Website in 10 Easy steps

For any business, website is as crucial as stock/service. So why not follow a functional path and create one website in 10 easy steps?website1

A functional and well designed website can be one of the most critical factors in building an interface with your customers, suppliers, partners – and potentially investors. Below is how you can create an effective online presence:

WEBSITE 101

  1. Understand the purpose of your Website: Start by determining the purpose of your website. Generally, company websites are a platform to share company’s story – giving visitors a general overview and tour of the products/services. Alternatively, it could also be to generate online sales, where you would create an e-commerce gateway for customers to directly make purchases. Remember that even if you decide to start with a basic/static website you can always upgrade your offer at a later stage.
  2. Decide your Domain Name: The is the URL you will be sharing with your visitors, so it needs to be catchy and something that they will remember. Key insight here, keep it short, concise and free of complicated abbrevations. Very often, it is the case that the domains ending with ‘.com’ have already been registered and you would need to work with alternatives such as ‘.net’ or ‘.co’. This step involves careful research and planning – invest some time in coming up with a suitable domain for your business. It is also worth consulting an IT expert at this stage to ensure that you aren’t using a domain name that has already been copyright by someone else.
  3. Select your Web host: After you’ve decided on your domain name, you will need to choose a web host. Your choice of website host will depend in part on the software you choose but also on the speed and number of visits you expect to receive. With some companies, you can start off with less expensive but less powerful share hosting services, if required, you can step up to faster and more powerful dedicated hosting. This option is something you should consider when choosing a host, even if you start with less expensive option. Another consideration, particularly if you are setting up your website yourself, if whether your host provides for automatic installation of your chosen content management software. Most of the popular hosting services will enable you to do this with the click of a button. And in most cases you can use the same host for more than one website. If you are doing it yourself, the host’s support services should be an important consideration. While few, if any, will support the software, the hosting application related issues can be complicated.
  4. Choose a Web Content Management System: A web content management system is a software that allows you to create and manage your website content, without the need to have detailed programming knowledge. A basic software would allow you to upload information, edit content and manage participation. The primary advantages of using a web content management system are that it is accessible at a low cost and is fairly easy to use. There are several options available today – varying based on your need. Popular ones WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and so on.
  5. Select a pre-made design template: A simple way to get a ready template would be to purchase it online or choose from the free templates already available and ready to use. Think from a visitor’s point of view What would they be looking for when they first visit your website? What is the first impression you want to leave on their mind? Select one theme and stick with that throughout the website. Your website should be simple, consistent and easy to navigate. If there’s too much going on, it could be a distraction to visitors. The navigation should be intuitive and not too complex. Having a lot of unnecessary images and links can turn off visitors. Lastly, don’t make frequent design changes on your website: let users build familiarity with your web portal, remember it and revisit it in the future.
  6. Update the Content, Content is the King: What you’re saying to your audience is of paramount significance as this directly impacts their interests in your page. Ensure that the information you are sharing on your page is relevant to your audience and more importantly a good indication of your brand value. Have a content strategy in mind – (4 easy steps)
    1. How often does the website need to be updated – weekly or monthly or bi-yearly.
    2. Who is responsible for managing all the online activity?
    3. Who is your target audience?
    4. How is your brand positioned in the market and how can you reinforce this with your website?
  7. Setup a Payment System/Gateway: While this step won’t apply to all business websites, companies that want to offer the option to pay online will need to integrate electronic payment systems into their websites. The easiest way to do this is through e-commerce software or third-party payment processors, often called gateways. Some web hsts offer an in-house option for e-commerce integratuon but not all do. So if you hav e to choose one on your own, be sure to do your own research. PayPal, is a popular and cost-effective option to facilitate easy payments.
  8. Ensure Compatibility: It’s imperative to ensure that your company’s website is compatible with all mobile devices and browsers and also platforms. Not only does this enable quick and easy access, but it offers your customers and enjoyable viewing experience. Compatibility means that your website is completely optimized to work on a mobile device. This includes design changes; does it fit on a mobile screen? Also, interface changes; making information accessible in a click of two versus a comprehensive options menu.
  9. Promote your Website: It’s surprising how many businesses forget to promote their website. It should be prominent across all your marketing activities. This could include business cards, brochures, emails and social media. Basically anywhere you have your business logo, your URL should be there too. Implement SEO strategy to drive traffic to your website and to rank high on search engines. There is also the option to use Google Adsense, which will show Google ads on your website. Of course, don’t forget to supplement these activities with a solid social media campaign – targeting your fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter.
  10. Review your Website: Once your website is up and running, it’s time to check how well you did! Simple tools like Google Analytics can help you get feedback on what areas if your website work and those that don’t. It also gives you insights on your demographics, page views, returning visitors, time spent on each page and so on. Regular discussions with your web developer on these analytics is truly time well spent. Remember that having a website just for the sake of it is as good as not having one. Take time out to review the working of your website and it can work wonders for your business.

