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Web designers have always disliked the idea of business owners creating their own websites.
Business owners are traditionally much better at running businesses than they are at coding and design. Over the past few years, this reasoning has lost some of its lustre, particularly for startups with very limited budgets. It is possible for you to create a functional website for your business, whether you run an online retail store or a bricks-and-mortar operation that needs the web equivalent of a shiny brochure. There are two basic options for small business owners that want to design their own website: hosted web design services or open-source content management systems. When choosing a hosted service, it’s important to investigate how easily it will integrate with your existing systems. The only trouble she encountered was that she didn’t have the technical expertise to make use of these APIs, and had to hire a freelance web developer to make the changes for her.
Besides the need to outsource these types of modifications, there are a few drawbacks to using hosted web design services. He suggests that services like Shopify or BigCommerce will better suit businesses willing to change what they do slightly to suit the design platform. In addition to SEO troubles, de Berg found that the software wasn’t well suited to retail stores with large ranges of products.
Making a website using an open-source CMS may prove to be a more challenging proposition to someone with little experience, but it’s by far the preferable alternative to hosted design services. As with Shopify, the open-source CMS approach starts with the user choosing a template that will dictate the basic look, feel and functionality of their site. Typically, the best templates or themes have to be bought, but the cost is rarely more than a couple of hundred dollars.
Although there are a number of open source CMSs available (most notably Drupal and Joomla), the most commonly encountered system among small businesses is WordPress.
He points out that another benefit of choosing WordPress is the ease with which it allows users to shuffle through themes until they find one that best suits what your business needs.
Although WordPress makes it simple enough to begin making a website, those without a small amount of web design experience are still likely to struggle with the more technical aspects of fine-tuning it to their requirements. As soon as you bring a web developer into the equation, it changes the nature of the ‘do it yourself’ approach significantly. Regardless of whether you settle on WordPress or a platform like Shopify, creating your own site requires you to think like a user experience designer. She notes that the same attitude should apply to the platform’s back end functionality, as this is what you’ll be using every day to update the site once it’s live.
This entry was posted in Web design and tagged business growth, communications, marketing, small business, technology, web design.
Articles, ‘How To’ pieces, interviews and news, these small business web design ideas and advice will help ensure your company has a website to rival all others.
Best Of, Simulator Dorm Website Building Software Creation Designer Development Build Your Own Best Builder Web Design Images Room Layout: Virtual Free Software Room Layout Maker Planner OnlineThe astonishing Simulator Dorm Website Building Software Creation Designer Development Build Your Own Best Builder Web Design Images Room Layout picture above, is part of Virtual Free Software Room Layout Maker Planner Online post, which is grouped within Best Of. Facebook Discussions on Simulator Dorm Website Building Software Creation Designer Development Build Your Own Best Builder Web Design Images Room LayoutJoin the discussion on this Simulator Dorm Website Building Software Creation Designer Development Build Your Own Best Builder Web Design Images Room Layout using your faceb??k account below. Having your own domain name looks more professional not to mention the SEO benefits you’ll reap. About Latest Posts Follow meReeseReese Ben Yaacov is a strategist, coach and mentor for high achieving Virtual Assistants who are ready to seriously up their game.
Thanks for this Reese, When I first started working online, I also created a website for myself using the free version of WordPress which is really good. I use Wix I think they are fantastic, so many templates and options and its perfect for customers, they even do a 1 page site to let customers know you are building your perfect site. Thanks Reese – helpful as always and your email came through at just the perfect time.
Sarah I always show off your site to my coaching clients to give them an idea of the possibilities with Wix. I started off with godaddy dream design that was costing me a little over $600 each year to maintain plus the time lag for them to make updates. Jeanne, you’re lucky to have a Gen Y daughter to help you with the more tech-related stuff. Your email came at a good time because this is a subject that has been at the back of my mind for awhile now. I chose wordpress, because I wanted to know this service as a possible service I will be offering my clients. I have began to build a website for my virtual assistant business and these are great ideas.
I am actually a designer, but I’m learning WordPress now because of the power and capabilities it can offer. If your policy includes a money-back guarantee, or you stand by the quality of your product, you can implement a badge or emblem to promote this aspect of your business. Typically, you would place it near the  “Buy Now” button to help convince visitors of the quality of your products or services. Another aspect to this is that when business owners see that you’ve helped other businesses, and those businesses are recognized as being successful, people want to have the same success. This is especially true is you accept payments on your site by using secure checkout methods, such as Paypal.
