For most forms of self-employment, a professional homepage is the basic requirement for being taken seriously by customers. A website also serves as the headquarters for all of a company’s content, products and marketing efforts. It can be used to achieve various goals, such as:
Unlike social media profiles or business listings on Google, you have full control over the design, layout and communication of your web presence when hosting your own website.
Websites can be roughly divided into 4 different types:
Examples of onepagers: online business cards, virtual flyers, virtual directions.
The design of a simple website includes a home page and several sub-pages. Separate pages are created to present more in-depth company information or to separate different categories on a website, for example:
Examples of simple websites: small company websites/corporate homepages, photography website, restaurant website, cafe homepage and club websites are good examples of this category of websites.
One speaks of a complex website when an Internet presence has many navigation levels and contains technically complex features or large databases, such as:
Examples of complex websites: Large newsrooms, corporate websites of large companies, job boards, classifieds portals, real estate websites, online forums.
Online stores (e-commerce sites)
In contrast to websites that provide information about a topic, product or service, an online store focuses on the sale of goods. Due to the differences in structure and design, web stores represent a category of their own.
Regardless of which type of website you choose, the following 8 steps will help you to create it successfully:
(1) Choose website creation method
There are 4 different methods to create a professional website:
Homepage building kits
Homepage building kits have changed the way websites are created. Instead of programming a website from scratch, elements such as image galleries, text blocks or contact forms are already built. Users only have to push them into the desired position (drag-and-drop principle) and „plug them together“ – like a Lego construction set.
According to Statista.com, WordPress is the most used content management system (CMS) in the world, with a global market share of 64%. Around 130 million blog posts are published via the platform every month. The key factor behind WordPress‘ success is that websites can be created for free. However, the popularity of the CMS has multiple reasons:
The large selection of design templates and extensions make WordPress the Swiss army knife of content management systems. However, dealing with WordPress requires more technical knowledge than a homepage building kit.
Have website built by agency/freelancer
Through a homepage building kit or WordPress, the creation of a website is no longer reserved for professionals. However, the larger and more complex the homepage is to become, the more sensible it is to use a design agency or a professional freelancer.
The years of experience of freelance designers and the manpower of web agencies, bring a number of advantages, such as:
Program website yourself
Lastly, you always have to option to program a website yourself if you are capable. This is however the most time-consuming option and requires a lot of skill and expertise to deliver good results. Thus, it only makes sense in exceptional cases.
(2) Register domain
The first step on the way to your own website is the domain. This is the name that people type into the address bar of their browser to get to a homepage. A good domain name makes a decisive contribution to the success of a website. Consider the following points when choosing a name:
(3) Choose web hosting
In order for visitors to access a website, it must be stored on a so-called web server – these are computers that are permanently connected to the Internet. Providing the storage space is called web hosting. Besides the storage space for the website, good web hosting is important for:
(4) Buy SSL certificate
An SSL certificate is necessary to encrypt sensitive customer information such as address, bank data, passwords. Besides the security aspect, SSL certificates bring other advantages for the website:
For most homepages, a valid certificate is necessary to meet the requirements of the DSGVO.
(5) Determine website design
How must a website be designed to be successful? There is no universal recipe for the perfect website. However, there are various principles for the design of a website that have proven themselves over the years:
But in the end the website is an expression of your company. Try to make it reflect your corporate design and brand identity so your customers can easily identify with it.
(6) Optimize content for search engines
The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to place the content of a website as high as possible in Google search results. The more visibility a homepage has, the more customers and sales it can generate.
4 simple strategies for successful search engine optimization are:
(7) Check legal requirements
Depending on the type of homepage, various legal requirements must be met in order to avoid Abmahnungen. These are the 5 biggest risks for websites:
An Abmahnung can quickly cost several thousand euros and ruin founders financially shortly after the launch of their new website.
(8) Publish website on the Internet
After a final check for spellling mistakes, design flaws and the legal circumstances you are now ready to publish your website!
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