Just a few years ago, websites were optional. Unless you were an actual eCommerce business, you didn’t need to worry about these digital landing pages. Fast forward to today, businesses of all sorts and sizes need a website to compete in their respective markets. Without one, you’ll surely be run over by competitors who are able to market their brand to a broader audience. Not only can websites offer wider brand exposure, they are also a more affordable means of marketing round the clock. Here’s five things you should do today to start building your business’ website:
Plan Everything Out
As any good web developer can attest to, planning comprises 50 percent of the work when creating a website from scratch. Having a well-detailed and clearly outlined blueprint of your website will make it easier for you or the developers you hire to write the code and build it step by step. Knowing what it should look like isn’t enough. Draft each webpage including the signup/login page, the main page that displays account information, and the navigation pages that will redirect the user to new information or features. Next, think about what features you want your website to have, and then the technologies that you’ll need to get these features working.
Learn HTML and CSS
Considered to be the backbone of any website on the Internet, HTML and CSS are markup languages that give structure and aesthetics to your website. Think of HTML as the skeleton of your website, structuring where specific pages and links should be positioned, and CSS as the meat and skin of it, which gives colors and design to your webpage. It’s become much easier to learn HTML and CSS, thanks to a plethora of online courses and content management systems including WordPress.
Learn a Database
Databases are essential, specifically if you are planning to save user information, such as email addresses and passwords, to a server. Databases are the technology that will allow you to store and access this data when certain conditions have been met, such as authentication and validation. Popular databases include MySQL and MongoDB. Each database has its pros and cons when it comes to how data is stored and how it interacts with different sets or tables of data.
Outsource When Needed
If you have neither the time nor the patience to learn and master a specific technology, such as databases or servers, you can outsource the tasks to experienced developers. Thanks to platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, it’s much easier to get in contact with competent and affordable talent. That being said, try to build the foundation of your website on your own. No one knows your business’ vision and mission statement better than you do, and that’s what your website should exude immediately after it loads up on the user’s browser.
Launching your small business’ website is just the beginning. Regular tweaking and maintenance to fix bugs is necessary to improve overall visitor experience. Static webpages that don’t have any engaging content or enticing design elements can poorly represent your brand. When it comes to websites, quality should supersede quantity. A single page that is structured and designed right beats multi-page websites that are riddled with misleading information and broken links.