This may seem unnecessary, but it can go a long way to building trust and rapport with your first-time visitors and avid readers. Showing a professionally shot photo of yourself, dressed well, shows visitors that you stand by your website, its content, and any products enough that you’ll put your face on it. You probably run into instances of social proof on a daily basis, but you just aren’t away of it. When a visitor sees that 10,000 people are following a site of Facebook, it immediately establishes authority.

When you provide useful information, such as tips or how-to guides — in addition to your sales content — it instantly builds trust with visitors to your site. Join our 746,498 subscribers and get access to the latest tools, freebies, product announcements and much more!
This isn’t because it means less work for them, but because, more often than not, the resulting site offends their sensibilities. Open source content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress and Joomla, along with drag-and-drop, self-design services like Big Commerce and Shopify, have given those with relatively little knowledge of web design the ability to create business websites cheaply and easily. Sites like Shopify and Big Commerce are tailored specifically to create e-commerce stores, while alternatives like Squarespace and Google Sites offer more open-ended options for web design. One of Brough’s motivations for choosing Shopify was its wide range of APIs (application programming interface). The most notable shortcoming is that any template you choose is unlikely to be unique to your business, meaning that other web stores that also use the service may have a very similar feel to your site. The more specific and complex your requirements, the less suitable these services will prove to be. It gives you more control over the design of your site, and makes it easier to modify and expand as the business grows. The major difference is that the software is free – anyone can use it without having to pay a licensing fee or subscription.
If you run up against problems when piecing the first draft of your site together, the best course of action is to outsource. In order to get the best value for your money from a designer, you have to be able to give them very specific instructions about what you need for the site.
You need to be able to weigh what you need against what the CMS and template you choose are capable of doing. Follow a development process.Before you begin development, have a clear map for the site as a whole as well as your individual pages. I can personally fully code a custom web site in 150 hours…or I can offer a fully functioning WordPress site for less money and hours and still make clients (and ME) happy. Whether you are just browsing the web, or you go online to make purchases, people are leery about everything they do on the web. From credit card fraud to identity theft, it can be tough to gain people’s trust on your website.
You can implement a few visual aids that will build trust and increase conversions for your website.
For example, if you offer a 1 Year Warranty, you could place a silver or golden sticker with this information somewhere on your sales page. The best color to use is gold, because it speaks of the value and worth of what you are promoting. If you are selling anything on your website, you can help ease the minds of average visitors by implementing payment logos.
You should definitely include a Paypal logo near the purchase buttons on your site, as well as on the checkout page itself.
Adding a personal touch makes you and your site seem much more approachable, making visitors more open to making a purchase.
Showing your face will help build recognition for you personally, but it also builds trust with visitors. Not only will your website be more inviting, but visitors tend to remember a person better when they have a visual representation of them in their head. Social proof with where a site owner with a decent social media following will place their social media counts on their site as proof of their success. If you can display a number of people who are willing to provide documented quotes, endorsing your business, it attests to the quality of your work.
They come looking for information, and if you spend the time to offer valuable, helpful tips for free, it opens them up to everything else you have to offer.
You are limited in the amount of time you have to convince visitors that you and your products are genuine. He owns Design Crawl, a site for graphic designers featuring free vector graphics and templates.
In this short guide, we provide you practical and easy-to-implement tips to build a site that looks good and attracts visitors again and again.
It’s also much more cost-effective to get a web designer to create a site for you – you waste less time learning to do it yourself, and are more likely to get a good result. An API is a feature of a website that helps one piece of software (ie Shopify) talk to another (ie your offline inventory system).
Another downside is that these services often only cater to the most basic of web design requirements – many businesses will need to outsource a fair bit of modification to get the site they really need. This means visiting sites like Freelancer, Guru, or Elance, and finding a web designer that fits your budget and has experience with your chosen CMS. Oola’s Kelly Brough suggests that considering your customers’ needs will help with this process. The strategies involved shouldn’t just include design and architecture basics, but also a distinct plan of how each page will address your personas and help you to achieve your goals.
