Wondering how to create a small business website?
Here is the simplest yet the most effective seven-step process to create a website that will help you:
- Stand out from the crowd in the digital scene.
- Effectively retain your current client base.
- Attract more audience.
- Convert more leads, and
- Get ahead of your competitors.
So, let’s get started.
Step 0 – Planning Your Website
Before you create a small business website, you need to plan a lot of things.
The questions that you need to ask yourself before beginning are:
- Why do I need a website?
- Can I hire experts for the website building process?
- How soon do I need the website?
- What are the features and functionalities that I need on my website?
Answering these questions will help you make the right calls later on in the website building process.
Step 1 – Finding the Right Website Builder
The 21st century is the era of ease and convenience. You don’t have to pay hefty sums to website developers anymore.
Instead, you can use a small business website builder.
What is a website builder?
A website builder is a platform that lets non-coders and non-designers use predefined elements to build a fully functional and visually appealing website in no time.
Website builders usually come with a drag-and-drop editor. You just have to select the elements that you want on your website. Then drag those elements and drop them where you want them to be on your website.
This makes building a website quick, simple, and cost-effective.
However, the real trouble is choosing the most suitable website builder from the ocean of options available.
Consider the following factors before deciding on a website builder for your small business website:
- The number of themes and templates available,
- Ease of use and simplicity,
- e-Commerce or blogging functionalities (if needed),
- Mobile optimization and responsiveness,
- The availability of customization options,
- SEO features and functionalities,
- Social interaction options,
- Third-party integrations,
- Availability of educational resources (FAQs, online communities, documentation, and guides), and
- Customer support options.
Once you have found a suitable website building platform, sign up for the builder, make necessary payments (if it is a paid platform), and get started with your builder.
Step 2 – Domain Name, SSL Certificate, and Hosting
The hosting cost of included in the monthly fee.
And the domain and SSL certificates are provided for free for the first year. (These would need renewal for subsequent years.)
While selecting a domain name, ask yourself the following questions before finalizing a name:
- Is the name brandable?
- Is the name memorable?
- Are these social media handles available for the name?
- Is the name already trademarked?
If you have chosen a platform that doesn’t come with hosting (if you choose WordPress.org, for example), you’ll have to make provisions for yourself.
Consider the following factors before finalizing on a web hosting service provider:
- The server uptime and reliability scores.
- Option to change your hosting server (from public to private, for example)
- Availability of packages that meet your needs and budgets.
- Free-trial, refund procedure, and moneyback guarantees.
- Server speed and responsiveness.
- Site backup options.
- Customer support service.
Once you have set up your website builder and sorted out hosting, domain name, and SSL certificate, move towards…
Step 3 – Selecting the Theme and Templates For Your Website
Selecting a theme and templates for your website is like building your website’s architecture.
The theme dictates your website’s overall look. And a template defines the layout of each page or element on your website.
Most themes come with different templates that you can choose from.
Most website builders have a range of free and paid themes and templates. And these are customizable. Thus, you can add a personal touch to your website.
If you have a little more money at your disposal, you can also get a custom theme developed for your website. This will ensure that your website looks unique and nothing like what your audience might have already seen elsewhere.
While selecting themes and templates, make sure you consider the following important factors:
- It should be responsive and ready for mobile devices.
- There should be adequate scope for customization.
- There should be ample space to add images and other media content.
Note: Website builders usually don’t give you the option to change your theme or template later on. And those that do allow the change require you to rework the entire website. So, take your time in selecting themes and templates for your website.
Step 4 – Planning, Creating, And Publishing Content
Content is the hero of your website.
A beautifully designed website with inadequate or subpar content would do you no good.
To make sure your website serves its purpose, you need to plan, create and publish quality content.
If you cannot develop the content strategy for the entire website, make sure you hire experts for the job.
Just ensure that the content on your website is relevant, valuable, up-to-date, and free from linguistic and grammatical issues.
Step 5 – Adding Basic and Advanced Functionalities
A good website should have all the required functional elements.
To make sure your website has all the features your visitors would require, you can add widgets, apps, and plugins.
Most website builders have an app store or marketplace from where you can find the necessary additional options. These apps, plugins, or widgets could be free or require payment.
If your business website builder does not provide the required functionalities, you can get it developed by experts. And then integrate it with your website.
Also, ensure that you use third-party integration options and link your other social media handles with your website.
Note: You can go to the specific settings in your website builder and set up an eCommerce store or a blog section.
Step 6 – Search Engine Optimizing The Website
All your efforts will go waste if no one lands on your website. To get an audience for your website, your website needs to rank on the first page of the search results.
Now, that’s possible when your website is optimized for the search engine.
Most website builders have a set of SEO tools and options that you can use to optimize your website.
Some essential optimizations to do on your website include:
- Add a meta title and description for all pages on your website.
- Alt tags for the images.
- Canonical tags for each page.
- Robots.txt file and sitemaps (XML, HTML, and text sitemap)
- Use of internal linking.
- Proper use of keywords
You can also hire SEO experts and digital marketers for better results.
Step 7 – Develop A Website Maintenance Plan
Setting up your small business website is not the end of your job.
A website requires continuous effort. And you need to develop a proper website maintenance plan.
The plan should include provisions for the following:
- Regular blog posting and updating the content of your website as and when needed.
- Updated the apps, widgets, and plugins as requires.
- Updating the website builder tools as newer versions are rolled out.
- Keeping the website, user data, and the backend secure.
- Performing regular backups of the website.
- Troubleshooting any issues with the website.
- On-going search engine optimization of all the pages.
A proper maintenance plan will ensure that your website keeps running and ranking in the long run.
Ready to make a website for your small business?
Use the steps mentioned above and launch your website in 2021. And give wings to your business growth.