What Do I Need To Start My Website?

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So you’re at this point, you either signed up to some site builder platform, found a friend on Facebook, or contracted the unknown through Fiverr, thinking you could do it yourself, or find a reasonably low-cost solution. But, when it’s finished, four months later, it’s not what you expected nor driving leads and conversions. Not to mention, having a website to showcase your brand identity can be a hefty job to complete at reasonable to low costs.

What if you had a guide that helped you through the progress of developing your ideal website. Lucky you stopped by to the HICO Blog today!;

HICO Website Guide 101 

First, write down your answers to these 2 questions! 

  1. Why do you need a website? 
  2. What are your goals for the website? 

Remember 

Most people don’t start out wanting a website without having an idea of what it would be.

Choose A Domain

Choosing a name can be a heavy task to do when building a website. Because of the importance, after all the last thing you want is to have a site no one can remember. Try to be creative and straight to the point. Your website name will be the domain name you register with GoDaddy or Google Domains. Both of which are great domain registrars (online domain shopping and managing sites). Avoid long website names. (ie. Mylongwebsitename.com) while something like site.com would be ideal. Keep in mind you can always change your website/domain name later on. 

Brain Storming

Part of your brainstorming process should be to look up available domain names as you go. You don’t necessarily have to register the exact domain as the legal name of your business. Although, having a unique business name helps your chances of obtaining a domain name that matches the legal name of your business. Plus, it will make it much easier for repeat visitors to find you again if the names match.

Web Hosting

A good way to think about website hosting is if your home address is 5554 north Ave – that’s your domain name but the physical house where you keep all your furniture is your website hosting – that’s where your website is literally stored. The domain just acts as an address to your website. 

If you’re just starting out, grasping the concept can be rather challenging, but take it slow. It’s important all business owners understand the basics. 

Note: All websites on the internet, need and have web hosting.

A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet.

Web Design (UI/UX)

“When online visitors or shoppers never second guess your business because of how well received your website is, that is when you know you have a great design”

Most websites you see on the internet are first designed before they are developed. Similar to how cars are first sketched, 3D rendered, and then developed. When a website’s design is intuitive and provides your customers the information they need quickly, they tend to perform very well online. As online consumers we don’t necessarily think much about it, that’s because someone else did such an amazing job you never questioned a great website. You just surfed their website, possibly enjoyed the experience, did a little (maybe a lot) of online shopping, and kept it moving. When online visitors or shoppers never second guess your business because of how well received your website is, that is when you know you have a great design. When someone visits your site you need to have a clear call to action that targets what they came to your website for, along with relevant high-quality photos. Everything they read on your website should sound authentic, on-brand, and appropriate. A little animation doesn’t hurt either. 

Your options:

  1. Hire a developer.
  2. Use a page builder.
  3. Try to learn HTML, CSS, and code it yourself! 😀

Website Copy

Just like the design, your website copy (the text on your website) is crucial to having successful, high traffic, converting websites. Reading eye-catching headlines and subtitles that elaborates on your services or products isn’t something that comes out of nowhere. Your website copy needs to be carefully thought out and placed in strategic places on your web pages for instinctive consumption and a better user experience. If writing is not your forte, you’ll probably spend a lot of time and mental energy creating copy that doesn’t perform well. Be efficient with your time by hiring someone that can get the job done right – the first time.

If you decide to write your website copy yourself, take some time to read up on online copywriting best practices. Kristen Hicks from HostGator suggests “Websites like Copyblogger and Copyhackers can provide some tips to help you learn the ropes.”

Digital Marketing Plan

Now that we’ve got your website up and running and we feel good about the design. Here comes the hardest part of them all. One of the main reasons to get a website is to have an online presence. No one will buy your products or read your content without being able to find your website first. The plan is to come up with a strategy that directly targets your audience. These marketing tactics can be:

  • Email Marketing: Sending emails to existing customers or subscribers.
  • Reaching customers and prospects through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. 
  • Exhibiting in trade shows or being a vendor at eventsAttending trade shows may also be a marketing tactic.
  • Grass-roots efforts such as speaking at industry association events or the chamber of commerce.
  • Placing adverts on billboards, TV, radio, online, or in print.
  • Publish targeted articles. A well-written article can bring in many leads. Bear in mind, however, that articles take much longer to bear fruit than, for example, adverts.

“The purpose of your marketing tactics will be defined by your strategy and company goals.” – Marcus Taylor does a great job of outlining the differences between market strategies and market tactics. 

Having information creates opportunities and having a successful website will require a great amount of research if you plan to do it alone. Once your website is up and running, it’ll be rewarding to see traffic grow and your website takes off 🚀

If you need any assistance in planning, designing, or developing a website for your business shoot us a message 🤙🏾.

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