In this article, I am going to explain the processes, technologies, and costs involved in designing people-friendly websites that are engaging and beautiful.
–What are Websites & Webapps–
–Target Audience Persona–
I am going to break it down into following sections:
Why bother with websites in the first place? The need for websites.
> Websites help you reach out to people. They are a modern day way of sharing information at large. A well-designed website conveys authority and helps build trust with your target audience – both essential to increase reach of business, profits, and build a memorable brand.
>Websites are the most effective way to convey business information, showcase portfolio of work, highlight services, case studies, set up online shops, accept bookings, reservations, create learning portals, membership sites, community sites, social networks, and much more.
What opportunities will you get from having your own website? Where is the mullah!
> Bottomline is the website should help you make more profits than you already are. Depending upon the type of website, different opportunities are –
1 acquiring more customers – by useful & impressive display of information. And then running campaigns to bring people to see that content.
2 making online sales of products or services – e commerce website to make sales.
3 blogging – by regularly writing about topics until you get enough attention, start building an online authority on those topics, so that other companies and agencies are willing to pay you to write about their products or services.
4 advertising – If you are getting enough attention online, then displaying ads on your website is great way to make more profit. This is optional & again depends upon type of website. Usually ads are set up on blogs, e commerce, community websites. Remember, these ads are diffrent from the ads that are run on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and social media networks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
The only Design Rule. Keep it simple & soothing.
What do you need to make a website? Getting familiar with technical terms.
> The bare essentials include:
1. website name called domain name – through which users can access it
2. website storage space called web hosting – a website with just a domain name is a blank page. A web hosting is required to upload the content that makes up the website – code files & media
3. a web designer – maybe
4. a good plan & research – MUST!
How do you design it, can I design it? Available technologies, features.
>Here are the most popular website design technologies & platforms we will discuss-
SquareSpace – do it yourself website design – ease of use – easy
WordPress – do it yourself / hire a designer – ease of use – moderate to complex
WooCoommerce – hire a designer – ease of use – complex
Shopify – do it yourself – designerease of use – moderate to complex
PHP, Java, Angular, etc. – ease of use – very complex
Designing it Yourself:
Can you design a professional website yourself?
Yes, you can. There are a lot of free tools out there that help you to design websites, but if you are serious and want a professional look then you need to be careful in choosing the right platform.
If you want to showcase business info or sell a few products then you should check out SquareSpace. All you have to do is create an account with them, design the website using their designs elements & templates, and they handle everything else! Charges are monthly based upon the plan you choose.
If you want to design a more complex & feature rich e-commerce store, then you should check out Shopify. It has a lot of options that you can choose from to setup your store. It will take some time to research and find the right set of options but it can be done. There is some learning involved. You may also hire a designer or agency to set it up for you and then manage it yourself.
With both SS and Sh, you do not have to worry about web hosting or any other unnecessary technical details. Just get a website name, create an account and you are all set to start designing your websites.
Most of the small to mediums businesses however do not have the resources or technical expertise to design their websites. In such cases it makes sense to outsource website design to a reputed designer or agency.
WordPress is the most popular website designing & blogging platform. Out of the box it is pretty easy to setup. Making small updates & managing it once the website is live is also relatively easy, but due to technicalities involved in setting up WordPress websites it’s recommeneded to hire a designer / agency.
WordPress has a lot of extensive features using which different kind of websites can be designed. WooCommerce is one such extension that enables to set up fully functional e-commerce stores. There are extensions for setting up online communities, forums, learning portals, memberships sites, bookings & reservations sites, etc.
The last 2 options in the list:
Bottomline – If you are a small to medium business, 90% chances are your website requirements can be met with WordPress or SquareSpace.
To conclude, if you want to design it yourself, checkout SS, otherwise WordPress is what I recommend.
What essential features are needed?
Updates & maintenance.
What do you actually pay for? Cost break-down.
> As mentioned in earlier section, the essentials you need to have a website are:
1 website name / domain name –
2 website hosting
3 designer / developer / agency / company fee
4 maintenance fee
5 cost of extra functionalities / plugins like – SMS, Chat, Bookings, Payment Gatreways, etc.
6 cost of media – pics or videos
Depending upon the type of website you are designing, here is a rough idea of total cost you are looking at:
1 Simple Information website with upto 5 pages or sections – 20,000 upwards
2 Complex Info website with around 10 pages or sections – 30,000
3 Simple E Commerce website – 30,000 upwards
4 Complex E Commerce website – 40,000 upwards
Making money from it. ROI*
What’s next? Get social, get blogging.
How we do it? A process to follow.