When I began my journey in web development and design I was not sure what made a great website. I did know that I wanted a simple way to setup a reliable place that people could go to find information without stressing where I may have “hidden” content.
I also knew I wanted to avoid being forced to work on my website for more than two months. But this was no easy task. I didn't know where to begin.
- Who could help me make website design easy?
- What would be a great platform to use?
- Am I supposed to learn how to code a website overnight?
- What the heck was a CMS?
- Who was this WordPress that I kept hearing about and how could they help me?
I was completely lost, overwhelmed, and FRUSTRATED. The goal of this article is to show website design made easy methods for solopreneurs who want to learn how to create their online business quickly with less stress.
Designing a website, especially for a non-techie never seems like the easiest of tasks, but with the help of some new technology that hit the market in the past few years it is possible to create a pro website for your business with only a small time and financial investment.
In fact, with the emergence of exceptional choices in web design tools such as ready-made website templates, logos, and other corporate necessities, the following three easy steps will help you in your website design adventure! **This is with an understanding that you would not need background coding in place**
Step One: Plan Ahead
You need to plan ahead before you delve into the world of web design and start looking for a suitable template. This is key to a successfully designed website. Your brand's objectives need to be clearly define beforehand or the design selection process goes will go at a snails pace and you risk choosing an ill-fitted template for your company.
For instance, who is your target audience? You cannot begin to develop a website without knowing your customer inside and out to help you encourage engagement and bring in business.
For instance, if most of your business comes from industries driven by corporations and professionals you will need to choose a template that caters to that them and one that gives the right first impression; showing that you are serious about your business and you can handle top-notch clients.
Step Two: Choose a Template
Now that you are all set, you can start shopping for a website template that will work best for your brand. Start by researching the various website template companies on the market offering pro designs for reasonable prices ($20-$60). Most companies offer the choice between copyrighted and non-copyrighted material too.
Copyrighted vs. Non-copyrighted
They give you the option to be the only one using that particular template design so you'd spend a little more money to receive exclusive use. One such website template company I found that offers reasonably priced templates is ThemeForest (which has a large assortment of WordPress dedicated themes among other CMSs).
Once you purchase a copyrighted template it is taken off the market. Should you choose not to purchase you can also use free website templates located in WordPress.org theme selections (or similar CMSs [Content Management Sites]).
Once you find the appropriate template, the rest is simple. Just purchase the template and download it to your hard drive… in seconds – that's it!
Ensure that the template you eventually purchase is easy to customize and update, if not you will need to recruit a pro to help. That's the whole point of buying a ready-made template in the first place – to make both the building and maintenance of the website stress-free, affordable and fast. You will need to add your own content to the template and work with the overall theme once you've downloaded it.
Also, most businesses prefer adding evergreen (or fresh) content, website, services, and product updates, links, etc. over time so keep this in mind when searching for your match-perfect template. If you plan to incorporate interactive features into your website, such as forms and chat areas, the template you choose should be able to handle this as well. If not, recruit a coder/developer!
Step Three: Customize
Now that your template is all ready to go, all you have to do is add your own content, graphics, images, and anything you need to make the website truly unique to your brand.
If you can use an editor such as Dreamweaver or Muse, this can be done in a few days or less. Again, if you are inexperienced when it comes to any aspects of web design, hiring someone to do the editing for you for a very small fee (much smaller than what you would pay a designer to create the whole site from scratch) will be time saving and stress-free for you.
If you can't find ready-made… Hire someone to customize
If you can't find a template suitable for your business, find someone who can offer to alter a pre-made template for you. This will cost more than working with a ready-made template “out-of-the-box” as your jump-off point, but prices remain lower than hiring a designer to build a custom-made template and the results are just as good in a shorter amount of time.
Step Four: Content Sexy
When incorporating content to your website, if you only some simple words, consider writing it up yourself. It can take up to 35 minutes to create. If you need more detailed information (product descriptions, articles or sales content) consider hiring a writer to create your unique, high-quality content.
You already saved so much money purchasing a ready-made website template, you can spend a bit more hiring a great writer! If you write the material on your own, remember to keep it concise, fluff-less, and sweet.
Keep paragraphs short; don't bog the reader down with unnecessary information. People tend to be in a hurry and don't want to spend too much time reading pages and pages of writing.
Let your audience grab the information they need so they may move on and buy your product or service. Also, make sure the information you provide is actually helpful and written without grammar or spelling mistakes. If your audience is frustrated that can cause them to get distracted from the value of your message.
Clutter should be avoided!
Keep your overall website design simple, but that doesn't mean you can't add graphics, pictures or even video. As long as you keep it accessible and effortless, visitors will not regret visiting your website and learning more about your brand. Slow loading pages are frowned upon. Every second counts – literally. Make sure that your website can load quickly.
Other additions to help spice up any website include tables, forms, social media, and quizzes. Tables specifically are an easy way to organize text on a web page and they load very quickly. Most HTML editors make it easy to generate tables for your website. Forms, quizzes, and social media can be added with the help of powerful plugins or some quick coding to bring more engagement to your website between your brand and your audience.
Website templates have brought web design out of its infancy and into the 21st century, catering to the unique and various growing needs of online business owners. Don't fear taking advantage of the convenience templates bring. Now you have the steps
You won't regret the decision.
Now stop reading; get out there and DESIGN!