Websites are one of the most important assets a business can possess. They are the digital welcome mat that many customers will see far before they step foot in your gym. Ever since the .com boom of the 90’s websites have made massive changes in the business and gymnastics world. What is the best way to create a website?
The following steps will help to walk you thorough every part of setting up, creating and maintaining your website.
1) Deciding How You Want to Build Your Website
There are many ways to create websites for your gymnastics center. Some are more complex and others are much simpler. No matter what kind of gym you own there is a method that will work for you and your business.
To decide what is the best website to make you will need to start by asking these questions:
- How much time are you looking to spend making your website?
- What amount of money are you looking to spend?
- How much control do you want to have over your website?
- How complex will the website need to be?
These four questions will help you decide what is the best way to actually create your gym’s website. Creating a website can be a rewarding process but it can also be very time-consuming. Keep these questions in mind as we go over possible ways to create your site below.
Use A Simplified Website Builder
There are many services out there that allow you to design a website for very little upfront price and stress. These services include Godaddy’s Website Builder, Wix, and even Google’s Website Builder. There are hundreds of other options, but these are the ones that we have had success working with.
All of these site builders work in a very similar way. You choose a template and then you are able to customize it with photos, text, and colors. From there you can improve the functionality to work more with you and your needs. Overall these options are the best for someone who does not want to spend much money and does not want to invest too much time in creating a site.
These tools are much simpler to use than most people think that they are, but all of the simplicity does come with some downsides as well. Here are some of the pros and cons of using these site builders.
- Fairly Minimal Time Investment
- Quick Learning Curve
- Lack of Customization
- Unable to Add Advanced Features
- Only reliably works for simple applications
Building A Website With WordPress
WordPress is a great solution for many businesses out there. It is unique in its flexibility and range of customization. Websites can be made based on templates just as in the previous category, but they can also be modified to do practically anything. In WordPress, your level of complexity is really up to you. You get to decide how complex you want your website to be. You do not need to settle for design elements, if you don’t like them you can change them.
Another great part of WordPress is that it is open-source, this means that programmers all across the world are constantly adding plugins, themes, and solutions that are free to download. This offers a truly unparalleled level of flexibility, as you are free to download just about any plugin to solve any problem. If you want to boost what your website is capable of then you can pay for premium plugins that do even more.
WordPress is a great tool for all businesses from small to large. Practically every business would work well with a WordPress website. Here is a quick list of the pros and cons of using WordPress to create your website:
- Easy to Use
- Extremely Flexible and Customizable
- Works for any type of business
- Slightly More Complex than simplified website builders
- requires more time invested in creating and updating
Final Note On Creating Your Own Website
Creating your own website can be a difficult process. Depending on your priorities, time, and technological savvy, it could be the best option for you. This method will save your gym a lot of money, but it could take a large time investment. If you are interested in learning more about designing your website skip below to step 2 for how to get started.
Having Your Website Built For You
Having your website built for you is a great way to create a highly optimized site that performs well. Best of all you don’t have to get your hands dirty dealing with small tech issues like updating and repairing a crashed website. Paying to have a website built for you can be a great solution to keep in mind, especially if you are tight on time.
Having a website built for you is not as expensive as you might think that it is. There are many services and places that can help you get set up for various prices and packages. The only recommendation that we have is that you usually get what you pay for. Having a website built for 100 dollars is probably underpaying and you are most likely going to get shortchanged. For small businesses anywhere from $750 to $3000 is a good rate. At those price points, you will most likely not be overpaying or underpaying.
Having a website built for you can be a great way to ensure its success. It is also incredibly helpful knowing someone who can help you with your website at the drop of a hat. This way you are not alone in dealing with timely tech issues. Here are some of the pros and cons of having your website built for you:
- Minimal time investment required
- Professional website design and optimization
- tech support within easy reach
- You have to be careful who you work with
Closing Points On Hiring A Website Designer
When hiring someone to create your website make sure that they are also optimizing your website for improved performance in google. Just a pretty site is nice, but at the end of the day, it will not make any money for your site if nobody sees it.
Once the website is created make sure that you have a clear plan to maintain it. Are you looking to have the website design company do it, or are you going to do it internally? If you are going to do it internally make sure that you understand how to update your website and how often to update it. This can help you avoid costly crashes and broken elements on your website.
If you would like to have a website designed for your gymnastics business we would love to help. Reach out to us for any additional assistance.
2) Purchase Your Domain
The first step to creating a website is to buy your domain. This is the unique name URL that customers will find your business through. The domain should reflect your business name. In most cases the shorter and more professional the better.
Click here to test if your domain is available and start searching to see if your ideas are taken. Domains usually cost around 11.99 every year, so they are usually very inexpensive and easy to obtain.
Domains can end in many different phrases such as .com, .org, .run, etc. As a general rule try to get a .com name if you can. However, if all of the obvious names are taken then try to use different endings instead. Keep it short and easy to remember.
Once you have picked out your domain the next step will be to set up your hosting.
3) Setting Up Your Hosting
This is the part where most people’s eyes glaze over. Hosting can sound like a journey of technical jargon and lengthy tech support calls. However, we will guide you through how to set it up with minimal headaches, and no technical knowledge or coding is required.
