A brand is a promise.
And your design is proof that you can deliver on that promise. Just as with dressing, your brand will be addressed the way you dress it.
Maybe you have been made to believe that having a perfect and beautiful website for your business must be expensive. And that you can’t set it up yourself.
You may think you don’t have the design skills to embark on the design task yourself.
And hiring a web designer is going to cost you a fortune.
You are just starting and you cannot afford to spend all your savings on web design. You heard itis only those in IT or someone with a computer degree that can design a professional website. You look at yourself and you say ‘not me, I don’t think I can do this’.
Guess what, you are wrong. You can do it if someone will show you how.
Let me show you how.
Why You Need To Take Your Business Website, Design Serious.
Imagine walking into a well-furnished office building. At the entrance, a beautiful receptionist is waiting to attend to you. She makes you feel comfortable in a leather chair while you are still waiting for the boss.
The boss eventually arrives and you are taking to a bigger office beautifully designed with all the necessary office gadgets for the plush. The boss doesn’t have to say much to convince you that they offer professional services.
You probably would say in your mind “these guys must be professionals” even though it might not be true. Marketers call this “perceived value”. And it’s very crucial for prospective customers in making buying decisions.
If you want to do better than the average marketer, I will advise that you take both the perceived and actual value seriously.
The first impression is important. As the saying goes “you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression”
What does this have to do with your web design? Everything.
When a visitor lands on your site, the first thing that gets their attention is the look and feel of your website. And they instantly decide whether to stay or to leave.
You may be good at what you do and even offer excellent services but what happens when they leave before they ever find out how good you are or how you can solve their problems.
This can happen as a result of bad design. And that is what this post intends to fix for you.
So in this blog post, you are going to learn how to fix a bad design if you already have a business website or build one from the scratch yourself for your business (whatever it is) if you don’t have one already.
You Need A Perfect Website For The Following Reasons
- Your website is your sales force 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year.
- A well-designed website (with the customer experience in mind) will increase the credibility of your brand.
- When you have a poorly designed site, people will think that you a con artist out to deceive them.
- Good design makes you look like a professional
- People are now seeking information more than ever before, before making buying decisions. If your site is providing that information with a relatable human voice and with empathy, you will win their loyalty.
- More and more brands are selling products online and you don’t want your brand to be left out.
Bill Gate once said
in few years from now, there will be two groups of people in business: those that are online and those that are out of business.
Take, for instance, people are ordering goods every day from Jumia, Konga, Amazon, etc. instead of going to buy them from a physical shop.
In this 21st century(the connection economy) it is the business that can adapt to these technological changes that are going to survive.
Though the basic ethics of doing business with honesty, integrity, creating real value for the people we serve and so on will remain important and constant the way we reach and interact and connect with people is changing.
How will your brand adapt? How do you evolve? So that you and your business will not become extinct is part of what this report is about. In another report, I will show you how to differentiate your brand or product from your competitors.
Building The Case For Building Your Business Website Yourself.
I mentioned earlier that your website is a sales force that operates 24/7/52 for your business and that is exactly what it is if you know how to implement an effective online business strategy.
But there is a problem, you have a business and you understand how your business should work. Now you hire a web developer who knows nothing about your business and your customers.
He came up with a proposal for web design. And then bill you. You pay his bill and your site was designed
Hurry! You now have a website. You type your site URL (web address) in your browser and your site opens. So what is the problem? You discover you don’t understand a thing about your website. It’s like its speaking German and you are from Nigeria.
Do you get the point?
That is the problem many people who are outsourcing everything is having right now; like you cannot even communicate with your website, you feel lost about it all.
Often your site is constructed on a platform you don’t understand and have any idea how to work with. When you want to update your site, you have to call your designer to do the update for you…at additional charges.
If you are not starting a business like Jumia, Konga and you are not looking to build the next Amazon or Alibaba kind of site, then, I will advise that you design it yourself for a start.
Later you can pay 80-300k for a design.
And more so, companies like Jumia, Konga, Amazon, Alibaba and other big brands have in-house designers. But if you are just an entrepreneur working on a business idea or a small business owner wanting to go online, then, designing your website yourself is the best way to go.
Please note that this is pretty easy to do. Six years old can pull it off! Fear not.
In the beginning, you are going to need some assistance and I will be available to assist. My goal is to make the design process as easy as possible for you so that you can focus on the business strategy itself.
Which means we are doing it together.
Now let’s go to what you need to know to begin the process.
Start From The Beginning.
The best place to begin is always the beginning.
