Congratulations on opening your restaurant! The restaurant business is not an easy one but it's incredibly rewarding to be the place with good food that brings people together and nourishes them. Now that you've done the hard part of actually getting your eating establishment up and running, the next step is getting the word out to more people. You might be looking at ways that you can get your restaurant website setup quickly and cheaply that shows off what you offer and your amazing menu all while staying within your budget.
We're known for creating one of the top selling website templates for restaurants of all time and creating website solutions for restaurants for nearly 2 decades and what we noticed is that new restaurant businesses usually face the same problems when trying find the right solution to design, host and manage their own restaurant website. Here are some things to consider if you are on this path to figuring out how to do it yourself and some things to avoid that can set you back and cost you in the long-run
Don't choose the wrong website builder for your restaurant site
You're too busy to have worry about designing every aspect of your website, but you still want something professional that expresses your brand - so you are probably need something that is going to be quick and easy and something you can set up in a day or two so you can get back to running your restaurant.
You've no doubt heard of all the popular do-it-yourself website builders like Wix, WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace and Webflow, but they all have a huge downside...they all get complicated to use very quickly and can get expensive! The reason for this is that they are all built on the same canvas-based, CMS technology that allows you to drag and drop things everywhere and anywhere and then requires you to fill out your own content.
Most restaurant owners don't have the time to do research about their customers, gather all the content for their site and write all of the copy. So they either end up spending way too long trying to do it themselves or settling for a sub-par restaurant website or paying a lot of money that they don't have to get a professional to do it for them.
Here are some things to consider when deciding on a website platform to build your restaurant website:
- What is the learning curve of the page builder?
- Are there thousands of customization options in the CMS that make it hard to use and customize?
- Is this platform built for small business owners and restaurants or is it built for agencies and professionals?
- Do I have to setup my own domain name and hosting?
- Do I have to install plugins to get the features I want?
- Are the essential features that I need included in the pricing plan or am I being charged for premium things that I don't need for my website right now?
- If I have no design experience, will my site still end up looking good?
- How much time will I need to spend customizing things to actually fit my content?
- Does the website builder take a content-first approach?
- Will I have to do extra work to make it mobile-friendly?
- Does the platform provide royalty-free images or will I have to find and pay for those myself?
- Will the platform help me with SEO and optimize and measure the performance of my restaurant website?
- Will they charge me an expensive monthly fee to host my restaurant website?
Our Siimple website platform starts by asking you questions about your customers and tailors the entire platform to your restaurant! Using our Siimple technology we magically create you a professionally designed website and fill in the copy for you! There is no easier, more custom way to create your restaurant website and because of our unique technology, we don't charge expensive fees or service charges just to have your website on it!
Don't buy a domain name and setup cheap hosting for your restaurant
Website hosting can be technical to setup and get expensive quickly. But you want to have your own domain name for your restaurant right? You might be looking into places that you can buy cheap hosting and domain names. The tricky part is that even if you find a cheap domain name and a website builder that offers hosting you still have to do the technical work of pointing your domain name and pay for the website platform to host your site for you. That time and expense can really add up.
- Do you have to buy your own domain name?
- Do you have to setup your own hosting?
- Do you have to point your domain name to your hosting?
- How much will each of these things costs?
- How much will it cost you over the course or a year to continue to pay for both your domain name and hosting?
- Does the platform you choose even allow for custom domain names?
We were tired of the complex and expensive process of buying a domain name and then connecting it to hosting and then setting it up on your website platform, so we eliminated the need for all of that by putting everything right into our platform! All you need to do is pick a site name and we do all the rest for you within seconds! It's that simple.
Don't spend hours choosing a restaurant theme or template
Template and theme overwhelm is real. There are about a billion and two website templates and themes out there for restaurant websites to choose from depending on which restaurant website builder you decide to go with. It can be feel impossible to choose one based on look alone. Usually you end up finding one that looks great but the minute you try to tailor it to your content it just doesn't work. Next thing you know you've been moving things around for 4 hours without really knowing how to get it to look the way you want.
