Website builders are a great solution for small businesses due to their simplicity, ease of use, low cost, and the fact that they don’t require technical or design skills.
BoldGrid is a particularly unique site builder because it is an extension of WordPress, which means you use BoldGrid to create a WordPress site.
WordPress has long been the choice of CMS for businesses large and small but it can lead to frustration because it often requires technical and design skills to get things just as you want them.
In this article, which is the first of a 4-part series, we’ll go over everything you need to create a great WordPress site for your business using the BoldGrid site builder.
Define and Plan Your Website
Before you even start to create an account and play around with the site builder, you need to plan your website.
Since you are using a site builder that works with WordPress, you can choose from pretty much any design, layout, or feature you can imagine.
Think of the design and layout you want for your homepage, inner pages, and blog. In addition, make a list of features that are important to you, such as social sharing and likes, an interactive map, forms, popups, etc.
If you don’t feel confident about choosing a design and layout, start by thinking about the texts, images, and other elements you want on your homepage and inner pages. Then, check out other good-looking sites in your industry and see if there are layouts and themes that you like.
Choose a Template
Choosing a template is very different with BoldGrid and is unlike any other site builder.
You can use any WordPress template, and there are literally thousands.
Many are free, and the more advanced and professional ones usually cost anywhere from $30-$80.
Since there are so many to choose from, here are a few ways to make your search more effective:
- Use Google or the filters on WordPress to search for templates that have the features, colors, or layout that you want.
- Browse “top WordPress themes” in your industry on various blogs and magazines.
- Look at websites that sell premium themes if you want something more professional.
Paid themes have the advantage of added support, high-quality design, and advanced features. You can create a great-looking website with a free theme, but you may require more editing and plugins.
On the other hand, a premium theme with everything built in could save you time and money in the end.
Start Editing Your Website
Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can start editing your site with BoldGrid.
First, add your logo and site icon and click “Customize”.
The interface you’ll be working in will look very much like the “customize” feature in the regular WordPress dashboard, where you usually edit homepage features and website information.
In BoldGrid, you can click each section you’d like to edit in the main screen to edit the header, footer, content, colors, images, and much more.
Showcase Your Services and Products
Whether you’re selling a service or product, your homepage needs to make THREE crucial things clear to your visitors:
- What you’re offering
- How it can benefit them
- How they can make a purchase.
Additional information about the company, details about your services and products, terms, and all the other non-headline information can be made available in inner pages.
Use the top header to present a strong title, short paragraph, and a clear call-to-action.
If you have a shop, you can encourage people to create an account for a discount or view a new collection of items while showcasing select items under the header.
Are You Local?
If you run a local business, add features that make it easier for your visitors to contact you and find you. You can add a map to your shop, a click-to-call banner for instant calls to your business, and more.
Customer Service and Support
Help your visitors find answers to their questions and provide top customer service on your website. Add an FAQ page for frequently asked questions about online purchase, your services and products, and your business in general.
Don’t forget to add a “Contact” page with a form and additional contact information for customers that want to speak with someone before making a decision.
Contact forms are easy to add and use the popular Ninja Forms plugin.
You can choose a form that fits your needs or create a form to include specific fields that are important to you.
Editing the form is a simple drag-and-drop so you can easily reorder and change the fields as you like.
Don’t forget to edit the email notifications to ensure that you get an email each time a form is filled so that you can respond quickly and improve customer satisfaction.
Social Media Features
Promoting yourself on social media can greatly increase your exposure, so it is important to include social features such as “Like” and “Share” buttons. If you have social profiles, add links in your footer or above your menu so that your visitors can follow you and stay in touch. In some cases, it may be relevant to showcase your social feeds in the sidebar, especially if you have very visual posts (e.g. food, fashion, beauty, etc.).
Yoast is an SEO plugin that helps you control how each page on your website looks in search engine results. It is particularly helpful if you have a lot of content, like a blog for example.
The Jetpack plugin is a pack of around 25 plugins that are all installed and updated at once and include useful features like social sharing, analytics, etc.
Publish Your Site!
Once you’re done adding the content, editing and reviewing to make sure everything looks good, and testing out the forms and buttons, it’s time to publish and go live.
Make sure that your site title and additional info are properly defined in the Settings menu and then go to the Pages and Posts section to make sure that everything is “Published” and not “Saved as Draft”.
Start sharing your site on social media, tell your friends, and ask customers to visit you on Facebook and Twitter and post their positive experiences.