One of the first thing you need when you start your business is probably a website.
Please note that I am nothing even remotely close of someone knowledgeable in the internet area. However, like someone said to me recently:”As an entrepreneur, you’ll figure it out”. And well, that’s what I usually do. When you don’t have much budget, you’d better have some time to figure it out by yourself… So I looked for an easy way to make my own website.
To me, it’s essential for one simple reason, it helps you put your ideas on paper and sort them out. You have to word it, classify your ideas, work out their presentation and of course… the pricing.
Having a website, also force you to fix a few technical things like having a proper domain name, something available and close enough to the name of the company you had in mind, and then… an email address to deal with the inquiries.
With this in hands, you’ll be ready to start selling!
Many tools and platforms are existing out there to help you make a simple website, but if you are in China, and foreigner ( with, sadly, a likely limited level of Chinese), your list of tools is about to shrink a lot! But here it is, …
How I created a website in less than 24 hours (that works in China !)?
You need a domain name.
Then you need to put something on this domain.
… and if you are not a designer and pretty much on a budget, it is going to be tricky. Everybody will recommend you WordPress and I would too, depending on how much and what you wanna put online. But all those widgets, possibilities, etc… can make it complicated as soon as something doesn’t go the way you’d like.
A large number of templates are available for free but the one you would like is probably going to be between $20 to $50, as usual…
In an online conference from TheFamily on their Youtube Channel, I first heard about Strikingly.com and their one-pager website solution. Another famous player is Wix, but it doesn’t work properly in China when Strikingly does… with no VPN! Some friends put me in touch over with WeChat with David one of the founder who is based in China and voila!… I was hooked.
The free solution is offering everything you need to get started and try out many things. Then if you want your own domain and use all their plugins it will go from $8/mth (billed yearly $96) to $16/mth (billed yearly $192, with 14 days free trial without obligation) for 2 pro-websites and 1 domain names are included, as well as a fully mobile responsive solution.
I also like the easy sharing solution via WeChat and Weibo, which proves how much they understand the Chinese market.
Now you need to stand out…
Thanks to a large library of photos and videos, it will be easy to make this site yours. Each block that composes the page offers different layouts (2–3 choices with pics on the right/text on the left, or the other way around,…).
Let’s go one step further
Strikingly is also offering many plug-ins to make your site really useful (video integration, Mailchimp but also e-shops with PayPal payments, blogging, Facebook comments, SoundCloud,…). Perfect to collect followers with simple buttons or sign-up forms.
And with a few tricks, you can actually go from a one-pager to a multipage site and make yourself a pretty nice looking site.
There is a lot more that can be done with Strikingly, but I believe that this is enough to get started and be able to put a web link on any support you’d like.
Are you now ready to sell?
Back to Bluehost.com, you will have no problems setting up a few emails with either a webmail access or a simple redirection to the mail system of your choice.
One thing that still needs to be done is the content, but if you did your homework, this should not be too difficult. A few good pictures, a very straight forward message, a catchy set of colors and there you go!