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You want to have a business website to increase your reach and make profit? You may not have the budget to outsource certain activities if you run a small firm. Hiring a site designer, for example, could be costly if you want to develop an online presence. Making a small business website on your own, however, might be difficult.
Fortunately, this procedure is not as difficult as it may appear. Some beginner-friendly website builders that are ideal for small businesses can allow you to develop a great site even if you have no prior experience. Best of all, many of these tools are really cost-effective.
This article will walk you through the process of creating a small company website in nine simple steps. Let’s get started!
What to think about when creating a website for a small business
There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to website design. Before you begin, you’ll need to think about your objectives so that you can use design components and techniques to achieve them.
A dentist’s office, for example, would require a completely different website than an architecture business. Whether you wish to inform visitors about a physical location or conduct online purchases has a big impact on how your site should look.
Ask yourself the following questions as you begin the process of creating your small business website:
- What information do you need to provide to the visitors of your website?
- What actions do you want visitors to do after viewing your site (e.g., purchase things online, visit your physical store, seek a quote)?
- What will you use to promote your goods or services?
You should also consider how much traffic your website is projected to receive. If you wish to sell things online, you might get a lot more attention than a local company that only sells in person. Which platforms and hosting companies are best for your site will be determined by your requirements in this area.
How to Create a Business Website
You can begin the process of designing and creating your website once you have a clear direction for its aims. Here are nine crucial measures to help you get your company’s online presence off the ground:
Step 1: Choose Your Platform
You should ideally choose a user-friendly solution that allows you to establish a website without any coding experience. Here are some suggestions for small businesses:
- WordPress. WordPress comes in two flavors. We’ll concentrate on WordPress.org, which provides the most features and allows you more control over your website. You’ll need to make your own hosting arrangements (more on that later).
- Website builders that are hosted. If you want all-in-one solutions, a trusted website builder like Squarespace or Wix can be a good fit. These platforms come with pre-built website designs that you can alter with a drag-and-drop interface. You won’t need to hire another company to host your site, but you’ll have less design freedom.
The cost of using a hosted website builder is determined on the package you select. If you choose the Squarespace Business option, for example, it will cost you $18 per month.
WordPress, on the other hand, is an open-source project, which means it’s completely free to use. You will, however, be responsible for selecting a web hosting provider, which will be an additional cost.
We’ll concentrate on WordPress.org in this tutorial because we believe it’s the best answer for most small businesses.
Here are some of the reasons why we think WordPress is a good idea:
- To create a website, you don’t need to be a developer or a technical.
- WordPress is a free program.
- It’s quite adaptable; you can easily change the appearance of your site or add new features.
WordPress is used by more than 43.3 percent of all websites on the internet, so your small business website will be in excellent company.
Step 2: Pick a Domain name
Your domain name should preferably match the name of your company. If you’re not sure which name to go with, there are various online generators that can help you out, such as Bluehost:
Here are some pointers to consider while choosing a website address:
- Make certain it’s simple to spell.
- Make it as brief as possible.
- Include keywords that are relevant to your company.
We also have other posts that go over domain name selection in further depth:
- How do you pick a domain name?
- The following is a list of domain name extensions.
- Domain name generators that are the best
Don’t bother about registering your domain name just yet; you’ll be able to do so when you sign up for hosting (in the next step). You can also buy a domain name through a platform like Squarespace or Wix if you want to use one of those.
Step 3: Choose a Webhost
You can skip this step if you’ve decided to use an all-in-one website builder. Continue reading if you’re a WordPress user.
You can choose from a number of good beginner-friendly hosting firms. Bluehost is our #1 choice, as it is officially recommended by WordPress.org:
Bluehost comes highly recommended for a variety of reasons. For instance, their hosting packages include the following features:
- Customer service and assistance are available around the clock.
- An SSL certificate that is completely free
- For the first year of your subscription, you’ll get a free domain name.
- A user-friendly dashboard is available.
- Security features built-in
- Features for WordPress optimization
The most affordable Basic plan is only $2.75 per month. For small websites, this package is usually sufficient, but you can quickly expand if your company grows.
Read more about our Bluehost Review: Bluehost Review: The Best Web Host for 2022?
Step 4: Install WordPress on Bluehost
If you’d rather utilize an all-in-one website builder like Squarespace, you may skip this step. If you wish to utilize WordPress and a hosting business, you’ll need to download and install the software in order to use the Content Management System (CMS).
Bluehost has an easy-to-use dashboard and one-click WordPress setup. If you choose this hosting company, you will be able to swiftly and easily install the WordPress software.
To access your Bluehost dashboard, go to the left-hand menu and select My Sites. Then, from this screen, pick Add Site > Create New Site.
