In today’s society of complicated websites and projects, I’ve come to a conclusion recently. I can’t take credit for it though. It’s been an idea that has been around for a long time. KISS… (Keep It Simple Stupid).
Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when a super awesome, custom built website will make a difference for a business. If you are a design agency for example you probably want something that just shines and draws attention to itself. (Take this site for example – specifically how awesome it scales responsively as you shrink your window…) In this case, your website is technically part of your portfolio. In most other cases though, your website should be clean, easy to find what your customers are looking for, and easy to see what you are all about. (You also should have a blog where you have constantly updated content.) If you are selling products, good pictures are great – the site doesn’t have to be complicated for good pictures though.
If you want a website for your business, these are my recommendations:
- Get some cheap hosting and a good (simple) domain name. (Guides: How to Pick a Domain Name and How to Purchase Web Hosting) We are talking about less than $100 and you can have your own website without advertising.
- Use WordPress. Alright, so that probably won’t come as a surprise given the title of this site but WordPress is relatively easy to use and if you have any basic experience with a computer you can get some sort of a website up with it. (Guides: Installing WordPress, Cleaning Up the Initial WordPress Install, and Configuring your WordPress Settings)
- Use a premium theme. It will cost you a bit (another $35-50) but you will get support, and won’t have to worry about some of the issues that come with a free theme. I like to recommend using a child theme setup and specifically one that works with the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. If you don’t like any of those, ThemeForest and WPMU Dev would be my next choices. (Guide: Installing a WordPress Theme)
- Create an “About” page, a “Contact” page, and maybe another page or two about what your business is.
- As mentioned before put update of what is going on with your business on the blog portion of your website. These could be things like sales, new items, or even just announcements. Anything that can draw a bit of attention to your business. (Guide: Creating a blog post)
- Lastly, you will want to keep your website backed up and updated to protect it from issues. There was recently an attack on tens of thousands of WordPress sites because they use the default “admin” username. This has scared some people but if you keep your site updated and most importantly backed up, it shouldn’t be an issue.
The reality is, most people don’t care how super flashy your website it. In most cases they will leave because your site takes to long to load before they leave because you have an ugly site. Unless you really want to, you shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get your business webiste up. Hopefully this will help you to keep the simple in mind as you get going.
As always, if you have questions, send them my way!