There’s been a rise in online business in recent times. Whether you’re a freelancer, own a store, or operate any type of small business, a great website is instrumental to the success and growth of your company.
Creating a website has been made so easy. You don’t need to know coding to create a functional and attractive site.
You don’t even have to hire a developer. Just some basic rules and tips to follow and voila, you have a professional website.
Want to build your business website? Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a successful website.
1. Determine the primary purpose of your website
A business website is a platform that provides all the necessary information about your company.
The homepage should tell what the company is about and what it does in clear and plain terms.
According to Gabriel Shaoolian, CEO of website design and digital marketing agency Blue Fountain Media:
“Whatever the fundamental goal of your website is or whatever the focus may be, users should be easily able to achieve it, and the goal itself should be reinforced as users navigate throughout your site.”
2. Choose your domain name
Your domain name, also known as your website address is one of the most important features of your website.
It’s expedient that your domain name depicts and gives a good impression of your business.
Ensure it’s also search engine optimized. It’s best to keep your domain name short, simple, and clear of abbreviations, acronyms, and numbers so as to prevent customer confusion.
3. Purchase a secure web host with good tech support
Every website needs a host, a server where all of the data is stored for easy access by the public at any time.
Based on your budget, you can either opt for a shared, dedicated, or virtual private server (VPS) hosting plan.
Shared hosting, the least expensive plan, means you’ll share a server with other sites. This plan makes your site perform slowly.
Also, if one of the other websites on your shared server is hacked, your website will likely get infected as well.
Though the dedicated hosting plan costs more, your website will perform at an optimal level.
In dedicated hosting, you get to have your own private server which is more secure than a shared hosting plan.
It might be overkill for most early-stage and small businesses. Virtual private server (VPS) hosting offers the best of both worlds.
It offers similar affordability like shared hosting and similar security and performance potential like a dedicated server hosting plan.
In choosing a web hosting company, ensure the hosting service has a functional phone and/or chat support so you can be helped quickly if you have a problem.
Also, check the kind of server security in place and an easy to use server interface like cPanel to access your server.
Make sure the hosting provider you settle for has features like daily backups and regular security maintenance.
An ideal hosting company that meets the above requirements is Bluehost. Bluehost is highly recommended for setting up your website.
It ranks amongst the popular and biggest hosting companies in the world. It comes with a pre-install WordPress, free domain, free SSL, and a 60% discount on website hosting.
You shouldn’t sleep on this offer! Bluehost offers lots of freebies to users.
4. Choose a Theme and Build your pages
A good website is far more than a static homepage. Create multiple pages dedicated to various aspects of your business such as a blog section for company updates or a detailed catalog of products and services.
Ensure each page depicts the primary goal of the website including calls to action like learn more, sign up, contact us, or buy this.
A contact page is one of the most important sections of a website. It gives customers direct access to you.
Be sure your phone number, email address, and physical location are indicated on the page.
Also, your main and footer navigation menus should have “About Us” page links which people can click on to get in-depth knowledge of the business.
It could also include information about the founding team or staff. This helps customers put real names and faces to your brand.
If you’re having a hard time building out your pages, you could go on Fiverr.com and hire a freelancer to customize your new website according to your taste. On Fiverr, you can get a simple website completely built and customized as a little as $100!
5. Implement the best content management system
A content management system (CMS) is an application or software program used to create and manage digital content.
Choose a good CMS that will enable you to maintain your site with little or no technical issues.
Go for CMS that suits your unique needs. Before making your choice, consider the user-friendliness, extensibility, and budget of the CMS.
While WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS, there are other ones like Joomla, Drupal, Square space, Wix amongst others.
6. Choose a good e-commerce platform
Do you plan on selling goods and services via your website? Are you thinking of delving into e-commerce? Don’t waste time. Go for it.
E-commerce potentially increases your profit. There’s the need to choose the right platform for your business model.
Woocommerce, Shopify, Shopifyplus, Business Squarespace ranks amongst popular small business e-commerce platforms.
7. Create an interesting, memorable, and engaging website user interface
Ensure your business website interface leaves a positive and lasting impression on your customers.
In creating an engaging website user interface, do the following:
- Use beautiful graphics and easy-to-read fonts.
- Research your competition to see how they have designed and optimized their websites. Implement similar components that will work for your small business website.
- Find out what your targeted audience wants and ensure you meet their needs and satisfaction.
8. Optimise your website for search engines
Search engine optimization is a set of guidelines or practices applied to your site to boost your ranking on Google.
The better your website design and content are, the higher your site will show up on search engine result pages.
9. Regularly create and publish quality content
Since regular and quality content is crucial to SEO, it’s important you update your website with new and relevant content on a frequent basis.
Also, posting testimonials from customers on your website is a great way to publish fresh, high-quality content on your site.
This makes your business more attractive to people thereby boosting it.
10. Implement a website maintenance plan
Your website should be updated from time to time. Want your website to rank well in search engines? Ensure it’s properly maintained.
Here are a few tips to create a business website maintenance plan:
- Use performance data to optimize and fix errors and warnings
- Be sure all software is up to date
- Run security scans to rid your website of malware.
- Ensure your website is properly backed up in multiple ways at least once a day.
Creating a business website may not be as easy as you thought but with strict adherence to the steps listed above, your business is sure to succeed in the online marketplace.
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