This is the second article in the “Setting up a Business Website” series. Follow the link to read the first article, “How to Create a Free Business/E-commerce Website.”
In my first article, you learned how to create your own (free) business website. Now that your website is set up, its time to think about the design. A great design can make or break an online business. You don’t have a second chance at a first impression. A high-quality, professional design is a must for business credibility and sales
Now, I am an advocate of DIY and doing things for free, but I would highly recommend hiring a professional designer if you can afford it. Hiring a pro will save you time (and therefore money) by creating a high-quality design more quickly than you could if you tried to learn to do it yourself. Surf on over to Elance.com to find a web professional who can help you.
Lest you need reminding, your website is the hub of your online business; it is the virtual representation of your company whether your company exists physically or not. Since your potential customers cannot physically see your company, they will judge your company based on the appearance of the company website.
Imagine if you are running an offline company. Would you allow your salespersons to be dressed in shabby or casual clothes when they are dealing with your customers? By making your staff wear professionally, you are telling your customers that you do care about quality. This works simply because first impressions matter.
It is the same case with your website. If your website is put together shabbily and looks like a 5 minute “quick fix”, you are literally shouting to your visitors that you are not professional and you do not care for quality. A good design does more than make a website look good.
However, if your website is laid out in a professional manner, you are giving your visitors the perception that you have given meticulous attention to every detail and you care about professionalism. You are organized, focused and you really mean business.
As an added benefit, a professional design and attention to detail will also increase your credibility and customer trust. Internet users are the most wary of prospective customers since nothing – inspecting a product, talking with a salesperson, or making the sale – can be done in person. For this reason alone, it would behoove businesses operating online to create a professional web design.
In my next article, I’ll be talking about accessibility and usability in relation to commercial web design. Feel free to follow me so you can be instantly updated on my next article. Also, I encourage you leave comments and ask questions. I will be happy to respond and answer.