Your website is your storefront for the entire world. While many businesses stick to social media to promote their services, they could be doing so much more with their own website.
This series will show how easy it is to create your own website tailored to your business, whether you’re a hairdresser, a restaurant, a consulting firm, a photographer, or anything. With our recommendations, you can have your own website up and running quickly, easily, and ready to get customers in.
Today, we’re focusing on making a site for landscapers, contractors, gardeners, and other outside repair work — where great pictures and stellar customer feedback can make or break a business.
Before you get started making your website, start working out what you want to put on the website. Do you want to show off your finished work? Give people tips on lawn care or fence maintenance? Are you secretly pretending you’re on Ground Force and want to show off before-and-after photos?
It may be tempting to only have your name and telephone number on a single page, but think about your audience and what they might be searching for. Are they looking for a particular type of work to be done? Do they know what the technical word is, or are they just typing “water garden less”? Having more content on your website doesn’t just show your expertise, it also provides an anchor for search engines, giving you those all-important results.
Write the content you want on each page, focusing on what you want to promote, making sure to include the general area where you’re working to get good local search results as well. And once you know what you want to put on your website, you can then buy a web hosting package and get started.
We recommend buying a good basic package, either our Essential hosting package or our Basic Managed WordPress package. Both of them will give you the space and performance you need without costing too much. If you choose Essential, you’ll need to install WordPress on your package, and if you choose Basic, WordPress will be installed automatically.
Making Everything Look Fantastic
Obviously, you want your website looking as good as your finished projects, and a good theme should be one of the first things you look at once you have WordPress installed. There are a huge range of themes out there, but here are three that would work well for your business.
With adorable icons and a bright colour palette, VW Maintenance Service gives you a clean and easy to read layout that attracts your customers. It has just enough motion to catch the eye without being too nauseating, and it has a range of blocks to give your website the versatility it needs. The Pro version is $59, and comes with more features and a year of support.
Designed for anyone who wants a bit of green in their lives, Gardener is great for landscapers and gardeners, and comes with a fantastic range of blocks for a free WordPress theme, including a gorgeous featured item section. The Premium version, which is $39, gives you even more features, plus installation support.
Straightforward and elegant, Home Services is a theme that’s perfect for any contractor or repair person who just wants to make sure their site is clean, clear, and organised. With vivid call-to-action buttons and different sections, the free version has plenty of features, but the Premium version has even more variety, for just $49.99 a year.
Displaying Your Work
While social media is always a great option for showing off the work you’ve done, there’s always something to be said about large beautiful photos right on your website. Here are some plugins that will create great galleries.
Easy to set up and use, Envira not only gives you a lovely gallery on your website, but includes social media buttons, video embeds, and watermarking, as well as search engine optimisation for even better results. The basic version is only $26 for the year and gives you a convenient gallery at a low price.
If you have multiple galleries but want to have them in one convenient block on your home page, Album is a free plugin that gives you an elegant solution that loads quickly and is easy to work with. The free version comes with four different styles, but for $24.99 a year, you can upgrade to the Pro version, which has eight more styles as well as a custom tag filter, making it easy to add variety to your album.
This plugin not only gives you great-looking gallery carousels, but you can also create text block carousels as well — great for special offers, blog posts, latest products, and more. It’s easy to customise, including how fast the carousel rotates, what’s shown, and how it looks. It’s $39 per year for one site or $139 for a lifetime purchase.
Showing Off Your Reviews
Existing customer reviews are always a fantastic way to get new customers in. Many review sites have their own scripts to put into your site, but by using a plugin, you can cut down on download times and additional scripts on your site.
Do you have a Google Business account? You can get great reviews on there, and then display them using this lovely plugin. All it requires is a Google API Key and a Place ID, and they have a lot of documentation to help you through the process. With a range of display options, any business with Google Reviews would look great showing them off in this.
Facebook is also great for customer reviews, especially if you’re focusing on more local clientele. With this widget, you can pull reviews from your Facebook page into your website, making it not only easy for your customers to see how people feel about your business, but also getting more customers to your Facebook page.
Integrate your reviews with your social media feeds with this all-in-one plugin. In the free version, you can include Google Place reviews on your site as well as your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds. Upgrading to the pro version, which is $79 for one year or $198 for a lifetime license, gives you even more review feeds, such as Yelp, Trustpilot, Tripadvisor, and Facebook, and the ability for your customers to message you on WhatsApp and Telegram.
Integrating Social Media
You know that local word of mouth is a great way to get customers, and being on social media helps immensely with that, whether it’s the neighbourhood Facebook group, or showing off your skills on Instagram. Integrating your social media feeds makes it easy for existing and potential customers to share your work with all their connections.
Smash Balloon has individual plugins for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, giving you an easy way to integrate your specific social media accounts into your site. Each plugin costs $49 annually and gives you a smooth integration from your website to your personal feed.
Instagram is a fantastic way to show off your skills, but it’s also a locked-in system, making it difficult for anyone without an Instagram account to see your work. Spotlight lets you put your Instagram feed on your WordPress site, giving you an easy way to show off your work as well as gain new followers. The essential version is $39 annually, and gives you unlimited Instagram accounts and feeds.
If you don’t mind doing a bit of work and want to show off all your social feeds across your site, Feed Them Social not only lets you put in your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube feeds, but you can also purchase the Combined Streams version and join them all together. The premium version is $50 annually, but there is a free version with plenty of features.
So there are some options for your website. Whether you’re a landscape designer, gardener, contractor, or general handyperson, having a well-built website is a fantastic way to gain new customers, show off your work, and get your name out there.
If you ever have any questions about how a website can help your business, get in touch with us! We’re happy to help!