Are you thinking about creating a website? Do you have a website but feel like you’re stabbing blindly in the dark? Janet Jaffke, Jutta Jerlich, and Audrey Milesi offered important questions and tips – without getting too technical – for starting out on your website at our WE meeting last Monday. Scroll down to see the photos (courtesy of member Jeanette Babik)!
What purpose does a website serve for you? For some, a purely informational online presence is all they need; others might need special functions like an event calendar, a members directory, an online shop, and more. Really take the time to think about how a website can serve your goals before you begin.
Think you’re ready to set up your website now? Not so fast! Do as much planning beforehand as possible. Imagine what kind of content you want on your homepage and draft it out first. What other pages might you want? What content would you want on those pages? Put on paper as much as you can, and you’ll save yourself a ton of time later.
Need expert help? If something is too tricky for you to figure out on your own, resist the temptation to outsource the task to a well-meaning family member or friend, and instead invest in a professional. Similarly, choose a hosting service (like Wix) or a content management system (like WordPress) that provides excellent support when you have an issue that needs to be resolved quickly.
How will people find your site? If new customers find you through referrals and word-of-mouth, there’s no reason to worry about how well your website ranks in the search engines. If your business depends on customers finding you when using Google, invest in a Search Engine Optimizer to help make your page appear in the search results. Additionally, Janet recommends WordPress users consider installing a plugin for SEO called Yoast.
A final tip: go mobile! This means making sure your website will either have a mobile version, or is responsive and adapts to various device sizes – in either case, your website content will be reformatted so that it is easy and comfortable to view on a small device. More and more people are viewing content on their phones and tablets, so aim to make their experience on your page a user-friendly one.
Have any website questions? Leave a comment below, or send us a message on our Facebook page!