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DIY Website Building for Beginners

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 2 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Website Design Website Online Business

Building a website for your online business is certainly a challenge. Today E-commerce has evolved to the point where your customer will want to see a completely professional website when they visit your business. The good news is that you have a number of choices when it comes to building a fully functional E-commerce online business. Which method you choose will depend on what kind of website you want to build, how sophisticated your website design is going to be, and what level of website design skills you currently possess.

DIY Website

If you have the skills building your own website from scratch gives your online business the ultimate control over how your website is designed and functions. Online and offline courses are available to teach you the basic HTML knowledge you will need to construct your website. You can of course also teach yourself with the plethora of books and interactive online courses you can take from suppliers like Lynda.com. The tool you will want to use is Dreamweaver as this is the industry leader in website design and construction.

Using a Template

Website design can take some time to get right. If time is of the essence, you need to take a shortcut. Using a ready-made website template is a great way of quickly constructing a website for your business. Complete multi-page websites templates are available that you can buy off-the-shelf from companies including templatemonster. You simply load these into your website design software and customise them to your business’s exact needs.

ISP Website Design

As your online business will need a host for its website, many of the most popular ISPs have begun to offer automated website design services. The website designs on offer tend to be quite basic as they are based on a set number of templates you can choose from. What these services lack in website design versatility, they make up for in speed. You can have your online business up and running including payment mechanism in minutes. If your needs aren’t too complex, this DIY approach to website design and construction is ideal for your new online business.

Off-the-shelf E-commerce

You can also build your online business website with standalone software. Just like any other application you can buy for your computer, there is a range of E-commerce software you can use to construct your website yourself. All these applications use templates for your website design, but you can easily modify these to meet your precise requirements. Leaders in this market are Actinic Catalog, EROL and ShopFactory.

Website Design Checklist

A major factor in the success of your online business is how professional your website design is. Your customers have become accustomed to using the websites of professional retailers and organisations, so your online business must match this level of design.

DIY website design doesn’t mean amateur design today. With the tools you have available you can build a website to compete with every other online business. Use the guidance below to ensure your website is ready to begin trading:

Access and Navigation
To ensure your customers can use your website efficiently it is vitally important that your website design has clear navigation and obeys all of the access rules and regulations that are now in force. The customers that visit your website want to be able to shop quickly and efficiently.

Trolley and Checkout
One of the most frustrating areas that online shoppers consistently complain about is the long and complex trolley and checkout systems that some online retailers have on their websites. Try and make the checkout system on your website as short and efficient as you can.

Search Engine Optimisation
At the heart of E-commerce is search marketing. Most of the customers that will visit your website will find it via the world’s search engines. As you construct the website for your online business it is important to build into each page search engine optimisation techniques to allow search engines to index the content of your website.

Engaging Content and Design
When your customers arrive at your new website now is your chance to ensure they stay on your site and buy your business’s goods or services. Look closely at how your website design engages with its users. Is your design attractive? Think about colour and layout. All these website design components are important to create what is called a ‘sticky’ website that holds its visitors attention and prompts them to buy the goods and services on offer.

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