How to begin putting together your Website….
Firstly, the most exciting part of setting up a website is to think up the domain name for your site. If your business is localised, stick to a localised domain name relevant to your country. This will ensure that your target market can see you are local. Too many local business fancy a .com domain name, and scare the locals away. Who can import a carpet cleaner to clean their carpets from overseas? Then focus on your content. Without content there is no website. Ask yourself the following questions: Who are you, How do you want to show yourself to the World, How can people get in touch with you, How can you reach out to your clients.
Sketch out some rough A4 pages and focus on layout of your website, name the menu items, decide how many pages your site will need to reach your audiences. Now begin collecting your content. Also decide on the design. The best way forward is to search for sites you like that resonate with how you see your own website.From here you can take your ideas and concepts to your Graphic Designer. Be sure that your Web Designer and Graphic Designer are either a one-stop-shop or put them in touch with each other so that design specs can match the website structure.
Now it is time to decide on the platform of your website. Do you want a static website built in XHTML? This is great for fast page loads and for sites that do not need to regularly update their content. Or more commonly, you may require a CMS platform, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and more. One any of these platforms you will be able to manage your content yourself. You can edit pages, add galleries, update, blog, socialise, monetise and more. This is the exciting part, and be sure to choose a platform that you will be comfortable with, so do some research and Google the user-friendliness of the CMS that your web-developer recommends, as this will be your baby for the lifespan of your business.
Finally, enjoy the development process, and know that a website is not a once-off purchase, but an ongoing evolving organism floating in cyberspace. The more time and energy you put into your website, the more you will reap the benefits! Good Luck.