Bars and venues attract a lot of “passing custom” merely by their brick-and-mortar presence if their signage is effective and the exterior is inviting. And many customers will arrive by word of mouth. But advertising is still important, whether it’s on flyers, in the local newspapers or online.
A good website is invaluable for attracting the many customers who might be searching for a bar or venue online. So, how do you go about creating such a website? These days, you can create a slick website and tweak it for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) without necessarily calling in experts.
There was a time when it was hard to produce a slick website with template software. Things ended up looking a bit flat-pack and amateurish. That’s not the case anymore, largely because many modular website systems allow you to choose and install a professionally designed “theme”.
Owners of bars and venues will find it easy to pick a website theme that precisely suits their business, whether it’s fresh and contemporary or imbued with tradition and history. Among the popular website builders available are these:
- Joomla – versatile website builder allowing lots of customization without needing to know code. Users can mix and match templates specifically designed for certain types of content. Includes built-in multilingual support.
- Squarespace – slick website builder offering stunning professional designs and plenty of potential for customization. Offers a free trial, but unlike many other platforms, there is no free plan.
- WordPress – WordPress is hugely popular and comes in two forms (.com and .org), with the .org version being the best platform available for customization. Excellent SEO plugins such as the ranking dashboard from Wincher or content-analyzing Yoast help to achieve maximum visibility.
- Weebly – offers simple drag-and-drop website editing, 24/7 support and built-in hosting (with the open-source WordPress.org, you must find a third-party host).
- Wix – inexpensive website builder that is particularly popular for its ease-of-use, low maintenance needs and a shallower learning curve than some other platforms.
Whatever platform you choose for creating a bar or venue website, there are certain features you might look out for. Like these ones:
- Ecommerce facilities are useful for selling merchandise attached to a venue, such as T-shirts, craft beers or barware.
- Booking forms might be helpful for taking event-hosting enquiries or table reservations.
- Responsive website design ensures the website looks good on any device and screen size.
- User-friendly interface and navigation.
Don’t forget to peruse other bar & venue websites for ideas!