Building and designing your website but not publishing it is like cooking a delicious meal but not serving it—you’re not only missing out on the fruits of your own labor, but you’re depriving real people the opportunity to enjoy what you’ve created.
We get it: For some entrepreneurs, the desire to get it just right is so strong that they delay publishing their website indefinitely or sometimes don’t bother with building anything at all—especially if it’s the first website they’ve built.
Whether you’ve been working on your website for a while and still haven’t hit the ‘publish’ button, or have delayed building your site at all for some time, read on for step-by-step instructions on how to get your website up and running, fast.
1. Choose your domain
When choosing your domain name, make sure it’s easy to spell, short, and doesn’t have underscores or anything else that will make remembering the address difficult. A professional domain name helps your website stand out from the crowd, represents what your business is about, and improves brand recognition. The best part? Weebly will give you a free domain for a year with any annual paid plan.
2. Select typography
Consistency is the key to good branding. Stick to just one or two typefaces in a few styles for the best results. Make sure the typeface you choose matches the tone of the images and messaging throughout your site. There are plenty of typography options to choose from right from your Weebly Dashboard.
3. Pick a color palette
The color palette you choose sets the tone for your website design, and provides consistency throughout your pages. Don’t overthink it. This palette often consists of one dominant color, which is the most used, and two to three secondary colors. Brand colors should be used everywhere your brand is mentioned and throughout your website’s design.
4. Show the way with navigation
The difference between an average and effective website is how easy the website is to navigate. Visitors and Google bots need to find their way around, and understand what the most important pages are in your website’s hierarchy.That’s where clear navigation comes in.
Characteristics of strong and simple navigation include:
- Terminology that directly relates to your product or business.
- Natural organization that only includes the most important links in the main navigation.
- Grouped pages or product collections that help to streamline navigation elements.
- Site search that lets users find what they are looking for.
5. Write strong headlines
Once a visitor lands on the right page (thanks to your navigation), hit them with a clear headline telling them exactly what that page is about and why they should continue reading. An enticing headline can peak your visitors’s interest and keep them on your pages longer—ultimately earning you brownie points with the search engine gods.
A strong headline isn’t just important for your site’s visitors. Each page’s primary headline will often double as your ‘H1 tag’. H1 tags tell Google which headline is the most important on your page. This way your content can be indexed correctly and returned in search results for related searches.
6. Upload stellar imagery
A picture really is worth a thousand words when it comes to your website. In fact, over 75% of respondents said that great photos were very important when they were deciding whether or not to buy a product in a recent study of Weebly shoppers.
Even if you don’t have products to shoot yet, you can communicate a look and feel with free stock photos. When you’re ready to upload your images, use the Weebly image editor to crop, add filters (there are dozens to choose from), adjust color brightness and contrast, and even add text to images.
There you have it. Time to hit that ‘publish’ button and announce yourself to the world.
For more tips, inspiration, and ideas on how to make it happen in 2019, check out our resolutions to boost your momentum no matter where you are in your business journey.