5 Tips for Setting Up a Business Website
As a business owner, you probably know that nowadays running a website is an essential part of running a business. Without representation on the internet, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to reach out to a wide audience. It is only by means of a bunch of informative pages that you can provide your prospective customers with all the information they need about your products or services. But before you set up your own business website, read the following tips: it can be trickier than it appears to be.
- Look at what other companies operating in the same field use
Before building your own website, look at what others use. It is not that you should copy their design or whatever – no sir! The idea is to make sure your future website is unique: you do not want it to be a yet-another-faceless landing page with no distinctive features, don’t you? Besides, write down the things that their pages offer, such as descriptions of products, galleries, schedules, calculators, registration, etc. Again, do not copy. Just note what you (image you are your potential customer!) might need when looking for information about your services and develop the ideas found. Remember: plagiarism is not an option, but just browsing what other websites on the same topic include may inspire you.
- Think about your target audience
Who are those people who, according to your plan, are going to buy from you? What are their needs? What do they expect to find on your website? Never regard your target audience as a source of money – they are real people, and they have their problems and preferences, and it is them that you must tailor your services and website to.
What page layout would be easier to navigate and use? What design would appeal to them? Web design must reflect not only what you offer, but also what your audience likes. Do not make it too cluttered, though, regardless of audience. Some more things to take into account:
- Avoid music and videos that start playing automatically once the page loads. It makes most users want to stop it and leave the page immediately.
- Once a powerful tool, Flash is now considered an outcast, mostly because devices powered by iOS do not support it. However sad it may be to some people, today Flash is something to be avoided.
- Make sure the code you use is really good, as poorly written code can slow down your website. The same applies to content: it must not prevent the page from loading fast.
- Remember about mobile-friendliness. Now that most people access the internet using tablets and smartphones, it would even be weird not to make your website mobile-friendly.
- Approach the process of choosing web hosting wisely
Virtually all web hosting providers claim they are the best, offer “unlimited everything” and ensure excellent performance. You sign up, only to find out that “unlimited” actually implies some limitations and that your page is often down. To choose a reliable option that is both affordable and flexible, you can do research using statistics on hosting performance provided by HRANK. They have charts with statistics on recent performance of over 300 hosting providers, including uptime, load time and the number of shared IPs. Once you have found the options that meet the requirements of your project (it must support the CMS you want to use and the features you want to implement!), look them up on HRANK and see if their servers have recently been reliable.
- Decide which CMS you will use
Your choice of a CMS should depend on what features you want to be used. It is recommended that you use one of the open source options, among which WordPress is definitely the most popular one. Due to its versatility, flexibility, and community of users, WP is the best pick, even for a business website. However, every project is different, and before you plunge into the world of content creation, make sure the CMS you are going to use is compatible with all the things that are supposed to be there.
- Increase website traffic by being helpful, not by using tricks
Last but not least, you should be genuine. Do not try to increase traffic by hiding awful services under a veneer of a sleek website. A “business” must not be money-centered – the purpose of your website must be to provide users with what they need, not to trick them into buying from you at all costs. Thus, the advice is to make your website transparent: include only relevant information, make sure your audience has a means of getting in touch with you, and write SEO-friendly texts that include answers to the questions people are interested in.
The list is not comprehensive, but these are the basics that you should keep in mind when building your business website. Make it useful and make sure you use web hosting and CMS that are capable of serving as the basis of your project.
About the Author
Peter Torsen is a freelance blogger and writer with more than 8 years of experience in various online resources. He loves reading detective stories and has a dog.