In this article we will explore some of the common questions that we receive with regards to designing a website for a small business. If you have any other questions, feel free to let us know in the comments!
What should I include on the homepage?
Your homepage is the first impression of your business that you will be presenting to current and potential customers or clients. As the most popular page of your website, it the ideal location to position your most important information. Consumers visit your website to discover company details like your mission, significant products and services, and contact information, as quickly as possible. By displaying them clearly in this place, they will gain a positive experience from your website and in turn, your business.
Place information like videos, personal biographies, and photo galleries on their own specific pages. Not only will keeping videos and numerous photos off the homepage ensure the page will load quickly, but it also keeps the entire site organized and user-friendly. 1&1 Internet recently conducted research which found that 72 percent of consumers will abandon a purchase or inquiry with a business that operates with a faulty website, for example if it loads slowly. To prevent this poor experience, keep the homepage less demanding and provide the most relevant information in a clear format.
How should I display images of my products/services?
Visuals typically gain more interest from the public than text. Additionally, they are the most valuable method to showcase before and after projects for those that provide professional services, for example. Making these images available on your website provides a convenient and fun way for current and potential customers to learn about you and your business.
Web hosts often offer image tools that allow you to create an attractive photo gallery on websites alongside useful information about products and services. Some do-it-yourself packages, like 1&1 MyWebsite, provide stock images and let you upload your own photos to customize the site specific to your business. If a business wants to use a particular image they found on the Web, it is typical to pay an additional fee to do so. With some inclusive site design applications, a pre-licensed library of over 25,000 images provides numerous options for visually generating interest.
Can I really design my own website with your MyWebsite tool?
Yes. Many businesses are hesitant to create a website because they fear they lack the required knowledge to set one up. However, with simple, user-friendly design tools like 1&1’s MyWebsite, small-to medium-sized businesses can build a fully functional and professional website themselves in a matter of minutes. The straight forward set-up process and familiar editing tools allow owners with all technical skill levels to get online in only a few clicks of a mouse.
1&1 MyWebsite users are guided in the design process from the very beginning. Providing industry-specific text and appropriate images for more than 200 different industries, the tool offers an ideal starting point for business owners to launch their online presence. Customize the site to fit your particular business and offerings with the simple editing tool, much like working within a Word document. Each package comes with different features to build upon your online identity. Inclusive tools and capabilities such as integrating multimedia, Google™ Maps, feedback forms and social media widgets will help you meet the needs and expectations of site visitors while encouraging interaction and effective communication.
Once my website is designed, what other services and tools are available for me to leverage my website?
As a business, having a website is a great way to expand your reach to a broader audience. However, creating an interactive and exciting website will not only attract visitors but also engage them, keeping them involved in your business. Current content, such as news feeds, promotional updates and social media integration allows you to leverage your site beyond just Web pages. Together, these tools help boost credibility and functionality of a website, and increase the chances your visitors will return.
Investigate what is already offered to you through you hosting packages. Some include communication tools like email newsletters. You can collect customer information, for example email addresses, by offering the option to subscribe directly on your website. Information such as employee biographies, industry news, promotions, and achievements via this format build personality, professionalism and credibility all while you maintain full control over what is communicated. This is just one of the varieties of different options to improve your communication methods and reputation online.
I heard that there are hidden costs to choosing a Web design service. Is this true?
Not necessarily. Some hosts might charge you a set-up fee which is additional to the advertised price, but this is not always the case. Be sure to read and understand all the “fine print” before committing to a package. This means not only those relevant to the specific plan, but also the general terms and conditions. Having confidence in your host and cost will help you focus more on your website development and less on the back end of your business.
Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/porcorex