The more involved you are with your marketing the better. I believe in outsourcing, what I don't believe in is turning everything over and having blind faith that the job will get done... at all or correctly.
I decided to write this article to help people that decide to outsource and have someone develop their website. If you decide to DIY your website, you may find this article helpful.
The first step is to research.
Research your industry, see what your competition is up to and start making a list of what you like and don't like. Then, look at websites outside your industry that appeal to you.
Put your site to work
A website does not have to be a pretty online billboard. A website should be a part of your workflow processes. If you are starting an online store, finding a platform that helps track inventory and automated emails thanking and following up with customers is something you would want to consider.
If you are a service provider you can add an appointment scheduler to make it easy for people to book services with you.
There are tons of options through Wix in regards to turning your website into an employee:
Add a Live Chat box to chat with people while they are on your site
Create a forum
Events calendar and events management
Create video channels, sell and rent videos
Create paid and free memberships
Translate your site into multiple languages
Putting your site to work helps you determine the ROI on your investment. When you are researching look at how well others are putting their website to work and research your options.
Choosing a platform to build on
It is important that you choose the platform and understand how your website will be built. Here are a few options that may sound familiar:
I have had experiences with all of these platforms and can provide a good pro and con list for all of them:
WordPress: It's too big and the applications are a free for all. WordPress started off as a wonderful platform for websites. With a few YouTube lessons it was possible to understand how to build a website. However, between hosting accounts (GoDaddy), WordPress Themes, Plug-in's, and applications a WordPress site can turn into a nightmare. All of these components have to update together and can sometimes start to work against each other and crash your website. Developers often like to choose WordPress because they know they will get a nice pay day every 3 to 5 years when your websites needs to be rebuilt.
Weebly: Weebly is good if you want to do a website yourself and only need a basic one page site. I found Weebly to be a bit wonky and cumbersome to create in. I personally like to have more control over what I'm doing in regards to placement, color, and styling.
Wix: Wix had a rough start in the website design industry. For a while they had issues with Google indexing their websites. Their templates were terrible. During the past 3 years, they have made some amazing strides in applications and designs that are offered. They offer an all in one digital marketing experience that includes website, email, email automations, and SEO. They have a partnership with Google so your sites are indexed relatively quickly. Wix is my preferred go to platform for developing websites. Here is a list of Wix integrations. Look and see what you can find any fits for your business.
SquareSpace I also like developing in SquareSpace. Some the functionality when developing a site can be a little cumbersome but once you get into the groove, a site can be developed relatively quickly. SquareSpace supports official integrations, be careful when downloading one that is not supported. They have a list of supported integrations. Look at this list and see what can work for your business.
Shopify I LOVE Shopify for online retail. The learning curve can be big but it is worth it to dive in. Shopify has some wonderful integrations to help you grow your business. You can sell on eBay and Amazon. Track abandoned carts, get reviews, and create automated emails for just about any scenario you can think of. Shopify can be a bit more expensive but worth the investment.
I think that is enough for one article. Next time I will talk to you about mapping out the flow and layout of your site.