One of the first questions new business owners ask themselves is:
“I know my company needs a website, but where do I start?”
If you’re reading this article, chances are good you are the owner of 1 in 30.2 million small business in the US today. The good news is you are not alone and do not have to navigate the whole scene of entrepreneurship yourself. Websites can be complicated, but they are one of the first crucial foundations to lay as a business owner. I want to demystify the website process.
The Process Of Building A Website For Your Business:
#1. Deciding your budget.
Regardless of what you want, it is always important to first sit down and plan how much you are able and willing to spend on your website. If you build your own website on WordPress using cheap hosting plans such as HostGator or BlueHost, you are able to host a website for as little as $3/mo. If you are in a position where you want professional designers and SEO (search engine optimization) experts to handle it for you, it can cost up to several thousand. The decision is yours, just keep in mind that if you are not a professional web developer or graphic designer, you often get what you pay for.
#2. Deciding Your Platform
“There are hundreds of options to chose from for website platforms how do I choose?” If you are looking to go with the “do it yourself” option, here are my personal suggestions:
WordPress - If you decide to go with WordPress you will be in good company - 74,652,825 websites are currently build using WordPress and can be a very powerful tool. Many professional web developing companies use WordPress as their preferred choice. Now technically, WordPress is not a hosting service, it’s just the software. You still need to find a hosting service to run your WordPress on. I prefer BlueHost for its ease of use, and it’s price. (Make sure you choose a theme that is mobile responsive so it looks good on all devices)
Wix - if you are not necessarily good with computers and do not enjoy spending a lot of time customizing your website, WIx is an excellent option for those who just want a website to be easy and look great. Wix websites are generally more expensive on a monthly basis, however, considering how little time goes into Wix, the websites ‘design can be excellent.
Square Space - another option similar to Wix. The websites are basically pre-made, you just have to drag and drop information and pictures to customize it.
Shopify - if you are starting an online store or ecommerce website, you will definitely want to choose Shopify. It streamlines the process of payments, keeping track of inventory, tracking shipping information, fraud detection, and much more. You will need to buy premium themes to get a good look but they are generally affordable.
#3. Find inspiration
I always ask my clients to provide me one or two of their favorite websites for inspiration. Now, it is important to remember you are not copying their design or taking their images. We are simply looking at what other websites in our niche look like. We do not want to reinvent the wheel. Look for key components of the design:
What do they include on their home page
What are the main differences between the home page design and the secondary pages’ designs
What does their menu look like
What kind of imagery do they use
Once you understand what they do, make it your own. Choose a theme that works well with the layout you want to provide.
#4. Fine tuning the website
After you have a rough draft of the website - the images are up, you have text, and a menu. It’s time to work on the details. Open the website on your phone and / or tablet. How does the website look on those devices? Is the text easy to read on your phone? Do the images take up the whole screen? Does the layout make sense? Adjust all these as needed.
#5. Make sure people can find it
One of the most important steps is making sure other’s can find your website.
Keywords - Make sure that your pages include words related to your line of work. If you are in lawn care make sure you have words related to “lawn mowing, landscaping, mulching, etc” so when people are searching with those words, your business shows up. If you are using WordPress download the free plugin “YOAST” to help with key words.
Place on search engines - make sure to place your website on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You are leaving customers on the table if you think people still only use Google today. A large demographic of internet explorer users use Bing and Yahoo for their every day searches.
I hope that gave you some helpful information for navigating the world of website creation for small business. If you would like help advertising for your new business, Pursue Pro has specialists in web developing, SEO, social media, print marketing, graphic design, general advising and more. contact us for more information. Let us know in the comments if you followed any of this advice to build your own website for your business!