If you don’t have a website at all, the process for you will be slightly different from someone who already has.
First, you need an address and a location. When you want to start your offline business you had to come up with a suitable name, isn’t it? Then you think of the best location for your business.
Well, the same process applies online. Online, your business address/name is called a web address or a domain name. And the location for your business online is called the webserver.
Your domain name will look like this:
You can’t have a website without a web address. When people want to find you online, they need to type your web address in their browser to locate you on the web.
Your web address is made up of two parts: Your username and the domain name. We all use domain names every day. If you use an email address, be it Gmail or yahoo, then you are already using a domain name.
Your email address, for example, is made up two of parts: 1. A username before the @ symbol 2. A domain name after the @ symbol.
For example, you have an email address that looks like this: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From above my Username is Sam and my domain name is Vervetrybe.
Your Domain Name Is A Reflection Of Your Brand Personality.
Your domain name is a reflection of who you are online and what your brand stands for. And this goes a long way to influence the position your message or brand occupies in prospective customer’s minds. There is no hard rule for choosing a domain name but few tips might be helpful.
- You can use your name as your domain name e.g. samajiboye.com
- Use your brand name or company name as your domain name if possible. e.g. Webyclass.com (Webyclass Media is my company’s name)
- Use a domain name that people will easily remember
- Don’t let your domain name be too long for it to be easily remembered by people.
- Can use letters, number, and hyphen.
- It cannot begin or end with a hyphen.
- Just keep it simple.
Where And How Can I Get A Domain Name?
Note that you don’t buy a domain name you register for it. And to do that I recommend Namecheap. Namecheap is a domain name registrar that leases out the names for a specific period that you chose. It can be for 1-10years depending on your needs and budget. The domain name from Namecheap cost about $10
The process is simple:
- Go to namecheap.com.
- Type in the search box the domain name you want to register.
- If the domain is available you go on to register it. If not, you will have to choose another name that is available and that suits you.
- You will use a PayPal account or credit card to pay for the registration
If you don’t have a PayPal account, just go to paypal.com and sign up for one.
Don’t worry I will put together a comprehensive video tutorial that shows you everything from buying a domain name to completely building the whole site.
Pretty easy to do once you see those videos. You will be amazed at the beautiful and perfect website you will be able to build by yourself without knowing any code whatsoever.
Hosting Your Website
We talk about the location for your business online and call it a web server. A web server is like a mighty machine that housed all the files, text, images, codes of your website and other people’s website too. And that is connected to the Internet 24hours.
Now there are web hosting companies that host your website so that it stays online 24hours and can be found by anyone who types in your URL or domain name any time of the day.
For web hosting and domain name registration, I will recommend Dreamhost. They are still the best when it comes to customer support services and domain registration. They allow you to pay monthly unlike most hosting companies that only allow you to pay for 6-12 months at a go.
Note that you can also register your domain name at Dreamhost. Which I also highly recommend. The advantage is that you won’t have to go through the hassle of transferring or linking your domain from another domain name registrar like Namecheap to Dreamhost.
The Best Content Management Software Ever.
WordPress is the best content management system out there. And it’s free.
WordPress software was built for people like you who do not have the technical ability for complex coding and do not have the time to learn it.
The truth is, you don’t need to get your head into all that stuff. You need your brain to do better things like thinking, planning and strategizing.
WordPress had taken care of all the codes you will need to write.
You don’t need a degree in computer science to use WordPress to build your website.
Now, there are two types of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org
WordPress.com is a platform built by the creator of WordPress where they host your website for you.Wordpress.com is not for you if you are serious about your business. The reason is that wordpress.com has some serious limitations for people who want to use their platform for business. An example is the full customization of your site.
WordPress.org: This is the self-hosted version of the WordPress software you install on your web hosting account. The one you got from Hosting.
WordPress is super easy to install on your web hosting platform. You can install WordPress with one click when you are using a web hosting platform like Hostgator for your hosting.
After installing WordPress on the hosting platform you chose. You should have something like this.
But wait a minute…..it does not look like that perfect and beautiful website you find online.
What is missing? A theme.
WordPress themes are templates that allow you to manage and arrange your text, images, and videos on your website. Themes are the design of your site.
Themes make your website look beautiful and professional. You want to create a website that makes you look like an expert in your field or makes you look like a brand that is offering excellent services or providing a high-quality product.
WordPress themes also help with your SEO Search engine optimization, which makes it easy for people to find your website on the web.