Rather than looking for a style that you like, try using the 3 C's first to make sure that the design will work with your content.
Customer - Make a list of your customer/diner traits and what they care most about in a dining experience?
Content - What content do you need on your site, what are you menu items, what images do you need and what sections are essential to display?
Copy - What are the words that you need to write to communicate your story and what you offer at your restaurant?
Instead of bombarding you with countless options that lead to decision paralysis, at Siimple, we've taken a different approach. We start by building your restaurant's website around your content, not the other way around. No more struggling to make your content fit into a theme or template; our platform adapts to you, not the other way around.
Don't spend months customizing your restaurant template or theme
Despite what they say, even no-code solution require some code. And there are no good no-design options out there, accept for Siimple sites.
The problem is that most website builders ask you to choose a style first and then expect the content to work inside of it. But the best way to do it, is to take a content first approach so that the design molds to it. If you're in the process creating your site here's focus on these items to stay on track. You can always add to later.
1. Define your content: Before diving into the world of templates and themes, take some time to define your restaurant's identity. Consider your cuisine, ambiance, and target audience. Having a clear understanding of your brand will guide you in selecting themes that align with your restaurant's unique personality.
2. Prioritize functionality: Instead of getting lost in the aesthetics, prioritize functionality. Think about the essential features your restaurant website requires, such as online reservations, menu presentation, and contact information. Look for themes that offer these core functionalities to save you time and effort during the customization process.
3. Stick to Your Brand Colors: Consistency in branding is crucial for a memorable customer experience. Choose a theme that allows you to easily incorporate your brand colors and don't worry about being able to customize every single aspect of your site. Consistent branding across your website instills trust and recognition, making it easier for customers to associate your restaurant with its distinct identity.
4. Keep it simple: If this is your first restaurant website or your are starting a new eatery adventure, you don't need to get too fancy with animations or being able to control every single inch of the design, you don't even need multi-pages to start with just keep it focused and simple to start out with.
With Siimple you can be sure that the your unique content and copy will match your site design everytime! Our technology tailors everything from the start so you don't have to do any tweaking at all. Even if you want to change something, our Siimple assistant will help you change in a few clicks!
Don't forget about maintaining your restaurant website
You might feel relieved that you finally have your restaurant website up and running, but don't forget about the on-going maintenance cost of managing your website and keeping it up to date. Here are some things to consider:
1. Regular Updates: Do you have to install plugins and keep themes up to date? Will you have to install software or security updates for bug fixes, security enhancements, or improved functionalities?
2. Backups: Does the platform regularly back up your website's data and files to protect against potential data loss or website crashes? Or is your site already backed up to the cloud by the platform? Does this cost extra?
3. Security Measures: Does the platform implement security measures to safeguard your website from potential cyber threats and attacks. Does it use strong passwords, and monitor user activity to prevent unauthorized access?
4. Content Updates: Do you have the ability to easily and quickly update your website's content to keep it relevant and engaging for visitors. Can you edit it and access it from your mobile device it you want to update your website on the go? This includes updating product information, service offerings, contact details, and any other relevant information.
5. Image and Media Optimization: Does the platform optimize images and media files to improve website loading speed and overall performance? Do these compress images compromise quality and user experience?
7. Mobile Responsiveness: 80% of diners search for restaurants on their mobile phones, is your website mobile friendly and does it look great and function on a variety of devices?
8. Monitoring Website Performance: Does your restaurant website platform monitor website performance regularly to identify potential issues? Can you see analytics to understand if your restaurant website is reaching the right customers and diners'?
9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Is your website optimized for search engines to improve its visibility and ranking? This includes using relevant keywords, meta tags, and high-quality content.
You might be thinking that is a lot to consider and that's because it is! It's one of the reasons that web designers and developers and other platforms charge so much to design, code, host and maintain your website. With a Siimple site however, we handle all of this for you! Because of our incredible technology and decades of experience creating website solutions like these, we know exactly how to minimize costs while providing everything that is most important to restaurant website owners. It's the best choice for creating and maintaining the most professional, beautiful, affordable and simple restaurant website ever.