TSF #001: 9 STEPS TO PLANNING YOUR EFFECTIVE WEBSITE

TSF #001: 9 STEPS TO PLANNING YOUR EFFECTIVE WEBSITE

So, you’re considering building a website?  That’s a good thing. The biggest input in creating your website is your time, and if  you are going to invest your time and energy,  I would like to  help you get it right, it is important that you plan the user experience first

The reason to do this is so you end up with a website that’s effective and is designed to GROW your business.

So let’s get started… Here are the Planning steps that you need to take to create an effective website.

STEP 1:  BE CLEAR ON YOUR BUSINESS AND THE BIG PICTURE

Being clear means knowing exactly who you are as a business.

  • What is your big Vision
  • Who do you serve?
  • What is your Unique offering
  • Your core values

It’s important that you document these so that you can create a website that communicates what your business is all about.

 

STEP 2: YOUR IDEAL CLIENT

Before you proceed with your build or anything for that matter you need to know who your target audience is? Sounds obvious, right?  But have you actually spent the time to work out exactly who your ideal customer is?

You need to be very clear on this because it helps you get really focused on who your product or service offering is for and how you communicate to them.

In creating your Ideal customer there are 6 key questions you need answers to

You can read more about creating your ideal customer here

 

STEP 3: YOUR VISUAL STORY

Once you are clear about your business and you know who your ideal customer is you should begin to map out your visual storyBy this is mean you should begin to think about the visual elements that will represent your brand. Note that these visual design elements are only a part of what makes up your brand

The design elements include

  • Your logo,
  • The colours,
  • Fonts,
  • Images,

These elements help you connect with your audience and define your brand style.

 

STEP 4: DEFINE THE PURPOSE OF YOUR WEBSITE

The next step now is to decide what you want your website to do for your business?  Do you want more sales, lead generation, build awareness or just a catalogue.

Regardless of what your reason is,  it is important that you are clear on the purpose of your website.

Knowing this will guide you as you make design/layout choices and as you start to create your content.

 

STEP 5: YOUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY

Making sales online is not a simple as putting up your products and services.

Once you’ve identified your ideal client, it is important that you think about their journey and the actions you want them to take on your website that gets them to the ultimate goal of buying from your business.

What’s going to happen once they decide to buy – where will they go?

Make sure you document this journey map, you will want to input it in your design and layout choices.
Because increasing sales is a big part of why you’re creating a website, you’ll want to think through all of your customers’ interactions with your website.

So you can create a website that guides your customer through the process, professional and helps you make the sale!

 

STEP 6: YOUR SITE NAVIGATION

Once you have defined your ideal customer’s interaction you can now map out your website layout needs.

What pages will you have on your website, and which ones are important to have on the main navigation menu?

What pages link to each other? How will people interact with your website and find their way around?
My suggestion is to write up all your pages on individual sticky notes and then start arranging them until you come up with a plan that is easiest to navigate for your web visitors. Make it easy and simple for your visitors to find what they need.
Draw out the map of your website and have it to hand when you are designing or you can hand it over to your website designer.

 

STEP 7: DESIGN RESEARCH AND INSPIRATION
Before you go ahead and build anything, it is important that you carry out some research on your competitor both on content and website layouts. So that you can compare this with your layout

Look at top performers in your industry, identify trends.  There are TONS of well-designed websites – so grab your friend – google and begin your research.

If necessary register on their websites to see how things work and to help you understand the sequence of activities.
-Look at how their website organised, review their structure and test their functionality?
Write down what you like and what you don’t like about the websites you have visited so you can make YOUR website way better.
It is your opportunity to “borrow” from what others are doing that really works.

 

STEP 8: YOUR SITE CONTENT
This step requires a lot of thinking. You now know what pages your website needs, and you know what your competitors are doing within your industry

You should begin to put down content ideas for each of the pages on your website
Don’t worry, you don’t have to write up all the pages yet, but putting your content ideas gives you a starting point.

And if you’re going to hire a designer to build your website, they’ll want to know this information . One key page on your website that you need to take particular note of is your home page.  But don’t forget you need to put in as much effort for the other pages too.

Here are a few tips to start you off on your web pages

  • Be clear about the purpose of each page – why it’s there and what results you want it to produce.
  • Map out and plan the layout of each page.
  • Write up all the content keeping your layout in mind and if you have chosen to go with a designer, they will be able to advise if it is a layout that will work

 

YOUR HOMEPAGE

Your homepage is where you make the first impression, it is where you let people know who you are, what you do and who you do it for.
Remember, your homepage should not be full of text that’s overwhelming to read.
Think of your homepage more as your customer service adviser, guiding people to where you want them to go.
The most important information on your homepage should be above the fold and must be clear,

This determines whether a web visitor will continue or drop off your website.

