By Angela Wills
Many people who are just getting started online want to create a free professional website so that they can prove to themselves that it will make money before they spend hundreds or thousands on a full blown web design. That’s usually a smart move.
You will, however, at the very least want to pay for hosting so that the content you post online is yours. If you post to free website hosting sites then you are often giving up your authorship rights and your control of the website. If at any time, for any reason, they decide to shut down your website you will have no recourse or ability to get it back.
With that in mind, it is entirely possible to create a free website that is both professional and profitable.
Here are some features you’ll want to include to ensure your website is a success:
1. Includes an ‘About’ Page – To new visitors you are a stranger and they don’t trust you yet. An about page will start to build that trust so that you can make offers they will respond to. All good websites must include an about page.
2. Includes Contact Information– Now imagine your visitor is ready to buy but they just have one quick question they need answered first. They look around but can’t find your contact information anywhere! Don’t let this happen and make sure your website has full contact information including phone number, email and mailing address so your potential customers can choose their preference.
3. A Clear Call to Action – No matter what the purpose of your website is you must let your visitors know and call them to action. Are you looking for them to call you, order a product, sign up for a free consultation or hire you? Tell them in clear, direct words so they don’t miss the entire point of your website or individual pages.
4. High Quality Graphics – I once heard a colleague say that it’s better to have no graphics on your website than have poor quality graphics and I completely agree! Make sure any graphics, logos, backgrounds, etc are of the highest quality.
5. Easy to Read Font – The worst websites are the ones that nobody can read. The best font color for reading is black with a white background. Don’t put a barrier between you and potential customers by making your website hard to read.
6. Free Newsletter/ Ezine or Giveaway -A large majority of first time visitors will never buy from you and never return. What you need to do is catch their attention before they leave by offering something free, a sample that shows them what you offer. Do this in combination with an opt-in form so you can build your list and build the trust that is so important to future sales.
7. Privacy Policies, Website Disclaimers and Copyright – Again, trust is huge. The online world of marketing is very easy to break into and that means there is a massive problem with scammers and thieves. Show your potential customers you are not one of them by having proper disclaimers, privacy policies and protect yourself with copyright notices.
8. Well Thought-out Website Navigation – You want your visitors to find what they are looking for quickly. If they can’t find it in short order, they will leave. Make sure you have a well thought out website navigation that isn’t overpowering with too many links. It’s better to make sub-pages than to give your reader too many options right on the home page.
WordPress has many great free and paid templates available that let you create professional websites quickly.
So there you have some of the most important features of a professional website design.
If you want to learn how to make your own free professional website, join me as I teach you in this online video, webinar and email coaching program everything you need to know about creating professional website designs with WordPress.
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