So you’re considering building your own site. We say Brava! If you have a computer, you have everything you need to accomplish this goal. With all of the tools and resources available to you on the internet, you can actually do this. You got this!
We’d like to be one of those online resources for you. Here are the steps and some pro tips and hacks from us at Friendly PC to get you going on your quest.
Define Your Purpose and Message
It sounds pretty common sense, but you’d be surprised how far along in process people get with their site without having decided exactly what they would like the site to convey and what functions they would like the site to be capable of.
Would you like an e-commerce site, or would you just want this to be a place your audience can go to for information? Who is your target audience and how do the aesthetics, navigation and layout of the site affect how you reach that audience? Visitors should be able to gather a clear understanding of what you do and who you are within about 8 seconds of landing on the homepage. That’s a serious task. Get this down before you even get started.
Design the Structure
Websites are like houses, you have to have a structure, or the bones of it, figured out before you can slap on the design and content. This blueprint or site map, is the layout of your site. You’ll find that things will need to be adjusted, edited and, oh, wait you forgot about that!
When you’re designing your structure, consider sites that you like the layout of. What makes that site easy to navigate? What makes that layout appealing to you? When you take and combine all of those traits, you’ve got one user-friendly site.
Now that the bones are there, you have to put some meat on ‘em. Content can mean a lot of things -text, video, images or pictures. We’ll stick with text, or copy, for now.
- Don’t use industry jargon, use language that makes sense to your audience. You’re trying to reach customers, not industry professionals (if you’re B2C that is).
- Keep your blocks of text short, easy to read and use a subhead or icons for everything to guide the reader’s eye.
- Make the important information stand out with bolding, italicizing or a different font, color or size.
- Use CTAs often. A CTA is a call to action. When you want a visitor to take a specific action, ask them to! CTAs can be links, buttons or icons with a prompt.
See how this paragraph is laid out? That’s what we’re going for -bite-sized chunks of information that are easy to navigate.
So far you haven’t touched a computer and you’re already halfway there. Stay tuned next week for the next few steps. If you have any questions so far, or would like to get the tools you need to create your own website, meaning a computer that actually works, give us a call at Friendly PC at (402) 965-3300