Seven simple steps to launching a website
By Simone Sangha, Liniar.
Creating a website for your business can be daunting and often the hardest part is knowing where to begin. Your website represents your brand, so getting this right is essential. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help make your website project as painless as possible.
Domain name. This is your website address and how people will find you online. Ensure it’s easy to type and represents your brand. If your site is UK based, choose a .co.uk domain extension but if you’re a worldwide company (or have plans to be) then opt for .com.
Website spec. A website specification outlines everything you’d like on your website, including the layout, how you’d like visitors to navigate around, products and service, the design and colour scheme, and the timeline you’d like to work towards. This can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but getting something down on paper will make both the quoting and the delivery process more efficient.
Platform. There are many platforms you can use to manage your website, from bespoke to free. If you’d like to regularly update your site yourself, I recommend WordPress due to its ease of use and access to support if you run into any problems. Your provider can advise on the various platforms available.
Provider. Thorough research needs to be taken to find the right expert to build your website. There are pros and cons to choosing a freelance developer or a marketing agency, so you need to find what’s best for you. I will discuss this in more depth in a future column – but for now, recommendations are key.
Images and content. Create a spreadsheet with a list of the products or services to be included on your website. You can then create a grid to check off whether you have images, videos and text content as you go along, saving them all in a folder to send to your developer.
SEO. Search engine optimisation helps visitors find your site from Google and other search engines, so identify and add keywords online such as ‘window installer in Leicester’. The more fresh content you have on your website the better, so be prepared to update it regularly.
Performance. Analytics were briefly mentioned in my last column and are vital for monitoring performance. Add Google Analytics tracking code to your website (your developer will know how) and log in using a Gmail account. You’ll be able to see key statistics such as how many visitors your site is getting, where they are coming from and what they do while on your site. This will enable you to tailor the site content as you progress.
Bonus tip. Think of ways to drive traffic to your website once it’s launched. At Liniar, we use email campaigns, mailshots, social media and press releases to send visitors to our site, which can all be tracked through Analytics.
Although this just scratches the surface, it’s a great starting point to help manage a smooth build.