Nowadays, few people still doubt the importance of having a solid web presence, no matter the size of your business. However, many small businesses believe they just don’t have the resources to make their website the best it can be. With that in mind, here are a few simple ways even the smallest of businesses can take their web game to the next level.
Learn Some Coding
It may not be the most immediate solution, but learning some basic coding could go a long way when it comes to maintaining your website in years to come. Besides, it’s a hugely useful skill and one of the most prized by employers, so it’s a handy one to have on your resume if you ever want to get a traditional job again. Worried about the cost? Codecademy is an awesome online resource that helps you learn to code for free.
Pick the Best Web Builder for Your Needs
Many people build their websites using the first tool that they hear of, such as GoDaddy or WordPress. However, nowadays there are dozens of great web builders, and it’s worth exploring all of them to find what works for you. For example, Squarespace is ideal for people with visual-led businesses (like photographers and designers), Wix is great for beginners on a budget, and SITE123 is a good option if all you need is a very simple site.
Bring in External Help
Chances are that if you want your website to look and function a certain way, you won’t always be able to make the changes yourself. Even using straightforward web builders, custom code may be required. To save yourself some headaches, look to hiring a freelance developer online. Web devs are usually able to function in the front or back end of a technology stack, but most specialize in one or the other, so be specific about your needs when looking for talent. And don’t forget to fully explain the scope of the work you need as well as a timeline.
Compress Your Images
The most attractive websites on the internet use lots of high-quality pictures to draw the reader’s attention. However, high-quality images can slow down your website, making your pages take a lot longer to load. Image compression software is an incredibly handy tool that quickly and simply reduces the size of your images without losing out on quality. JPEGmini is one of the best on the market, with a free version that allows you to compress up to 20 images a day.
Brush Up on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools available to small businesses, and yet 45 percent of online entrepreneurs don’t even know what it means. Get ahead of the competition by brushing up on some basics of SEO, including how to use the right keywords in your website copy to rank higher on Google searches.
Website accessibility is something most developers are aware of, but small businesses who build their own websites can sometimes forget about it. Your website should be easy to use by everyone, which means it needs to work with screen readers (used by the visually impaired), be simple enough to use with keyboard shortcuts (for people who struggle to use a mouse), and have text alternatives for any video content (for the hearing impaired), among others.
Protect Yourself from Hackers
Small businesses are a preferred target for hackers, who know they lack the resources to protect themselves effectively. As HostGator explains, there are a few simple ways to counter this: install security plugins, use secure passwords, get an SSL certificate, and always install any updates suggested by your website platform.
There is no excuse for a small business to have an unattractive, unresponsive, or just plain confusing website. The internet has a huge wealth of information on how to build and maintain something that both looks good and runs well. It may take some trial and error, but it is worth taking the time to explore these resources and learn about how you can step things up. You won’t believe the difference it can make to the success of your business.
About the Author:
Chelsea Lamb has spent the last eight years honing her tech skills and is the resident tech specialist at Business Pop. Her goal is to demystify some of the technical aspects of business ownership.