Getting Started with your DNN website
So you've just installed your DNN website. But what now?
Where should you start? What pages should appear on your website? What rules should you follow to have an effective website?
Here is a complete guide to start working on your Integrated website.
1. First thing first, change your website settings.
On the DNN top bar, hover on Admin, and click on Site Settings.
1.1. Title / Company Description / Keywords
Those are the details about your company that will appear on Google or any other Search Engine when a user types your name or the associated keywords. So don’t rush and skip this part as it has to convince the user to visit your site.
This line will appear on your website’s footer. The code [year] will allow DNN to update the date every year.
Scroll down, and click on Appearance. This is where you upload your company logo. Make sure it is properly sized.
The favicon is the small icon that will appear on your browser tabs. Don’t forget about it as it is part of your brand identity.
Here is a site that will help you create the .ico file easily: www.favicon.cc
2. Ok now get away from your site for a minute and think about:
- What you do
- What makes you different from your competitors
- Who your visitors are
- What message you want to send to them
- How much you want to tell them
3. It is now time to build your site structure.
On the DNN top bar, hover on Admin and click on Page Management.
3.1. Create your pages
In the menu on the left side of the page, you can add pages and sub-pages, drag them to organise them, make a page your homepage, hide them from the navigation, change the settings of each page.
This is how your navigation bar will look like. Bear in mind that the navigation bar must be clear and simple. Do not hesitate to use drop-downs if you have numerous pages.
3.2. Change each of your pages settings.
The page name is the name that will appear on the navigation bar.
The page title will appear on your browser tabs and on Google or any other Search Engine.
In permissions, you can limit the access to the page to specific users.
You can also add a link to your page, to redirect it to another page, another URL or to a specific file to download.
4. The Homepage
The homepage is the face of your company. You have 3 seconds to convince your visitor to stay on your site. This is a clear and concise summary of who you are, what you do and what makes you different.
Use visuals, big Call-to-action buttons and make it easy to contact you.
Click on this link to see 15 examples of brilliant homepages on the web.
5. Other pages
5.1. About Us
More important than you think, this page is your chance to create a relationship with your visitors and connect on a more personal level. Write about your company’s history, mission, vision and promise. Share who you are and your passion for the business. Try to use the words “WE” and “YOU” to create proximity with your visitors.
Click on this link to see 12 of the best About Us pages on the web.
While the homepage should provide a list of the products and services you offer, these pages will give a more detailed description of each service or type of product you’re selling. For a better user experience, try to use a drop-down list in the navigation bar with the main services or product categories.
5.3. Customer Proof: testimonials, case studies…
You’d be surprised to learn that 92% of customers trust word-of-mouth. As the storefront of your company, your website is a great opportunity to show your work and highlight happy customers.
Don’t hesitate to add case studies, testimonials, your clients logos, or any reward and/or certifications that are relevant to your business. This will make your business more real to your prospects and customers, and it will build trust.
Click on this link to see 16 awesome examples of clients testimonials on the web.
5.4. Contact Us
If there’s one rule that you should remember for your website, here it is: make it easy to contact you. Have a “Contact Us” page on your navigation bar is a must-have. You can use a contact form, big call-to-action buttons… anything really as long as your customers are able to easily contact you!
Click on this link to see 10 of the most creative Contact Us pages on the web.
An FAQ can be an easy way to avoid answering the same questions over and over again. No need to add it to your navigation bar, the footer should suffice. Try to add at least another link to the page on your website (on the services page for example).
Click on this link to find out how to build an effective FAQ page.
6. Follow those 6 simple rules:
- Keep your website clean and simple
- Use strong call-to-actions (buttons)
- Make it easy to contact you: include your contact details on all the pages
- Keep relevant information above the fold (bottom of a user’s window on a web page)
- Invest in visuals (icons, images, videos…)
- Update your content REGULARLY.
This section is mandatory if you’re collecting information about your users, via a contact form for example. Your obligations may vary depending on the country you’re operating in. Make sure to comply with them. For more information about the requirements in New Zealand, please visit the Government dedicated website: https://opcwebsite.cwp.govt.nz/how-to-comply/your-obligations/
Here is an automatic privacy statement generator that can help you write it within just a few minutes: https://opcwebsite.cwp.govt.nz/privomatic/index.html