During this period of transition as we enter into our ‘new normal’ websites can have a greater impact on lead gen and customer relations than ever before. People are spending more time on the internet which means website traffic is at an all time high. That being said I had never built a website before and was not at all familiar with the relevant tools, language and design functions. I enjoy a challenge and was looking forward to learning a new set of skills but it definitely took me some time to get my head around!
I’ve come up with a few tips that I hope are helpful for someone looking to build a website for the first time!
- Get to know your website building platform
We chose to use a template from Webflow. It seemed pretty simple, the hard part was done for us, all we had to do was go in and change text and pics - wrong! I found out pretty quickly that if you don’t do things in the ‘Webflow way’ it was not going to work. Webflow is great because it provides a huge list of tutorials on how to use and edit the site. Before getting started I would spend some time watching tutorials and getting familiar with how the site likes to respond.
- Do things systematically
At first I went in and added all the text we wanted, then the pictures, then the logos...etc however this is not a method I would recommend. It’s easy to miss out parts of the template that need editing. From my experience the best and most efficient way to attempt this would be to start with the top banner on the home page and work your way down from there and move onto the different pages and sections. By doing so you are making sure not to move on until the previous section is completed and you are happy with it. Overall this saves a great deal of time and helps the website to come together a lot quicker.
- Images, Images, Images!
Like I said previously, I have zero experience working with websites and images. I had no idea what the difference was between a JPEG and PNG file or what the term ‘aspect ratio’ meant. Remember the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text (Movable Ink, November 2018), so it’s important to get this right! I made a mess at first by uploading images of different sizes and different aspect ratios which then distorted the rest of the template. Webflow was great in providing suggested image sizes which would comply with the template. Remember to get the image sizing and file type right before uploading - people will spend more time on your site if it’s visually appealing.
- WDYCW - What do your customers want ?
Always think WDYCW!
What do they want to see, what do they want to read, what info do they want to take away?
Approach the website as if you were a customer looking for your company's services. By doing this you can focus on including relevant info, images and videos which, once viewed by your target audience, have a greater chance of converting into a lead. Keep it short, sharp and to the point. No one wants to trail through pages of text. Make it so that your key points stand out to viewers rather than making your viewers have to actively look for the bottom line.
Overall, this was a great experience and definitely a self-confidence boost! I’ve learnt a fresh set of skills that I would not have otherwise come into contact with. I now know how to edit and size images and how to make the best use of a website template. If I was to do this again i’m confident I could turn it around much quicker having learnt the necessary skills.