In an era where everyone spends most of their waking hours on the Internet, it’s almost impossible to run a business without a web presence. With consumers relying on the web for practically anything from store location and operating hours to product orders and reviews, it’s time for you to learn how to build a website to ensure your brand is well-represented online.
Creating a business website requires a bit of thought and planning but it doesn’t have to cost you a lot. Learn how to build a website for free in this step-by-step guide.
1. Determine your website’s purpose
The first step on how to build your own website is to identify your objective for creating one in the first place. Business websites can serve various purposes - from providing general information about your company and products to being an ecommerce platform where customers can directly purchase your products - and this will shape your content and the site’s structure.
Pro tip: don’t make visitors look around guessing if your company is exactly what they need, your homepage should be able to clearly state what you do for them.
2. Select a website builder
With a website builder, you don’t need to have professional knowledge on how to build a web site. The platform simplifies the project by providing you with a template that you can play with so you can focus on planning what type of content should go on which area of the site. A good platform will give you a certain degree of flexibility in terms of customizing your site even if you have a free account. Strikingly, for instance, gives you a huge collection of templates that are designed to suit various industries. And even on a free account, business owners can enjoy customization up to a certain degree - changing color schemes and playing around with typefaces are allowed.
Pro tip: with website builders, there’s always the fear that you will not be able to create a unique page. Go with a website builder that lets you play around with different templates and color schemes. Even better if you can switch to a different theme even after publishing so you can tweak and improve your website based on your visitors’ level of engagement.
3. Create your content
Now that you are clear with your site’s intent and you have a shell of a website already built, the next thing that you need to do is create your site’s content. In general, you should be able to communicate your website’s objectives and a clear call to action. You will also need to add contact information, including operating hours and physical location. To help visitors relate to your brand, you can also add a section about your business, how it was created and the people who created it. A logo would also make the site look more professional.
Pro tip on how to build website content: Address your target customer’s pain points and challenges through your content. Clearly communicate how your product or service answers their challenges sufficiently. A good understanding of the buyer’s journey can help you plan and write your site’s content.
4. Always test your website before you publish
Once all the content is in, make sure to test your website before you publish. Strikingly’s website editor lets you preview the site and automatically saves any changes you make to your draft so you don’t risk losing your work. Go over the entire website as your visitor would and address any gaps in navigation or access issues at the draft level. Once you’re sure that everything is in order, go ahead and publish your website.