Calm the farm down. I got you. I know just how confusing, overwhelming and complicated getting a website designed, built and online, really can be for business owners.
And unfortunately, many website developers and website designers just love to complicate the entire process – leaving you in a panic-stricken mess.
After all, you’re pretty smart. You totally get how important a GREAT website is to have in order to succeed in business. It’s simply a matter of figuring out how to get one up and running, without losing your sh*t and without pouring unnecessary money down the drain.
So, let’s look at the basic steps required to get a modern, professional looking website up and running, as easily as possible.
It’s actually not as difficult as it might appear.
Your domain name is the www.yourbusinessname.com thing – or the address that will allow people to find your website.
For Australian websites primarily targeting an Australian market, you’ll need a ‘.com.au’ address – which requires a valid ABN.
(Hint: Aussie customers tend to trust Australian websites far more!)
If you’re targeting a more global market, ‘.com’ is fine.
In order to obtain this website address – you will need to:
- Check that it’s available
- Register it with a domain agency.
For a solid place to register and host your domain name I recommend either:
It should only cost between $10 – $30 to register a domain name.
Next – you need somewhere to PUT your website online. This is called a Website Host.
This can cost anywhere from $120 to $350+ per year.
The best website platform to use for a service-based website is WordPress. Hands down. No arguments. It’s what you want. Therefore, when registering your website hosting as above – make sure they can indeed host WordPress websites.
If you want to sell online and run an eCommerce store – WordPress is also a very fine choice and realistically, the best option.
It can however be trickier and more expensive to setup – with the advantage of being completely flexible and able to grow with your business.
If WordPress is too difficult, I recommend either BigCommerce or Shopify.
Most people these days know and recommend Shopify – however I personally find BigCommerce to be a better option if you’re not tech friendly. It’s much easier to setup and use – and has all the features you will need to succeed.
For example I built my husbands website on BigCommerce here >
WordPress Builders & Themes
If you’re heading down the WordPress route (which hopefully you are!), you’ll need to choose a WordPress site builder and theme.
These make it far easier to edit content as they utilise ‘drag and drop’ visual builders – rather than straight code. And they also offer fully built templated websites and pages that you can simply use and customise. Much easier than building from scratch!
The two I use are:
- Avada Theme / Fusion Builder
- Divi Theme / Divi Builder
Personally, I tend to favour Avada (that’s what I use for my website) – but Divi is also a very popular and solid choice.
I use both when designing websites for clients, depending on their needs and preferences.
If you use a template or theme such as Avada or Divi – this will automatically be mobile responsive.
Just make sure you’re careful when customising your website and changing settings. You’ll also need to be aware of image sizes for mobile responsiveness.
Search Engine optimisation (SEO)
When using WordPress, you can install this nifty little plugin called Yoast.
Yoast will help you optimise your website pages for a specific keyword or phrase. It will literally tell you how to optimise both the technical elements and content on each page.
You’ll also be able to enter in a Meta Title and Meta Description. These appear in the search results of Google. Give it your best shot to optimise these so that they contain keywords and entice potential customers to click through.
Ideally though – hire a pro to do this for you, for better results!
If using a platform such as Shopify or BigCommerce, you’ll also be able to enter in meta data and keywords. Make sure you use these fields as best you can as they seriously do help your rankings.
Information Architecture (IA)
Your Information Architecture (or IA) is how the information on your page is categories or organised. In other words, it’s what pages your website needs and how those pages fit together.
As a minimum you’ll need:
- Services / Shop
But you can also have:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Blog / News
And loads more.
Just make sure you think about how your customers would want to navigate through it and keep it as simple and as obvious as possible.
Most websites contain a home page and several other pages – as noted above in Information Architecture.
Each of these pages will need to be laid out and designed in a user-friendly and attractive manner.
You’ll need image elements, text sections, price tables, contact forms, newsletter signup boxes and more. Make it pretty but keep it simple – making it easy for your customers to purchase or take the next step with you.
Clearly, a website with some pretty pictures isn’t going to cut the mustard. You’ll need some content or words on your page – explaining to your customers what you offer and why they should buy from you.
If you can – hire a pro like me, who can write for both Google and your customers. This will help your new website to become much more effective in pulling more traffic in from Google, and converting that traffic into purchases or leads.
Otherwise, just make sure you’re compelling, clear and concise. Make it about your ideal customer and how you help them – rather than merely focusing on you.
Yikes – so much to think about…
These are your basic necessities when building a new website.
There is lots to think about and it’s possibly not something you’ll want to tackle by yourself, if it’s not something you’ve done before.
Hiring an expert is well worth the investment because it will save you time and money in the long run. Wasting your time on a website, and learning as you go, takes you away from the rest of your business. It’s also often harder for someone like me to try and fix it than getting it right to start with.
And if you’d like a rural specialist who can handle all of the above for you – I’m your girl.
I can help you sort out ALL of the above-mentioned elements, I can totally demystify the tech for you and get you up and running fast. I’ll even train you to make updates yourself – even if you’re a total tech nuffy. Pinky promise!
My new Rural Website Design packages, come at a super-affordable investment.
- The Chicken Package will give you 3 pages.
- The Sheep Package will give you 5 pages.
- The Cow Package will give you 10 pages.
You can get all the details here: https://www.theruralcopywriter.com.au/rural-website-design/