Creating a website can be challenging and time consuming, which is probably why so many of us procrastinate getting a website up and running. A website, however, is one of the most important parts of any business. It is an easy place for your customers and clients to find information, seek help and connect with you. A professional website provides a professional image for you and your company. Do you feel you just don’t have the time to create a website? Perhaps you don’t have the means to have someone else create it for you? You’re in good company! This is why an Interim Website might be for you. An Interim Website is a bare minimum, quick fix to not having a website. It is only the pages you truly need while still being operational and professional.
Below I’ll share a few tips to getting your Interim Website up and running. All of these tips assume that you already have a host site and a domain name. If you’re staring at your computer confused after reading that sentence, visit WebsiteSetup for the basics before you get in too deep and read my blog “Creating an Enticing Website: Five Tips to Get Started.”
Create the Pages You Need
The easiest way to get started is by creating the bare minimum pages, or the pages you need to get the job done until you can spend more time on creating the perfect site. What are the pages you need in order to connect with your audience? Can some pages wait until you are able to perfect them, rather than turning out sub par work? The kinds of pages you’ll need depends largely on what kind of business you have. That being said, all businesses should have three specific pages.
These pages include:
- a homepage
Your homepage should include an enticing photo consistent with your brand and a short blurb about your company. This does not need to be extensive and should only be about a sentence long. Here is my dance company’s homepage. On this page, I have a photo that is linked to our “about page” and another photo linked to our “upcoming” page. Additionally, I have a short blurb telling visitors what it is that we do. Your homepage does not have to link to other pages, it can simply be a short introduction to you and your brand.
- an about page
Your about page should consist of a well written biography (unless you wish to reserve a separate page for your biography) and the history of your company. On my dance company’s about page, I have included a video to tell visitors more about the company, a well-written history of the company, and a list of current collaborators.
- a contact page
This one is very important! You must have a contact page. This page can link directly to your email or you can set up a “contact form” wherein visitors to your site are able to type their message, but none of your personal information is given away.
Once you’ve created these pages, you’ll need to begin adding content to them. If you don’t have solid content, i.e. clear photos and videos that are relevant to your brand, you can fill with stock photos from unsplash in the meantime. Don’t forget to give credit! I use SquareSpace to host my site. On SquareSpace, you are able to give credit beneath photos in the form of a caption until you are able to gather photos to which you have the rights or that align with your brand.
** Nonprofit Tip: If you are a nonprofit, you might consider adding a fourth page where individuals can make tax deductible donations. This way, visitors to your site can make donations with the click of a button, instead of searching the web for how best to make this happen.
Create an Email Address
If you don’t already have an email address associated with your company or brand, create one and connect it to your website. For example, if you own an Italian deli called Luciano’s Delicatessen, your email might be “email@example.com” or something like “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Emails for small businesses are available through Gmail’s G-Suite. For $12 per month, you can add up to 4 other authorized users and receive unlimited storage and access to all of Gmail’s programs like google docs, sheets and more. If your host site is SquareSpace, it is easy to connect your Gmail account to your website so that you receive any correspondence from individuals visiting your site and other important updates about your site.
Connect Your Site to Your Social Media Channels
If you don’t let people know you have a website, how will they find you? Once you are comfortable with your Interim Website, make sure you link your site to all of your social media channels. Your followers will appreciate the ease of visiting your site and being able to find all of your information in one place.
Create a Plan to Move Forward
Create a plan to move forward with finishing your site. An Interim Website will allow you to get the bare minimum work done which will in turn allow your supporters to easily find information about your company and connect with you. You should, however, make a plan and timeline for how you will continue with your final website. What do you want your final product to look like? What additional pages should you add? When do you want your final site to launch? What goals will you set so that you can make that launch date a reality? These are all important questions to ask yourself as you move forward.
I hope this post was helpful and will encourage you to create an interim website that will professionally represent your company and brand. Do you need more help getting your interim website off the ground? Please reach out! I’d be happy to help.