How to Create a Professional Website for Small Business

21 Benefits of a Website for a Small Business | Mountaintop Web Design

How Web Design should be done – Ask Professionals

Creating a professional website is not the same as building a basic website. You need to read this article if you’re building a PRO website.

Aleph Website reveals the secrets of their Professional Websites and how they’ve successfully launched dozens of Professional websites.

The Aleph Website Workflow of Professional Website Creation

Website Creation can be an intimidating taking. Especially if you are a serious company with many customers and receiving various demands that you need to fulfill.

Wix, Squarespace, Shopify and others fall right out of consideration if you need a professional website. They simply cannot support such a request, at least not at a low cost.

Perhaps you can build a professional website using Wix, but it would surely cost you over $100 monthly. That means that in 3 years, you would have spent $3,600 renting a website from them.

What a waste of money, it is better to buy and own your own digital assets than renting it from external sources.

To learn more about Website Creation Best Practices: The Aleph Workflow of Website Creation

Therefore, study carefully the following steps of Web Design as it is crucial to understand:

1. Discovery

Building a professional website means you understand the business and the customer very well. Even if you’re hiring a design, or a developer to help you, you still need to educate them and walk them through the process of being the customer.

This stage is crucial as it will outline all website goals, and the overall purpose of building a new website. From there, you’ll be able to build a strategy and a plan of action.

2. Plan

It is crucial that you have a document where you are outlining the full process along with all the actions for each objective defined in stage one.

Only in such way will you be able to measure the success of the website creation process. While it is not as important to do it so thoroughly  for basic (informational) websites, Professional websites require more attention and better planning.

For example, a restaurant must define what technology it needs to be present on their website; i.e. is it order online with order form, or you’re delivering over GrubHub and you just need an informational website. If it needs to install a software plugin for ordering online, then each function must be identified. 

Such a process will help you later on in debugging the tools once you’ve started QA.

At this stage, you need to write down all the tools, plugins, features, extensions you need to make sure your website does what you need it to do.

3. Design

Wix, Squarespace, Shopify and others are indeed quick for building a website as much of the design is pre-made. However, for a professional website you need a tailored design specifically for the business you’re targeting. Additionally, if you’re doing the design yourself, you need the proper tools and education for it.

Design is divided into 4 steps:

  1. Mood Board – outlining branding colors, fonts, icons, illustrations
  2. Wireframes – designing low fidelity schemes for each page
  3. Mock Ups – adding raw files, crude elements to the wireframes
  4. Building each page to completion.

So again, Design done properly means going through all these phases to ensure good quality of the professional website.

4. Development

Developers must be onboard through the process of Design. They give the blessings for the design as they have to implement it in code and if it cannot be implemented they should be present to tell you that.

So, if you’re working on your own – with no developer and no designer, this stage simply cannot be done properly. You’re at the mercy of the website builder you’re using. Eventually, you’ll experience bugs and you won’t be able to fix it.

For a professional website, you need a Developer. There is no dodging this conclusion.

5. SEO

SEO is Search Engine Optimization. By now, everyone knows what it is. 10 years ago, small business owners shirked marketers and called them fraud for even bringing up this topic. Today, everyone is hiring SEO Specialists, as it is not possible for the Entrepreneur to appear anywhere organically otherwise.

6. Quality Assurance

Finally, everything is done. It is time now to check if the website is working properly. Here are the rudimental basics of QA:

  1. Check Responsiveness on Desktop, Mobile and Tablet
  2. Check Responsiveness on Desktop different Screen Sizes
  3. Check Compatibility with Browsers (mainly Chrome, Edge, Mozilla, Firefox and Safari)
  4. Check COmpatibility with Operative Systems (Macintosh, Windows, Linux)
  5. Check every button 
  6. Check every link
  7. Check every page
  8. Check Page title and Meta Tag for each page

There are many more steps here depending on how far you would like to check your website.

Tools needed for Web Design

1. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator helps you develop vector elements. These elements are not raster, so they can be stretched and re-designed while maintaining the quality.

2. Adobe Photoshop

If you have raw images, that’s something you need to brush up and make sure its crisp for your website. For that, you’d use Photoshop.

3. Figma

To create the Web Design, use Figma. It is similar to Adobe Sketch and Adobe Illustrator, except it is online and allows you to collaborate with more artists.

4. WordPress

WordPress CMS is super user-friendly and permits you to manipulate content easily and upload whatever you like. Not just that, but it has many free plugins for optimization that you’ll need to make sure your images are not too big!

MacBook Pro on table beside white iMac and Magic Mouse