Creating a Small Web Site
Every business needs a web presence. We've worked on many web sites from corporate to micro business and here we pull together some tips to help small businesses steer clear of the weeds.
You need a domain name and a logo. You also need to decide whether you want a "Brochure Site" or a "Selling Site". A Brochure site (like ours) sells indirectly by being a beautiful example of your work. A Selling Site typically consists of Landing Pages beginning a sales cycle, leading via a funnel to a Transaction of some kind. Both types can be built using one or other of the choices below.
- Hire a Web Site Designer
- Use a Web Site Generator
- Build your own web site
- Use social media instead
Hiring a web site designer involves some outlay and you'll probably be encouraged to sign up for ongoing maintenance which adds yet another monthly payment to your budget.
Web Site Generators such as Wix and further upmarket, SquareSpace are useful and cheap but confine you to a set range of templates which make it hard for your site to stand apart from other sites.
Building your own web site requires technical skill and a lot of time. WordPress is the most popular platform, usually extended by a Theme. This is an affordable way to go if you have the time. Its also worth mentioning that when your business has grown to the point you might hand over the web site to professionals, the skills are there in the market.
Using social media instead is feasible for some businesses, but a Facebook page is something that Facebook want to monetise and do so by pushing advertising at you. Exposure without advertising is not great. For photographers and graphic designers sites such as Tumblr, Pinterest, Behance offer the ability to publish curated collections of art works, but lack the ability to directly sell products.
Look & Feel
Time spent analysing web sites that do the job you want yours to do is time well spent. Work out how they achieve what they set out to do and start making notes that will inform your own design choices.
Graphics are a specialist task - we've seen some very usable graphics generated by people on Fiverr but you get what you pay for, so be careful. Colour schemes are tricky if you're not a designer. Adobe have an excellent and free tool called Adobe Color CC that allows you to browse swatches of colour schemes contributed by designers. Lastly, but in our view most important, Pictures & Video. Many people use Stock Photography which has the advantage of being cheap and the disadvantage of appearing without warning on your competitors site. If you have budget it really is worth getting original photography and video done. We'd love to help!
Helter Skelter Studios
We provide Video, Photography and Animation for web sites and social media. We have also been known to build web sites for selected businesses, going all the way back to the 1990's. As part of our service we offer advice on getting your web site seen - how to promote the content and make social media and the web work for you.
Contact us to find out how we can help you steer clear of the weeds!