We are here to talk about Web Design.
So you run, manage or have just started a business.
You know you need to market yourself in order to acquire and win new business, sales and clients.
At the very least, you know you need some kind of social media presence and a website in order to present your business in a positive light to achieve your goals and ambitions.
The reasons for having a website vary depending upon your business needs.
If your a consultant your main aim of your site maybe to share some thought leadership on your specialisation and market knowledge.
This would lead to more clients engaging you for consultancy, public speaking or teaching contracts.
If your retailer then having an e-commerce site built around your brand and products, will enable you to take advantage of online sales from new and existing customers.
£1 in every £5 is spent online and 87% of all retail purchases are now online.
For tradespeople a website is by far the best way to showcase your services and previous work, testimonials and trade organisations.
Its the easiest way of being found and would you trust a tradesman who didn’t have a website?
Its also the best way of consolidating and validating those recommendations and referrals you get as a business, as well as attracting new business for your given skills and geographic areas.
For large businesses and corporates, the website is actually more than a website, its a means of serving up customer and client facing information, maybe on a global scale.
It also acts as an intranet serving the many technical and employee needs of the business.
So what do you need to create a website?
Firstly you need to choose a domain name or names for you business. This can be in the form of you business name or even the product or service you offer.
Try and avoid long domain names as these can have an impact on people trying to type in your domain name, harder to remember and take up more space on printed collateral.
You would then choose what suffix your require, eg .com, .co.uk, .tv, .ltd and so forth.
Most people are familiar with .com and .co.uk and these generally what business will use, however there is a multitude of choice for suffix these days.
You may need to consider a number of domain names as your preferred name may already be taken.
Hosting for Your Website:
In simplistic form, hosting is basically your own allocated space on a computer (server) that is connected to the world wide web and is a place where all your files, images and databases associated with your website are stored.
Your hosting allows access for people visiting your domain name to view your website.
Depending upon your requirements you would need to consider either shared or dedicated hosting.
Most small business have there own hosting but part of a shared server.
You would typically buy an annual package for your website hosting, at BodaComs we offer a number of different packages to suit your needs.
Things to consider when purchasing hosting, things such as, are business emails included, rather than continuing to use you hotmail, gmail, or other non proprietary email, use a proper professional email.
Its more professional to have emails aligned to you domain name, for example email@example.com.
Your hosting provider should be able to offer you business emails alongside the hosting of your website. We offer these as standard in our hosting packages.
Bandwidth should also be a consideration, bandwidth is how many visitors can access your website at the same time, if your expecting a lot of traffic this needs to be considered.
SSL Certificates, these secure your website and help to prevent unauthorised attacks, if you are considering an e-commerce website these are essential (its the padlock you see on websites).
Search engines such as google prefer sites that have SSL ceriticates for indexing and search engine optimisation, again we provide these as standard.
Cpanel and FTP access, these are the tools to help you manage your hosting and upload your website.
Software auto installers- Tools to enable you to auto install software such as wordpress, Blogs, Shopping Carts and so forth.
Generally, unless your used to procuring hosting, it is a bit of a mine field knowing what is right for your business.
Budget and cheap hosting may not offer or deliver on what your business needs.
We offer a full range of domain names and hosting, contact us for a chat about your requirements.
Designing and Building Your Website – Web Design:
A lot of thought should go into what you want from your website, things to consider:
- Who are your target audience, customer.
- What information is relevant for them.
- Images, visuals, colours. Fit for purpose.
- Customer journey, how do you plan the most compelling route through your site to ensure a potential client contacts you?
- Creating an effective call to action.
- What platform do you want to build on, wordpress, Joomla, hand coded xhtml and css, other?
- Standard website or e-commerce.
- Integrating into your social media platforms.
- Getting found; search engine optimisation, video integration.
Your Design and Build options – Pros and Cons.
Site Builder Websites:
There are a few site builder providers that can enable you to build your own site using their site building tools.
These normally charge a monthly fee with additional costs for bolt ons such as SEO, eCommerce and other services. These tend to be a template based method of building a site.
The emphasis is on you to be the creative input on these and as stated self build the website.
- Easy to get started.
- Good choices of templates.
- Monthly cost.
- Build at your own pace.
- Great if you just want to tick the box for having a website.
- Limited by your experience of design and making things look great and compelling for your target audience.
- Limited by you experience of creating great customer journeys to ensure that visitors to your site are turning into customers.
- Do you understand how to build internal and external page links.
- Are your design skills strong enough to keep a potential client on your website long enough.
- Hard to move your site away from the web builder provider.
- limited ability to optimize the website to be found on search engines, web builders sites are notoriously hard to optimize, being found by new clients/customers is in most cases the objective of the website and the business.
Using a Web Designer or Marketing Agency – Web Design.
- Will spend the time understanding your business goals and objectices.
- Will recommend and give advice on the best approach and platform for your site.
- Has experience in design, build and customer interaction to give you the best opportunity in converting new business.
- Gives you the piece of mind that you have a professional working on one of your key business assets.
- Can advise on and build a robust marketing strategy for you to make the most of the digital age (Marketing Agency).
- Can manage updates, maintenance of the website.
- Build a proper partner relationship with other areas of marketing your business may need.
- Knowing who to choose to work with? – Always look at reviews and existing client work. What services do they offer, years of experience, examples of work.
- Price, having a website built and maintained can be a costly experience, so its important to understand to get a good site built that creates leads and sales is going to have a cost associated with it. Cheap doesn’t always equate to better so see point one for evaluating a designer/agency.
BodaComs can help you with every aspect of your marketing and Web Design from building a great looking website through to a full marketing and lead generation strategy to target your ideal audience. Contact us for an informal chat.
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