If you are not very tech-savvy we recommend using GoDaddy as they have a reliable customer support team, and many useful features built into their hosting.
Go to Godaddys WordPress hosting price table for a WordPress site, or go to their normal hosting page. Then create an account and select the option that fits your business the best. For most gymnastics centers the economy or deluxe options will be best.
Getting Started With WordPress Hosting
From here go to your purchased products under the drop-down arrow below your account name. Click on the “Manage” button next to Managed WordPress Websites in order to get started. After that select “+ Add Site” in order to start setting up your first WordPress Website.
Next, choose what you are looking to do whether that is to set up a new site or migrate an old site. In most situations here you will want to click on set up a new site unless you are looking to salvage many parts of an old WordPress website.
After that, you will need to pick your domain. This will be the domain that you previously purchased. If you have not purchased a domain yet or if you do not want the website to be live yet you can select the temporary domain instead.
Choose the correct data center and select the location that pertains most to you.
Create Your Login Credentials
Next, you will have to create a username and password for your WordPress website. These will be the credentials that give access to your website. Make sure to use complex passwords that will keep your website safe from attacks.
Never make your password or username the same as your URL. Many website owners make this mistake only to find that their website has been hacked and personal information has been stolen.
Click “install” below in order to upload WordPress onto your website.
After WordPress has installed click on “Get Started” to go through the WordPress setup Wizard. This is a great tool that will ask you for some basic information about your website. This information will then be inserted into the site.
Go through all of the steps and fill out all of the information as completely as possible. This will help to start filling up your website.
At the end of the WordPress wizard setup, you will be able to choose a theme. In WordPress themes create the general look of a website and specify the styles and colors. These can all be changed but choosing a theme that matches your gym’s website vision is important to speed up the process.
Here are some great free and paid WordPress Themes. To find more you can simply go to ThemeForest. They have thousands of themes that are simple to set up and use.
- Power Gym – Responsive WordPress Theme
- Gymnast – GYM, Fitness, Bodybuilding, Yoga and Nutrition Bootstrap 4 Template
- GYM – Sport Fitness Bootstrap Responsive Theme
- Kinggym – GYM Accessories HTML Template
- GXM-Responsive Gym Fitness Club HTML Template
Feel free to choose a theme and play with it to see how it looks. Every theme is a little different so take your time to find one that matches your gym.
In order to choose new themes look on the left side menu in WordPress and go to Appearance -> Themes. Here you can select and add new themes from a library of thousands of different looks and styles.
Once you have chosen the theme that matches the look and feel of your gym you will be ready to move on and customize our website.
4) Designing and Customizing Your Website
You can access the WordPress back end of your website by typing /wp-admin after your URL. This will give you access to get back to the WordPress dashboard at any time from any computer.
There are many ways to start customizing your website. One of the best things, to begin with, is learning how your theme works. Every theme has a different way that it functions within WordPress. Watching a tutorial or reading a guide about setting up your specific theme is a great way to help clarify what is going on. Nearly every theme out there should have some documentation that will help guide you through your designing journey.
WordPress is full of hundreds of menus so the dashboard can be an intimidating place to be, and it can be difficult to know where to start.
How to Start Designing Your Website
One of the best ways to begin designing your site is to create all of the individual pages that you will need. This will most likely include your home page, service pages, about us, and contact us page. These pages can be added under the “Pages” option on the left-hand menu. In this first step don’t worry about design, just create the pages so that you will have a basic structure to work from.
How to Edit the Style of the Website
Next, we recommend heading over to the customizer to select the correct look that will match your business. Here you can normally select the styles that will apply to the entire website including colors, fonts, and spacing. You can find the customizer under Appearance -> Customize on the left-hand menu.
Try to match your branding as closely as possible and avoid any inconsistencies that might throw off a customer. For example, if your gymnastics facility is all based around very bright colors try to mirror that in your website.
After you have tweaked the visuals of your theme you will need to start filling it with content such as the titles, text, and images that will make up your site. Take your time to build out each page to your liking. This process can take a good amount of time but your patience will be rewarded.
Build up your home page first and then work towards your less necessary pages as you progress through your website.
After your content is added you can work to optimize it through this ultimate guide on Search Engine Optimization. This will guide you through how you can raise your ranking in search engines.
6) Properly Maintain and Update Your Website
Just like houses and cars websites need to be updated and maintained regularly. WordPress updates regularly in order to keep up with the ever-advancing technology of the world. Neglecting to update your website could result in parts of your site breaking down or even an entire website crash.
You can update your website by logging into the back end of your WordPress dashboard and clicking on updates from under the dashboard on the left-hand menu.
From here you can update all parts of your website. Simply check the box next to the item and then click update.
Updating is very simple but also very easy to forget about or sweep under the rug. Try to put a note in your schedule to have it updated once every week or 2 weeks.
Congratulations you have now completed your own website. It can be a lot of work but it is also rewarding creating a website that is exactly what you intend for your business. If you need any help with any part of this process do not hesitate to contact us for additional help. We have gone through all of these steps countless times and we would be happy to help your gym set up the perfect website.