I’m always happy to consider guests on the blog, so when writer Natalia Tsahelnik contacted me with her ideas I was happy to give her a chance.
Here are her top tips when you set up your website…
5 Do’s and Don’ts of Setting Up a Website
Running your own website is not a breeze, but building it from scratch can be an even more intimidating task. Before you plunge into the world of web design and marketing, take a look at the following do’s and don’ts of setting up your brand new website. There are many things to overlook, especially if you are inexperienced, so having a plan can help you avoid the teething troubles associated with the process.
#1. DO Choose Your Domain Wisely
Your domain is one of the first things your potential customers see, so it is worth investing in it. Domain names that are incomprehensible, made up of several words (especially if they are long or easy to misspell), and difficult to remember are not the best option. Opt for something shorter, related to the field you specialize in, and having a meaning. The latter is not necessary, though – some companies jump at the opportunity when a chance springs up to purchase a short yet meaningless domain. The reason is that shorter domains are valued a lot due to their, well, shortness. Another thing to avoid in domain names is hyphens, as they make them look bulky.
#2. DON’T Write Poor Content for the Sake of Content
Before rolling out your website, think about what content your target audience is interested in. What useful information will they be able to find on your pages? What can you do for them for free to attract them and increase the chances of their buying from you?
Instead of posting incoherent texts comprised of the chunks that users are most likely to use as search queries when googling, create informative content that will make everyone understand you have them, not search engines, in mind. And you know what? It should really be so.
#3. DO Make It User-Friendly
Not only does your website have to be informative, but it should also be easy to navigate. All sections should be easily accessible, so that website visitors do not have to spend several minutes trying to figure out how to take a look at your price list, contact information, etc.
User-friendliness also implies not using large images that take ages to load. The content should flow, and the overall airy appearance of the website can help you avoid cluttering your pages.
#4. DON’T Neglect Optimization and Mobile-Friendliness
Today, more people are accessing websites by means of portable devices, be it tablets or smartphones. It means that pages should be optimized to reduce loading times. If you fail to do so, chances are your visitors will prefer to close the tab instead of waiting. Besides, your design should be mobile friendly so that it can adjust automatically depending on what device is used.
However unnecessary it may seem to those who have not worked in the industry yet, investing into making your website code error-free is worth the money spent. The fewer errors there are, the faster the website loads, which means more prospective clients will get to the stage where they can see your design and content. To ensure better loading times, choose a hosting provider wisely. Do some research, compare different providers’ recent performance, and choose the one that seems to be most reliable.
#5. DO Use Visuals
A website comprised of a wall of text is doomed. Use images to make your information vivid. Make sure they do not take a lot of time to load, though, so as not to sacrifice loading time. Choosing images for your website is trickier than it may seem, because they should be in line with your brand voice and convey your message to the audience.
Keep in mind that it is best to use your own, unique pictures. If you cannot afford them, buy stock images, of which there are myriads. Don’t use copyrighted items without permission.
Planning a website implies a lot of work, and the things listed above are often overlooked by beginner website owners. If you are not sure you can sail through the process alone, hire professionals and delegate the task to them.