping."
We don't mean actually "online shopping," but shop for websites that you love. What makes your favorite websites so great? Is it their visual aesthetic? Font? Colors? Images? Or is it their short and sweet content? Make notes about what you like (and dislike) about other websites, take screenshots, and make a virtual storyboard.
5. Make friends with a graphic designer.
A really good logo and design can work wonders. Yeah, with a few hours on Photoshop you can come up with a decent logo, but it helps to get a pro. If you're not already BFFs with a top notch graphic designer, there are tons of freelance graphic designers out there. Here's a great place to start.
6. Write perfect content.
Don't bore your readers with your lengthy bio. Keep all content relevant. Your website is not just a home for your portfolio and contact information, but you should tell visitors what you can do for them. What helps is to include client testimonials or blog content that will help give them a clear picture of what you offer. Staying concise, positive, and injecting your personality where necessary will help turn your site into a web destination.
It's so nice to open a web page that doesn't bombard you with places to click, photos that pop out of nowhere, and ads galore. If your layout is calm, then your site visitors will trust that you are somewhat of an organized person. Be minimal but don't be sparse. If you're into that modern art kind of thing, just make your whole website one blank white page with white text. (Just kidding.)