10 tips before setting up a website

Building a website yourself? Whether it’s your first attempt or you are getting a bit savvier with site builds, here are some expert tips to make sure you get it right…

  • Don’t run before you can walk – a simple website is possibly all you need to start with. I often tell clients that they don’t need a flashy ecommerce site for their business and a link to their Etsy page will usually do until they are more established.
  • Know your audience – step back – you are not who you are aiming at, your customers are. You may like a certain colour or look but is it suited to those who visit your site?
  • Look at your competition’s websites – what works well, what doesn’t. How can you stand out?
  • Have a budget in mind & tell your designer it – they will be able to work to a budget – it may be that you need to compromise a bit but they’d rather know up front what you are willing to spend.
  • In an age where you can get a free website up and running, be aware of hidden costs – a free website may have extra hosting costs or updating costs which end up costing as much as if you’d paid a professional to start with. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting when you pay for a website- you have to buy a URL, pay for hosting and you may choose to pay for Search Engine Optimisation (getting further up search engines such as Google).
  • Only add a blog or news section to your website if you have time to update one. Think about how many sites you see with the last news item being from 2015!  It’s much more sensible to have a Facebook or Twitter feed automatically updating on your website instead.
  • People do not like reading on screen. Keep any copy short and to the point. Always keep SEO in mind so make sure any keywords are included as much as possible. I love bullet points.
  • When choosing a URL, you may have to compromise – don’t go for a web address with an unusual ending like .uk and do not choose .com unless you’re wanting to be all over the world as this is associated with America or global firms. A .co.uk is definitely the best for a UK based business unless you are a charity or other organisation.
  • If you are getting a logo designed, remember it needs to work not just online but in print too – large as well as small. Always make sure it works just as well in black and white too.
  • Photography can make a website look amazing – it may pay to have some professional photos done or there are some great stock sites out there but just be aware you won’t be the only person using those images.

Say hello at www.lucyrigley.co.uk

About the Author

I am a professional digital designer working mainly on responsive websites but also branding, email campaigns, apps, touchscreens, print and in the past Interactive TV. I have 17 years experience behind me working at the BBC and London agencies and a first class Interactive Design degree. I design websites which not only look lovely but work well too – I design with the user in mind and love helping people get their digital presence improved or started. I have worked for individuals up to international clients.

Lucy Rigley - MakeMeASuccess Successolites Guest Blog Series

I work with my geeky husband Mike Rigley (http://mrmikey.co.uk) for our little company Transparent Design http://transparentdesign.co.uk/ – he makes everything work that I design. 

Please pop over to see my work portfolio at www.lucyrigley.co.uk

Aside from this, I am Lucy Best Bargain Finder on Facebook – I have almost 13,000 followers to whom I share bargains! https://www.facebook.com/lucybargainfinder 

 

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