 

 STEP 9: CHOOSE A PLATFORM

Here is where you decide what content management system you want to build your website on.

You have a number of options depending on whether you would like to host it yourself or have it hosted for you. YOur options include Squarespace, Wix, WordPress.

My preference is WordPress, and it’s the platform I would recommend that you build your website on because of its easy user interface.
Do your research, ask questions and make sure whatever platform you choose will give you the website that works best for your business.
The next step is to decide if you’re going to build your website yourself or hire someone to do it for you. There are pros and cons either way you go – just do what is best for your business!

Once you’ve pulled everything together as a first draft, ask review everything again and make sure it all works for you especially the layout and content and they support the goal(s) of your website. If they don’t then, by all means, keep tweaking till you get it right

 

In conclusion

We made it! Well done for getting all the way to the end. I know there’s a whole lot to take in, but take your time and work your way through it. Then when you’re ready to tackle that website build, you’ll have done a big part of the work.

It will certainly make the whole process so much easier for you! And don’t forget to grab the free Website Planning Workbook. It’s going to help you plan an amazing website for your business.

 

 

Installing WordPress

Installing WordPress

How TO Install with the One CLICK INSTALL 

In this lesson, I will be showing you how to Install with the one Click WordPress install

When you signed up with your hosting company or Site ground, you would have received all information required to sign into your hosting account, so what you need to do is sign into your hosting account.

When you log in, you need to access your panel i. e Your c-panel is your web hosting account dashboard, where you can manage all things related to your hosting account.

Regardless of what hosting company you have chosen, you will have a software installer, what you need to do is scroll to that section and find the Software and Services section within your c-panel

Click on Softaculus, this is just a software installer and you will be presented with a page with the variety of software you can install, what we are looking for is the W symbol hover on it and you will find a button that says “Install Now”.

Click on the install button and you will be presented with the following fields

In the Choose Protocol field : Leave this blank if you want your URL to start with just “http://”—or if you have an SSL certificate for a “https://” / HTTP www or https

or you want “www”, press the drop-down arrow and select the protocol you prefer. I recommend your domain without www, mainly because these days people rarely type in the preceding www, but it’s your preference.

Choose Domain: There should only be one domain showing—your new one—if this is a brand new web hosting account. As long as your domain name appears by default, you don’t have to do anything.

In Directory: Leave it blank if it is going to be your primary domain.

Site Settings:

Site name: Replace the generic text with your site/blog name (e.g. “Mandy  Wayne, Digital Strategist”);

Site Description: A brief description of what your website is about.

Do not check “Enable Multisite (WPMU)

Admin:

Admin username: Resist the urge to allow your admin name to be “Admin”—that is far too easy to hack! Choose something random, like “BfwUp2” as your admin name

Password : your admin name and password are not easy to guess. (Randomize your password too.)

Admin email: any email address that you want to associate with your website administration

Choose Language:

Advanced Settings: All you need to do here is enter the email address that you want WordPress to send your installation details to—and press “Install”.

On the next page, it’s just a matter of waiting patiently until your installation is complete – it should only take a few mins you are presented with a screen which shows your domain name, and your WordPress login details!

You should also receive an email to your selected mailbox with all your login details

Congratulations, you’ve just set up WordPress! It’s time to log in

 

 

 

Hey, I’m Tosin!

My name is Tosin Oguzie  and I am a marketing expert for online service and product businesses , I teach small business owners about business principles and techniques that worksso you don’t have to struggle.

If you’ve come to learn about squarespace, running an online design biz and everything in between, you’re in the right place!

Grab my FREE Sales Funnel Checklist

Learn how to create systems that take your customers on a journey.

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Choosing Your Hosting and Your Name Servers

Choosing Your Hosting and Your Name Servers

DAY 2 BUILD YOUR WEBSITE CHALLENGE

What is a Web Host

For your website to be accessible, it needs to be hosted on a server somewhere by your web host. What this means is that when someone types in your domain name, the hosting provider, directs them to the to the correct web files associated with your domain name.Choosing a reliable website host

Choosing a reliable website host is very important to the success of your business. Your web host is like your business partner, and the quality of their service could impact your business positively or negatively and is a crucial part of building a robust website which is available 24/7.

 

What criteria should we look for in a web host?

