So you need a website for your business?
Well, I’m excited for you.
Although it’s an easy option to hire a web designer, taking on the challenge yourself is an awesome way to learn new skills that are going to help drive your business forward.
At first, however, building an entire website from scratch may seem like a daunting task?
But don’t stress, in this post, we’re going to find out step-by-step exactly how you can get a site up and running…
Table of Contents
Why Is a Website Important For a Small Business?
A website in and of itself is actually pretty pointless.
Because having a site for the sake of it, does nothing for your business.
It has to be created in a way that serves your target audience, drives customers and gives you credibility.
Think of your site as a catalyst for moving your business forwards.
Your site gives you;
Which Platform Should I Build My Site On?
There are many platforms out there that allow you to easily create a website, however, think carefully about which one you choose.
You’ve likely heard of platforms such as Wix and Squarespace. And yes, these are both great and make it very easy to create a basic site.
That said, they have limited functionality, which means if you want to add things or completely change your site, later on, you’re limited in what you’re able to do.
Whatsmore, you don’t actually own your content. Meaning it comes under the control of the platform. (for example, Squarespace).
The platform I would strongly recommend is WordPress. With this platform, you have a tonne of freedom.
1 – You own your content
2 – Have full customization ability
This is thanks to the many plugins available for WordPress. So although it can seem complicated at first, in the long run, you’ll be much better off with WordPress.
What’s The Goal Of Your Site?
Before starting your site, you need to determine its purpose.
This means, what do you actually want your site to do?
Do you want it to bring in customers through Google? Serve as a platform for your customers to interact? Or simply bring in more sales?
Writing down an exact plan of what you want your site to achieve is crucial in building an effective site.
How To Build a Website - Step-by-Step
1. Get a Domain Name
The first thing you need to do is purchase a domain name.
This is going to be the exact name of your website so think very carefully about what you want it to be as this cannot be changed…
For example, you’ll usually have your business name, followed by .com and/or your country code.. (e.g mybusiness.com.au).
You can purchase your domain from somewhere like Godaddy and will cost anywhere between $10 and $50 depending on the name.
2. Get Some Web Hosting
Next, you need to get your web hosting.
This is what keeps your site on the internet and is essential.
There are a few different hosting platforms, but I always use Hostinger. They have reliable support and I’ve never had any problems with them.
Hosting is an ongoing cost and you can choose to pay for it monthly or annually. For 12 months of hosting, on average would cost between $100-$200.
3. Choose a ‘Theme’
Now we’ve got the ongoing costs out the way, it’s time to start building.
On WordPress, you should choose a theme for your website. This helps keep your design consistent and looking good. This can be customized but be careful not to alter the design too much as you want to keep things similar across your entire site.
If you’re more confident in your design ability, it would be with purchasing some design software such as Elementor. Elementor has its own themes and allows you too well, create whatever you want really.
Elementor gives you the ultimate power in creating a site exactly how you want it. It can be plugged into WordPress with both a free version and a Pro version. While the free is epic to get started with, the Pro version is truly amazing!
4. Start Creating Pages
Now it’s time to start creating some pages. Yep, finally.
From the WordPress dashboard, you can easily add pages to your site and add content using either the native WordPress Editor or Elementor.
Every website should have some basic pages to start with including;
What Should You Include On Each Page?
Every site on your page is going to have a slightly different purpose however they all need to include a few essentials and design fundamentals.
Be sure to have, a clear title and page purpose, a call to action, unique and concise copy, images as well as hierarchy and simplicity in your design.
5. Add Content To Your Pages
Whether you’re using the WordPress editor or Elementor, it will pay to spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with your chosen editor.
This is what you’re going to use from now on to add content to every page.
So begin by adding some clear, concise copy of what your site is on your home page, a bio of yourself and business for the about page as well as the services you offer.
You can then add some images, contact details and any ‘call to action’.
Bonus Tip – every page on your site should have a header and footer. This is the top and bottom section of your site and should include a menu for easy navigation as well as links to your social pages and a call to action.
6. Set Up Your Email & Any Payment Systems
This is where things start getting a bit more complex and is much less fun than creating pages and adding your content.
But if you want a site that works and generates revenue, setting these two aspects up are essential.
Any contact forms you have on your site need to be linked up with your email address and be tested to make sure you actually receive the emails!
If you want to take orders and receive payment online, then this is almost a separate thing in itself and will require more time and learning.
A good place to start would be through the WooCommerce plugin.
7. Use SEO Best Practices
Any website needs to consider SEO if it stands any chance of being found on Google.
SEO is simply the practice of optimizing your site to appear in Google search results pages.
Some SEO best practices include;
There is actually a lot more to SEO than you may think at first and although you can follow these best practices to get started, there is an infinite list of things that can be done in order to help you rank better.
It’s actually now a full-time job for many! Including myself.
8. Further Marketing
Your website should never just be created and left.
It needs nurturing and development over time. Think of it as your digital child…
To keep up with your competitors and to stay ranking on google you will need to be making changes, updating content, adding new content and constantly monitoring your site if you truly want to be successful with it!
You then have to keep marketing and driving users to your site. This can be through; SEO, Social media, email marketing and paid ads.
How To Build A Small Business Website - Summary
There we go.
A step-by-step guide on how you can build a website for your small business.
So go out there and start creating.
It won’t all be straightforward and easy, but you’ll learn a tonne of new skills which over time are all going to help you and your business move forward.
Failing that you can always reach out to me and I’d be happy to help you create your site.
Good luck and happy creating!