How to get your first business website in 6 easy steps
If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably already aware of how important it is for your business to have an online presence. A business website does not only allow your potential customers to find your company using search engines, it also helps it look more credible and professional.
However, getting your first business website can be intimidating and leave you feeling confused, especially if you have no idea where to start. Fortunately, getting your business online doesn’t need to be a headache.
We have broken down the process of getting your first business website into 6 simple steps below.
Feel free to leave a comment or get in touch if you have any questions.
1. Choose and buy a domain name
The very first thing you should do is find and buy a domain name. A domain name is your address on the web where people can reach you. It’s what your customers put in their browser to access your website. For example, our domain name is www.smallbusinesswebsites.co.uk.
You can check available domain names and reserve yours using a domain name registrar, e.g. Namesco. The cost of registering a domain name will vary and usually depends on the type of domain (.com, .co.uk, .org) and what’s included with the domain (email address, SSL certificate, private registration).
A domain name is an important part of your business and it helps to identify it on the Web. Choose a domain name that is simple, relevant to your business and easy to remember and pronounce.
If your preferred domain name is already registered, try adding your business location or a keyword at the end of it. This will also help improve your search engine ranking.
2. Determine your website’s purpose
Think about the purpose of your website. What is its primary objective? Are you trying to expand your customer base? Sell products online? Showcase your work? Determining your website’s goal can help you decide what kind of website your business needs. The most popular website types include simple brochure style website, blog and e-commerce shop.
Making a list of pages and features that you want on your website will help you establish what sort of budget you need. If you’re a small business with a limited budget, you may want to divide your website’s requirements into two groups: must have and nice to have to make sure that your website project stays on budget. Start with a small, informative website and expand it as your business and budget grows.
3. Prepare your website’s content
Content is the information on your website that helps people decide whether they want to purchase your products or services. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that it delivers the right message to your potential clients. Remember to focus on your visitors and their needs and try to answer questions they might have about your business. If you’re not sure what information to put on your website, try looking up your business competitors websites to see what they are doing.
Solid website content can improve your search engine ranking. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you may want to hire a professional copywriter to write your content for you.
Your website should be designed with your content in mind, not the other way around, so having your content ready before designing your website is crucial. It can also help speed up the process of getting your business online and growing your customer base.
4. Build your website
The cost of building your website ranges dramatically and will depend on whether you decide to do it yourself or get someone else to do it for you.
If you are tech-savvy and want to keep the cost down, you can build your business website yourself, using online website builders. These can be a cost-effective solution if you’re on a low budget, but it is usually time-consuming and you might end up adjusting your content to fit the template.
Hiring a freelance web developer or an agency will require a bigger budget, but you will get a bespoke website that is designed to meet your business needs.
There are many ways to get your website built and each has its own pros and cons. Read our ‘What should you pay for a website‘ article to help you decide which one works best for your business.
5. Choose a web hosting company
Once your website is built, you will need to upload it to a remote location on the Web via your web host. A web host is a service provider that stores your website on a server and makes it available to your visitors.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a hosting provider and selecting the best one for your business can be a difficult decision. You should consider the software your website is built on and whether the web host supports it, how much disk space you will need and what amount of bandwidth your website might require. Some hosting packages might include extras, like a domain name, backups or website maintenance.
If you’re looking for a hosting provider who offers technical support and keeps your website up-to-date, check out our Hosting and Website Maintenance article.
6. Launch and maintain your website
Launching a business website is only the first step to building a successful online presence. Once your website is live, you should optimise it and submit it to search engines to ensure people can find it. Regularly updating your content with products updates and news about your company will improve your search engine ranking and attract new visitors. By implementing Google Analytics and signing up for Google Search Console you can track your website performance and monitor it for any errors. Also, remember to keep your website secure, by using complex passwords and ensuring all software is up to date.
Getting a business website is an effective way of reaching a wider customer base. If you’re not sure where to start, have a look at our business website packages that include a domain name, hosting, technical maintenance and many other great features to help make your business a success.
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