As a minimum the I will go through the things you should be looking for in a web host

  • Reliability and Uptime: This really should be top of your list. If your host server is only online half the time then you’ll be losing half your visitors, business and income! Your web host should guarantee its uptime. You won’t ever find a host that has 100% uptime – but look for web hosts that at least guarantee a minimum of 99.5% uptime
  • Support: Following on from your server’s uptime, make sure that they provide great and timely customer support whether by email or by phone. Your website’s server and network should be monitored 24/7 – all year round.
  • Data Backup: Check that the host company has the capability to back up your site, so if something happens and you lose your site, you can immediately have it restored. This is not a substitute for you also backing up your own site very regularly
  • Disk Space and Data Transfer: Don’t cut yourself short on disk space and data transfer (bandwidth/traffic) when picking a plan. Most websites consume a very small amount of disk space, but you should allow room for growth and space for email storage. Investigate if the host provides warning emails as you approach critical limits and ensure they won’t surprise you with excess fees for exceeding your monthly bandwidth traffic allowance.
  • Ease of use / Control Panel Site Management Tools: Choose a host that allows you to manage the different aspects of your web and email account yourself. An easy to use web-based control panel should be provided. Ask to see a demo of the host’s control panels. This way you can get a feel for how you’ll be managing your website’s server.
  • Specialisation. I tend to only use hosting providers who specialise in WordPress hosting as they configure their servers specifically for WordPress which usually means that they serve the pages faster and are familiar with any WordPress related issues which may arise.

There are lots of hosting providers out there, and many of them do a really great job. One word of caution, don’t choose your hosting provider on the basis of just price, make sure they satisfy these important criteria.  I recommend SiteGround for all my sites as they satisfy my checklist of features to look for in a host, and provide a great service.

 

How to set up your hosting plan

When you visit SiteGround, you will be presented with a button that takes you to the plans where you are presented with 3 options. For most small businesses, the StartUp Plan is adequate to get started with and you have the option to upgrade later if you need to.

hosting plans

 

When you click on ‘Get Started’, you’ll have the option to register a domain name OR if you already have a domain, you can specify it here and you can choose either option depending on your choice

select domain

Click on the proceed button and carry on with the fill in the client information and your payment information on the next screen to create your account.

You have an option to include SG Scanner, a service that scans your website for malicious activity and helps protect you from hackers.

purchase information

Your hosting plan is now in place. You will receive a couple of emails from Siteground confirming your account details. Don’t forget to keep them safe!

Setting Up Your Name Servers

Now that we have a domain name and a hosting plan all sorted, we now need to make sure that web visitors can find your website when they search for you online, We need to set up your name server settings on the domain registrar.

NOTE: This will only apply if you purchased your domain from nameservers like Name Cheap OR GoDaddy.

For this example, we will be using site Ground as our example and the first thing to do is to grab details of the name server details from our hosting provider, which in this case is SiteGround.

  • Log into your account, click on the My Accounts tab, and the Manage button.
  • On the page with the account management information look at the Account DNS section and copy the 2 lines of information which start ns1. and ns2.
  • If your chosen hosting provider is not SiteGround, and you’re unsure of where to find the name server settings, contact your hosting provider and they should be able to help you.

Changing the named server on your domain registration account

Now, log into your domain our domain management dashboard if you have used Name Cheap.

Select your Domain name, and click the Manage button next to your domain.

Find the Nameservers section and select Custom DNS option from the drop-down menu. Once selected you will be able to copy and paste the named server settings from your host onto the space provided. Click on the green checkmark to save the changes.

 

You may not immediately see the changes, it takes a while, between 24 to 48 days to propagate

This post is part of the Free 7-Day Build Your Own Website challenge. If you want to join in, you can register to be part of the group here: https://www.foundersparks.com/website-7-days/

Disclaimer: Some of the links that I use in this post and throughout this challenge may be affiliate links. That means that I may be paid a commission for purchases made through these links. It doesn’t cost anything more to purchase through an affiliate link, and I use any commission payouts to advertise these kinds of challenges to ensure I’m able to reach and help as many entrepreneurs like you as possible. I will only ever recommend products or services which I myself use and trust. 

Hey, I’m Tosin!

My name is Tosin Oguzie  and I am a marketing expert for online service and product businesses , I teach small business owners about business principles and techniques that worksso you don’t have to struggle.

If you’ve come to learn about squarespace, running an online design biz and everything in between, you’re in the right place!

Grab my FREE Sales Funnel Checklist

Learn how to create systems that take your customers on a journey.

