Building a website has become indispensable for any business in today’s digital age. Having a website renders more credibility, reach and customer loyalty. When you start out to build a website for your business, you may hear that website processes are complex and you need a professional software developer to do it. Don’t get overwhelmed. Strikingly offers an intuitive Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to build your online presence without any expert help. We promise that website production with Strikingly is going to be easy and fun, with a lot of scope for your creativity. We have put together this guide to take you through the website design process steps.
The first and foremost step in website production is to identify or discover the purpose of your website. If you are building a website for your existing business, then you may already have a clear idea of what purpose your website should serve. On the other hand, if you are just starting your enterprise, then you need to first refine your business idea and your website’s role in it.
For example, if you have a financial consulting firm, you may use your website to list your services, promote your business and gain more customers. In addition, you may also want to allow users to book consultation slots and make payments online, opt-in for email newsletters etc.
Do a thorough brainstorming and make a list of features/functions that your website should have. If you have a team to run your business, then involve others in the team also in the website production process. To provide a direction to the discussions, the best way is to have a questionnaire. This will help you to collect all necessary details in a structured manner and document it for later reference. Here are a few sample questions that are important for any business website:
What is the budget available for building and hosting it?
How are your users going to access the website - desktop or mobile?
When do we want the website to go live?
What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to measure the impact of the website on your business?
The second step in website production is all about ironing out the finer details of the web design project. The most important thing to decide now is - which CMS to use. Strikingly offers an extremely intuitive and user-friendly web editor that enables anyone to build a website within minutes, without any prior knowledge of coding. Moreover, Strikingly websites are responsive to all devices such as desktop, mobile and laptop. That means, no matter which device your user is having, they will get the best experience.
After deciding the website building tool, start making flowcharts of the site structure. Make use cases of different user personas who will be visiting your website. For example, if you are building a community website for pet-sitters, there are 2 types of users - those who want to hire a pet-sitter and those who want to work as a pet-sitter. The way these two personas use your website will be totally different. Imagine yourself as each and follow their journey through your website. This will help you to identify any edge-case that you missed during the ‘Discover’ stage.
The last but not the least thing in the planning phase of website production is to decide the time frame. You will get the website up and running within minutes with Strikingly. But still, you have to plan your additional activities like uploading product details, customer contacts etc. To ensure successful launch of the website within the decided deadline, you need to identify intermediate milestones and deadlines. This will help you to run the project without any last minute hassles. Gantt chart is an excellent way of planning your project in detail.
This is a long and time-consuming step in the conventional website production process. It involves drafting mockups and layouts of the website. But, Strikingly is here to do the heavy lifting for you. It provides you with a treasure of marvelous website templates for a variety of use cases. That means, you don’t have to worry about the colors, fonts, etc.
Strikingly categorizes templates under various use cases such as business, personal, blog, store etc. You can go through the templates of your category, and also view example sites built using those.
You have already created a free account in Strikingly, and chosen your template. Now is the time to customize your website. Log on to Strikingly and get started.
Once you have picked up your favourite template, start editing it. Strikingly website templates are versatile, which means you can customize your website by adding or removing sections to the layout as per your specific need. There are a variety of advanced website components such as image slider, pop up, forms, social media feeds, online payment integration etc. To add a new section, click on the ‘Add new section’ button in green in the left side toolbar.
Click on ‘Add new product’ and enter details of the product like name, description and image. Once you are done with the product details, click ‘Save’ at the bottom. Likewise you can add all your products one by one.
After all the products are added, you can go back to your site editor by clicking the ‘Back to Site Design’ button on the left.
Similarly, add any more sections that you want, and remove sections that you don't want. In the left side toolbar, under the ‘Sections’ list, next to each section, there is an ‘X’ button for removing it.
Change the title of the website to your business name and upload your company’s logo.
While you are building your website, you can see a preview by clicking on the ‘Preview Site’ button in the left bottom corner. Intermediate previews can help you to get an idea of the final look and feel of the website sooner, and make necessary changes. Test the preview site with persona journeys that you identified in Step 2, to ensure that every use case is asserted.
Strikingly provides in-built analytics to track your site’s traffic. In addition, you can also integrate google analytics into your site, and monitor the performance regularly.
This is the most satisfying step in website production. After all your hard work, you are ready for your website publishing. But before that, get it reviewed by all key stakeholders using the site preview feature. This is highly important to keep everyone on the same page.
Once review is done, Strikingly lets you deploy your site live, with a single click. While publishing, to create a unique URL for your website, you can use a subdomain name available with Strikingly for free. It will be of the pattern ‘http://yourbusinessname.mystrikingly.com’. Alternatively, you can choose to buy a dedicated domain name for your business. Put some thought into the domain extension as well, if you are going for the latter. Overall, your website URL should be easy to say, spell and remember. If your target audience is a niche group, then go for an extension that resonates well with them.
Once you have decided your strategy for domain name, click on the ‘Settings’ button in the toolbar. Under ‘Domains’, click on the ‘Register New Domain’ button. Type the desired domain name and click ‘Search Domain’. You will get the available options and pricing. Choose the one you want and click on the ‘Register’ button against it. Fill up the billing details and click ‘Submit’. Verify all the details once again, and confirm. That’s it. Your domain payment will happen automatically from your registered credit card. And, your website is live.
This post-launch step in the website production process has been made simple by Strikingly. Enhancing security features or plugins - there is no overhead of any of these. All you have to take care of is updating the products in the portfolio, updating team profile, contact information etc.
Make a schedule for these periodic maintenance tasks so that you don't miss any important task. If the maintenance is going to be done by a different person, then make sure to give them a walk-through of how to do it.
Website production within minutes
Strikingly has made possible a truly simple website production process, that allows quick launching of websites to support your business, without any delay. You no longer have to hire a professional, pay huge charges and wait for a week to launch your website. Sign up for a free Strikingly account today, and get started.