Considering the competitive market that we have nowadays, having a user-friendly website has become a complete necessity for every company. Even though there is the option of selling goods using social media or physical retail stores, eCommerce remains a leader. Once you have it, you reach a wider audience and enhance your business credibility.
However, is it possible to build a website when you have a limited budget and no coding experience? Absolutely, yes! We at MasterIntegrator believe that the option of creating a website should be available for small and medium-sized businesses. That’s why we’ve created a guide on how to build a website.
11 Steps to Your User-Friendly Website
Step 1: Make a clear plan
People who are running their businesses are quite busy and want to get everything done as fast as possible. However, making rash decisions never leads to great results. That’s why it’s important to take some time to plan and answer some key questions:
- 1. What is the purpose of the website?
- 2. Who is your target audience?
- 3. What outcome do you want to achieve whether it is increasing sales, better awareness, etc?
- 4. What features do you need?
- 5. What type of content will you have on your website?
- 6. Do you have a design strategy that includes branding elements, colour schemes, typography, and a logo?
- 7. How do you want to get website traffic whether it is SEO, social media, PPC advertising, referral marketing, etc?
- 8. What security measures will you use?
- 9. What is your budget limit?
When do you want to launch the website?
Answering these questions might take you some time, however, it guarantees a payoff for your time and effort.
Pro tip: We always encourage people to establish written goals and plans. That helps to make everything clear and keeps your mind focused on the desired result. Furthermore, when you’re answering the question about the purpose of your website and desirable outcome, it’s a great idea to make goals considering a SMART system, where your aim should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Step 2: Get your domain name
As soon as you have your detailed plan, you can choose a domain name that has a direct influence on how people will see your website. A unique domain shows the needed level of professionalism and credibility, so it will be your first step forward to gain customers’ trust.
In the following picture, you can see an example of the right and wrong domain name. Which one is easier to remember?
For sure, there might be situations when choosing a domain name might be challenging because of different factors. Still, it’s possible to choose a relevant website domain. Just keep in mind some rules for that:
1. Keep your domain short as it will be easier to remember.
2. Opt for a name that is easy to spell.
3. Use letters, not numbers.
4. If you want to run your business using social media, it’s better to check whether you can have the same domain and nickname.
Step 3: Choose the way to create a website
Here we come again to the SMART website goal that you have already established before. When it comes to website creation there are two ways to do that:
⚫️ Using website templates
⚫️ Coding from scratch
In this blog post, we’ll focus on the first alternative, as it’s more relevant for small and medium-sized businesses because of a few reasons:
⚫️This option is more affordable as when you use website-building tools, you pay up to 100€/month while prices for coding often start from €3,000.
⚫️Website templates will allow you to launch your website faster as most functionality has already been implemented into the design.
⚫️You still get a website made by professionals who have done everything according to modern requirements.
Pro tip: While you are choosing a website builder for your startup, it’s important to consider not just the look and variety of templates, but the security measures as well. Such features as SSL certificates and constant monitoring will provide better security from cyber attacks. It’s also advisable to see whether your website builder backs up the initial data in case of loss. So, the first thing to pay attention to is security measures.
Step 4: Pick your website template
Going to the chosen website builder, you’ll notice quite a lot of pre-designed templates that you can use to make the website. You’ll find both free templates and those for which you’ll need to pay. So that not get lost, please pay attention to the following things while choosing your user-friendly template:
Ensure that your website template matches its purpose. Do you plan to sell goods online? So, choose a suitable design structure that provides your page with the needed eCommerce look and allows you to add such features as a shopping cart, checkout, third-party integration, etc.
Check whether your design can adapt to different screens and devices so that you can provide people with a user-friendly experience no matter what gadget they use. The same comes to web browsers as it’s necessary to be certain that your website template works well when it comes to Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or any other.
See the components that your template allows you to customise. Even though you use a pre-designed option, you still can add your personal touch by choosing your brand colours, fonts, and elements.
Did you get lost in the variety of different templates? You can always get some inspiration by looking through designs on Pinterest or analyzing competitors’ layouts. However, keep in mind that the purpose of your website is to serve people by providing them with a convenient look and navigation.
Step 5: Fill in your website with content
Now it’s time to add your personal touch! For sure, if you create the website using a quality website-building tool, you’ll have the tempting option of using a wide selection of media features that are already included in the library. But you aim to build a website that will stick in people’s minds. To do so, it’s vital to create a strong visual identity that will cover your company’s elements. Unique and branded content takes more time to create while it’ll help you in the long run when search engines will rank your website high in search. Here it’s important not to overdo your design elements as it will lead to cluttering your website with unnecessary stuff. So, keeping the idea of clear navigation and look, it’s better to have a minimalistic approach, where you focus on simplicity and only essential design elements.
