If you’re about to get started building your first website or even rebuilding your existing site, congratulations! Though the process might seem overwhelming, using our WebsiteBuilder program, even beginners can create an attractive and professional looking website.
As you get to work on your site, we wanted to take the time to answer some of the most common questions that are asked:
Question #1 – Do I need to know HTML?
Nope! Tools like Homestead’s WebsiteBuilder make it possible to build websites off of defined templates – rather than from scratch using HTML. This will allow beginners and professionals alike to build a site for their business.
Question #2 – Will building a website take a long time?
Again, no. If you want to build a fully customized, top-of-the-line site, you’re in for a long project; however, most small business owners can use the tools we provide with WebsiteBuilder to create new websites within a few hours.
Question #3 – What is a web host?
A web host is a company that provides the server space where your website lives. Think of it like renting an office space or a storefront in a shopping mall. Your web host provides the space and resources needed for your website to operate.
Question #4 – What is a Domain/URL?
A domain is an identifier for your website, much like your business name is for your business. A URL is the address for a specific page on your site. For example, homestead.com is our domain. “https://www.homestead.com/pricing” is the URL for our pricing page. The domain is part of the URL, along with details about the specific page I want to bring up.
Question #5 – How do I choose a domain name?
The ideal domain name is short, clear, and easy to remember. Avoid abbreviations, numbers and less popular domain extensions (as in, “.tv” or “.site”) if possible. It should be as relevant to your business name as possible.
Question #6 – How do I choose the colors for my website?
When choosing colors, pick those that will be pleasing to your visitors’ eyes and that represent your business or industry’s image. If, for example, you run a tax preparation office, stick with more neutral colors. A children's preschool would be better suited using bright and fun colors like lime green and purple!
Question #7– What pages should I have?
At a minimum, your website needs a Home page, an “About” page, a page that describes your products and/or services, and a “Contact” page.
Question #8 – How often should I update my website?
Frequently! Updating your website at least once a month helps you to build rapport with your readers and helps give your site a boost from an SEO perspective. People aren’t likely to return to your site if it never has new content. A blog is a great way to continually deliver fresh content to your audience. WebsiteBuilder offers a blog feature to make this easy!
Question #9 – Is my text readable?
Before you release your new site to the world, be sure that you have a high amount of contrast between your text color and your background color to ensure your page visitors are going to read what you wrote. Black text on a white background is the best option, so be cautious when using other color combinations.
Question #10 – Does my website need a logo?
Not necessarily. If you choose a website template that uses text – rather than graphics – to display the company’s name, you may not need a logo. If your business has a logo, though, DEFINITELY use it. Branding is SO important for your business. Use that logo in your header and set it as your favicon! It is very easy to add a Favicon in WebsiteBuilder!
Question #11 – Where can I find pictures for my website?
The pictures you use for your website should come from free or paid stock photos (you can use stock images in WebsiteBuilder or find them on a site like Pixabay). You can also use pictures that you’ve taken personally, although you want to make sure that they are high quality images. Avoid simply grabbing images from other websites or Google’s Image Search feature unless you’re sure that usage rights allow you to use the image.
Question #12 – How can I edit my images?
It’s best to edit your images to the size they need to be before uploading them to your website. You can use tools that can be found online to optimize your image sizes, to prevent larger images from slowing down your website. For any other basic editing, there are free tools available online (like Pixlr) if you don’t already have an editor you use.
Question #13 – Should I include Flash animations on my site?
It is recommended not to. Flash intros are pretty outdated these days. Most devices don’t even have Flash enabled, so your site visitor would have to allow Flash to run before they are able to see it, anyway. If you must use Flash on your website, use it sparingly and be sure that your website will display alternate content for viewers who aren’t able to view (or who have turned off) Flash.
Question #14 – Should I have music playing on my website?
Auto-played background music or other content with audio should be avoided on all websites, as it creates a poor customer experience. Having audio that plays automatically can be mildly annoying to users that are browsing in a quiet location or listening to their own music. On a more serious note, consider those using screen readers and how this will affect their ability to use the site. People with cognitive impairments depend on their screen reading software to browse websites, which can become impossible to use if audio is obscuring the speech of the screen reader. It would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for that person to navigate your website. Basically, it is an accessibility issue.
Question #15 – How will visitors find my website?
Visitors may find your website through search engine results, business directories, review websites, social media links, and more.
Question #16 – How can I measure the number of visitors to my site?
In WebsiteBuilder, we have a free Stats tool that will measure this for you. If you don’t choose to use our program, there are many different analytics programs available today that are free to use, like Google Analytics.
Question #17 – How can I make my site load faster?
Slow loading sites frustrate viewers, so site speed should be a priority. In particular, pictures, video clips, or other multimedia files can slow down your website, so beware of adding too many. Additionally, make sure to optimize the images you add to your site, to make sure they aren’t too large.
Question #18 – How do I create a sitemap?
Using our WebsiteBuilder program, you don’t need to do anything to create a sitemap. We will create one for you. To see it, simply add /sitemap.xml to the end of your domain. (domain.com/sitemap.xml)
Question #19– Should I use social media?
Yes! Social media is such a powerful tool to reach out and connect with your customers, so take the time to map out a social media strategy that works for your business and figure out which social media platform/s will fit best with your website/business.
Question #20 – Does my site need to be mobile friendly?
Absolutely! In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, and this number is only growing. Not having a mobile responsive site is detrimental to your SEO. Google will show your site less in search results if your site is not mobile friendly, in a practice called “mobile first indexing”. This is important considering 60% of Google searches are done via mobile devices... you would be missing out on quite a lot of traffic. To get the most out of your online experience, do yourself- and your site visitors- a favor, and make your site mobile friendly. Luckily, using WebsiteBuilder, you can make changes to your mobile site from within the editor!