There are far more options for building websites than most people realise. Picking the right one starts with working out what you need and want.
Is the site a place to reinforce who you are or is it your shop-front?
Do you need a custom design or could your branding fit into a template designed to work well on the web?
Are you looking for clients to contact you directly or customers to buy online from you?
Do you need password-protection, membership areas and online courses?
The problem with specialists
Choosing from the range of options
There are two main groups of website building systems that are best for your size and type of business:
1. Hosted website builders
These are the easiest to use and are the most stable options for building your website.
You may have heard of Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace and One. These are all hosted website builders.
There are hosted website builders that specialise in online shopping websites. These include Shopify, Tictail,
If your business model is membership and training-based, there are hosted website builders that provide you with all you need to manage members and password-protected areas and online courses. Kajabi is a well-liked option but you see that the pricing reflects how powerful it is. Some of the standard systems, like Wix and Weebly can handle basic versions of membership sites and training online and they are far cheaper.
2. Self-hosted content management systems
These over a lot more opportunity for custom development - programming your own site elements - but this comes at a price. These really require help from a developer who specialising in the particular system. They need hosting somewhere and they need protecting. Security risks are higher, especially if you don't update the software immediately as a new update comes through.
The most well-known self-hosted CMS is Wordpress. It isn't alone, there is Drupal and Joomla, Magento and a whole lot more.
There are also custom coded sites which big companies with complex sites and a high level of security use.
How to choose the best one for your business
We realise this isn't the most exciting of marketing topics but it is really important, so please do read it...
Google thinks that all websites should have an SSL certificate.
If you have not heard about SSL till now, then here's what SSL actually means - Secure Sockets Layer. It is an encoding system in which all the data that gets transferred between your website and the server is encrypted in a language which is unreadable by third parties. It remains secure from hacking.
An SSL certificate helps your website in several ways:
1. It improves your ranking on the search engine
Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo generally display those websites on their top results page which come with SSL certification. Being a small business owner, it is imperative for you to get the customer's attention online. To improve your ranking and visibility online, you should go for SSL certification. Your ranking for the SEO keywords that you are targeting also improves rapidly if you have an SSL certificate.
2. You gain the customer's trust
Almost 50 percent of online shoppers have said that they trust an e-commerce website more which has an SSL certificate and prefer to shop from such websites only. Imagine the number of customers you are losing out on just because your website does not have SSL certification! You can attract so many more customers if you opt for one.
3. The safety of your data is ensured
Sensitive data like credit card numbers, usernames and passwords are protected by SSL encryption. All the transactions that take place through your website are hundred percent safe and secure. The danger of hacking drops right off and you can carry on your business without worrying about data leaks.
4. You get extra authentication
The SSL certificate that you get from a trusted provider makes your confidential information unreadable not only to third parties using other servers but also to those devices which are on the same server as yours. This additional authentication is provided by the public key infrastructure or PKI.
5. You can avoid from being declared dangerous by Google
Google is ensuring that all websites that show up on its search engine have an SSL certification indicated by the https:// in their website addresses. This is being done with the help of the red font color which is appearing on the link of non-secure websites in the form of http://. This red color warns the visitors to your website that it is not secure enough for sharing sensitive data. This can ruin your credibility online. SSL certification is a necessity for e-commerce websites specifically because of the transactions that are carried out.
The general advice is if you want your small business to perform well on online , you need to get an SSL certification as soon as possible.
We advise ALL our clients to get SSL certificates as soon as possible.
Contact us if you need help. In many cases, they are free.
You've got a great website. Or great enough. If you leave it sitting on the web, will people find it?
There are more than 1 billion websites on the net and they are all fighting for attention. Does your target market know that your site is there?
Don't worry, there is actually plenty you can do to get your site out there and bring in visitors who search for your kind of products or services. It takes a bit of effort and a bit of time but generally costs nothing (unless you pay someone else to do it) and it works.
In our next two-hour training session on Wednesday 18th October, we'll work through techniques you can use to get the search engines sending you lots of lovely visitors and the right type of visitors at that. We'll look at the content on your website and at the technical stuff, to help you get started. The session is from 12.30-2.30 and costs 350kr.
Find out more here: http://www.writeindanderyd.com/getting-more-people-looking-at-your-website-seo.html
Having spent the last month running training sessions with you lovely lot, we've planned a whole lot more! You told us that you'd like a few hours working with us on your website, on email marketing, on building great collaborations and on blogging. Someone also asked us for a session on running your own life but that is definitely 'outside our area of expertise' :)
For the topics that we do know about, we've just put together a schedule for the rest of the spring (yes, we decided that spring has actually started). Come and join us at our office in Danderyd if you would like to know lots about the following topics:
All the sessions are two hours long and cost 250kr in advance (preferably by SWISH).
For more information, click here or get in touch with us. If you want to join us but can't make the dates listed, let us know and we'll see what we can do.
Did you see what we added to the title of this blog post to make it come up when someone searches online for local businesses? Yes, we wrote the word 'Danderyd'. We do that a lot. It is also in our name (if you hadn't already noticed that).
If you want to be found online as a local business, create local content.
You have two main choices here:
1. Writing about what you do in the context of your location and/or
2. Your opinion of things going on in your local area.
Whichever you choose, be sure to mention the location a couple of times at least, to let the search engines know where you are. Don't overdo it though, more than 5 could be too many and will make your post hard to read by your human readers.
Google updates its way of searching the web so often that it is almost impossible to keep up with it.
One key point we picked up recently is that the search engine needs to see at that at least 60% of the content on your website is unique - you write it yourself and it isn't repeated anywhere else on the web. This is harder to do than you might imagine for businesses that sell products with standard descriptions for example. A word from the wise (wiser?!) - don't be tempted to repost blog content or even page content to your own site without writing about it in your own words and checking you haven't fallen under the 60% boundary.
Sites that are known as 'content farms' - those that collect text and images from all over the web and feature them, uch as news portals, are bad news as far as Google is concerned. If a content farm is pulling your information, Google will penalise you for it.