Our first article was dedicated to basic content. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

Remember, it doesn’t matter whether you’re starting from scratch or thinking of revamping your existing online image.  Being basic is easy if you know the secrets, which we will reveal here.

With so many DIY options available, launching a basic website is anyone’s game.  You don’t even need a budget because these types of pages are a dime a dozen, really.  They look curiously alike, especially among businesses in the same industry. With a working computer and a little time, the Internet can be your playground.  Here’s how to begin:

  • Grab your FREE URL…with just a few strings attached. Nothing says basic like an address that includes the name of company other than your own. It’s probably the most obvious way to tell your market that you thought it best not to pay for a custom-designed site and domain name. But that’s ok because you’re not really sure how long you’ll be in business—and your customers won’t be either.  It’s easy to fall under the spell of Wix or Weebly’s sleek and modern come-on.  Go ahead and get lured by their special packages and super-easy tools for wannabe designers.  All they ask is that you promote them for eternity with your website address that must include the words Wix or Weebly.  Who cares if it’s a dead giveaway you aren’t investing much in your businesses or brand?
  • Basic templates are fine if that’s what you’re going for. Just like apps, there’s a template for that!  Opening a restaurant?  Go directly to the section for food service.  Are you a professional hair stylist?  The free guys will be glad to fit you into their health and wellness boxes.  Being basic is all about looking like everyone else.  And that’s exactly what a free template will do for your business.  You won’t have to pay for a designer, but you won’t stand out from your competitors either.
  • Artificial Intelligence Robots to the Rescue. Did you ever wonder how the free services make design and launch so simple? The answer is artificial intelligence. By asking a series of super-generic questions, a well-programmed bot “learns” about your business and walks you through the steps. As you move along, there won’t be many options highlighting what makes you unique.  But that’s ok. Basic web design doesn’t require a human being on the other end of your transaction—just a shortcut to hanging your virtual sign. Now, all you have to do is wait for the sales to roll in.

But wait!  If no one is responding, there is another way.

You’ve invested time, energy and probably a whole lot of sweat into your business.  There’s no way around it.  You’ve got to invest in your website, as well, if you want people to spend their time and money with you.  Free platforms give you the basics, but that is all. To go beyond basic, you’ve got to do better:

  • Pay for a Good Web Platform. It’s worth it to have a URL that speaks to your business and only your business for credibility and professionalism, but also ease for your customers. They’ll find it much easier to remember www.yourbusinessname.come than one with a Wix or Weebly in it. Remember, most people are savvy enough to be suspicious of businesses operating their sites on free platforms.
  • Invest in a Great WordPress Template. There is a reason WordPress is one of the most respected sources for great design templates. They’re flexible, scalable and look great. And instead of being industry-specific, they allow for much greater creatively and customization within specific vertical markets. Customized details—not cookie cutter templates—are what make you outshine basic sites
  • Hire an expert. Web design is a profession not a hobby! Great developers and designers know programming, marketing and SEO. They collaborate with you to understand your business’s unique selling points and help promote your brand to the right audience using the latest tools available. Don’t go it alone or trust your nephew who likes to dabble.  Your business, blog and brand deserves better and so do your customers.

If you’re interested in other ways to break out of basic, check out Blackline Academy’s Squarefully e-course at http://blackline-academy.teachable.com/courses/squarefully/.   It’s 14-days of totally un-basic guidance on how to launch an extraordinary, stand-out website.   And stay tuned for part 3 of our series!