I could go on and on about creating a website but for the sake of this post let me just hit the high notes. It’s time to get your website up and running so you start marketing. But what platform do you use? Let me say that almost any platform you decide on now will be responsive, meaning mobile friendly, and have drag and drop building options if needed. I still highly suggest using WordPress so let me share with you my reasons.
WordPress has almost limitless options for themes, plugins, and integrations. With other platforms you are limited to using only the services they have chosen for you such as shopping cart integration and automated marketing platforms. Squarespace for example only integrates with Mailchimp, not Constant Contact, GetResponse, Aweber, InfusionSoft, etc.
With the limitations placed on you by the different platforms, you may not get the functionality you want. You will look at other websites and say, “why can’t I do that?”. The main reason will be because that other website is built on WordPress with its many choices.
You do have to choose a hosting platform with WordPress which is different from the way other site builders work. However, this choice allows you to save money by comparison shopping, but remember, you get what you pay for. The least expensive option is not always the way to go. I highly recommend SiteGround for your service and choosing the WordPress Hosting. They have a wonderful track record for uptime, support, and reliability.
After choosing a platform and a hosting service, we can look at themes. No matter what platform you decide to use, there will be a theme that is perfect for you, even if it needs a little customization. Any platform will allow you to choose your own branding. Your logo, colors, your own “voice”. Your website is where you can express what you (or your business) is all about.
Do some research by looking at websites of your competitors. See what they are doing and make note of the things you like and dislike. People are no longer taking the time to read everything on your site. Visuals are extremely important. There are several websites that offer free images and please take advantage of those. However, I do suggest purchasing a few more prominent images that you will be using on your site. You don’t want the same images everyone else is using. You want to stand out.
When it comes to text, the easier it is to scan, the better it is. This means bolding words and phrasing that you want to stand out and using lists and bullet points so it’s easier for people to see the main points that you want to get across.
On your home page, you need an eye-catching image, and an optin for with a lead magnet (freebie), your social media icons which should be near the bottom (so people don’t immediately click away from your site), and you want to be sure your contact information is easy to find. Yes, you will have a contact page but ideally your email and phone number should be on every page.
Your home page should be very clear on the product or service you offer. People will not dig around on your site to figure it out, they will immediately click away and go somewhere else if they can’t find the information they want fast enough. Your website should have a clean and uncluttered look.
While WordPress and its many choices may seem intimating at first, you will be glad you chose it in the long run. Especially if after a couple of years, your business is growing and you need to make changes and step up your game. With WordPress, you won’t need to switch platforms to accommodate your new needs. If you feel like hiring someone to build your first WordPress website is what you should do, then do it. Other platforms may seem easier and less expensive at first, but their limitations will cost you more in the long run because they do not grow with you as a business.
We have really just touched on the basics in this post. Schedule a consultation to discuss building a website in more depth at a time that is convenient for you.
Watch for next week’s blog when we talk about setting up your social media platforms!
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