Eventually every small-business owner realizes that they will need a website for their business, but figuring out where to start can be a challenge. Just
understanding the technical lingo and all the options can be confusing, but with the right preparation you can have an impressive and easy to maintain
website for your small business in no time.
Check the competition
The first place to start on your website project is to look at some competitor websites in your industry. You will want to know what your potential
customers will comparing you to. You will also want to find out what the standard is for your industry in terms of the number of pages, the type of
information and the general look and feel. If for example, your competitors have large sites and many interactive features then you will want your site
be comparable, but if your competitors have small simple sites, then you know that you won’t need lots of bells and whistles.
Prepare your information
Before you meet with your web designer, gather some examples of competitor websites that you like. List what it is that you like and dislike about
those sites. If you have any pamphlets or brochures for your business, have those ready for your designer as well. Choose some colors or have an
idea of some color schemes that you like and if you have won any professional awards or have any important professional affiliations, put that
information together because you will probably want to feature that on your website.
Do you need a content management system?
One important decision that you need to make about your website is whether or not you are going to need a content management system. Content
management systems are typically used on larger sites, to control text, video, pictures etc. A content management system allows you to easily change
and update the information on your site. This is useful for a website on which, for example staff photos and bios are added often or a newsletter
archive is maintained.
If you anticipate making many changes on your website, a content management system can save you time and money. With a content management
system, the owner of the site can make the changes as needed, without having to wait for a web designer or webmaster to make the changes for
them. This can be a very important feature because it allows you to keep your website current at all times so you’re making the best possible
presentation to your customer. It can save you money because you will not have to pay your web designer to make the updates for you.
Typically, a website that is more than 15 pages would be a good candidate for a content management system. The more information you have on
your website the greater the chances are that you are going to need to keep that information updated. If your website is less than 15 pages, you
probably will not need a content management system.
WordPress as a content management system for small business
WordPress is popular as a content management system for small businesses for several reasons. One it is that it is relatively easy to use. You do not
need to be versed in HTML or any other programming language to handle WordPress. There are also many training videos and materials available on
the Internet and also a number of plug-ins so that you can customize the software for your needs. WordPress is also useful for blogging which can
help to keep your website information up to date. If you would like to show up higher in the search results, then WordPress is a good choice for that as
well. Google has stated that WordPress is one of the easiest systems to crawl so it can help you come up higher in the search engine results.
When you begin planning for your small business web site, start by checking competitor websites in your industry. This will give you an idea of
approximately how many pages you will need as well as what type of features you will want on your site. Your goal will be to have your website look as
good as, or better than your competitor’s.
By planning ahead and knowing what your potential customers will be comparing you with, deciding how large you want your site to be, and what type
of features you will need, you will be equipped to get the best possible website for your small business.
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