I currently have it for my blog postings, added my unique domain name, and added some pages to it. Fortunately, I have a Gen Y daughter who built my website, but it was not without a certain amount of experimentation on both our parts. I will offer both, but finally learning WordPress after all these years will inevitably open doors I didn’t realize were closed. It is a good idea to avoid colors such as red, because that represents danger and is the visual cue to stop, as we know from traffic lights and stop signs. A golden rule that a lot of business owners follow is to look at successful businesses and imitate what they do. If you have a whole team, show a photo of each member, along with a description of their skills. It’s tough to build trust and authority with a site when you can’t put a face with the name.

It also adds another human element that helps to break through the walls that people typically put up when browsing the web. When you show that you’ve solved some of the same problems other people have had using your products or services, they want the same results. Users choose from an array of templates – or basic structures – on which to build their site, and then arrange the site structure, look and feel with a drag-and-drop interface. David Kellam, founder and IT director of CoreMind, used a number of hosted template-based design services in his former role as managing director of a web development firm. This means that there is a much greater range of templates to choose from, and users aren’t limited to those offered by the CMS itself – there are countless ‘theme’ libraries, such as WuThemes, that have thousands of templates for sale. If you need to add a Facebook button to your site, or need a tool to improve its search ranking, you can find plug-ins to help. 1 in my list when we talk about getting a website and I use it solely for my clients as well because it’s very easy to use. While she is my webmaster, I have had to learn some ins and outs of maintenance and updating, posting my weekly blog, etc.
Whatever color you choose, it should contrast with the other colors of your website, like the white badge does against the orange in the example above. If your business can show that it is Better Business Bureau Accredited, it can further add to your credibility. It will give future clients an idea of who they may be working with on their particular project. It says that a website has been around a while, that it has good content and useful information, and that they won’t disappear by tomorrow. You’d be more likely to follow the person with 50,000 Twitter followers than the person who is following 2000 people, but only has 50 followers of their own.
When they identify with one of the people from the testimonials section of your site, they realize that your services can solve their problems, which typically leads to a sale. In the example below, the provider has put together several useful guides to help visitors understand different aspects of marketing. Every element of a template is changeable, but users are usually restricted to the options set by the template.
It’s also important to understand that if you choose to use a CMS, you will have to host the site yourself, at an additional cost of between $8 and $30 a month.
These services also offer the ability to edit the code of templates, but for someone lacking experience in web coding, this defeats the purpose a little. Launch the first phase of your site!Traditionally, the launch of a website is the final phase of the site, but the opposite is true for growth-driven design.
It’s important to keep in mind that many businesses are focusing more on long term relationships with their customers.
However, I found that on my end I did not like WordPress, so we ditched that after awhile and moved to squarespace, which is not perfect but is more sophisticated, flexible and user friendly. It is meant to launch quickly and serve as a starting point that you can improve upon over time.11. Improve your site continuously.Your continuous improvements should follow a cycle that includes four phases, all of which should revolve around your personas and how to provide value for those personas. But, I will say that if you have a friend or family member who is tech savvy and is willing to commit to an ongoing project, ask them to help you set up and teach you step-by-step. Whether you’re a new company designing your first website, or a company who is ready for a redesign, read on. There will come a time when you will be able to fly alone, or at least be an able co-pilot! Leave your idea of traditional web design in the past.Chances are, everything you thought you knew about the web design process is now wrong. Each of these items will be an experiment to see how it impacts the performance of your website. The more you repeat the cycle, the more of an impact your website will have on its visitors.Have you applied the growth-driven design process to your site? This approach shortens launch time and focuses on learning and constant improvement of your site. GDD mixes web design with marketing and focuses on website iterations rather than doing everything to your site all at once (unlike traditional web design where sites are typically updated every few years). GDD focuses on making improvements to your site more frequently based off testing, research, and continuous learning based off visitor behavior. These are just a couple of the many questions you should be asking yourself to put your vision together.4.
Develop your buyer persona(s).GDD centers around the user, so you want to ensure you are providing the information your visitors want and need.
The more you know about your visitors, the more you can make educated improvements to your site to assist them. Personas will help you make informed decisions about offers to develop, information to include on your site, what devices your personas use to view your site, and so on.5.
Additionally, you need to do this analysis to see where the gaps are within your current site so that you can address those as you develop your new site.6.
Get creative, think of what you would want to have on your site if money, time and development skills weren’t an issue.
Develop your must-have list.As mentioned, you will only use about a fifth of your wishlist to launch the site, and this will be a list of your must-haves. What needs to be done to this item to consider this it complete?How will you measure the success of this item?8.

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Author: admin | 10.09.2015 | Category: Firewood Shed Plans

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