I remember when I created my first website. It was a simple site for my family and friends to follow my travels, back in 2003. I had had a brief course in college about how to use Dreamweaver, and if you had seen the design of it…. it would have made your eyes hurt. Updating text was pretty easy, however, all the layout was so complicated to change that I pretty much left it like that the whole time, and didn’t bother.
Fast forward 15 years, and building a website has never been so simple.
You can use a free website builder such as the one powered by Wix to make your life much, much easier. Depending on the purpose of your website, Wix will suggest a number of layouts that are best suited for your needs. For example, if you have a small guest house, and you are trying to build a website in order to take bookings and payments, Wix will offer a range of templates that include a calendar, tabs for the different rooms or services offered, etc.
If you like another layout better, you are free to use it and customise as you see fit. But if it is just a question of colors, for now, you should mostly focus on the functionalities, because you can change colors and many more things as you proceed. Creating an account with Wix is really easy, it takes just a few minutes, and then you are ready to bring your first website to life.
Once you have picked up the template you like the best, the Wix website builder will take you through all the steps it takes to make your website truly yours. For example, you can add or remove certain sections of the website. So if you only want two categories, removing a third one is as easy as clicking on it and choosing delete.
If you are looking for a certain plug in, such as adding inventory or a booking form, there is an easy way to search for them, and then drag and drop them where you want to.
Having a website is very important these days, and not only for online shops anymore. As a professional for example, you can allow your clients to know all the kinds of services you offer, book a slot in your agenda to have a chat with you, and you can even invoice them online.
That is going to save you a ton of time, and other resources, if you would otherwise hire a secretary for example. Having an online presence also offers your clients the opportunity to leave feedback you can control, unlike on sites like Yelp and Trustpilot. You can ask them directly to write you a review and publish with their permission, or you can have a form for them to fill whenever they want to.
With Wix, updating and doing maintenance on your website is really straightforward. You just click on the section you want to amend, and enter your new opening hours or phone number.
The whole purpose of having your own website is to get more visibility online, and attract more people. Whether you are an artist trying to showcase your paintings or a new restaurant wanting more patrons, you need people to hear about and get to know your business. Once you have your own website, you can register on other sites for added visibility. Doctors will have their own databases, so will lawyers and restaurants. You can also go less niche and register with Yellow Pages and generalist portals.
Think about what information a customer would be looking for on your website. First, an easy way to contact you. A phone number or contact form should be on every single page, visible and easily clickable. People have short attention spans and you don’t want to lose them, if they are visiting your website they are interested in you! Then depending on your trade, you can publish your rates, opening hours, and so on. When you go on Yelp to find a restaurant, it generally ranks the price from $ to $$$$$, but how about publishing your whole menu online? It will help people decide if they want to dine there.
Having a website is particularly important for small businesses. Wix allows you to build your website for free, although you can pay for premium services, such as having your own domain, or payment processing platforms. The good part is, you can build and upgrade as you go. Even if your budget is tight, I would recommend having your own domain straight away. For freelancers and professionals, it can be just your first and last name dot com, or your name and profession, for example davidsmithweldingservices.com, or you can even include your location. Davidsmithweldingseattle.com would not only be straightforward for potential customers, it would also allow google to easily know what you are about, and rank you in the appropriate pages.