How to build a website
If you’ve ever wondered how to build a website for your business, I’ve put together a quick guide of points to consider. It’s not a complete list, but it’s one that’s been created from my own experiences, from building my own website and working on websites for clients. Websites are important to any business, and that includes any equestrian business. If you’re looking for something, whether it’s an equestrian PR and marketing professional (you don’t need to look any further, you’re home!), a riding instructor, the best supplement for your horse, or a bespoke bridle, the chances are that you’ll pop your question into Google. Google’s great, we love Google, but Google can only pull up websites and pages that exist on the web. If you business doesn’t have a website, how does Google and, by extension, the person looking for you, know that a) you exist or b) where to find you!
Top tips on how to build a website
Here are our top tips on how to build your own website…or, at least, how to find the right person to help you…
1. Do a little research, but don’t let the numbers scare you. Websites can cost a fortune…but they don’t have to. I don’t think you need to sell a limb to get a really impressive website. There are lots of options- you can use a platform like WordPress and buy a template for pounds and do all the work yourself, or you can speak to a friendly website designer and ask if they’ll customise a template for you. Or you can give the whole job to them and sit back and admire the view. There are lots of options.
2. Make sure you’re in control. Gone are the days when a web wizard would need to update your website! Not only was this expensive as each time you wanted a tweak, you needed to pay, but you’d also need to form an orderly queue along with all your web designer’s other customers. Let’s be honest. No one likes to queue.
3. Take inspiration from others. I’m not saying copy. That’s not what I mean at all. What I’m saying is observe what other people do…what do you like? What do you hate? Make notes and pass these onto your designer or keep them in mind when you start yourself. Listing things you hate can be as helpful as things you love!
4. Make a list. If you are approaching a designer, you’ll need a brief. The designer will base their price on your brief. Each time you change your mind and deviate from the brief, you could get an extra bill. Take your time putting your website brief together…and speak to people whose opinion you value too…it’s always good to have a sounding board!
5. Pictures. Pictures can really add an extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ to a website…but don’t worry if you don’t have your own extensive library! There are some great sites out there like iStock and Shutterstock that allow you to buy really good quality images for a few pounds, depending on what you want to use them for. Or why not create your own using a technique like flat lay?
6. Get writing! Providing clear, concise and informative copy is essential for any website. If this isn’t your area of expertise, you can either get in touch with a copywriter, or you can draft what you want and get someone to proof it for you.
7. Don’t be afraid! When you think your website is pretty close to perfection, don’t be afraid to press go and get it online. There will be bits you want to amend. There will be niggles that need straightening out…but you’re not going to know about these until you kick on and get people testing the site. You don’t have to announce your new site to the world to start with, but get some friends on it so they can have a look and iron out any problems.
I hope this list has really helped you if you’re thinking of embarking on a new website design. It can be scary, but having a shiny website you’re really proud of is really worth the effort.