Today, digital technologies play one of the leading roles, and the Internet takes a leading position. Here, while staying at home, users can make different purchases, watch films, listen to music, listen to music, listen to music, order food, submit their resumes, and many other things. That is why most company owners decide to run their business online as it greatly simplifies communication with the clients.
If you desire to bring your business to the next level, increase the flow of customers, improve the image of the company, or you just have a creative profession and want to show your work (no matter how big your business is), you should definitely consider the creation of your own site.
And to make the website development process effective, you can either hire a devoted website development company or build it by yourself. The choice is all yours. But if you prefer to stick to the second option, then the information below is right for you.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps that will enable you to create an impeccable small business or startup website.
Step 1. Get a domain name
A domain is the first thing a visitor sees when they come to your site. A well-chosen name makes a good impression on the visitor and increases brand awareness. The simpler the domain name, the higher the likelihood that it will be entered into the search engine, which means people will visit your website more often.
Recommendations when choosing a domain:
- It should be easy to remember
The name of your domain (brand) should be something that people can remember right away and it should reflect your field of activity.
- It should cause no problems while writing
It is advisable to avoid complex names, hyphens, and numbers since people are likely to get confused with such names and make mistakes.
- The shorter, the better
The domain length must not exceed 12 characters.
- It must be unique
To be noticed, your domain must differ from the rest.
Step 2. Purchase website hosting
For the small business website you built to become available to all users, in addition to the domain, your resource also needs hosting. Hosting is a service for placing your site on the Internet. A large number of companies, which are called providers, are engaged in the provision of such services.
How to pick hosting providers
When picking a hosting provider for your future resource, we recommend you follow these criteria:
Stable operation. The hosting you choose should work stably 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Otherwise, you will incur reputational losses in the eyes of visitors, and also lose positions in search engines.
Professional support. Fast and qualified technical support is very important in case of various failures in the operation of the site and the need for their prompt elimination.
Service cost. This aspect is important both for small businesses that have a limited budget at their disposal and for owners of large-scale projects that require the employment of truly expensive hosting.
Step 3. Tell clients about who you are
When potential clients first enter your site, they should understand who you are and what you offer. Accordingly, you must take care of not just the design of the resource (that should reflect your identity and uniqueness) but also the presence of such a page as About Us. There, you can tell your story, team members, achievements, mission, goals, values, and other information you find suitable. Moreover, you should know that clients appreciate the personal approach. Therefore, do not use cliches or standard phrases in your texts, otherwise, you will sound boring and distant to your audience.
Step 4. Choose a CMS
A content management system is a platform, on which you can build your small business website. However, as each system has its characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages, the choice of a CMS system depends on the purpose of the site Furthermore, you should know that all CMS systems are divided into two large groups: free and paid ones.
Here are some of the most popular CMS:
WordPress is one of the most user-friendly CMS to employ. It has a wide range of plugins and templates and it is great for making any type of site (for instance, business cards, forums, landing pages, shops, news portals, and blogs).
Joomla is similar to WordPress since it’s also easy to utilize and install. In addition, it is highly expandable with plugins and modules. Moreover, Joomla is suitable for both starters and professionals and can be used to work with projects of various levels, but its full potential can be revealed when building medium and large projects.
Drupal is another widespread CMS that is employed for creating corporate sites, business card sites, as well as portfolio sites, social networks, and online shops.
It’s up to you to decide which CMS will be perfect for your small business, and you have many options to choose from. Nevertheless, before picking one of them, you should study all the pros and cons of each. This way, you can avoid making a huge mistake.
Step 5. Pick an e-commerce system
If your business is related to the sale of services or goods, then you will require a special platform that will provide you with all the necessary tools to ensure the smooth operation of your store. And below, we will take a look at two well-known systems:
- WooCommerce is a plugin of WordPress WordPress that enables you to build an online store faultlessly. The widespread usage of this system can be explained by the user-friendliness of the administrative panel and unlimited extensibility. Moreover, you can introduce numerous add-ons to WooCommerce, which will grant you new options for managing your store.
- Shopify is a platform for creating stores of diverse complexity. Since it is created for users without advanced design or technical skills, the system offers the simplest functionality and obtains a wide range of templates that enable you to quickly launch any website.
Step 6. Work on the user interface
For users to have a good first impression of your site and really enjoy interacting with it, the following factors cannot be neglected:
- High loading speed;
- Quality and one-of-a-kind graphics;
- Readable fonts;
- Website design consistency;
- Convenient navigation;
- CTA buttons;
By observing these aspects, you have no chance to go unnoticed by your potential customers.
Step 7. Ensure SEO-friendliness
SEO, or search engine optimization of the site, helps it to climb to higher positions in the search for relevant queries. Accordingly, the higher the site’s place, the greater the chance that customers will visit it.
That is why the most common mistake when working on SEO is that it is taken care of too late. For instance, at the last stage before the launch of the site. As a result, it may appear that the resource is not efficient, and you have to rewrite the content and even change the site structure. And you don’t want that to happen, right?
Step 8. Provide quality content
If your site has a blog or a section with the latest news, then it is vital to constantly update these blocks and publish miscellaneous content as if the last publication dates from 2018, then users may think that your company has not been operating since then.
In addition, by publishing content regularly, you will not only assist search engine optimization (using keywords and phrases) but also demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in a particular area, which can be very useful for your customers.
Step 9. Take care of webmaster tools
With the site release, your work does not end. Now, the most important thing is to make sure that your website is truly effective and that it performs all functions properly. To do this, you can install tools such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics. They will help you track numerous vital metrics of your resource, such as:
- The number of users who visited your site over a certain period;
- The time people spend on the website (on average);
- Broken links;
- Pages, after scanning which users leave the site;
- Web page loading time.
If you ignore these tools then within time, it may be too late to detect that something went wrong with your site.
Step 10. Keep the website up-to-date
Everything, from the content to the software should be always updated and maintained. And here, you will find some points you should regularly cover:
- Analyze your audience to improve the customer service
- Employ the above-mentioned webmaster tools
- Always search for new ways of online promotion
- Keep a close eye on your competitors
- Continually check the website security
On a final note
Obviously, it’s not a cakewalk to build small business websites, but we strongly believe that this guideline was valuable for you, and with its aid, you will either adjust the existing site or make a new one, so that it will work in your favor for a long time.