No matter what your business is, or what you do, having a website is crucial.
In today's day and age, almost half of the world's attention resides online - throughout social media, and the wider web.
There's a massive, interconnected network of individuals on the internet, many of which can be your next customer, client, user, or partner.
With all that said, there's no better time than now to own your own digital piece of real estate.
Owning a website is almost like owning a store in the real world - the only difference (and a really big one) is that you're not paying thousands of dollars for rent.
At most, it can cost $30 per month to host your own online website, which is all the more reason to own one.
For such a small monthly cost, you can be getting thousands of extra visitors to your business, which exponentially grows your business' output.
The problem, however, is no matter how easy or cheap it gets, a lot of people still don't fully understand how owning a website works.
The common misconception is that maintaining a website takes a lot of technical knowledge, especially coding expertise.
Luckily for us, there are many tools that have been created which make it infinitely easier to set up stunning, functional websites, for free, and start driving a ton more traffic to our businesses.
In this article, I wanted to explain how you can create a website for your business without code, all for free and fast.
The first and most important part of creating a website is figuring out which platform you're going to use to host it.
Different platforms are created for different business purposes.
I've personally used Wix a ton, and it's a great, free tool to get started with creating websites - I'd argue it's the easiest, hence the reason we will be referencing it throughout this article.
If you're creating a blog, you can use something like Blogger.
Blogger is a Google-owned software that gives users the ability to create simple, functional blogs without writing a single piece of code.
It's extremely simple to use, and it's exactly what my blog runs on.
I never knew how long I'd stick to blogging, and so I didn't want to commit to a full-fledged website without giving it a shot first; Blogger gave me an opportunity to do so.
Shopify powers over 1 million online brands, with some really popular brands like Kylie Cosmetics.
Wix has recently started to develop their eCommerce capabilities, however, Shopify is the clear winner in almost every category when it comes to eCommerce - they specialise in this industry.
If you're not interested in using Shopify, there are even more options, for example, Woocommerce, which is another big eCommerce platform.
Finally, if you're looking to create a simple landing page/funnel, you can use something like Mailchimp.
Collecting leads, as we call it, is a very effective way to keep in touch with those who are interested in your service.
Although Mailchimp isn't the traditional option for landing pages, it's incredibly simple and gets the job done.
For this article, we're going to assume that everyone is using Wix since this is the simplest platform one can choose to start a variety of websites, whether it's a simple agency website, a portfolio, blog, eCommerce business, and more.
Pick your theme
Sometimes, the design that stands out to you might not be the best option for what you're looking to accomplish.
However, for a week or so, I completely ignored the theme aspect of the website until we got an artist to look through the page and make suggestions on what we should change.
It's safe to say that the site looks infinitely better, and will most likely spark more interest in our target audience.
One thing a lot of business owners overlook is their branding, branding is crucial for building a long-term business.
In my article on business vs brand, I mentioned how a business is simply a one-time transaction between entities or individuals.
However, when you think about your business as a brand, you're taking a long-term view on things which is something all business owners should be doing.
In order to build a brand effectively, your messaging, your theme, and your overall brand impression must be congruent throughout.
Everything you do, everything you say, and everything you create must look congruent.
That's why it's so important you choose the right theme for your website.
Start with what you've already got - if your business uses specific colours, those should be used on your website too.
If you own a construction business, something like yellow might make sense.
Images related to construction will need to be used throughout the website.
The font must be heavy, bold, and stand out - this is the impression most people get when they think of construction.
However, if you're a luxury construction company, your colours, images, and fonts will also need to represent this.
Instead of using tacky colours, bold fonts, and scruffy images, everything must give off a 'high-end' impression.
Restaurants do this very well. When you go to a restaurant, the atmosphere and impression you get is almost exactly what you'd expect before you walk in.
Make sure your website gives off the exact impression you want to leave your audience with.
Wix makes it very easy to choose a theme that can then be edited later on - use the guided website creator to have the ability to choose a theme out of hundreds of free themes.
Now that we've established the importance of the theme and your business' branding, it's time to add the necessary features.
Each business requires a specific set of features.
However, there are a few general features that most websites require.
- About us page
- Email capture
- Contact us page
- Social media links
Start to think about your own business and the features that your business might require.
Before you finish your website's configuration, there will be a page where they ask you if there are any features or functionalities you need.
Simply clicking a feature will automatically add it to your website - once we're in the editor, we can choose to change it around and customise it.
In this case, Wix has a very convenient 'app store' which both Wix and third-party developers have used to introduce new features and functionalities to your website.
The app store can be accessed after you've configured your website and ended up on the editor.
Browse through the app store and look through all the different applications you're able to use for your website.
Customer service is an essential part of any business - for that, a lot of businesses have a '24/7 live support' icon on their website where visitors can easily reach out to the business in case they need assistance.
If visitors come across your site and don't understand something, they may leave. This simple trick can get them to stick around in hopes of receiving an answer.
After adding different features and functionalities, you'll need to edit the text, animation, positioning, and colours in order to ensure your website's theme is congruent throughout the entire site.
I've seen a ton of websites created by rookies that look tacky and unprofessional.
Before you do anything else, put yourself in your customer's shoes and ask yourself if this is something you'd trust or like.
First impressions are important and can hardly be changed - make sure your customers get the right impression of you and your business.
If you're looking to build a complicated software business, Wix is not going to be the solution you're looking for.
I suggest trying Bubble (what I used to build Hawk Prospecting) or Webflow, another powerful website builder.
Note: these tools are a lot more complicated to use, and can take much longer to learn.
Once you've fully customised your website to suit your business' unique requirements, it's time to ensure your website is responsive and mobile-optimized for mobile usage.
Research shows that over 90% of your visitors will always come from a mobile device.
When your website isn't built to work effectively on mobile devices, you can lose a lot of traffic for simply not making some changes to your website.
On Wix, it's incredibly easy to make changes to your website in order to make it responsive.
Press on the mobile icon in the top left to get started.
From there, you'll want to scroll through your website, making any necessary changes in placement, size, and even removing things that may not need to be visible on mobile.
While your site might look amazing on desktop, it might not look equally as appealing on mobile.
However, this part is very important as it's where almost all your traffic will be coming from.
On Wix, there is a button one can press to automatically optimize your site's content for mobile, however, you may still need to go through the page and make sure everything's up to standard.
The process is almost the exact same for most other platforms.
If you're using Blogger for blogging, you don't need to worry about this - Google has made it very simple to get set up.
Launch your site
If you've been following this article, you would now have a website that's ready to launch.
There are two things you can do on Wix.
You can choose to use a free domain - this means that Wix will host your website for free. In return, you'll have a Wix banner at the top of your website.
Without having a Wix membership, you're unable to connect your own website domain. Instead, your site's URL will look something like this:
Although this is great for beginners, it's not very professional. When visitors land on your website, you most likely won't make the best first impression.
That's why I recommend you spend a little extra on buying a premium Wix membership and connecting a personal domain.
If you're not interested in spending money on a website right now, you can host your website for free, however, it's important you switch over to a paid website as soon as possible.
A drawback with using Wix is that their SEO capabilities are not as powerful as something like WordPress.
WordPress has great SEO capabilities that allow you to aggressively improve your site's SEO in order to rank higher on the Google search engine.
Unlike Wix, WordPress has a much bigger app store, with tools like Yoast SEO available, which simplify SEO tenfold.
Although WordPress is paid, WordPress.org is free, however, it will take much more getting used to.
That's how to create a website for your business without code - free and fast.
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