Making your own restaurant website can save you thousands of dollars. Using a custom website builder is the best ways to get a professional restaurant website without the time and money it takes to have a website designer and developer custom build you a site. To help you make a great restaurant website we have put together the following guide:
You want to get a domain that is as close to your name as possible. If your exact name is not available try using location or another modifier word. For restaurants we often see the city after the name. For example if www.hemenways.com is taken you could register www.hemenwaysresturant.com or www.hemenwaysnyc.com
You can purchase a domain name very inexpensively from providers like GoDaddy, Google or HostGator. Our favorite is name.com because it is simple to use and does not try to upsell you with lots of add ons. Also you can use the code privacyplease to hide your personal information on the domain.
You do not need to purchase website hosting just yet. Be careful because many services will try to sell you expensive hosting and SEO packages. Your website builder my provide built in hosting. This will save you the hassle of setting up your own hosting and cost less in the long run.
There are lots of website builders. The problem with them is that often the design of the sites is very poor or they do not offer mobile support. Additionally they can be confusing to use and hard to update. We recommend Bitefire because hosting is included and the platform is built for restaurants.
Before you actually build your website you want to work on the types of pages you need. It is important to organize your content so users can quickly find what they are looking for. We took this into account and made sure users could quickly find the following information on the homepage:
For supplementary pages it is important to have a mobile optimized menu, an about page with contact information and special pages for things like catering or accolades. Once you have created a sitemap you should begin creating content.
As a restaurant you probably already have a menu. When choosing a website builder make sure the menu is viewable on a mobile phone and is easy to update. When building Bitefire we build our menu builder so it is easy to update with specials and multiple menus. For the rest of your content pages make sure to be concise and informative. Make sure to optimize your SEO copy for your restuarants location.
Arguably the most important part of a restaurant website is their photos. Great photos tell the story of your website quickly and persuasively. Small or poorly taken photos are an instant turn off. We recommend getting professional photography taken. We believe in this so much that we actually include a free professional photo shoot in our Bitefire packages. For more tips check out our 6 tips for restaurant food photography.
After you have your photos, structure, and content it is time to build your restaurant website. Use your sitemap as a guide and fill in the content and images on corresponding pages. Building your site this way from an outline is much easier than just starting to design your site. Once you have your site designed show a few friends and get feedback. After your site is finished it is time to promote it to the world!
If you have social accounts you can promote your website to your followers. You can also promote your website in your restaurant. Giving guests the ability to check it for specials or events. If you are looking to attract more guests make sure you have optimized your restaurant copy for SEO.