Website design, hosting & tracking
For many potential customers, your website may be their first impression of your business. If it’s outdated, missing information or isn’t mobile friendly, people may move on to your competitors without even giving you a chance. And the worst part? You won’t even know it. Lets say you walk into a shoe store, but decide the prices are too high so you walk out without buying. At least in that case the store owner knows you were there.
It’s important to have a website that is functional, attractive and serves as a sales tool. Otherwise you could be losing business to your competition. The resources below can help you build a new website, improve an existing website and learn valuable information about your website visitors. Do you have a tool you love for creating websites? Tell us about it!
Website Building & Improving
Even the best websites need to be updated on a regular basis and eventually will become outdated and need to be replaced with a new site. These online resources will help you build a new website or improve the website you have to be sure it’s continuing to function as a representation of your business.
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According to WordPress, more than 40% of the website’s on the internet are built with their platform. That’s easy to believe as it’s an easy starting point for amateurs to build attractive and functional websites. With an endless number of options, themes and plugins, you can easily create a unique website for your business. Once you create a WordPress account you can use a number of tools to build your site, including some of the ones listed below.
With the massive amount of WordPress themes available to customize your website, it’s easy to get lost trying to find the right fit for your business. That’s why we like Elegant Themes and specifically their Divi theme. You can browse through all their layouts, or sort them based on your industry. Do you run a restaurant? Are you a dentist, accountant, plumber, retail store, handyman, mechanic or lawyer? Divi has specific layouts for all those business websites plus hundreds of others.
Elementor is one of many tools that allow novices to build their own attractive, responsive websites through WordPress. Using their drag and drop builder you can create a WordPress website that not only represents your business, but one you’ll be proud to show off. Need an e-commerce website? They can help with that too!
Wix is a service similar to WordPress that allows people with no HTML knowledge or programming ability to build a quality website to represent their business. They have templates and designs to fit just about any type of business including online stores if you plan to sell products through your website.
If you are a photographer, designer, artist, architect or work in a similar creative field you need a website that showcases your portfolio. Pixpa specializes in these types of websites. You can even create an online store to sell your art and photography. Check out their free trial to see if it’s a good fit for your business.
Website Hosting & Tracking
If you are creating your own website, you need a web host. Think of hosts like landlords on the internet. They provide a safe place for your website to live and charge you a monthly or annual fee to do so. These are some of the web hosting companies we recommend plus a few tools for tracking your website traffic.
Siteground is an easy to use hosting platform that is offers hosting packages for all types of websites. Whether you have a WordPress site, some other platform or even an e-commerce site, Siteground will have a hosting plan to fit your needs.
When it comes to building an online store, one of the most popular platforms is Shopify, They have built in tools for collecting payments, tracking your inventory and communicating with your customers. It even offers some basic SEO help to help get your store noticed by the search engines.
WP Engine is a company that specializes in hosting WordPress websites. While most hosts can handle your WordPress site, if you want one that does them almost exclusively you may want to check out WP Engine. They promise a fast loading website, with easy monitoring and updating tools.
Kinsta is another host that specialized in WordPress was created by former WordPress developers to deliver a reliable and fast hosting solution for people with WordPress sites. They can also help you deploy apps if that is of interest to you and your business.
Hostgator is a popular hosting platform that has a 99.9% uptime guarantee and free SSL certificates which are important for a secure website. They also have low priced starter options if all you need is a relatively simple website.
Once you have your website built and published for the world to see, you need to know how it’s performing. One of the ways to do that is with Hotjar. They offer a variety of tools for monitoring how well your website is working, including heatmaps, surveys and more. Give their free version a try to learn some data about your website.
There really isn’t any website on the internet that couldn’t benefit from Google Analytics. The level of data Google offers is unequaled and most websites and businesses can access all the information they need without paying a dime. You’ll learn demographic about the people visiting your site, info about how they find your site, how much time they spend there and what pages are most popular. You can use this information to continually improve your site and turn those visitors into customers.