7 Simple Steps That Will Help You Design Your Website Quickly

There are many choices when you are ready to build an online presence.

Deciding on a website builder, content management system, or e-commerce is the beginning of this new journey.

Once you've developed a plan, you can design your website quickly.

Online Presence Defined

Developing a website is one way a business or entrepreneur can have a digital footprint.

Traditional business owners are making a shift or expanding their website's traditional market by starting a website or online social site to attract a new market. There are a few things that are important when you begin. 

Did you know that 57% of people won't recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile?

That's why the design and navigation of your website are critical to the success of your business. 

1. Design Your Website

When you begin to develop your website, it's easy to get overwhelmed and think you need to have special skills or technical knowledge.

That's not usually true at all. There are different ways to make your website, and some require no technical knowledge at all, others need some, and still, others require knowing coding and other website building skills. 

It all depends on the choices you make, and that starts now. Decide where you want to make your site, how you want to make it look, what other things should it connect to (social media is an example), what kind of customer service will you provide on your site and how will it work (phone, email, chat are some of the options). 

There's a lot to consider and a few things that you can do to put you on track and make developing your site a snap. 

2. Decide on the Strategy and Purpose for Your Site

It probably seems like common sense, but beyond appearance, have a plan, strategy, and knowing what your purpose is essential before you start designing your site.

You may know your industry, have an idea about content strategy but do you have a unique selling point (USP) or know how you want to present your business. You aim to engage visitors, but if your website comes across as a sales pitch, people will see through it. 

Once you know what your purpose is, you can work on how you want people to interact with your site. Will you provide informative content, sell products or services, or just get signups? When you know the answers to these, you'll have an idea of how your site should appear. 

3. Check into Current Website Design Trends

Taking a look at what competitors are doing is essential. Not only just the features and website design but also the content they are putting on the site. While features and designing trends are cool to follow, you want your content to stand out.

Website design changes every moment. You want to have your site be current with the latest trends, but also make sure your site is visitor friendly. Mobile internet users are leading the pack, so having a responsive website that looks appealing on all devices is also a priority.

4. Content Strategy

Put together a plan for your content. Decide what channels you will use. There are a few types, and they include blogging, video, and social media. 

Putting together a calendar of how frequently you will post and possible topics can help. You will want to do some research to find out what topics are trending in your industry and work around those.

5. Navigation Menu Tips

There are a few things to avoid when setting up the navigation for your website.

Remember that everything essential to your site links to its navigation. From its content to its URLs. Here are a few things to consider:

Menu Location

Most visitors to your site will expect the menu to be at the top (horizontal) or on the left side (vertical).

Putting below the header or any other unusual place, even if the site is nice looking, will confuse visitors who decide in under .05 seconds or less to stay or leave your site. 

Make Menus Descriptive

Every website uses labels like products, services, and what we do. What do these communicate to your visitor?

The navigation labels offer an opportunity to optimize and indicate relevance to search engines. Using names that include ranked keyphrases from the Google Keyword Tool will help. 

Get the Order Right

Items in a list at the beginning or end have been proven to be the most memorable and effective.

This concept also applies to a navigation menu. So, experts suggest it's best to put important "focus" items at the beginning and "contact" link at the end. 

6. Write Content That Connects

When you're browsing a website, think about what content keeps you reading. You probably imagine that a professional agency was behind them, right?

While sometimes that's the case, many entrepreneurs do it all on their own (at least initially). The key is who your website visitor is and what they are looking for on your site. 

Do they connect with prominent images with short descriptions, how-to make something or detailed information that is longer? Who is your customer? Is your customer a business professional, a school teacher, a stay at home mom?

Having an idea who Joe Customer is will lead you to create a website that brings them back. Once you are confident you know who you are creating content for is, it will lead the way. 

What is unique or special about your business? Present the reasons why your company, product, and website stand above your competition. 

Who are your competitors, and what do they put on their website? Knowing what your competitors are doing is essential, you don't have your content look identical.

7. CMS, eCommerce, or Website Builders

If you're planning to sell products on your site, this may not be the option for you.

For a more simple website, there are excellent website builders that are simple to use to develop your site. These builders use drag and drop functionality that allows you to see what your site will look like as you are building, something called WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).

Wix Website Builder

Wix is highly regarded as one of the best website builders available.

Its drag and drop editor is easy to use and gives complete creative control. Wix gives you 510 templates to choose from, a vast selection of built-in features, and an app store to get any extras you might need. 

Squarespace Website Builder

This website builder screams class and has a glossy, premium feel. The cutting edge of their website template designs makes them perfect for creative industry entrepreneurs like graphic designers, artists, or photographers.

Shopify eCommerce Platform

Shopify stands out from all others when it comes to e-commerce platforms. It has a wide range of themes to complement any website's product line. Where Shopify will blow you away is its integrations that let you grow your brand. 

WordPress Content Management System

Wordpress offers an esteemed open-source CMS (content management system) platform for self-hosted websites.

Many entrepreneurs and commercial businesses choose WordPress because it is a straightforward system that allows almost anyone to develop a website. It gives you total control over how your site will look and feel, and (aside from domain registration and hosting), it is free to use. 

Depending on the plan for your website, you may be able to do all of it yourself. Still, if you have opted for a more complicated site, you may need a professional. 

Joomla Content Management System

If you are considering the Joomla for your website, you're in good company. Many leading brands like IKEA use Joomla to develop their sites. Bear in mind, Joomla requires technical skills to get your website to look and feel the way you have it planned. 

Of the three leading CMS platforms, Joomla is more complicated than WordPress, but it is much more beginner-friendly than Drupal. Once you have registered your domain and purchased hosting, download the current Joomla package. You will also need to create a database and then upload your Joomla package to your website. 

Mac computers have different requirements and applications to extract RAR files. Check out https://setapp.com/how-to/open-rar-files-on-mac should you require an application. Extensions or external resources sometimes come in various formats. RAR and ZIP are two types.

Like Wordpress, Joomla has a depository of plugins or extensions that you'll need to check out, download, and upload many of them into your project to add different functions. Every content management system (CMS) has a language or set of terms and jargon, and getting familiar with them will help as you work with Joomla.

What's Next?

Now that you've decided to launch your online presence, a plan and strategy are essential.

Figure out who, when, what, and how and it will allow you to design your website quickly and in the best way. When it's clear that having an online presence is vital to your business, the next part will be the exciting part—taking your vision online.

Check back here for more helpful information.

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23 Mar 2020