Have you ever seen a website that you found really repulsive? Something that made you wonder ‘what were they thinking?’ Years ago, I had to read a book called Web Pages That Suck for my e-commerce class. The book talked about what you needed to consider while designing a website, and what you definitely wanted to avoid. The book is still sold on Amazon and there is a website where they show you ‘what not to do’ by example.
Many things that were popular in website design like flash videos and animations are completely outdated now. The focus is on rich content and useful information. If you’re designing a website for your business, you must put yourself in your prospective visitors’ shoes and think of what they might want to know.
WordPress makes it really easy to put up a functional business website in no time. Assuming that you are well aware of why every business needs a website, let us consider what the building blocks of one should be.
Logical division of information will make any website a valuable asset.
Here are the basic elements of a 4-5 page business website –
1. The Home Page
Your home page is where most people land first when they come to your website. This page should provide an overview of all the information on your website, with links to other pages. WordPress themes offer many options and home pages now come with slick image sliders, blog sections, page excerpts etc. Depending on the theme you have chosen, you can configure the home page to look really attractive and be a showcase to every other page in your website.
The home page can be used to highlight your achievements and entice visitors to visit other sections of your website.
2. The About Page
The About page generally contains company information such as your history, your vision, mission, values etc. It can also contain bios of the executives, or your board of directors or your founders. Your particular business will dictate what goes here. If you are a startup, you might want to list the people who are the brains behind your venture, or people who are funding you. If you are a restaurant business, the About page could explain your philosophy or the inspiration behind your cooking style etc. WordPress offers features that have attractive bio boxes that contain a person’s photo and short bio. External plugins are also available, and you might choose these based on your need.
3. The Product/Services Page
A product or services page is a must for any business. You can list your products or pre-packaged services here. Many WordPress themes allow you to add shopping cart type functionality so that the buyer can directly select some products and check them out. You can use the parent-child pages or nested pages to have a main page for a category of product, and have child pages with different products.
4. The Contact Page
The contact page is similarly a must. You definitely want to provide a way for your visitor to contact you. There are several elements that can be put on a contact page in a WordPress website. Contact forms can be configured, maps can be inserted, address or phone information can also be given. You can configure this any way you want, while making sure the user can get a message across to you.
5. The Showcase
The fifth page can be used to showcase your skills. If you’re an artist, this could contain your portfolio or an image gallery. For any business, this page could contain a list of your clients, or have client testimonials. You could also create a sort of resource section for your visitors and provide useful links, FAQs, or whitepapers. You could also have a blog and encourage your employees to write about their particular areas of expertise and your products.
Your Business Website
Even if you’re a solopreneur with limited resources, I am sure you will agree that it is relatively easy to put together your business website once you plan it out systematically. Frameworks like WordPress have a short learning curve and require no coding or special skills on your part. You can easily configure your website yourself, or hire an expert to do it for you.
Whichever way you decide to go, a professional looking business website will pay dividends for years to come. I hope I have removed any doubts you may have about getting your own website, no matter if you’re just starting out. I would like to know if you have any doubts or questions on this topic and I will be happy to answer them for you.
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