6 Simple Steps to Create Your First Business Website
For small business owners, having an online presence is crucial. A business website not only enables potential customers to find your company via search engines but also lends credibility and professionalism to your enterprise.
However, taking the first steps toward creating your inaugural business website can seem overwhelming, leaving you feeling uncertain about where to begin. The good news is that establishing your business online doesn't have to be a daunting process.
We've broken down the process of getting your first business website into six straightforward steps below. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or reach out to us.
The initial step is to locate and register a domain name. Your domain is your web address, the way people reach your site. It's what users type into their browsers to access your website. For example, our domain name is www.smallbusinesswebsites.co.uk.
You can check domain availability and reserve your choice through a domain name registrar like Namesco. Registration costs vary depending on the type of domain (.com, .co.uk, .org) and what features it includes (email address, SSL certificate, private registration).
Your domain name is a crucial part of your business identity. Opt for a name that's simple, relevant to your business, and easy to remember and pronounce. If your desired domain is already taken, consider adding your business location or a relevant keyword to improve search engine visibility.
2. **Define Your Website's Purpose**
Reflect on the primary purpose of your website. Are you looking to expand your customer base, sell products online, or showcase your work? Determining your website's goal will guide the type of website your business needs. Common website types include simple brochure-style sites, blogs, and e-commerce shops.
Creating a list of the desired pages and features on your website will help you set a budget. If your small business has budget constraints, categorize your website requirements into "must-have" and "nice-to-have" to ensure the project stays within budget. Start with a small, informative website and expand it as your business and budget grow.
3. **Prepare Your Website's Content**
Content is the information on your website that influences people's decisions to buy your products or services. Hence, it's essential to ensure that it conveys the right message to potential clients. Focus on your visitors and their needs, answering any questions they might have about your business. If you're unsure about what information to include, examine your competitors' websites for inspiration.
Quality website content can improve your search engine ranking. If you're uncomfortable creating content yourself, consider hiring a professional copywriter to craft it for you. Your website design should revolve around your content, not the other way around, making it essential to have your content ready before designing the site. This can expedite the process of launching your business online and expanding your customer base.
4. **Construct Your Website**
The cost of building your website can vary significantly depending on whether you choose to build it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If you're tech-savvy and want to minimize costs, you can use online website builders to create your business website. While this can be budget-friendly, it may be time-consuming, and you might have to adjust your content to fit the template.
Employing a freelance web developer or an agency will require a larger budget, but you'll receive a customized website tailored to your business's requirements. Various methods are available for website construction, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Refer to our article on "What Should You Pay for a Website" to decide which approach suits your business best.
5. **Select a Web Hosting Provider**
Once your website is built, you'll need a web hosting provider to upload it to a remote location on the web. A web host stores your website on a server and makes it accessible to your visitors.
Choosing the right hosting provider can be challenging due to various factors, including the software your website is built on, the amount of disk space and bandwidth required, and extras such as a domain name, backups, or website maintenance. We recommend SiteGround as a hosting provider.
All our website packages include domain name and hosting. For more information, visit our Website Packages pages. If you're seeking a hosting provider with technical support and regular website maintenance, explore our Hosting and Website Maintenance article.
6. **Launch and Maintain Your Website**
Launching your business website is just the first step toward establishing a successful online presence. After your site goes live, you should optimize it and submit it to search engines to ensure it's discoverable. Regularly update your content with product updates and company news to improve your search engine ranking and attract new visitors.
Implement Google Analytics and sign up for Google Search Console to monitor your website's performance and detect any errors. Remember to keep your website secure by using strong passwords and ensuring all software is up to date.
Getting a business website is a powerful means of reaching a broader customer base. If you're unsure about where to begin, explore our business website packages, which include a domain name, hosting, technical maintenance, and various other features to help your business thrive.
Do you have more tips for launching your first business website? Feel free to share them below!
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