By Samantha Storms

Are you a first-time business owner? Are you thinking about how to go about creating your very first website? The process may seem intimidating, but with a bit of practice and patience, your website will serve as the foundation for all client communication and business. If you’re just starting out, it can be easy to overlook the smaller details of what makes or breaks a website. The key to creating a successful site that highlights your company’s mission, services, and products is a clear focus, great organization, and attention to detail. Here are some things to keep in mind when building your first company website.

Draw Inspiration from the Designs of Your Favorite Websites

Drawing inspiration from other websites is a great way to begin the creative process. Think about the things you like in someone’s websites. Ask yourself questions and analyze what it is about the website that draws you in. What did they do well? What about this site’s layout and design appeal to you? Are there certain features that are enjoyable to interact with? Also, what could this site do better? Take some of your favorite elements of the other site to come up with an idea of your own and implement it into your own website design. If you take something directly from the site, be sure to ask the site’s creator and credit him or her or the company.

Seek Out Testimonials

Even if you’re just starting out, reach out to past employers, teachers, and other professionals you’ve worked with directly for a testimonial of your skills. Add them to your website to gain credibility and authenticity with your audience. When it comes to marketing and promoting, potential clients will more quickly believe in the opinion of those outside of the company, so make it a point to gather as many strong testimonials about your professionalism and the quality of your products and services as possible. Include them somewhere on your home or products page where visitors of your website can easily see and read them.

Utilize Services for Free Stock Images

Media consumers are visual, so images on your website are essential. Free services such as Shutterstock and iStock offer you access to royalty-free images for a small cost. Use these images for anything from blog posts to page headers–the possibilities are endless. High quality images that work well in Adobe Photoshop are available through these sites, and they will allow you to create and upload your own graphics to your website to add a bit of flair and creativity that is uniquely your own.

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