Even if your business exists in reality, it is hard to reach out to your potential business unless you exist virtually too. Here’s a low down on the basics of website creation for small businesses. Call it a virtual handshake, your online address/ identity or any other jargon; a business these days without an official website is handicapped in more ways than one.
For starters, most people’s search for a business begins with a basic online search rather than by reaching for a directory. Even traditional directories have now shifted online! Your website is like a salesman- it tells your potential customer more about your business, clears basic doubts and even convinces them to choose you over your competitor.
You might be a startup venture looking to create an identity for yourself, or you might have an outdated website that you want to redesign, but no matter what, here are a few tips to crack the fundamentals of website design and development:
The content and design of the website should ideally have a start-to-start relationship. This means that you would have to start working on the actual content of the website in order to start working on the design. Once both are being worked on, they make way for clarity and creativity.
The main aspect of creating content is not just about filling up the web pages with words but getting the tone right too. Ask yourself if your business is fun, personal, formal, informal, quirky etc.
While there are several online tools that give you various free web templates to choose from, it is unlikely that all the pages within a template will fit your business. You might have to dabble with template customization to suit your needs.
What you do need to keep in mind while designing the website, is to make the navigation between the pages simple. Your user should never feel lost. Minimize the number of tabs being used and always give your user the option of going back home no matter which page they are viewing.
Test and Debug
Unquestionably, coding the entire website after designing the front end interface calls for an expert programmer. There are numerous web coding languages out there, starting from basic HTML and CSS to jQuery and xHTML. The coding needs to support every function of your website and make it seamless for a user to browse through. Code the website in phases so that you can test for and debug errors easily.
Optimize for best results
The term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is over used but is still barely understood by many. To put it simply, a correctly optimized website increases the visibility of your small business’ web pages when people look for it on search engines.
It involves optimizing content, coding in a way that will allow your website to be loaded in the right way across various platforms and more. This is one of the primary reasons why hiring an expert content writer and web developer makes sense.
Think Long Term
Your website is a tool that needs to allow for expansion and incorporation of other features. As your small business grows, so should your website. So allow for the flexibility to update the website regularly and even downsize if necessary. It is essential that you look at spending on your website as an investment rather than a website.