For any business, big or small, a high-quality website is the key to success. But what if you are strapped for time (or money) and need to build a website that will attract customers to your site, keep them there, and have them coming back for more? You might think your only option is to invest a good amount of money into hiring a professional web designer to create that perfect website – but what if there was another way? Luckily there is an easier, more affordable way to make a professional website without the professional price tag.
Forget the designer, and forget spending endless hours struggling to learn HTML or trying to make that WYSIWYG application do what you want. Instead, take advantage of the resources that are out there for businesses just like you.
First, look for a company that sells inexpensive website templates. You should be able to find professionally designed templates in the range of $20-$40 for non-copyrighted templates (copyrighted templates that won’t be resold to anyone else after you make the purchase are slightly more expensive, but still cost much less than hiring a web designer). This is the most important initial step to take because the template will be the backbone of your new website. Essentially, a template is a ready-to-go designed site that you can download to your computer and use for your professional purposes. You can choose from many different designs, no matter where you decide to purchase a template, and can view all the choices in a gallery displaying the different template designs. This is the quickest, easiest, most inexpensive way to get started. One such website template company I found that offers reasonably priced, quality templates is TemplateDogma (see the link in Resource Box).
Now that you have the basis for your site, you need to make it unique. You have to inject the template with content, a logo, graphics, animation and pictures – whatever you think necessary to create a professional-looking website. With the template ready at hand, this next step in the process is made much easier.
Website templates are wonderful to work with because your site is kept consistent. This means that every page will have a matching header, graphics and theme. And as time goes by, it is just as easy to update the site as it is to create it in the first place. If you need to add more content, or fresh text, change your contact information or anything else that isn’t static, a simple HTML editor will do the trick.
Now that you have the template and customized it with your company’s unique content and imagery, it’s time to set up everything else you need to get your site online and bringing in paying customers.
Domain name: Most people are already aware that you need a unique domain name where people can find your site. Your domain name might be the name of your company – nameofcompany.com – or it might be something easy to remember related to your business. Whatever you choose, make the title of your site match the domain name. This is how visitors will easily remember the address of your site even if they forget to bookmark it.
If you have conducted keyword research, many experts recommend that you use the most profitable keyword as your domain name as this will help you rank higher in the search engines for that particular keyword. A well-chosen domain name does not take a long time to envision, and is a relatively easy procedure, but it is well worth the small amount of effort required. If you choose a domain name that clearly states the purpose of your site people will know exactly what they can expect when they visit.
Domain names can be up to 63 characters, but as with everything on the web, shorter is better. When you write content keep the text short, sweet and to the point – when you come up with a domain name, do the same thing. If your domain name is available (this must be checked because someone might have already come up with the same brilliant idea as you!) all you have to do at this point is purchase the domain name. It’s easy to find a company that sells inexpensive domain names – competition is fierce and as a result domain prices are extremely low.
Hosting: You must do more than just register a domain name to finish building your site – you must also choose a hosting company. A hosting company is the entity that holds your website on its servers and keeps it running 24/7 online. You have to pay a monthly hosting fee for this service, but again, competition between providers is stiff so it is possible to find a reliable hosting service with tons of features, benefits and a responsive customer service team for a decent price. And of course, a good web hosting company will make it simple for you to upload and update your site, no matter what type of business you have set up.
When choosing a specific hosting package, choose one that suits the needs of your website best. Ensure that an adequate amount of disk space is available for your exclusive usage and the bandwidth provided will be enough to handle the amount of traffic you expect your site to generate. If you purchase a hosting package that includes FTP access (File Transfer Protocol) it can’t get any easier to transfer documents from your hard drive to the hosting server.
It’s easy to see that if you start with a website template and go from there, building a high-quality website in a short amount of time is quite an easy task. Templates allow you to cut down the time it normally takes to begin creating a website without cutting corners.