The Coronovirus has caused havoc with almost every aspect of our lives. None more so for some than when it comes to our careers. Perhaps you’ve been made redundant or put on what seems like never ending furlough, but as scary as this may have been it may also have given you the time and space you needed to bring your business idea to life. With every business needing a website these days, you’ve started looking around for the right person or people to create yours. Smart move. But before you go any further, it’s worth knowing the steps to building a great website. 
If this is the first time you’ve considered a website for your business, building it is harder than you think. It’s not just about registering a domain name and adding content to pages. There’s a lot more to it and that’s where getting a professional website design company to help is key to building a website that is not only great to look at, but is also highly functional. 

Step 1: Domain name and hosting 

The first step is to register your company’s domain name, also known as the URL (Uniform Resource Locator). It is the name that will appear on search engines, on internet tabs and on your own website. Most of the time, you will already have a company name. The issue comes when you go to register the domain name and it’s already been taken by someone else. To avoid this, come up with several different domain names for your company, which could include your location. 
It is possible to get a free domain address but your domain name will be added to another domain name and does not look professional. 
Once you have your domain name options, go to a domain name registration website – they usually offer hosting packages as well – to check that the name is available, such as 123-Reg. A list of options will be displayed from which you can select the domain name you want. 
Most domain name registration sites also offer hosting packages. Hosting is where your website is on another company’s server, for which you will be charged a monthly fee. They are often at discounted prices when the domain name and hosting package are bought at the same time. It is also worth opting for Domain Privacy Protection which will keep any personal information about you and your website private from public view. 

Step 2: Design of the website 

Most website builder packages have a variety of layouts, or themes, to choose from which are budget-friendly. Some website templates are free if you opt to have your website hosted with them, such as WordPress. However, there are hundreds of templates available at very cost-effective prices. A professional website design company, such as it’seeze in Portsmouth, will be able to help you with choosing the right design for your business website. 
Once the design has been chosen, it is possible to change many of the website elements, such as page layout, columns and colours. You will be able to add your own images, your company logo, videos, tables and graphs, as well as your written text. 
You may have a clear idea of how you want your website to look and a template may not be sufficient. In this instance, or if the website is going to be complex, hiring website design professionals is a must. Whilst it may cost you more and there will be a longer lead-in time, you will get the website exactly the way you want it to look. 

Step 3: Secure your website 

In today’s cybercrime world, it is imperative to ensure your website is secure and safe for people to use. Consumers expect a website to be safe for them to use and that they are not going to be ‘hacked’ through their personal online accounts. 
Most reputable website host companies provide websites with an SSL certificate to secure your website. If you are offering products for sale online and are accepting payment by credit card, it is absolutely essential to have a paid SSL certificate, which will cost, on average, between £60 and £70 per year. 
Online payment gateways, such as PayPal and Stripe, offer businesses the option to accept payments by credit card from customers, for which they charge a fee per payment.Accompanying text goes here 

Step 4: Build your sitemap 

A good website that offers users easy navigation, enhancing the customer experience, needs a sitemap. A sitemap is basically a map, or flowchart, of your website’s layout. It will detail where each page is located and identify any sub-pages linked to main pages. It will also define the content and images within the website, as well as detail all the features, i.e. order online, book an appointment or Click & Collect. 
The more well-defined the sitemap, the better the user’s experience and the more likely they are to return.Click on this text to edit it. 

Step 5: Creating great content 

Once the basics of the website have been set up, it’s time to populate the website. The visual appeal of your website is absolutely key to its success. Once the individual pages have been created according to the sitemap, developing the right amount of content that includes relevant keywords and phrases to ensure the website is optimised for search engines takes much thought and preparation. 
It’s not only the text that creates the visual impact. Images, videos, graphs, tables, logos, colours, sizing; all of these elements must come together in harmony to create your business’s brand. There are a variety of tools that can help in building the visual aspect of a website. 

Step 6: Test, test and test again 

So, your website is built and it’s looking great but before you make it live, test it - not just once but again and again. Check the display of each and every page on various devices, from computers and laptops to mobile devices and smartphones. The last thing you want is your potential customer going elsewhere because they can’t view your website on their mobile phone. Check every link to ensure it works and goes to the page it should go to. Once you’ve finished testing your website, ask friends and family to test it as well. 
Looking for a new website or e-commerce platform? At it’seeze in Portsmouth, we create stunning, easy to use websites that are affordable and effective. We can even arrange the photography and videography for you. Contact us for more details. 
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