You have landed here to build your first small business website. Welcome!
In this post, I will share as with you the necessary steps to build your website. It is not difficult. But, it needs you to take action.
By the time you finished reading this, you got your website up and running. =)
Let’s move on to learn something practical. I can assure you this is going to be SUPER easy. Just follow the guide. I can build it, so can you =)
Here’s the ultimate guide to starting a small business website. Let’s get things started.
1. Decide the purpose for your website
Starting a website is easy.
Before that, you need to know what’s your purpose. Are you creating a website for your business profile? Are you setting up an online store to sell baby products? Or, are you starting a photography blog and monetize it?
Knowing what you plan on doing is an important first step because it will guide you on how to build it going forward.
Not to worry, if you haven’t decided yet. Let’s run through the whole process. You will have a better idea after this.
2. Choosing the right domain name
Now, we have got all that out of the way, the next step is to get a name for your website.
Choose a name that easy for people to remember for long. Like Apple, Alphabet, etc. Thinking a name for your website can be the toughest thing about building your own website.
After you have decided on your domain name, do a quick search at WHOIS. You can search and register your domain name with GoDaddy and Namecheap.
I recommend you to buy your domain name and hosting separately. This is to save your money and to make things easier for you in the future.
Hosting and domain are two different things. Although you can buy both from the same company (and at a good price), I will not go for it. There are some technical reasons for it.
#Tips: Your domain should be catchy, unique and easy to remember. Try not to use hyphens or numbers.
3. Choosing the right hosting
You may argue there are lots of free web hosting where you can setup for free. For those who build it for a hobby, that may sound like a good option. Here are some major pitfalls of free web hosting.
If you are serious about your website, you must take full control over your assets. Watch the short clip below to understand what is web hosting and the important of choosing the right one.
The alternative, there are a lot of others web hosting in the market you can choose from. Take a look at the web hosting review here.
#Tips: Pick a reliable web host is a key here. You need to look at the uptime records that you can afford. A web host should come with easy auto-installer. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of time to deal with coding.
4. Selecting your platform
There are some many platforms to choose from. WordPress power 30% internet website. Not doubt, it is the trusted and reliable source.
Now, we can move onto a simple process of installing WordPress. You can install WordPress using 1-Click Softaculous installer.
#Tips: Once you installed your website, you need to point your domain name to hosting company. It takes 24 hours to take effect.
5. Design your logo
Having a good logo is important for your website and business. It is a critical aspect of business marketing.
Your logo has to be eye-catching to attract customers. An attractive logo can help you to stand out from competitors and win on advertisements.
There are several ways you can do it. Either you design it yourself or ask a designer friend to do it. Here are 5 important elements to make a good logo.
Logotypemaker and Logomakr are two popular tools where you can create your own logo.
If you don’t feel like doing it yourself, you can choose to buy a premium logo from the Internet.
#Tips: Logo is as important as your domain name. It represents your website or business. Create a logo that sticks into people’s head.
6. Do I Need To Design Website Myself?
After you have installed the platform, you might want to design your website. You might ask, “Do I need to design the website myself?”
Well, most of the WordPress users do not create their own design.
Instead, they pick a design, aka theme, to represent their website. There are endless numbers of WordPress theme you can find on the web. Just search on Google and it will give you millions.
To get you started, here are some resources,
Official WordPress Theme Directory
This is where you can get WordPress themes in the different category. Download and use it for free.
All the themes list here are safe to use. As WordPress has very tight standards for developers to follow.
Yet, you may find the designs are limited. You might not get the professional themes and comprehensive features as you wish.
Sometimes, you can’t find your favorite theme under a free category. Then, you might want to consider a paid theme directory. Elegant Themes is one of the popular places to find a lot of beautiful WordPress themes.
Here are some WordPress themes available on Elegant:
More paid theme directories:
- Woo Themes – A place for premium WordPress themes and plugins provider. Woo Themes has one of the best eCommerce plugins in the market. A must visit site if you are setting up an online store.
- My Theme Shop – Website offering premium WordPress themes and plugins. Suitable for all kinds of online business and websites. It comes with both paid and free versions.
Tips: Here is a step-by-step guide (with screen shot) to install a WordPress theme.
7. Where To Find Images For My Website?
What next after I have installed a theme?
Your website needs images.
Average, you have only 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression on your visitor. Beautiful theme and high-quality image help to keep visitor. Besides, it also attracts new visitor to your website.
If you are running an online store, a good quality image can boost your conversions.
Pixabay – One of my favorite place to look for free and high-quality images. There are no attribution requirements. Meaning, you can do whatever you want with the images you get. You’ll get access to different kinds of file type. The image you get is clear and in good quality to serve all purposes.
Besides Pixabay, here are more resources of beautiful images for your website. They are both paid and free:
- Unsplash – My another favorite to look for free images. As is the case with Pixabay, the images are yours to do with as you please. But first, you need to subscribe to them with a valid email address.
- DesignersPics – Photographs suitable for personal and commercial use. Browse the categories or search by keyword. The photos are hi-res, which appear well on your website. And, they are for free.
- Openclipart – This website offers free clip art, miniature graphics, symbols, etc for your website. This is different from the usual photo inclusion. It definitely worth your time to visit.
8. Essential WordPress Plugins For New Website
You still with me?
Let’s do a quick recap before we move on. You should have your website up and running with,
- An easy to remember domain name that sits on a reliable hosting.
- A logo to represent your website.
- An attractive WordPress themes that suits your website direction.
- Rich resources of images to use for your website.
Now, we need to add some plugins to your website. WordPress plugins are the essential ingredients to turn your site into a powerful machine.
There are over 40,000 of them available for free, each designed to improve your website. They make your site faster, more secure and finally more profitable.
Official WordPress Plugins Directory
Plugins not only make your life easier, they can enhance your website and protect your assets. Visit WordPress Plugins Directory to download your favorite plugins.
There are some plugins you must at least know about and have.
Below are the essential WordPress plugins for a new WordPress website (that I am using too):
- Backup Buddy
- Yoast SEO
#Tips: If you are hosting with A2 Hosting, it comes with A2 Optimized. Where the default configurations installed on your website.
9. Make Your Website Load Faster
By now, your website is almost 90% ready.
You may have the right hosting for your website. Next, you already installed WordPress with beautiful themes. You may have a well-designed logo. You also chose a few beautiful images for your website. And, you downloaded a few WordPress plugins to make your life easier.
The question here, do you know how fast is your website?
Website speed is important to your business. Here are some quick facts,
- 79% of online shoppers say they won’t go back to a website if they’ve had trouble with load speed.
- Amazon did tests. They showed they would lose $1.6 BILLION every year if they slowed down by just one second.
- Half of us don’t even wait two seconds for website content to pop up!
- 47% of people expect your site to load in less than 2 seconds. 40% will abandon it if it takes longer than 3 seconds. (source)
There are lots of things that cause a website to slow down. Here are some tips to speed up your website you can take.
10. Take a step further
With all the steps above, your business website is good to go.
As I promise, I tend to cover as much as possible where you can build up a site by the time you finished the post.
No matter what business your website is doing, the above guide should help you to get your initial step done. To bring your website further, here are some good reads to follow
- Social Media Marketing Tips
- Email & Newsletter
I hope you can benefit from my post above. From time to time, I will bring you the latest information, tips, and tools to run a better website.
Here’s one last reminder (for you and myself) before I end this post: Results comes from action. So, take action!