Starting a new business can be fun and exciting. There is that sense of freedom in working on your own project and making all the decisions, as well as the creative thrill that can come from building something from scratch. However, developing a business also involves ticking off a long list of tasks before you can even think about opening your doors.
There’s everything from the product or service design, through to the finances, marketing, sales techniques, operational processes, and more.
Another task that you really need to concentrate on when starting a new venture in this day and age is building a website. Your online presence is what you can use to build your brand, attract potential customers, sell products or services, encourage clients to buy from you again, and attract staff members and even investors.
When it comes to getting online then, it’s important to know some of the most essential dos and don’ts that will help you create the best website possible. But before you sit down and begin creating your professional DIY website, you should make sure you understand some basics. Read on for some tips you can follow today.
Use the Best Design
One of the most important elements of creating a website that gets results is having the right type of design. How the site looks and functions affects lots of things, from whether people will even stay on the site to search for what they’re after in the first place, to whether or not they will complete a call to action (like sign up to a newsletter or purchase a product), or ever come back to the website again.
An online presence with impact will tick a variety of design boxes. Firstly, the site should convey the necessary information to readers but won’t overwhelm them with too many, or any unnecessary, details. It should be easy for viewers to navigate through, with a commonsense layout that is intuitive both on standard computers and mobile devices. There should also be a good use of graphics, and plenty of white space (empty spots on the page where there isn’t any text or image) so that the overall effect isn’t too busy.
In addition, make sure that the font you choose is easy to read for all ages, and that there aren’t any clashing (or too many) colors on the pages. Don’t forget too that the best websites always include the types of functions that the particular target reader will be looking for. For example, your site might need a shopping cart, contact forms, social media links, a newsletter sign-up function, a forum, a blog, or an FAQ page. This will vary from business to business, so consider the site’s purpose closely before you start.
Choose a Reputable Website Host
In order for a website to be effective, it also needs to be hosted by a reputable firm. Keep in mind when choosing a host that they are not all equal, with some providing a much higher level of quality, service, or value-for-money than others. Choose the wrong website host and you could find that your site crashes way too often, costs more money than it needs to, or isn’t as secure as it could be.
When choosing a website host, start by comparing prices carefully, always making sure to take into account any potential hidden fees that may not be so obvious upfront. These can include set-up fees or cancelation charges. Also ask website hosting companies about their uptime guarantees, included customer support, and security precautions before you sign on the dotted line.
Select a Secure Merchant Services Provider
Another element that you need to outsource if you plan to sell products or services online is your payment processing. To take credit or debit card payments (or PayPal transactions) through your website, you will need to sign up with a merchant services provider who will handle all the transactions.
When comparing companies in this area, apart from examining their pricing structures, you also need to find out if their plans can be upgraded if you sell more over time; if they provide customer support to help you if issues arise; and what security precautions they have in place to ensure that important consumer data can’t be accessed by hackers.
Look for a merchant services provider that has protocols in place such as CVV2 verification, billing-address protection, intricate encryption algorithms, support for top-level SSL certificates, and restrictions on how data is sent and stored over the internet.