Yes, you absolutely can!
The web is designed to be open and accessible to as many people as possible. There’s many great ways you can create your own webpage. Websites can grow to be quite complex, so we thought we would put together a couple of posts about the process you can use to create your own website, and ways you can make them look great and feel good to use. We always recommend working on your website away from the PC to begin with, and talking through various aspects with someone. Pen and paper is great!
This article covers the absolute bare bones of what you need for a website. We’ll cover content, marketing, and hosting in later articles, so add our page to your RSS feed to stay in touch.
Design Before Anything Else
Websites will grow organically to fill as much space as they can get away with. Most businesses do not need to have complicated and extensive pages, experiences and information for the customer. Focus first on the business transaction, for example what is the outcome you want from your website?
A service business will want leads for their in-house team to contact.
A product business will want sales.
What does your customer actually need to make the decision to pay you money?
They need to know what they are buying. Product types and variations, or what services you offer. This can be a single page, or multiple. Do you have one page with all your services, or a separate page for each service? As a product business, you will need to consider how many products you will be selling. Will you have a few curated products, or many products with multiple variations? You need to decide if you need one page, or a suite of pages.
Your services page must have some way of capturing the lead, whether a form at the bottom of the page, or a link to a Contact Us page. The less clicking your customer needs to do, the happier they will be.
Your customer needs to know who you are.
An About Page is crucial. Most customers will click on an About page and skim read the first few paragraphs at a minimum. This is where you show your customer who you are. Imagine this is where you walk forward, smiling, and with your hand held out ready to shake their hand. Photos of people create empathy, and pets are great if this is in keeping with your company’s brand. Your customers will want to see you as a person, and get a feel for your skills, your values, and why you are more interesting than any competitors.
Your Home Page is your shopfront.
Your shopfront is where a customer hovers around the door, wondering if they should pop in. The shopfront is a mix of enticing and interesting parts of your business, and includes a welcome mat and a bell. I know I’m stretching the metaphor a little, but it works. A solid homepage invites the customer in, and shows them snippets of other parts of the business. The bell is any tracking system you implement (most people will use Google Analystics these days) and the welcome mat is your tagline and your copy.
Your one page design should now have a short list of webpage you need on your site.
- Home Page
- Services or Products pages
- About Page
There’s plenty of reasons to add other pages later, such as a contact us page, testimonials, case studies, blog and content pages. But at the very basic level, to get your side hustle of business up and running quickly, you need those three pages above all else. Stay tuned, as shortly we’ll be publishing our thoughts on the mechanics and technical side of creating your first website (and how it fits in your budget.)
If you’ve made your own website before, and you’re ready to go to the next level, talk to us. We’re the experts in our game, and our passion for great sites and great user experiences shows in everything we do. We make the process easy and fun!