Here is a video walkthrough of your first Weebly website build. In this example, we have chosen a taco shop example. Setting up a website for your restaurant is absolutely essential. It is estimated that only 5% of independent restaurants have a website. Admittedly it is one more thing on your plate while running a business on your own, and you don’t want to go through the hassle or expense of setting it up. However there is an easy free or low cost solution that you should consider with Weebly.
A very basic website with Weebly is not difficult to set up and you don’t need to know programming. There are several templates and modules that are available that can help you set up a functional website. We will walk you through the steps to set up a website in the following video. Follow the instructions and you should be up and running in less time than you think.
A few things to note before you start, choose what items you want to put on your website eg. photographs, menu, hours and location. It is a good idea to photograph a few of your dishes in advance and have them ready on your computer. You don’t need a professional photographer for this. Use your smart phone and search for images on google to get ideas. You do want to make sure you are not using images off google as they may be copyright. There are a few websites that allow you to use images for free, but always better to use your own images.
Follow these instructions along with the video: https://youtu.be/NNRNOpu8sVk
- Create an account at Weebly make sure you click on Start Now and not Online Store as it will lead you to a different flow. We will show you how to set up an online store in the next video, to keep things simple.
- On the next screen choose “I just need a website”. You can add a store once you have developed a website, which we will demonstrate in the next video.
- Select a restaurant template and click on “Start Editing”.
- Select a domain name for your website (www.google.com). This is the name that people will type to find your restaurant which should reflect the name of your restaurant. Try and keep it simple and short. Adding special characters ( -,@,!, &) etc. will make it more difficult for people to type in your website. At $9 a month with no commitment, you can use select a domain name of your choice. We recommend doing this, you don’t want to change your address once your customers have become familiar with it. (It is like moving your physical location to another address).
- Customize pages, images and content – follow the instructions on the video. This is relatively easy, however it may take some time to get used to the various features but with some trial and error it should work. A few pointers:
- Keep it simple, don’t cram in too much information. A page that talks about your business, Menu and Location is a good start.
- Better to type out your menu rather than take a photograph. This will be useful when you set up a store for online ordering and pickup.
- Photograph your dishes in a well lit space on a dark background (use a black cloth to cover the table). Your smartphone should give you decent photographs.
- Put in location, hours of operation and telephone number.
- Online ordering – Due to Covid-19 pandemic you do need to have this functionality. We will explain this in the next video.
The free service should be enough to let you get a functional website. However do remember that the free service comes with a few limitations, however you can always upgrade to a paid plan, once you have it built and pay month-to-month and see how it works for you.
Following are the Pros and Cons below:
- Free or low cost. Can be 100% free, or you can pay for the domain name at $9 a month. Or you can choose to pay $16 a month, and get rid of ads put in by Weebly.
- Functional website that works: Can save you a lot of money on trying to get it developed from scratch. With templates and drag and drop features it is relatively easy to set up.
- Can make changes on the fly. Making changes is very simple and as the menu changes (from day to day or otherwise) you can make edits on your own.
- Can always upgrade to add more features as your business grows.
- May come with ads for other products till you upgrade from the free version..
- Free version comes with domain names that may be difficult to type.
- Some features are only available once you upgrade from the free version, but we think it is a great option to get started.