how do I go about platforming and laying out a website
I'm a entrepreneur and I am trying to find a good way to make and layout a website I make and sell spicy mustard ( sounds weird surprisingly big market) I've been selling for around 5 years now through email and social media but I'm really interested in getting a better way to have people order with more ease. #marketing #entrepreneur #business
For the physical layout, start off by creating a wire frame. You can Google "website wire frame" and find out more. A wire frame is essentially a blueprint of your website, similar to what architects design for homes and buildings. The benefit of a wire frame is to visually layout your website and ensure it's all connected with no broken links. Every page is accounted for with high level subjects on each so you know what the general content of each page should be. This also ensures there is no duplication of content. It's a good idea to create a wire frame even if your website is simplistic because most times, you will add pages or remove pages over time. Things evolve and you want to ensure your website is scalable to evolve as well.
An example is none other than the "splash page." This was very popular as the first page of the website in the early days but over time and research, companies found out that people thought the splash pages were more of an annoyance than anything. Visitors wanted to get right to a more navigational page to get the information they need quicker. As a result, splash pages are a thing of the past and have been removed.
Part 2 is determining the capabilities of your website. Luckily, today there are many plug in's you can buy ala carte for just about anything you need. Transactional/e-commerce shopping carts are probably the most common, but you may also need a database if people want to sign up for a newsletter as an example or other types of databases if you get more complex, such as real time inventory. You may want social sign ins or as other eluded to earlier, promote or advertise your website on other social platforms.
As for the platform, the most common is WordPress and you could probably learn it if your website is basic but there are many others out there. Once you venture into more complex capabilities, I would recommend hiring someone to maintain or build it. There are contractors out there who don't charge a lot because they have many templates to fit your needs. But most other platforms capabilities are good as most integrate fairly easily because that is what is needed with today's websites.
Lastly, from your mindset, I recommend not thinking of your website from a technology point of view (even though it is). Try and look at it as the primary communication platform between you and your customers. What is important to you may not be particularly important to them. You are the entrepreneur for your product and have a lot of emotional attachment which can be good; but keep your content relevant to your customers. Research always helps; look at websites you like and jot down notes of what exactly you like about them. Also do this for websites you don't like and what doesn't appeal to you. You can then refer back to those notes when building your website as a check and balance.
I've gone through this process both for my own business and assisted several clients with it. The comment by @Vikash is right on the money for Shopify. It's a one stop shop to set up an easy-to-use website and store.
You can also utilize instagram and facebook to link to your Shopify store/shopping basket.
Another option that I've used before is to create a nice website using WIX, and linking a Shopify shopping basket to that. On Wix you can also get notifications for when people are browsing your website. This allows you to hop on the "Chat Box' and talk to whoever is on your website in real time. You could help them order, or talk to them about your product.
All good options. My main suggestion here is to keep it as simple as possible since the product you're selling is simple. Make it virtually seamless for someone to order, and make the content of your website blatant. When someone gets on it, they should be able to tell what you're selling, see pictures of it, and know instinctively how to order from the second the page pops up.
Vikash Raja Samuel’s Answer
I made a site for my photography using a cheap host website and purchased the domain name from GoDaddy. This was the absolute cheapest option available, at less than $10/month.
I then used Wordpress to design the layout on the host website. So depends if you want ease of design or a lower long term cost.
Your spicy mustard business sounds so cool!
While I'm no expert, I know of a few good website-building platforms called Word Press and Squarespace. I've also heard of Weebly and Wix, which I believe are free and include options for selling products.
I'm sure someone else with more expertise in this area will respond soon.. good luck!