To some people, building a website may be old news. When the web was first beginning to blossom, a website was needed in order to promote your brand; there was no other way to be found online. But, as the web has become more social, so too have brands.
Nowadays it’s possible for a business to have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; and to have blogs on sites like Medium or Quora; without actually having their own website.
Whilst an assortment of profiles on various social media platforms may be considered enough for some businesses, in order to properly establish your brand online, it’s integral that you invest in a website.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of creating a business website below:
Central hub – A website acts as the launch pad for all of your brand’s activity, it should also be the place to go for any information about your business, including contact details, product or service information and content.
First impressions – A website can help your brand establish its identity on the web, and give customers an unobtrusive method of exploring your brand.
Brand awareness – A website is a platform which your brand can use to drive traffic and in turn increase sales.
Expense – Small businesses may believe that they cannot afford to keep a website running. However, there are plenty of low cost options for website hosting that are readily available to growing businesses.
Maintenance and upkeep – In order to stay relevant, you’ll need to keep your website up-to-date with the latest news and services related to your business. You’ll also need to consider your site’s aesthetics, ensuring that your business does not appear ‘out of date’. There are of course plenty of services available online to help you manage and maintain your site, including digital marketers and web designers.
So you’ve decided that your brand needs a strong web presence and that a website is the ideal solution; but where do you start?
Setting up your first website may seem like a daunting process, and without the right resources it can quickly become confusing, which is why we’ve decided to create this handy guide detailing everything you need to know about creating your first website.
First things first, you need to think about protecting your brand by securing a relevant domain name. This task will be easier if your business has a unique moniker, such as ‘Jerry’s Pet Supplies’ or ‘Gradwell’ for instance. Organisations with particularly common names, such as ‘Best Fitness’ or ‘Mega Media’, will have a harder time securing a quality, branded URL; without having to use hyphens or shorten words.
Obviously the closer the URL is to your brand the more easily it can be found by consumers. If you have a long and complicated URL, it will obviously be difficult for your customers to remember, so consider abbreviating certain sentences if you have a long form brand name.
You can purchase domain names from Gradwell. It’s worth noting that once purchased, you’ll need to renew your domain annually. Depending on the popularity of your chosen title, the price per annum will vary. As your business continues to grow, you should consider purchasing multiple domains, including misspelt/similar sounding names, just to ensure that it’s easy as possible for users to find you, and that you’re protected from any competitors/similar sounding brands from using.
Once you’ve secured your domain name, it’s time to decide on how you’re going to put your ideas live online.
It’s completely up to you how you go about undertaking this next step. There are several ways to build a website, whether you use predesigned templates supplied by website building companies, for example Wix; or you customise your own page on a popular blogging network such as Tumblr. Whilst both of these methods have a variety of merits, including the fact that they’re incredibly low-cost (or free in some instances), if you’re looking to manage every aspect of your site, and are serious about building a professional web presence for your brand, then you’ll want to consider hiring a dedicated web developer and utilising a CMS.
This will allow you to measure specific aspects of your site, split test different designs on different audiences and tackle any issues that might arise directly. Of course, if you select this route, you’re going to have to find a suitable service which will host your site online and ensure that it’s ready to adapt and grow alongside your business.
That’s where Gradwell comes in. We offer several dependable web hosting packages specifically designed to accommodate growing businesses. When it comes to finding a reliable host for your website, Gradwell provide the perfect solution. Click here to find out more about our cutting edge web hosting services.
For more information on the different options available to businesses when it comes to creating a website, read our previous post on this topic here. Why not leave a comment below and tell us your best tips for building a website and establish a presence online?
Web Design: Bigstock