New to SiteBuilder? It can seem overwhelming learning how to use each feature right away. But if you already have images and text for your business ready to go live, you can publish a professional site right away. This tutorial will show you how.
Getting a simple, working site up is quick and easy. Keep in mind, the goal of this tutorial is to create a site with one or only a few pages that include the most important information connecting your visitors and potential customers to your product or service. This way you won’t have to create a “Coming Soon” page!
NOTE: Once your site is published, you can continue making edits, adding new pages and adding overall improvements to your site. As your business grows, so will your website.
Before you get started...
You’ll need a few things.
- Written copy: You probably already have something written about your business. Have this handy for product pages and your "About" page. This can be a bio, product descriptions, or some general info/background on your business. If you haven't already written something down, it is recommended you set aside some time to do this before building and publishing your site.
- Product shots and other related images. Original images are just as important to your business site as written content, especially for eCommerce sites!
- Company Logo (optional)
Click to expand the following topics for how to set the look of your site.
- Change Your Theme
When you first enter the Builder, you’ll most likely see something like this:
This is the default theme for this tutorial. We will customize the look and feel of the site by choosing a theme that better suits the business owner, a baker.
NOTE: If you want to get your site up even more quickly, you can skip to the next step in the tutorial and choose your theme later. Sampling themes can be fun but shouldn't take time away from focusing on the important parts of your site, like getting your written content and images in place.
- Click Theme at the top of the Builder to launch the Theme Editor.
- Click Select a New Theme to launch the Theme Gallery. You can sort themes by industry and style. You can also search themes for keywords. TIP: Since themes are easy to customize, you are not limited to themes related to your industry. Try choosing your theme based on brand colors and your business’s established look and feel.
- Since the business owner in this tutorial is a baker, he chose a theme that compliments his brand’s existing look and feel. Click Apply Theme when you find one you like and exit the Theme Gallery.
- Click Done from the Theme Editor to return to the Builder.
- Customize Your Header
The second part of establishing the look of your site is to customize your Header. Your header appears on every page of your site, so it’s important to get it just right.
- Click the placeholder text (“Click here to edit title”) and replace it with the name of your business. Adjust font size from the Formatting Toolbar.
- Add your logo. Since the business owner in this example chose a theme that already has an icon in the header, he will delete the logo placeholder by turning Logo OFF at the bottom of the Header editor.
- Click the +Content button to add additional information to your header. Since the business owner in the example has a brick and mortar shop, he’ll post his address.
- Click the green check to commit to your header.
TIP: Having info like your contact phone number or address in your header or footer saves your visitors time searching for it, since the header and footer are the same on every page!
- OPTIONAL: Customize Carousel
The Carousel is a feature that works as a stylish rotating banner you can use to highlight different pages of your site, products or other notable aspects of your website. Most site owners will use the Carousel on the homepage but it can be placed on any page with a Banner layout.
It is recommended that you customize your carousel last, to complement the rest of your website. If you aren’t ready to have a carousel, click the Page Settings (gear) button in the upper right of the Builder (just under Publish ) and select Change Page Layout. Change your layout to “Standard.”
Now that you have decided on the general look and feel of your site you can decide if you want to place your assets (written content and images) on a single page or on a few pages. Click to expand the options below for adding your content.
- Single Page Site
If you are in no rush to get all of your pages up, but still want visitors to leave with the right impression, consider making a one-page site. Single page websites are a great alternative for busy site owners. Just provide your business's most vital information on the homepage, for example:
- Brief description of your business
- Contact form / contact information
- Hours of operation
- A few great product images
We placed a small business description on the left with a contact form on the right. In the brief text on the left, the visitor is invited to take a look at the gallery or send a message even though the full website is still in progress. This is a lot better than simply publishing a page that says "coming soon."
For the short portfolio we used the Photo Gallery module. Visitors can click each gallery thumbnail for a closer look at the photo's details.
- Site With About & Contact Pages
For your Contact Page, be sure the Contact form is the focus. In the example below, the site owner uses the form module so visitors can enter their name, email address and a message. He also uses the text and title modules [link] to create an introduction to the contact page.
On the About page you would include:
- A summary of what you are offering. It may be obvious what your business is all about once a visitor comes to your site, but adding your personal perspective is essential to building trust.
- Add in some details about your company's history and why you decided to provide this product/service to your customers.
Overall, you want to give your customers a good idea of what to expect from your product or service.
Publish Your Site!
Now you have enough essential information to publish your site. As your business grows and you become more familiar with using Vistaprint’s site-building tools, you’ll easily add more content and pages to your site over time.