Imagine that you’ve decided to buy a present for someone on the Internet. What website from these two are you more likely to use?
Keep in mind that potential customers barely read every word on a website. Instead, they often just scan the page, picking out the needed information. So, the best option will be to consider an easy navigation process first and then add only those points that will help your clients get something they want fast and easily.
Step 6: Create a sitemap
When you build a website you should think about all the pages that it’ll have and then include everything in a sitemap. Please note that the sitemap isn’t the same as the navigation as the first option contains the full structure and is meant to be used by search engines, not potential clients. If you don’t have a proper sitemap, it will negatively impact how well your website ranks in search engine results. Did you decide to use Wix? Then congrats! Wix automatically creates and updates your sitemap, so you can go to the next step.
Step 7: Make a user-friendly navigation menu
Once your sitemap is ready, you can optimise your navigation menu, which will guide your potential customers through site pages.
Here you can also search for some website inspiration by looking for the navigation that your competitors use. Generally, it’s important to stick to the following rules:
Keep your navigation simple.
Make a bar visually distinct so that people who come to your website could immediately use the navigation.
Cover only essential pages and those that customers will use most often. Include less vital pages in the dropdown menus and submenus.
Check how your navigation will look on different screens and change it accordingly in case of dissatisfaction.
Test the way your bar works from customers’ view.
Step 8: Add your pages
After creating a user-friendly navigation, you can come to adding pages and filling them with content. Depending on the goods that your business provides customers with, the number of pages and their variety might vary. However, we encourage you to cover such pages as:
- ⚫️Homepage – the main web page that often serves as a starting point for your potential customers.
- ⚫️Product page – those pages cover the goods you sell and their clear descriptions with images.
- ⚫️About us – the page that will give a short business overview that may include your mission, values, history, etc.
- ⚫️Contact section – the page that has your social media links and details on how people can contact you.
- ⚫️Blog or News– the page with your upgrades, and some useful information about your product.
While you are filling these pages with relevant content, please remember that it should be clear and relevant. We also encourage you to use less or no animation as it slows the website loading speed. According to the pictures, please remember to compress them.
Pro tip: Statistically speaking, your homepage and product pages get the most amount of traffic. So, after creating your website you should pay attention to analytics and how people behave. Examine how much time they spend on your page, bounce rate, etc. It will help you to base your decisions on accurate data and improve the pages.
Step 9: Integrate payment options
Don’t forget that you are building a website for selling goods which means that it should have some payment options. Credit and debit cards, PayPal, digital wallets, cash on delivery, cryptocurrencies – there are a lot of alternatives that you can use. Here everything also comes to the goals that you’ve already set. Examining them, you’ll have a rough idea of payment options that your target audience will use. Wix Payments, that allow you to accept secure online payments from major debit/credit cards and other popular payment methods.
Step 10: Choose shipping and delivery options
Even though it’s almost the last step, it still is one of the most important as if you do everything right here, you’ll have a chance to get customers’ loyalty. How? Just providing them with a convenient delivery experience. Have you ever been in a situation when you’ve ordered something from the Internet but the delivery period hasn’t been as fast as needed? We think everyone has ever been in these shoes. The thing is, because we are living in a fast-paced world, we want to get everything done as soon as possible. So, your eCommerce website should satisfy the need for a fast solution.
Wix can supply you with different kinds of shipping alternatives that cover Standard Shipping, Priority Shipping, Free delivery, etc. Furthermore, its convenience lies in the fact that you can provide your clients with a local delivery option that many will also find beneficial.
Oftentimes, businesses stick to integrating technology such as order and inventory management systems, order processing software, etc. These and other tools can be useful if you’ve made up your mind to provide people with fast delivery services.
Step 11: Test and launch
Are you waiting with bated breath for the moment when you can launch a website? You’re almost there! However, it’s vital to take some time to test it. Here’s a short checklist before launching.
1. Ensure that you’ve connected a domain.
2. Try your website on different browsers and devices.
3. Check the website loading time through such tools as Google PageSpeed Insights.
4. Scan whether you have any broken links.
5. Review all the content that you have.
6. Look through the images and ensure that they have the correct size.
7. Check whether all titles, descriptions, headlines, and alt tags are optimised for search engines.
8. Test all buttons on your website and whether they lead to the promised solution.
9. Analyse your security measures.
10. Create a backup in case of issues.
For sure, there might be a lot of things that you can improve. But keep in mind that the best time to launch your website was yesterday. The second best time is today. Your web pages will go through different changes that you will base on analytics. So, there is no reason to wait for the ideal moment or edit your website till it reaches some level of perfection.
MasterIntegrator wishes you a successful launch!