You’ll now be able to choose whether to install WordPress or use Bluehost’s website builder. Inside the WordPress box, click Get started:
You’ll now be asked to name your website and write a tagline. When you’re ready, go to the next step:
For the new WordPress site, you’ll need to enter your email address and establish a password. The WordPress software will then be downloaded and installed by the installer.
Return to My Sites after the process is complete. Select Log in to WordPress: Manage Site from the drop-down menu beneath your website’s name.
Depending on the hosting company you choose, this step may differ. As a result, we suggest consulting your host’s official documentation. You can also read our official beginner’s guide to WordPress installation on your website.
Step 5: Picking a WordPress Theme
WordPress and Squarespace both have a large number of customizable templates (or themes). Many of them are also completely free to use.
By going to Appearance > Themes: Free Themes in your WordPress dashboard, you can access free theme options.
You can customize your theme after it has been installed and activated. You might also look into purchasing a premium WordPress business theme. Pre-built portfolios, e-commerce pages, and page builder integration are common aspects of these products.
Squarespace, on the other hand, lists all of its templates right on its website. You can see a preview of each one and then click Start With This Design when you’re ready:
Then you’ll be taken straight to the editing area, where you can change practically every aspect of your site. We recommend double-checking any front-end changes to ensure they appear good.
Step 6: Install needed Plugins
New features can be added to your website using plugins (in WordPress) and extensions (in Squarespace and other page builders). You could find it difficult to get the most out of your small company website if you don’t have these tools.
Squarespace has a large library of extensions that you may look through. You’ll have access to around 60,000 plugins if you use WordPress.
With so many possibilities, it’s easy to get carried away and install as many plugins or extensions as possible. However, doing so may cause your site to slow down and function poorly.
As a result, we suggest concentrating on plugins/extensions that handle the following topics:
- Optimisation and performance For most website owners, having a fast-loading website is a top priority. As a result, you might want to think about caching and database optimization to improve the performance of your site. All of these operations are handled by the WP-Optimize plugin.
- Security. We suggest using a plugin that protects your site from spam, hackers, and other unwanted actors. Sucuri Security, for example, is a fantastic all-in-one security solution that comes in both a free and paid version.
- Backups. Backups of your database and files are critical in the event that something goes wrong with your website. As a result, you might want to consider using a plugin like Updraft Plus to take care of these important responsibilities.
- SEO stands for “search engine optimization” (SEO). SEO can help you increase the visibility of your small company website and attract new consumers. To assist with content optimization, we recommend utilizing the RankMath SEO plugin.
- E-commerce. You’ll need an e-commerce plugin to manage your sales if your small business has an online store. One of the greatest options for a WordPress website is WooCommerce.
When it comes to plugins and extensions, we recommend going with tools that have a lot of positive reviews and are updated frequently. You may also look at other people’s reviews to see if the plugin is right for you:
Step 7: Adding Content to Your Website
As you create your website, you’ll probably want to start adding material right away. It’s a good idea to have a general structure in mind before you start.
The following are required for most business websites:
- Homepage. When people come to your site, this will be the first thing they see. It should provide a quick summary of your services. It should also include easy navigation to other parts.
- Page for products, services, or a portfolio. This is where you’ll display your work and explain what you have to offer potential consumers or clients.
- About Page. You can tell your tale or provide information about your team in this section.
- Page for getting in touch. If possible, offer a contact form and encourage customers to contact you with any questions they may have.
- Blog. This is a must-have for many organizations these days, and it’s also a fantastic content marketing tool.
You may construct pages and blog posts with ease using WordPress and other popular website builders. As a result, you have complete control over the content you publish.
Step 8: SEO is Important
You still have to make sure people can find your material after it’s up. One method that can help with this is SEO.
The method of optimizing your content so that it appears higher in search engine results pages is known as SEO (SERPs). There are a few crucial practices to remember, including:
- Including relevant keywords in your blog posts and pages
- Increasing the speed of your website
- Choosing a responsive design that allows your information to be viewed on any device
- Throughout your website, include both internal and external links.
- Using post titles as permalinks
If you use WordPress as your website platform, you may use an SEO plugin like RankMath SEO to analyse your content and provide recommendations for improvement:
Many website builders allow you to keep your site secret while you’re constructing it and then publish it after it’s finished. As soon as you install WordPress on your hosting account, your site will be visible to the general public.
Step 9: Publish Your Website
Regardless, there are a few last-minute tests you should perform before starting to promote your website:
- Make sure your website is legible on mobile devices by previewing it.
- Make sure your content is accurate by going over it again.
- Filler content should be removed from your theme or template.
To begin increasing traffic to your new site, you can consider contacting existing clients to inform them that you’ve gone live. You can also use social media or email to advertise your website.
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