How to start an automotive website — the easy way

Web design on cruise control

When you’re in the business of running an automotive-based company, starting a website might be something you put on the back burner. You’re a busy person. Word of mouth works pretty well, right? Well, while that’s not wrong, an automotive website can be an easy and fast way to get your business additional exposure.

Not sure why your automotive business needs a website? An automotive website can be a lot more than a listing of services and your contact information. If your particular automotive business focuses on classic car restorations, for example, a photo gallery showing off your work is an amazing way to attract potential clients. Or if you happen to deal in hard-to-find car parts, having a site would be a great start in getting you found online.

Ultimately, your automotive website can clearly define your business and scope — a great asset within the wide array of specialties in the automotive industry.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at getting your automotive site set up with GoDaddy’s GoCentral Website Builder.

Getting your automotive website rolling

When you initially launch into your new GoCentral account, you’ll be asked about your site topic and your business name. The purpose of the site topic is to help GoCentral recommend services and stock photos that will be applicable to your business, so try to find the topic that best fits your business. I’m choosing an auto body shop for this example:

Automotive Website Body Shop

Once you’ve made your selection and entered your business name, click Let’s do this to move on to the site builder. GoCentral will randomly choose a layout, color scheme and stock photos for your site. Here’s what mine came up with:

Automotive Website Color Scheme

Not a big fan of the colors that GoCentral generated? No problem. Click Theme, and you can quickly change the color scheme and fonts:

Automotive Website Theme

For this site, the Modern theme is selected. The option you choose here will impact the layout options for your automotive website, as well as the overall fonts for your site. If you want to pick a different color or font option, you can do that here, too:

Automotive Website Fonts

The options you select will automatically update the preview for your site there on the left side. When you’re happy with what you see, click Done at the top left:

Automotive Website Done

Or, if you really liked what GoCentral suggested initially, clicking Reset fonts and colors will quickly undo any changes you’ve made there. Once you’ve changed the colors and fonts to your liking, you can continue to make updates to the layout GoCentral generated for your automotive website. To do that, click Pages from the main editing screen:

Automotive Website Pages

Select the page of your automotive website you’d like to edit, and then click the section name that you’d like to modify. You can either click on the section showing to the right side of the editor, or you can click directly on the section itself on the site layout, like this:

Automotive Website Edit

Once you’ve clicked to edit, you’ll be able to either modify the existing section, or you can add and remove sections:

Automotive Website Sections

If you don’t like the layout of your automotive website that shows by default, click Layout, at the top, and you’d be able to choose a different look. Each section in GoCentral will have a Layout option, so you’re free to modify the look of every section to fit your company’s needs.

You’re not limited to the pages and sections that come along by default.

 

GoCentral will start you with a single page and a few recommended sections. But as your business grows, you’ll likely see a need to add more pages and sections to your automotive website. To add a page, click Pages, and then click Add. For additional sections, just click the green + symbol on the desired page.

Promotions banner

With GoCentral, you have the option to add a promotional banner to the very top of your automotive website. This particular selection will be in the Header options. To get there, click on the Header directly, or click Pages > Home > Header. You’ll see these options once you’re there:

Automotive Website Promo

The promotional banner on your automotive website lets you place an advertisement for any deals that you might currently be running. Beyond promotions, though, it’s a great way to call out any new changes or updates to your business or services.

Another helpful feature — depending on your particular automotive business — is listing your available services and pricing. To add that function to your site, click Add Section:

Automotive Website Add Section

And then click Menu/Price List:

Automotive Website Price List

Once you’ve added that section to your automotive website, adding services and pricing can be done with the Add button:

Automotive Website Add Button

Online appointments

Another feature in GoCentral that can be a helpful tool for automotive websites is the Online Appointments feature. Online Appointments lets you to set what times your services are available, and allows your customers to quickly book an appointment on your site. Our help guide offers a great walkthrough on this process.

But to call out some functions specific to automotive websites, the Online Appointments tool allows you to set services with open-ended pricing, as well as varied locations. So, for example, if your service requires a custom price quote, you can add text to state that, rather than a set price. Additionally, if you offer mobile services, such as glass repair/replacement, you can offer location options:

Automotive Website Services

Taking your site live

Now that we’ve gone through the major points for creating your automotive site, you might be ready to make it live on the internet. If you’d like to check out how your site will look on both a browser and a mobile phone, click Preview, at the top right of your site editing screen — you’ll see a page that looks like this:

Automotive Website Preview

You can scroll through your site there and if it looks good, click Publish to go live. Need to make another change? No worries, hit Edit instead to go back to the builder.

Continuing to grow your online presence

Now that you’ve built your automotive website, there are some other details to consider. If you don’t already have a social media presence, it’s a great way to grow your engagement with customers. There’s a great guide that gets into the nitty-gritty details for social media perfection, but don’t stress if you’re not super familiar with all of the available platforms. Get your social media accounts sorted out early, don’t worry over negative feedback, and be personable.

You might also be interested in adding a blog down the road. GoCentral offers a blog option, which is an easy way to get started if you’re not familiar with blogging. If you’re not sure about how blogging can help with an automotive website, The Humble Mechanic has some great advice for getting started.

Hopefully these suggestions have given you some ideas on getting your automotive website going. GoCentral is a fast and simple tool for getting a professional-grade site running in no time flat!

Stacey Hartman
Stacey Hartman has been with GoDaddy for more than eight years, helping customers with SEO and business distribution via GoDaddy's Search Engine Visibility and Get Found tools. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, gaming, reading and baking award-winning cheesecakes. Connect with Stacey on Twitter.