Start Small and Grow
When building a website, an important decision to be made is what will be the size of the site and its content. Instead of jumping right into it, try to consider building your site as a process. Even if you vision the site as a large and elaborate one, you may want to get there step by step. Think of your first time in the pool – you had to be in the shallow end for a while until moving to the deep end, no?
There are many benefits to starting your online presence with a small and simple site and gradually grow. It’s a shame to waste your efforts on non-essentials that aren’t necessarily critical to the success of your business.
Also, don’t forget you will always have the option to update content on your site and even replace its design altogether. To build a site fast, you can also start by using a ready-made template from a website builder such as IM creator, which will allow you to first publish a landing page and then add the content you need for the fuller site, easily. Later on, you can even replace the entire design of your site with another template.
If keeping your site up-to-date is important to you, remember that a bigger site will be harder to handle and maintain.
Keeping your website’s design flexible will also allow you to have more control over content and design, allowing you to customize everything to your liking. Also, as your art or business may change in the future, why not reflect the changes in your website?
Many of your customers’ first contact and familiarity with your business will probably be through your website. This should be a strong motivation to go live as soon as possible, and leave the web anonymity behind. You can change and alter your online presence at any time, but the time you may lose in “being out there” is invaluable.
Your website can start as small as a one pager with minimal information such as your contact information and a little about you or your services. Publishing such a one-pager will provide enough information for the beginning and most importantly, allow you to go live fast. Also, from the moment you are live, Google starts to pick up your information, so again, another great incentive.
If you don’t have time to design such a one-pager but still want to enjoy going live fast, you can even publish a “coming soon” page, just to let your visitors know that a full site is soon to follow. You can even add an email submission box or a simple contact form so you will be able to know who is looking for you.
Once your site is live, you can easily work on adding more content offline, therefore not experiencing any downtime. It will provide you peace of mind while creating the perfect website as you know you are already online.
A smaller site can also be more effective in keeping visitors more engaged as it is easier to navigate. If your website is mainly informative, it’s better to start succinct as cluttered sites may confuse visitors.
Starting small allows you to emphasize the main function of your website, making sure it’s achieved and not lost in an overflow of ideas and designs. If you already have a logo, slogan or any other trademark, make sure to integrate those to brand your website the best possible way.
Once you have the basic must-haves on your site, you can add practically anything to it including videos, event calendar, blog, galleries, ecommerce and more.
Remember, nearly ALL Internet users (in the U.S, around 97% in 2012) look online for local goods and services. But, more than half of small businesses in the U.S. do not have a website. The potential impact of getting a website for your business and succeeding online is enormous.