Not long ago, if you wanted to create an effective website for your business you needed to hire an expert. In today’s DIY (do-it-yourself) environment, practically anyone can build a commercial website that checks all the boxes of success. What does it take?
For starters, you need not be a coding or technical guru. Dozens of major players in the website market offer simple DIY tools that let you build a decent, functional site in less than an hour. The best part is that you need no specialized skills to get the job done. If can type, click on images and use a mouse to move things around, you’re good to go.
Here are some key concepts to keep in mind as you set out on the journey to build your own website:
Spend Time Choosing a Platform
Fortunately, there are dozens of companies that offer website creation services at reasonable costs. Some specialize in certain kinds of sites, like personal web pages or artists’ sales sites, for example. Find a service that has the styles of websites that work for your particular business type. Shop around based on price, ease of use and customer support. Avoid committing to an expensive package. Instead, go with a simple website setup at first and make it a bit more complex later on if you see the need. But in the beginning, simple is better.
Pick a Template You Can Live With
Depending what company you select for website creation services, you will have a number of templates to choose from. Templates are the general “skeleton” of your site, and include columned pages for text, areas for images and a color-scheme with borders around each page. You have the option to change templates with the click of a mouse, but avoid changing too often or you’re apt to confuse your customers. The better way is to take your time viewing and thinking about the various templates that are available. Choose several to experiment with. Finally, decide on one and stick with it for at least six months.
Think about Hiring Someone to Write the Content
Unless you are a talented writer, consider hiring someone to write the bulk of your website’s content. This is not an expensive affair. There are dozens of online resources for locating competent writers. Remember to do a lot of price comparisons because there’s no reason to pay a fortune for standard landing-page copy or weekly blog articles about your line of business. You might want to pay a bit more for ad copy, but most website content should not cost you an arm and a leg.
Use Your Own Images and Photos When Possible
It’s always possible to use royalty-free photos and info-graphics but it’s much wiser to use your own stuff. In many cases, the royalty-free pictures stand out as amateurish and “cheap” looking. If you use your own photos, even when they’re not super-high-quality, your site will have a more authentic feel and convey an attitude of trust and reliability. Consumers have a keen eye for cookie-cutter junk when they see it, so try to use photos you’ve taken yourself or hired someone to take for you.
Obtain Adequate Capital to Invest
Building a website, and implementing the steps mentioned above, don’t come cheap. You need to make sure you invest as necessary without taking any shortcuts. There are numerous ways of raising the necessary capital. You could borrow from relatives, take out a home equity line of credit, utilizing credit cards (though not recommended), or perhaps you are fortunate enough to have funds saved up in the bank already.