Finally, it is very easy to overthink and complicate things when building your website. So try to keep it as simple as possible. Your website should give your visitors a clear depiction of who you are as a company and leave them with one solid call-to-action. Have is as user-friendly as possible and think about user-journey as if you were your own customer/visitor.

button-do-not-forgetFor an entrepreneur or small business owner, a website is a great boon – an easy, cost-effective and efficient platform to communicate with a mass audience! Therefore, it’s only fair that you give sufficient attention and time to ensure that you are making the most out of it. DO NOT FORGET how Social Media can be beneficial in the whole process, historically and currently it has seen, working charm for a lot of businesses.

Substance in Social Media

Funny is how people now-a-days are considering Social Media, the BIG thing now. Where-as it was a big-thing a long back ago, maybe 3-4-5 years ago. Now, it’s the only thing. Developed or Developing countries, all are fairly in touch with Social Media whether they like it or not. I won’t be surprised if you don’t find a single 50-year old or a 5 year old who hasn’t heard about Facebook. This has nothing to do with popularity of Facebook but the way Social Media has evolved over the years.

like_us_on_facebook_small

It gives me goose bumps to think about the year 2020 or let’s talk 2035. It might take another level, it might vanish totally.Considering ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ who built the Facebook platform in one night, donno when next of his kind can pull of the one-nighter. The ultimate conclusion drawn is “WE DON’T KNOW” and the one who says “I KNOW” is probably a noob or lying in your face.

big-data-cloudSubstance in Social Media is not about Big-Data anymore. Tell me one company who needs to have Big-Data or to who Big-Data is useful? Everyone demands Unified Data. Social Media agencies are increasing exponentially, but do they have any idea what are the projects of Social for 2020 – 2035? Answer is ‘NO’. Why? No one cares, it’s hot now, let’s get on to it. Let’s get on trend. Implications are on the giants, local giants and segmented companies. Consequences, they don’t prepare well for.

I’ve seen a no. of Social Media reports now (well, you can too, just google them). I can tell you in crystal clear words, only one of ten reports have some substance and have projections related to near future. I mean, come one, if you gained 100 or 1000 fans on Facebook, how is it going to help you? Did you ever wonder, the pages which have over a million fans, how much engagement is there on their pages? If not, go and check.

Brand Influence

So if you are an agency, what exactly are you telling your client? Just a pie chart of his coverage? Or just his fan/ followeracquisition? Do you honestly think, it’s of any substance to the client or his requirements? Do you even know what are the right metrics? Well, in some cases, the client also doesn’t pay attention even if you write the script of the movie Matrix in it but in some cases the clients are going to grill you.

Whatever might be the case, on a broader perspective you need to question each page of your publisher. You need to question each metrics, each number on your pie or bar graph. That if I am telling the fan acquisition increased, why did it happen, what made it happen, what kinda post is likely to produce a similar impact on the Social Channel.

Social Media is not a business. It’s a subject or allow me to put it as a chapter under Brand identity. Regardless, it has to be in conjunction with ‘Marketing, Branding and Communication Strategies” of the client. Hence, if you just run after numbers in Caught in the wrong job2013 {After 6 proper years from evolution of Social Media}, in my language you’re just another man/ women caught in the wrong job.

There’s something for everyone on Social Media, has to be.

Paradigm Shift

Yes, as we speak. I think that was enough to say when it came to Social Media but how many of you knew there had been one, actually?paradigm-shift-11-e1335918096319

I bet, only a few of you. This is because the field of Media became Social with facebook, became digital with twitter & shot up ever since with WordPress, Tumblr, Pinterest & YouTube, essentially. Traditional media is one thing which is has taken a huge hit out of all this. That’s only because in a fast connecting world, people only had less and less time for other people in – person. But yeah, we all know that by now.

There had been a lot of Social Media Guru’s by now, I guess, people in this field have even overrated the term “Guru’s” because every other person is one. That ain’t the case, let me be honest with you. Even the people on highest positions are not. Pretending is one thing and knowing about the shift is another.

A lot of you need to understand the concept of ‘unified data’ rather than ‘bigdata’. If you can make out the difference between two, good enough. If not, BEWARE of this shift, it’s like the gigantic wave data that can hit you and your business model hard.

Paradigm Shift

The Social Keyboard

So, I am sure, a lot of you would have thought of it but my question is, why is it still not there?

Out of tons, the keyboard manufacturing companies, of course, I can only name a few such as ‘Microsoft’, ‘Apple’, ‘Dell’, ‘Logitech’, ‘hp’ etc. none of them came up with this. Why?

The Social Media Keyboard
The Social Media Keyboard

How cool would it be to have an Enhanced keyboard which is so much internet savvy, good for the conglomerates involved in mass communication, media and teenagers, of course. Yeah, that’s too much of a cliché.

But is that just because of a company patent war? Of course, I understand every one wants to be the no. 1 in terms of branding; but can you stop the battle for a second and actually be human-centric? Lets do it the people way!

Twitter and it’s Media

Twitter, today, has announced a new fresh outlook to it’s media. Yes, the traditional, slow format has been converted to something similar to picasa on your PC/Mac. It has begun rolling out a new feature that will let you view a larger version of a photo without going to a separate page (as pictured below), as well as another addition that will see videos from Vine, YouTube, Vimeo and others video engines.

A little tweaked are it’s conversation view. This change should surely boost it’s usage and should totally bind it’s loyal users. Looks like, all the Social Media sites are on a roll. Good stuff 🙂

Twitter New Media View