There are thousands of themes to choose from but you have to know the type that is good for your business. There are paid and free themes that you can download and install to build your website, but you must take into consideration the purpose and functionality of your website.
The Best Themes Are Themes With Design Controls.
The best themes are the ones with built-in design controls.
Design controls allow you to easily customize your website to give it the look you want. With design controls, you can make changes very easily to your site.
You can change the colors, fonts, header artwork, navigation menu styles, footers, and on and on just by clicking a few buttons. You will be amazed at how easy it is to do these things.
So when you want to choose a theme for your site design, chose the one with design control.
Also, with design control, you can create two websites with different looks and designs using one theme.
Take for example the two pictures below show two sites built using the same theme.
So, using a theme with design control allows you to build a site that is versatile and unique.
A good design is a key to building a successful business online because of the increased perceived value and credibility it brings to your business.
Your WordPress Website Needs Plugins.
What are plugins? Plugins extend the functionality of your WordPress website. Just as there are add-ons for Google chrome call chrome extensions. WordPress also has add-ons that make it possible to perform some special functions. These add-ons are called plugins.
For instance, to collect email addresses of your web visitors with your WordPress website you will need to install a plugin like Sumome list builder plugin or magic action box plugin.
Just as there are thousands of themes to choose from, there are also thousands of plugins you can choose to install depending on the function you need your site to perform.
Another example of a plugin you can use on your site is SEO plugin by Yoast. This plugin optimizes your site for ranking high in search engines. This means people can easily find you in a search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
So essentially, there are so many plugins you can install to add more functions to your WordPress website.
Installing plugins is as easy as pressing just a button. There are video tutorials that show you everything.
I think that is just about everything you need to know to start building your website. Another thing you will need is a can-do attitude. You have to believe you can do it. If I can do it, I know you can do better.
With a video tutorial that shows you everything from getting your domain registered to the point where you have your website design completed, you can’t miss it.
Of course, you can hire a web developer to set up your site design. But depending on how many pages you need, you can expect to spend between 50-500 thousand nairas or more. And it’s not necessary: you can learn to use design controls well enough that you don’t need to hire someone.
Traditional Process To Getting Your site design.
- Find a web developer. Finding a web developer is quite easy. They are everywhere. Finding the one that will give you a professional design is what is hard. And what is a professional design? Professional design is the way you want your site to designing, not the way the designer designs it. If they give you what you want, you have a professional design. The point is no one knows what you want in your business than you do. What I have noticed from my experience is this, the more you try to explain what you want or the more complex your explanation seems to the developer, the more they charge you. Simple. They charge you for something you will enjoy doing yourself. And this is not difficult at all to do.
- They give you the estimate. Following from above and depending on the number of pages you want to set up, they will bill you.
- Pay him to start. Of course, that is the obvious thing to do.
- Approve sample. They send you a sample of your site style so you can see what they propose. You approve the sample, and then they start assembling your site.
- Make changes to suit your desire. This is the point where things start getting messy again. Every time you want to change something, you have to call or email and make the request. If the change falls outside the scope of your original agreement (which often happens because you get new ideas as you go along), you pay an extra fee.
- Do further revision. At this point, the major work has been done. And now you start receiving feedback from people about a link that is not working or a page that is not loading. If you built it yourself, this is an issue you can fix in three minutes.
The Better Process.
- Your business is your own. As I said earlier, you are the one who has the vision for your business.
- Draw a sitemap or plan. This is the way it works: You sit down and make a site plan: what pages you want, whether or not your site will feature a blog, and what you’d like it to look like.
- Build your site. Block some time out to build your site. Depending on the number of pages you need to create, it might take a day or two to set up your site. You get your site put together on YOUR schedule, not someone else’s.
- Launch. Then you launch your site and when you find out something that is not working, you fix it yourself. And when you to make changes, you go in and make those changes by yourself.
Little effort, big rewards.
From all that has been said so far, you understand the reward of setting up and maintaining your website all by yourself. Let’s review them:
- You can save thousands of naira: you don’t have to pay thousands of naira to a web developer, and thousands of naira every time you want to add a page to your site.
- You save time: you can make changes easily — literally waking up one day with an idea for a new section on your site, sitting down and typing it up and then making it live just minutes later. No more waiting for days and weeks to see your ideas become a reality.
- You have total control: over what your site looks like and how it behaves. You have the flexibility to change it whenever and however you want.
Just by installing WordPress and using a theme with design control, you can build a beautiful, perfect and professional looking website that you love and you are proud of. You feel proud because you built it all by yourself.