5 Steps to Building a Website

website building tips
Image by Tiffany Terry / Flickr

Names.co.uk shows how to get your business online in minutes – by Sally Tomkotowicz, Customer Acquisition Marketing Manager, Names.co.uk

Gone are the days when you could rely on a shop sign on the high street alone to drum up business. Now small businesses must compete with the free market of the entire internet for its customers and have a smaller budget in which to do so. With the push to “Buy British” we would like to help those little guys with how to go head-to-head with those who command a bigger budget.

In order to build a website yourself it is always best to be able to do everything at once instead of running around the internet trying to discover the best ideas. This can be done through the use of a single entity which allows users to buy, build and maintain their new website in a single location without the need of paying an expensive web developer to mysteriously work without listening to your needs.

As your customer base expands it is necessary to direct them to the best possible site in order to drive sales or simply get your name out there. With a few easy steps, and a great template, the potential is endless in what new business can be driven your way.

Getting Started

Fortunately using a site such as Names.co.uk you are guided throughout the process with a step-by-step guide for the everyday user as well as a fantastic call centre should you need extra advice. Names.co.uk is a one-stop shop which makes searching for your new domain (such as www.yourname.co.uk) and associated products easier than ever before, allowing more time for adding information to your new website.

Step 1

Create a domain name. This is a very easy, and fun, bit of the process as you can simply type your company name into the search panel and see whether your domain name has already been registered (if you have yet to decide on a name, take a look at www.company-name-generator.com and see what luck can bring). The possibilities range from .com, .net. .co.uk, .biz, etc which allow many options, but in the UK the favourites and most important to protect by far are .co.uk and .com. Names.co.uk offer a free domain with annual SiteMaker, hosting and Ecommerce packages so it is good to “˜think about what you want to achieve with your domain’ from the outset.

Once you have decided on a domain name you must choose how long you would like to own it for example recent changes have allowed users to purchase their .uk domain for up to 10 years, which takes out the work of needing to renew ownership. www.names.co.uk have made this step very simple as the home page supplies you with the opportunity to search for a domain, instead of having to forage for the page that gives you access, and then upon decision will ask your preference.

Step 2

Now that you have a domain name it is time to make sure you have a plan. There are a few key points that you should have a clear idea as to what the answers are. Once you can answer these three questions you will have the tools to build a great website and the ability to move through the process and onto the creative bits;

  • What is the goal of your website? This is the most important piece of information as you should always know what the “point” is. Make sure not to be to broad in your approach as the more direct your goal the better.
  • Who is your target audience? Discovering your target audience will give you an ideas to what direction you should take your website (More fun or more corporate).
  • What content is needed to deliver? Content driven websites require far less attention, but as anybody can build their own mean that it is necessary to use specific words in order to direct traffic. E-Commerce websites, which will sell products, require more work as stock, shipping and updates change. Think of an E-commerce site as a storefront window in this sense.

Step 3

Names.co.uk provides a SiteMaker product which is an easy-to-use website builder that enables you to create a professional website in very little time. This addition proves to be a tool that gives users the ability to encourage social content sharing such as chat rooms, maps, PayPal, widgets, videos and more. The SiteMaker tool is there to make your life an easier one offering a full rounded solution with a free domain plus email and the added peace of mind that Names.co.uk’s UK based support centre is available to help you should you need pointers.

Step 4

Choose a design template that suits your needs. There are over 100 professionally designed templates for users to opt for covering an array of choice with more being added all of the time. With each template you can not only change the colours and play around with the images but shift the layout as well. Should you choose a layout and begin work only to discover you wanted another, have no fear, you can simply go back and start again until you are happy.

Ideas range from the fun family website that allow you to keep friends and family up to date with the daily goings on, to the business website that promotes your services or sells your wares. With the sudden ability to plug and play, you can personalise your website with your company logo, portraits of employees, product shots, or even a picture of the office pet.

Step 5

After launching your site you can now use the SiteMaker tool to get creative with your website. The drag and drop capabilities enable you to move both images and text around with ease, and without the need for years of computer programming codes to back you up. Should you want to add pictures to your website you can upload your own images into the SiteMaker’s library for storage and use them where needed.

It is as simple as plugging in your businesses information in the design of choice and enjoying the freedom of working quickly and effectively. What is beneficial to driving traffic to your website is keyword usage. When you add some keywords into the text of your website it tells search engines such as Google allowing your site to be found easier.

SiteMaker can be used to monetize your site with use of Amazon widgets and Google AdSense, and with the SiteMaker Pro product there is the choice of setting up a PayPal shop to boot.

And lastly one important point to remember once you have built your site, and all of the additional pages of information, is to test it. Sometimes it is best to have a third party read through everything to make sure you have all spelling and punctuation correct as there is nothing worse than constant errors.

Usually friends and family will have some constructive criticism, which you should always take with a grain of salt as your target audience will likely be just as picky. An easy thing to remember is “would my mother be able to navigate and understand my website”? If the answer is yes, then you have successfully made your first website.

About Names.co.uk

Names.co.uk provides professional online services for businesses and individuals including Web Hosting, Domain Name Registration, Email services, Ecommerce solutions and Business Servers. Names.co.uk has over 15 years’ experience in the Internet industry and employs a team of nearly 200 expertly trained individuals across the UK.

Names.co.uk is part of the Dada Group, an international group of companies who specialise in providing professional Internet services. As a group, they currently have over 1.8million domains registered in over 250 extensions and over 490,000 clients using their products and services.

For more information please see www.names.co.uk