Itís never been easier to build a website for your business. Whether youíre setting up an ecommerce site or a just starting a blog, want to tell the world about your great new legal service, or would simply like to blog about your life or favourite pastime, thereís a platform out there for you. All you need is a basic hosting package and then simply choose your CMS of choice. Itís as easy as that!
There are some key issues that you need to consider, however, when choosing a website builder. Ease of use is, of course, important, especially if you are a digital novice. But there are other aspects to consider when you choose a particular design concept, not least how your visitors are going to react to it and how it works in the real world.
The Look and Feel of Your Site
Most website designers and platforms such as WordPress have a range of different templates to choose from. Finding the right one for your business that engages people and allows you to do everything you need to is vital.
There are free templates available but these often have limited usability and are more suited for blog sites rather than ecommerce or other business ventures. Other, more flexible templates are available for an additional cost and are well worth looking at if you want greater functionality Ė for example, arranging text boxes and images easily on a page.
You can also opt to have a personal website designed for your specific purposes. In fact, the one problem with off the shelf templates is that you have to wait until the designers have decided to update before you get any improvements. With bespoke design you get that as part of the service, though it may cost a bit more.
Check out what others in your industry are doing. Many businesses are opting for the block style of web page where you can navigate down through different sections. Others with a more artistic slant prefer a full width template where the opening image stretches across the screen. Thereís no harm in copying what your competitors are doing, especially if it fits in with what your customers want to see. Another issue you should consider is whether you want static content or something more responsive.
The good news is that you can choose a range of templates for your content and see how they look and feel. You can even do a bit of market research and see what appeals to your customers. The bad news is that, with one size fits all approaches, you are limited in what you can achieve. If your business needs specific design aspects, then you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage compared to your competitors.
Is It Easy to Navigate?
How you organise your website is also highly important. You want people to come into your site, find what they want and then, hopefully, buy or hire your service. Navigation has to be easy and something anyone can do, whether theyíre used to the online world or canít live without their laptop.
Getting it wrong and not leading people in the right direction can reduce the impact of your business and is something that is all too common amongst start-ups. Before you begin designing your website you need to be sure what it is for and how you want customers to behave when they arrive. Getting expert advice is usually invaluable at this point.
How Does It Work in the Real World?
Your business website might look great on your desktop but how does it work in the real world? Over-fussy designs could take time to download, especially if you donít have the right hosting plan or your images and videos arenít optimised for the web. Another thing you need to look at is how your web design appears on different devices, including smartphones. This is where off the shelf templates fall down – more and more of us nowadays are using are phones and tablets to shop and surf the web.