To build or not to build your business website

What are the options?

 

Do-it-yourself

If cash is tight you might want to create your own website.  You'll find a range of providers out there that offer free website building tools so it's worth looking around online.

These sites also offer free templates and simple step-by-step guidance to help you set up your website.  You might be reassured to learn that building your site through one of these providers is more about being able to use the internet and follow directions rather than possessing any technical ‘know-how’!

Pay a professional

Many people would suggest that, because your website is essentially your ‘shop-front’ to the world, you should invest in a professional website.  Depending on your product or service and your target market they could be right. So, if you decide that you need a professionally created site then the first thing to do is to prepare a clear brief.  This will help you to discuss your website requirements with any potential web designers.  You should also equip yourself with a list of questions to ask them to ensure that you find the right web designer for your needs and ensure that content is ‘spot-on’. It’s always worth getting quotes from several web designers before committing to one so you can be assured you are paying a reasonable price. 

Download a ‘Web Design Brief’ template from our ‘Digital Marketing and Social Media’ group along with a guide on ‘Choosing and Using a Website Designer’.


Buying a domain name

Whether you choose the DIY or paid option you will need to buy a domain name which is typically no more than £10 depending on whether you choose a .co.uk, .com or other extension.

It’s important to keep your domain name short and simple. If the domain name you want isn’t available don’t be tempted to add a hyphen just to secure it.  This will only lead to confusion for your customers as well as upsetting another business. 

Download a guide on ‘Choosing and Registering an Internet Domain Name’ in our 'Digital Marketing and Social Media' group. 
 

Website legal stuff
Your website is required by law to display information that will protect consumers and make your business transparent.

How you collect and process your customers’ data online is set out in the Data Protection ACT 1988 and

The Equality ACT 2010 means that you must consider how accessible your website is to disabled users.

Read more about Online and Distance selling rules here.

Visit our ‘Social Media and Digital Marketing’ group to download a factsheet on ‘Legal Requirements of Business Websites’.­