Free Marketing Resources advertisement
Choosing and Registering your domain name

Choosing and Registering your domain name

Build Your Website in 7 days

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET STARTED

Before We get started talking about domain names, it is important that we lay the foundation for what you need for your website :

Here is a key list of prerequisites for you to get started

  • A Domain
  • A hosting provider
  • A Website Platform

A domain name is a web address easily read  by humans such as e.g. “google.com” and helps users to access websites or other resources in a convenient way.”

A Web host or hosting service provider is a business that provides the technologies and services where your website can be stored on a special computer called server for your website or web page to be viewed on the Internet.

A platform: You may have heard about different types of platforms, Weebly, Tumblr, Shopify, WordPress. These are all places you can build your website, they each have their advantages and disadvantages. But whatever option you choose, because there is a tendency that the content on your website changes very regularly, you need to be sure you have one that offers you FLEXIBILITY, A LOT OF FUNCTIONALITY and EASE OF USE. I use and recommend WordPress because it offers me all three and more.

I make the distinction in the WordPress platform because there are two flavours of WordPress, The hosted for you  .com and the self Hosted .org

Why I Choose WordPress.org?

WordPress is the world’s leading content management system (CMS)

  • It’s used by more websites than any other platform.
  • It’s 100% free and offers hundreds of free themes to pick from.
  • It extensible, which means you can add all kind of functionality if, and when you need it.
  • It’s can be easy to use and learn – but it does require some practice.
  • There are a lot of support resources available.

SECURING YOUR DOMAIN NAME

Today is about laying a strong foundation – completing all the required steps so that you can actually get started building out your website.

Step 1: Pick Your Domain Name (Website URL)

I know this is something that has been on your mind for quite some time. In my experience, most people spend way too much time trying to figure out the perfect domain name (website URL). Rather than tying yourself up in knots over the right name, here’s what I recommend you do:

  1. Keep it as simple as possible.
  2. Make it easy to remember and easy to pronounce
  3. If the one that you’re wanting has already been registered, move onto the next option on your list, or a variation of it, and keep moving forward.

Types of Domain name to consider

  1. Personal: You can use your personal name if you are the brand, for instance, a lot of coaches use their names as the name of their business e.g e.g Tara Gentile, Amy Porterfield ,Neil Patel . If your name isn’t available you can use variations of it. e.g iamtosin.com, simplytosin.com
  2. Corporate: Can be a unique name for your company e.g activecampaign.com
  3. Industry-specific: can be a name that is specific to your industry and web visitors can immediately know what you do e.g Babiesrus

Don’t spend too much time picking out a domain name 

Why? I believe that the effort you put into marketing yourself and “getting your name out there” will outweigh the perfect name. With determination and motivation, you can brand your choice of name.

Step 2: Register Your Domain

There are two ways you can register your domain, you can either separate your hosting account from your domain by registering your domain (URL) at GoDaddy, NameCheap OR you can take the offer of the one-year free domain name that usually comes with Most hosting packages.

If you need inspiration searching for your domain name, a great resource to look at is Lean Domain Search, this site will show you some possible variations, and it will also show you if it is what’s available and it will also show you if it is available as a username on Twitter.

 

HOW TO REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN NAME – PICTURES

STEP 1: search NameCheap  and type in your chosen domain name

STEP 2: select your chosen domain name and add to basket, once you have selected all your desired domain names, click on View Cart to check out

STEP 3:  Select the number of years you want to register your domain name for – I recommend longer than 1 year. I would also recommend auto-renew, because you don’t want your domain name expiring and having someone else purchase it, only to make you have to buy it back from them

YOu have the option oof theWHO is Guard , only for domain name privacy , once you are done click on confirm order , and go through the payment process

 

 

Voila! you are the proud owner of a domain name for your business

This post is part of the Free 7-Day Build Your Own Website challenge. If you want to join in, you can register to be part of the group here: https://www.foundersparks.com/website-7-days/

Other Links I referred to 

Lastpass:  Password Manager

Disclaimer: Some of the links that I use in this post and throughout this challenge may be affiliate links. That means that I may be paid a commission for purchases made through these links. It doesn’t cost anything more to purchase through an affiliate link, and I use any commission payouts to advertise these kind of challenges to ensure I’m able to reach and help as many entrepreneurs like you as possible. I will only ever recommend products or services which I myself use and trust. 

Hey, I’m Tosin!

My name is Tosin Oguzie  and I am a marketing expert for online service and product businesses , I teach small business owners about business principles and techniques that worksso you don’t have to struggle.

If you’ve come to learn about squarespace, running an online design biz and everything in between, you’re in the right place!

Grab my FREE Sales Funnel Checklist

Learn how to create systems that take your customers on a journey.

Free Marketing Resources advertisement

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