With the huge growth of online shopping and the explosion in broadband internet access, most businesses take it for granted that they need to build a website.
The internet is the first place many people turn when looking for a product or service, so if you don't have a company website then you could be losing out on business.
In short: a website is a key communication tool for your business, helping you find customers and extend your reach.
There are four main steps involved when you create a website:
You need to get several key elements right to make your site easy to use:
Lots of research has been done into what affects website usability, and it can help to read up on the subject on sites like Useit.com. Usability testing can help further by showing how people actually use your website in real-life situations. The design of key elements like order forms can have a huge affect on enquiries or sales.
With mobile internet use on the rise, it's becoming more important to make sure your website displays well on mobile phones too.
There are three main ways to build a website:
However, this takes significant technical knowledge. For this reason, building a site from scratch is really only a realistic option if you have an in-house web designer.
Template-based systems are usually quite easy to use. They’re often called 'site creators' or 'site builders'. A starter package from a web hosting company will cost from £10 a month. Many pieces of website building software also include templates to build a site.
To end up with good results, you’ll need to be involved at every stage of the process – from delivering a carefully considered brief to offering constructive feedback.
Compare web hosting and web building deals from these suppliers:
To reach as many potential customers as you can and meet legal requirements such as the Equality Act 2010, make your website accessible to the widest possible audience. For instance:
If you’re working with a web design agency, they should be aware of these guidelines. If you’re relying on templates, try to find another website using the same system and run it through an online validation tool.
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