The Internet is the primary communication channel for businesses. Learn how to create a website for your business - including how to set it up and how to write text for the website.
Construct a website
A website is your face to the world. Many businesses are purely Internet-based and sell their products and services exclusively via a website. Other businesses see their website as a supplement to other sales channels and forms of communication.
A website consists of codes, and even though you can in principle turn a Word document into a website, this is by no means a good solution. If you have no experience of constructing websites, you should contact somebody who knows about this and perhaps ask a web agency to design and construct your website.
What to do
Whether you want to design and code your website yourself or get a web agency to do it for you, there are a number of aspects to consider before you start out.
- Who will read the website, what is your target group?
- What should visitors to the site be able to read, buy, debate?
- Does the target group have any particular needs as regards, for example, readability or placing orders?
- How many clicks does it take to get from the start page to the page where users can place an order or view the information you want to communicate?
- How do users find your ad, search engines?
- Should the domain be .dk, .eu or .com?
- What web hotel should host your website; is quality and accessibility OK?
- Check the web hotel's list of references. You may also like to contact other customers to exchange experience.
- Do you want to construct the website yourself, or do you want to contract with a web agency?
- How can you maintain/update a CMS solution or a program such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver?
- Do a flow chart to show the website content.
Two pieces of advice
If you have no prior knowledge of coding websites, you should ask a web agency to set up your website and tell the agency that it should be possible to maintain the system subsequently via a CMS solution.
- Go for a CMS solution
When choosing a CMS solution, you must look into the system specifications. For example, not all CMS solutions are suitable for search engines, and the statistical reporting features vary greatly.
- Avoid frames
Frames may facilitate website maintenance, but you must remember that your site should be designed for the users. Frames will cause problems in relation to search engines, and you customers may not always be able to see the whole site.
There are hundreds of CMS solutions to choose from, but help is at hand:
- CMS matrix - comparing system functionality (primarily for advanced users)
- Search for CMS solutions on Google
Buy a domain name
A domain name is your address on the Internet. If you want to appear as a serious business, you must have your own domain name, in the same way that LEGO has the address www.lego.dk.
- To buy a domain name, you must register via a so-called web hotel (in Danish).
- The web hotel registers your domain name with DK Hostmaster, which looks after all domains in Denmark with the .dk extension. For this service, you pay a very modest amount once a year.
You are often set up at the web hotel concurrently with the registration of your domain name, and you can start constructing your website in a matter of hours. However, you can register a domain name without setting up a website at the same time.
What to do
Go to the web hotel where you want to register your domain name and perhaps set up your website.
- Here, you need to find the place where you can check whether your domain is available, often under a heading such as "Domain checking" (Domæne-tjek).
- Enter the domain name you want to register and start the search. You will be told instantly whether the name is available.
- Once you have found an available domain name, you will often be able to order it immediately, possibly together with a web hotel.
- The most efficient web hotels will set you up in a couple of hours.
- After registering your domain, your application is sent to DK Hostmaster.
- If the domain is still available, you will receive an email with information on how to activate your registration with DK Hostmaster.
- Now all you have to do is to design your website.
- You can also ask a web agency to order your domain name and handle all the practicalities.
Advice on domain names
- Choose a unique name which will stand out from the domain names of your competitors.
- The name must be easy to spell.
- The name must be easy to remember.
- Choose a name which is easy to pronounce.
- Just think about Facebook, Yahoo or Twitter. They have one thing in common: The names are short! Experts recommend a maximum of 20 characters.
- Always think ahead. Will the domain suit your business in five years' time?
Writing for the web
When writing for the web, the text must be shorter than if writing for print. Shorter texts are easier to read, but of course they must still be both informative and meaningful. There are several guidelines on how to write good and concise texts for your website.
Keep it short
You can increase the readability of your website by sticking to clear and concise texts. Readability is not just a question of choosing the right words. Bear in mind that not many people will read the whole text from one end to the other.
Follow these guidelines when writing your texts:
- Use short sentences
- Be concise
- Use bullets
- Split the text up into small paragraphs
- Use subheadings as appropriateUse language which is appropriate for the readers, avoid too many foreign words
- Use action words and avoid passive constructions, e.g. "The following products are sold here!" "We sell the following products" works much better
- Get right to the point in the first sentence
There are a number of things which you should bear in mind and in many cases avoid completely when writing texts for your website and doing the layout. These include:
- Italics (difficult to read on screen)
- Underlined text (many people will think that it is a hyperlink which does not work)
- Long sentences (difficult to read)
Write texts which do not need maintaining
Make sure that your texts will not need a lot of maintenance or updating. Do not write: "The company is 7 years old", but write: "The company was founded in 2004".
Remember search engine optimisation
Finally, you must ensure that your texts are optimised for search engines.