If you are inclined towards calling yourself an entrepreneur, you need a website first. Every successful small business, home-based ventures and large corporation has one thing in common – a fully functional website. If you are interested in selling any product or services, online, you will need a seller’s profile. And believe us, nothing works better than a beautifully designed, perfectly working website.
However, what happens when you are not selling online? In that case, you can use your website as an online persona of your business. You can create an online window that gives your prospective clients a glimpse of your services, products and business values. Your website is your online portfolio that holds all the details about your business, contact details, experience, projects and other necessary credentials.
Why don’t you have a website yet?
If you are scared to get started with the project or the commitment of time and effort it will take, the let us tell you that creating a website for a small venture or a startup can be easier than you imagine. There are three ways of going about it –
- Do it yourself
- Get a friend to help
- Hire a professional
Doing it yourself is the cheapest of all options, but you will need to know the basics of website designing. Many experts will try to sell you the idea of working on DIY, WYSIWYG website builders, but unless you know what you want, using these can be a bad idea. Hiring a professional website designer can be a financial challenge for many startups and small businesses. Website designers can build you a working website with all specified functionalities and more within a given window of time. You will not have to deal with the headache of designing, coding and execution at all.
One added advantage of hiring a professional website design firm is expert SEO management. Most website design firms have a SEO division that optimizes your website codes for search engine spiders. It is the responsibility of the website design firms to make sure that your website code is seamless, optimized and correctly edited to allow crawling. Your website design firm should also take up the charge of updating your sitemap and submitting it to all popular search engines including Google.
Managing your own website can be really time taking. In addition to that, you may even have to learn all about analytics reports and website tools that monitor website traffic. This will distract you from your main business. A website design company, on the other hand, can take charge of the analytics part as well. They can monitor website traffic, bounce rate and conversion rate. They can even perform A/B tests to see which design or content works best for your target audience.
Hiring a good website designing company usually fulfils 360-degree requirements of all small and big businesses. From online branding to search engine optimization, everything is usually taken care of by the website designing companies.
What do you need to know before designing begins?
The day you feel the need of a website you need to think about a few things. You cannot hire a website design firm or choose a website design on a whimsy. You need to know a few things before going ahead with your website designing plan –
- What is its purpose?
As we said before, some websites sell products while others are simply fronts of physical stores that provide contact information to the target audience. Therefore, before you choose a theme or add features, you need to know if you want an online storefront or a seller’s profile. You may even just want a blog with social media integration to begin with.
- What CMS should you choose?
The choice of CMS depends on the features, pricing and a lot more. For example, if you are about to create an ecommerce website you may want to go with Drupal or Joomla!. If you want a modern blog, we would direct you towards WordPress without blinking. These are all open source platforms that allow endless sharing of new products without any hassle of licenses.
- Is shared hosting an option?
Many small companies and startups prefer shared hosting to save money. Some of them also go for WordPress’s own free hosting packages. However, almost all good design experts will advice you against it. This advice comes from years of experience and exaggerated page loading time. Shared hosting may seem like a smart option in the beginning, but if you want your customers to stay and not get impatient, you should get a proper, individual hosting plan. You can go with the least costly package in the beginning, but make sure that you do not go for shared hosting.
- What content do you need?
This is usually an extension of the first point. You need to know what kind of website you want to decide the content of your website. If you are aiming for a blog, then you will need fresh, updated and unique content almost every day. Running a blog for new websites may be a challenge since this will require a blogging/ content team to supply unique content.
- Are you a local business?
This is very important for determining the SEO campaigns of your website. While local businesses should focus more on promoting the services and offers within a small radius, businesses that have a broader reach should optimize their SEO differently. For local businesses, it is of prime importance to stay on top of the Google local searches. And this can be done by a good website designing agency.
Website designing is now way more than just designing. It encompasses elements of SEO, analytics, content organization and information hierarchy. There may be platforms that make designing a bit easier, but these added features demand the expertise of a website designing firm with at least a couple of years’ worth experience up their sleeve.