Creating a Website
Once you have chosen your domain name and signed up with a webhost you now need to create your website.
There are two options facing you either pay someone to design a site for you or design it yourself.
Many webhosting companies will provide you with a free simple to use design package but quite often you will find that you are restricted to using a limited number of basic templates.
There are also a number of free design packages out there which will allow you to create your own site from scratch. The only downside to this option is that you will have to take the time to learn how to use the software and then design the site yourself. If this is not an issue then take the time to learn how to use one of these free design packages and create your own website. It is not as difficult as you might think.
When designing your website there are several things to remember:
- Keep the page design simple. You don’t want to distract your visitors from the content of your site with too many images or too many unnecessarily bright background colours.
- Don’t assume that just because you may have a superfast 20 Mbps, 50 Mbps or even 100 Mbps broadband connection in your area all your visitors will be in the same situation. Some will have only have a 1 or 2 Mbps connection while others still have to use a dial up connection where10Kbps is considered good and could be as low as 3 or 4 Kbps. Anyone who has an internet connection however slow is a potential customer so don’t exclude someone just because they may not have the fastest line speed.
- Don’t fill your site with too many gimmicky graphics or videos as these can impact negatively on the amount of time that it takes for a page to download. If it takes too long people will just navigate away.
- If using images or photos condense them as much as possible. The larger the image or photo the longer it takes to download. If it takes too long people will just leave your site.
- Make sure your website can be easily navigated. Avoid filling each page with dozens of links.
- Make sure any links you use are clear and give some idea as to what is on the next page.
- Make sure the text you use can be easily read and is not too small. As a general rule use at least a 10pt text size.
- Avoid using fancy fonts for the main content of your site. It might look pretty but if your visitors find it difficult to read they will simply leave.
- Always include contact information, at the very least an email address. Personally, if I come across a website that does not include this I will certainly not do business with them.
- Know who your customers are and design your website accordingly.
For more information read our articlse on Search Engine Optimisation and Keywords
Before starting to design your own website spend some time looking at other websites especially those of successful companies. See what makes their website appealing to you. I am not suggesting that you try to copy their sites but you can get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.