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Creating your website

Tips to make sure you have covered the elements you need for your site

Building your website

Creating a website is a standard of any business in the 21st century. If you don't have one, or its not updated regularly, think about all the customers who are not seeing you in a medium that more that 84% of the UK's population accesses. 

Your website contents checklist

When you start thinking about your website you should consider adding the following:

  • Contact details
  • Opening hours
  • Menu/ room/facilities specifications including photos
  • Pricing (may be included in booking system)
  • Online booking/ ticketing system (events/restaurants/hotels/taxis/coaches etc)
  • Special offers/ vouchers
  • Event calendar
  • News section
  • Newsletter signup

There are great systems that can be added in to existing websites for online booking/ordering so you don't necessarily need to create a bespoke one.

Top tips for creating your website

  1. Think about who you are trying to attract with your design and the brand image you want to convey before you start
  2. First impressions count - make sure the images on your website are good and the text is clear
  3. Check you website is simple and easy to navigate.
  4. Update your website regularly - out dated content will put customers off

Options for creating your website

Build it yourself

  • Only do this if you already have design and programming experience
  • You can use web design software to build your website. You can use something like Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver to create the site by creating the images and writing the code.

Pros: There are no costs apart from the webhosting and software purchase. You have complete control of every detail of the site.
Cons: It will take a lot of work to get the website up and you need to know what you are doing. It may not provide a return on your time investment when you could be doing something else.

Use a website builder

  • Website builder systems such as Wix or Weebly have templates that you can adjust and populate with your photos and information, designed for different types of business. They also have applications (plug ins) you can add in such as booking systems or links to social media. 

Pros: Generally easy to use and lots of templates. You just have to add the content and do some design but you don't need to be an IT expert.
Cons: You will be limited by the company options and may not be able to add third party applications you want on your site.

Web designer for the structure & templates and build the content yourself

  • Find a web design company and give the specifications of your website to them. You need to know what you want the site to do. They may also have suggestions if they are a specialist in your industry.
  • Work with them to come up with the design, features and user journey
  • They create page templates and you change the content, ie. adding images and menus using a content management system (CMS)

Pros: You have more control over the features and layout. You can add in third party applications such as booking management software. The company helps you come up with the design for your site if you have no ideas.
Cons: Even a small website build can sometimes be expensive. It will take time to develop the site and you may be limited by the abilities of company you choose.

100% managed by the web company

  • Find a web design company that will design, host and also manage your website
  • You write the content, take photos and send them to the web company and they update the website

Pros: You don’t have to touch the website, which is great if you are short of time. All content will be professionally added and you can just comment on it.
Cons: Updates will have to go through another person, therefore may not be done as quickly as if you did it yourself. This model also could be a very expensive way to run a website.

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