How to Build a Website for your Small Business
In these times, for a business to compete with its competition, it needs a business website. Otherwise, their business only will reach local clients. Every company needs a business website to attract visitors and have a web presence. In this article, we will learn how to build a website and what is required to have one running.
What is a small business website?
A small business website is a way to display your business online through pages you have built to educate your clients about your products, vision, etc. The website is the online representative of your company which drives your visitors through the rooms (pages) you have prepared to exhibit to them.
Why is essential to have a website?
A website is essential because most people search online to find businesses that can help them with their problems. They could search in Google “where is the nearest place to eat” (restaurants will show up) and “where do I file my taxes” (tax offices will show up). Can you see what is at stake here? You can miss out on obtaining more clients from a search engine.
Let’s start step by step on how you can get a website up and running.
Domain Name Registration
What is a domain?
A domain name is a human-readable address for your page. If you don't get one for your website, it will have to be accessed by an IP address provided by your hosting company as a IPv4 (e.g., 22.214.171.124) or an IPv6 (e.g., 249a:4a68:9b11:f1a1:013b...) they are not that easy to remember.
Why do I put to get the domain name as the first step? There are around 30,000 domains registered each day, and the name you would like to register has a small probability of being taken. Please don’t be that guy who designed his business cards, postcards, or any other media and add a domain name that someone else took. So don’t let that happen to you. Make the domain name registration the first on your to-do list.
Domain names contain different extensions (.com, .net, .org, and so on), but the most used is “.com” because it was the first we started to use at the beginning of the internet, and most people assume your business website starts with it.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a domain could vary depending on its demand, and some domain name registrars can also provide discounts.
In the following table, you will find some price averages:
|$8 - $16 / Year
|$10 - $15 / Year
|$12 - $15 / Year
To find if a domain is available or see the price, visit any of the following links below:
- Name - https://www.name.com/domain
- GoDaddy - https://www.godaddy.com/domains
- HostGator - https://www.hostgator.com/domains
Choose your site purpose
Now that you have your site domain, it is time to pick the purpose of your site. Is it your website to provide information to your visitors or sell your business products or services? If you want to share information, a simple website that presents your business to your customer would be enough. Otherwise, if you want to sell products, an eCommerce website would serve you better. You can review the table below for a more detailed list of types of websites.
|The main page where visitors will land to.
|A page containing information about yourself or your company.
|The services your company provides, here you can include information and pricing of your services.
|Provide a way to reach your company through a contact form, telephone, or another medium.
|Terms and Conditions
|The legal agreements which your users must comply to is requirements if you provide products or services.
|A blog containing all articles written by your company is great to have to increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
|The page containing all products on your e-commerce website
|Collection of photos or illustrations for your visitors to view.
|Allow visitors to become users with privileges
|Allow your users to sign in.
Design and Development of your Website
You have your domain, website's purpose, and sitemap down. Now it is time to bring your website to life. You can take from here: The do-it-yourself route or hire a professional web developer.
The DIY Route
First, if you have decided to have an informational website, the best site builder to use would be WordPress. Still, if you choose to build an e-commerce website, then Shopify would be the best option, don’t get me wrong, WordPress can do eCommerce as well, but Shopify's best selling point is how easy it is to have built an online store in minutes.
What is WordPress? WordPress is a free content management system that can help you host and develop your website or blog.
And what about Shopify? Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that helps small business to run their online store to sell their products.
Many how-to videos on Youtube will teach you how to build your website search, for example, “how to make a WordPress website in 2022”. You’ll have the power to customize your website to your liking, but if the results you’re getting are not enough, you will need a professional to intervene in your project.
Hiring a Web Developer
If you don’t have much time, want to build a complex website, and have the budget, then hiring a web developer would be the best choice. An experienced web developer will use better tools to make your website functions the way you want and add features you can’t find for a site builder.
A professional web developer can use a well-designed template and customize it to your website needs, or you can provide a template to him before hands. You can find website templates to use on the following links:
Theme Forest - https://themeforest.net/
There is plenty of templates to choose from for WordPress and Shopify.
Another option is to design your website, which will take longer, but the result would be unique, and your visitor won’t compare it to other websites they have visited.
We have finally come to the last stage of building a website. Your website is tested locally and has all the functions to serve the visitors you expect to get. If you chose the DIY route, you already have handled the hosting because it is required before starting a WordPress or Shopify website. But if not, now it is time to rent a spot online where your website will be run, and you can start by reaching out to a web hosting provider.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a server connected to the internet that runs 24/7 to serve your web content and services.
There are a lot of web hosting providers. Some of them are GoDaddy, HostGator, and SiteGround. Below you’ll find the links to get your web hosting started:
- GoDaddy - https://www.godaddy.com/hosting/web-hosting
- HostGator - https://www.hostgator.com/web-hosting
- SiteGround - https://www.siteground.com/web-hosting.htm
After getting your web hosting, you can provide temporary credentials to your developer to upload and have your website running. Some developers can provide you with hosting, manage your website and do backup when necessary in case of failures for an extra cost, taking the complexity of managing your server.
Building a website for your business will give you a great return on investment in the long run.
By having a website, your company will have a web presence, more clients will reach your business, and you can make profits 24/7 if you sell your product and services. I hope this guide has helped you with all the steps needed to take your website online and build a website for your small business that will provide you value for years to come.
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