Building a web presence yourself is now more obtainable than ever before. Yes it does take time and yes it does take thought and care but if you have the aptitude for it then it can be done. Too many times we hear from customers those immortal words “It’s too much of a black art to me”. Well we are here to let you know that it is no longer a magical mystery box of technical ‘things’ that require an expert that has many degrees to his/her name.
From this page we will expand on topics that are normally kept in-house at web companies such as ours. Further more we will actually demonstrate how you can do it yourself. From planning your journey through to putting your hands to work on your mouse and keyboard, we will give you everything that you need to simply get stuff done yourself.
Even if it is not something that you want to do yourself but would like to know what it all means. This resource page and further linked pages that expand on the process, will give you all of the insider knowledge that you will ever need. Allowing you to ensure that your web company is doing the right thing for your business and not bamboozling you with science.
There are two main types of website, brochure and e-commerce. Brochure style websites simply advertise services and or products to the visitor whereas e-commerce style websites actually sell products online.
Assuming that you have already decided on your business name and what it is you are going to do. Or you already have an up and running business but would like to start or enhance your web presence journey, lets jump in.
Being honest, the start of the process can be a stumbling block for many but lets break it down so that it can be compartmentalised to make it easier to get started:
Sounds easy right? Well you may or may not be surprised to hear that designing a logo is probably the most difficult part of the journey. It is often very emotive, especially if there is more than one person deciding on the design.
Have a look at other business logos within your industry and look to see what works on the web and what doesn’t. Keep it simple but affective.
Always remember that you are not competing with multi-billion dollar businesses at this stage. That said you do want your logo to be recognisable further down the road with your customers.
Read more on logo design
The Domain name part of your web presence is where it all starts. This is the bit that comes after the www for example for www.brownbooth.co.uk the Domain name is brownbooth.co.uk.
When choosing a Domain, try to make it short and for UK based businesses .co.uk is always the best Domain extension to go with. We opted for a Domain name to exactly match our business name Brown Booth Ltd but this does not necessarily make it a great Domain name.
If you are a trade such as a builder and your building company name was something like Another Builder Ltd then a great Domain name would be anotherbuilder.co.uk. In this way you would have the wording ‘Builder’ in your Domain and this will help with Search Engine Optimisation (We will talk about this later).
Learn more on Domain name
So you have your Domain & logo and are ready to start thinking about building that perfect website. Your website will need to be hosted, most web companies call this website hosting.
A website consists of a number of files that are coded to be viewed by any web browser when accessed. These hosted web files make up the site and each page along with their content.
Website files need to be seen by everyone in the world so therefore need to sit somewhere that everyone can access. This is where website hosting comes in to play.
Your website files will be hosted by a website hosting company. You will then point your Domain to the hosting so that when someone inputs for example www.anotherbuilder.co.uk this will go find the files on the server and display them to you within your web browser in a user friendly visual way.
More information on website hosting
We always recommend WordPress which is a free website content management system (CMS) however, there are a number of alternatives available within the market place. WordPress is used by around 455 million websites world wide this equates to around 43% of all websites across the world. The process of creating a website can be broken down into the following five elements:
We will discuss these elements in more detail on our website build page
During the build process your website should be in maintenance mode so that no search engines or humans can find the site unless you invite them to see it. However, once you have finished building your new website you will need to get it live on the world wide web.
To go live with a website, there are some important things that have to happen, these are:
It all sounds complicated right? Well it’s not if you know how, see our website go live page which will show you how.
Building your website and going live with it is great but at this point you are affectively a shop in the middle of a field. The only way people can find you is if they know where you are and have directions to get to you. This commonly known as word of mouth.
To affectively digitally market your website, you will need to consider your long term game plan. Do you simply want to get leads from your site or do you want people to purchase from your site. Of course the two are very different and we will cover e-commerce website building and marketing within its own insider knowledge area on our website. For this insider knowledge area we will concentrate on brochure style website marketing.
There are many channels to consider, some costly but others that you can do for free. It is true to say that the more you put in the more you get out of course. Below are the brief overview of the two main non paid on site digital marketing channels available:
This is where the magic really happens. Get this right and you will be way ahead of your competitors and will gain much more traffic and potential leads organically. Make no mistake though, this is a longer game than simply advertising. It takes effort, knowledge and consistency to really have an affect.
We open up the process of organic SEO
Adding your business to business listing sites can be a powerful way of getting your name and brand out there together with what it is you actually do. There are many business listing sites out there and all it takes is a little time and effort to get listed for free. Try not to get too bogged down with which ones are the best and also try not to get talked into spending money with these business listing sites.
Get your services onto business listing sites
To some this may sound obvious, but to others this can feel like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be if you simply keep on top of the management of your website on a monthly basis.
The most important aspects of maintaining your website are software updates and plugin updates. There will also be database updates along the way but do not stress, WordPress will let you know when it is time to update your database and will provide an intuitive process to do so.
Backing up your website, especially before updating plugins, is essential and should be done as a matter of fact. There are many plugins available to do this for you at the click of a mouse.
Lets go ahead and discover monthly website maintenance of your site