Thinking of starting your own website? Here are some important factors to think about before you start
1. DIY or Web Designer
Firstly, you need to decide how you want to build your site – do you want to do it yourself, or hire a web designer.
For DIY, there are plenty of options in the internet nowadays. Almost anyone can launch their own free blogs and upload simple pictures to start a blogshop. You might even know a bit more on html yourself to be able to do slightly webdesign more complicated things. In that case if you’re looking for a small startup site, doing the site yourself might be the cheapest option on the budget.
However if web design sounds out of this world to you, or if you’re looking for a very professional site design, then hiring a web designer might be a better option for you.
Of course for choice of web designers, there are web design companies, as well as freelance web designers. The former are established, experienced companies and you can be relatively assured of quality and support. Not to say that freelance web designers are not reliable, but perhaps there is a bigger range and you need to seek out the experienced ones.
In terms of pricing, there will be a range for both. There is also a difference in pricing and standards for web designers and web design companies from different countries. You might want to choose someone from your own locale, or look to overseas for a cheaper alternative.
2. E-commerce or CMS
Next you have to decide on what platform you want your site to be based on. Do you want an E-commerce platform that allows you to manage your product and inventory, or a simpler CMS platform that focuses on pictures and descriptions. Smaller businesses with only a few unchanging products may choose a CMS or static website with some checkout button links to showcase and sell their products. They choose then to focus specifically on the presentation of these few products with the static or CMS website.
Companies dealing with a large number of products and which are constantly adding new products will need an E-commerce platform.
3. Web Design and Style
This is something that has to be connected directly to your branding style and image. Very importantly your brand and style has to appeal to your target audience. Are your potential customers, for example young females for a online female apparel shop? Then you may be looking at pink themes or other feminine looks. Or are you a company that services businesses? Then strong and professional colours like blue and grey may appear more professional. Discuss this with your partners, web designer, and also seek feedback from your current/potential customers. (You might also want to check out your competition!)
4. Domain and Hosting
We should probably have mentioned this earlier, but if you don’t already have one, you need to register a domain name. Ideally this should contain your company name. Or it should relate closely to the product/services you are providing. It should also be easy to remember so that your customers can remember it and easily type it and reach your site. Some domain names with primary keywords will even be useful in SEO.
You also need to find a web host – do you want to set up your own server, or subscribe to a web hosting service. Then, do you want a shared hosting service or dedicated hosting? These plans will differ in terms of pricing and speed and other features. Again, discuss your needs with your web designer
5. Getting Traffic
After the hard work of setting up your great new website, now you’re tasked with the next important task of getting traffic, and ultimately customers, to your website. How do you plan to market your website? For online marketing there are primarily two methods – organic traffic and paid traffic. The former involves Search Engine Optimization where you try to optimize your site and build page rank so that you rank naturally on top of certain keywords in the major search machines. In the latter, you basically make use of available paid advertising channels to promote your site. You could pay in terms of clicks to your website, or impressions of your ads.
Setting up a website and an online business is no small feat and it will take proper planning. Hopefully the above list will get you started on your plan to start a website, and be helpful in your planning. Whatever the case, we wish you all the best and success in your online endeavour and a big welcome to the world wide web!
Reasons Why Responsive Web Design Is Recommended for Every eCommerce Business
Chances are there that you have heard the phrase ‘responsive web design’ quite a few times. What is responsive design? It is a web design trend which is predicted to remain dominant for years to come. Responsive design is a set of techniques and tools used for making websites fit for every screen, small and big. Web designers around the world have realized the importance of designing websites in this way. They recommend receptive websites for the eCommerce business owners. This is because web surfers always prefer the websites that can be viewed on any device, whether it is a laptop or a mobile phone. These days, many people are surfing the web from portable devices such as Smartphone and receptive websites that are adaptable in nature are what they actually like. Here below are five good reasons why this type of websites is recommended for every eCommerce business.
Flexible web sites:
Websites that are built in this way fit well any screen size. There was a time when websites were primarily designed for desktop computers. But with the emergence of smaller and portable devices, web designers felt the need to design websites that are flexible and can be opened and viewed from any device. Responsive design was the answer.
Features are easy to find:
As per usability factor is concerned, these websites are far more advanced than their precursors. All the features of the websites can be easily found unlike desktop-only websites that were like maze games for many mobile web surfers.
Designers do not need to develop multiple versions of a website now. Powered by latest tools and technologies, modern day designers ensure that one website fits all screens and that significantly cuts down the cost.
Text content and images used on these sites are adaptable with new technologies and scope for further changes/modification remains wide open for the website maintenance professionals.
Lower bounce rate:
‘Bounce Rate’ is the percentage of website visitors who leave a site without fully or partly exploring it. Bounce rate increases due to several reasons including poor navigation and slow loading of web pages. Responsive websites professionals ensure lower bounce rate by keeping the navigation easier and increasing the usability quotient of a website.
Should you hire a responsive web design professional?
You should have proper understanding of what responsive web design is and its significance in eCommerce website designing. You should not hire a professional without properly knowing the characteristics of this kind of websites. Otherwise, you might get misled by counterfeit designers. The best way to know about responsive design is to look up in Wikipedia and other authoritative websites. Do some research on the web first and then decide whether you really need a responsive website or an inflexible website might work well for your eCommerce business. However, as mobile users are increasing by leaps and bounds, it is highly recommended to design responsive business websites.