DIY Web Design For the Small Business Owner
Design a Business Website Yourself
Every business needs a website; it’s your portal to the online world. However, not everyone has the budget to pay for a web design company. When this is the case, you’ll need to turn to the DIY solution. While this may seem daunting, there are four easy steps to get you started on the right foot.
Step 1: Choose a Web Hosting Platform
The first step in designing a successful website is choosing the right web host. This will make a world of difference in how this process goes for you. With the right company you’ll have options, dedicated support and guidance throughout the process. Other than cost, there are two main things you want to look for when choosing your hosting provider.
- Free website builder: You want a web host that offers a free website builder. Often times this comes in the form of a drag and drop platform such as Weebly. This allows you to stay away from code such as CSS and HTML.
- Wordpress: Wordpress is the most widely used website/blog platform. Because of this, you’ll have more than enough support through forums, specialty sites and other DIY builders.
Step 2: Know Your Brand
Before you can start designing your page you have to know your brand. Because your website is an extension of your business, it’s critical that it represents you accurately. According to GetSkyBound.com, “Building your brand, attracting visitors and converting them into customers — these are the fundamentals of an effective website.” Keeping brand in mind, you’ll need to appropriately choose:
- Color scheme: You want this to match your other online platforms and current logo. That’s how people recognize you, and you want your entire online presence to be seamless to customers.
- Style: Does your brand jump off the page? Is it loud? Your website should depict your brand’s style.
- Structure: An ecommerce site is going to be designed differently than a blog-centric site. Be sure that you are emphasizing all the right aspects of your business with the overall site structure.
DIY Web Design: Viable Option for Small Business Owners
Step 3: Choose a Template
The template is the blueprint of your site; this will facilitate your style and structure. However, a template doesn’t have to be the final say in how your site looks. Because of that, you want to choose it based on a number of factors:
- Customization: You may not find a template that accurately depicts your brand which is why you want one that you can customize. This way you can add in your own logo, change the color scheme, etc.
- Ease of use: If you’ll be making a lot of changes, you want it to be a simple process. Some templates come with a dashboard specific to template which allows you to easily make these changes.
Step 4: Make It You
Finally, once your website is in full color and ready to go, you want to make it your own. This is important in continuing to your brand, proving value to your customers, and setting yourself apart from the competition. There are a number of ways you can customize your site.
- Widgets: Widgets go in your side bars and footer. These allow you to place text, photos, videos, badges, calendars, recent posts, etc. all in one place. These are simple to use and will give your website a custom feel.
- Plugins: Installing plugins is a simple process, and it adds various capabilities to your site. You can change what the comments section looks like, add in various components, and much more.
- Social buttons: the key to any good website? Having your social media buttons easy to find and readily available. You want customers to interact and this is a great way to encourage that.
Once the site is created, it’s just a matter of maintenance. You want your content to be good quality and fresh. Be sure to make changes based on platform updates and online trends. In the end, although creating your own website may not be ideal, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibilities.