As a consumer, when you hear about an interesting new brand, one of the first things you do is google to find the website, isn’t it? If you learn that the business has no website, you may not be as enthused as you were initially. If it has a website but it lacks information or good usability, you may lose interest too.
If you are a new small business owner, I’m sure you are aware of the importance of owning a good website. You might wonder how daunting the tasks might be to create a strong web presence. Then I can tell you they really aren’t. You won't be stressed out if you follow how to make a website for your business in the simplest and most straightforward way.
The Purpose of Making a Website For Your Business
Let's recap why you need a website and what it should accomplish.
- Website as a property - A business without a website is like a nomad selling goods on the street. A good, informative website proves that your business truly exists and it’s trustworthy.
- Brand awareness - Having a website helps your business reach a wider audience, enabling more people to learn about what you offer.
- Brand Recognition - Brand recognition refers to visual indicators such as the logo and colour that represent your brand without having to mention the name. Elements in your website such as logo, base colour, font, and favicon help boost brand recognition.
- Information - More importantly, your website is the platform to share all about your business, history, location, opening hours, etc. It also allows you to make announcements, the latest news, and discount offers. where
- Engagement - The tone of your website (e.g. friendly, classic, funny, etc) defines your business and reflects the type of your audience. Also, the contact form on your site allows your audience to send questions and feedback.
- Building Prospects - The subscription signup form will collect more people who are interested in your business. As you gain subscribers, your chances of making sales increase.
Do I Really Need To Create a Website Myself?
Now you know that not only is your web presence essential to add credibility to your business but also to maximise its growth. But how hard is it to create a website yourself?
Well, that’s the question for every new business owner. And the answer depends on your schedule, budget, and how involved you want to be.
Create a Website Yourself
If you work for yourself from home, you have a good few weeks to learn and experiment with a website builder, then I’d say, definitely give it a try, because;
- You really don’t need technical/programming skills, and thousands of stylish, professional-looking templates are available.
- The knowledge of how to make a website for your business will become handy in years to come.
- You’ll have total control over your site, update it whenever you wish.
- Even if it doesn’t work out, you can always delegate someone else to do the job or ask a professional to take over. Your small initial investment will never be wasted.
Let a Professional Handle the Job
On the other hand, if you have a budget to spend and would rather avoid worrying about designing your website, you're better off leaving it to the professionals. Small business website design packages give you a variety of advantages, such as;
- They don’t just include the initial design of your site, but the price often includes the management/updates.
- You can focus on launching/managing other areas of your business.
- They can not only design a brand new website but also revamp your existing one.
- The majority of their clients are business owners/entrepreneurs, if not all. So they’re experienced in other areas of online marketing such as social media and SEO which they can take care of on your behalf for an additional fee.
It feels too stressful to make a website for your business, then time is money. Get a professional to do it for you.
How Simple/Complex Should My Business Website Be?
First of all, for a small business, the website doesn’t have to have too many pages to start with. What matters is usability. Less is more, the clearer the better, and you don't want to overload your visitor with information. However, if you have a variety of services to offer, building more pages is inevitable, hence the navigation menu display can become challenging.
WordPress is the most popular “content management system” - simply put, a website builder. The statistics can tell you that WordPress is not only the most popular but has been the fastest growing web platform for over the past decade.
If you run an e-commerce business, Shopify is another site builder suitable to create an online store. But WordPress’s plugin (called Woocommerce) also enables you to create an online store, and it’s free, so the versatility that WordPress offers is pretty unbeatable.
WordPress itself is also free to use, and your website content is easily transferable from one web space to another. So if you want to change your hosting company (server environment - I’ll explain in a little while) for any reason in the future, your existing website content can be saved, exported and imported to the new space. That’s one of the greatest reasons WordPress is so popular.
How To Make a Website For Your Business
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making a basic business website. Let’s start with getting the most basic parts done and out of the way. That is to secure your webspace.
1. Choose a Domain Name
Your domain name (website address, like cybercashworldwide.com) should be your business name, but you can pick any domain you want as long as it’s not already taken by someone else.
The domain registration fee is around $10 - $15 per year. You can check the availability and purchase your domain from well-known sites such as;
It’s just for domain registration, so whichever site you buy from won’t make much difference.
You can choose a generic top-level domain (.com, .net, .org) unless your business is geo-specific, i.e. your target audience is a specific country, in which case choose the country code top-level domain, such as .co.uk, .ca, .au, etc. accordingly.
One piece of advice I can give you is if you’re not choosing a country-specific code, try to choose a generic domain (com, net, org) if you can.
Some new top-level domains (such as .xyz, .digital, .shop, etc.) are available for as low as $0.99 per year. But don’t try to save money there. There are two disadvantages to buying a cheap domain;
- They may be available at a low cost right now, but the renewal prices may dramatically increase and you may end up paying more than usual in a long term.
- Cheap domains such as .xyz are often abused by spammers and scammers. They create websites to defraud people and quickly disappear. So if you have one of those cheap domains, your business may not be taken as seriously as it should be by some people.
2. Get Your Web Space Hosted
The next thing you do is to secure your web server space hosted by a company. There are hundreds (if not thousands!) of web hosting companies to choose from, and my advice here is to choose a well-known, trustworthy company. Don’t go for an unknown discount hosting service, mainly for two reasons;
- You’ll experience downtime (your website goes down) for a long period, too often.
- The hosting is likely to be managed by one or two individuals, so when you have a problem like 1 above or any technical problem, the response may be slow and not satisfactory.
Earlier, I mentioned about WordPress as the most popular website building platform. And I can recommend 3 of the trustworthy, WordPress pre-installed web hosting companies.
- For those who are on a budget: BlueHost is said to host over 2 million websites worldwide. Established in 2003 and now a team of over 750 staff manage customer services. The price starts from $2.95 per month.
- Maximize speed, performance & SEO: WP Engine is a WordPress-specific hosting service, the speed, security, and support are all designed for WordPress websites. The fee starts from $23 per month, which includes a premium WordPress theme, which I think is reasonably priced.
- For affiliate marketing: Wealthy Affiliate hosts up to 10 websites for $49 per month (or 2 months free if you pay yearly in advance.) The price includes all the affiliate marketing & SEO training, premium keyword tool, and extra security. No hidden extra, which means this is actually the most cost-effective option if you are about to start an online business but have yet to decide what to sell.
Once you sign up with a hosting company, you’ll need to “link” your domain name to your webspace - every hosting company guides you through this process step-by-step, so it’s pretty easy and straightforward.
3. Use One Premium Plugin
WordPress is open-source software, meaning any third-party developers can create plugins (add-ons) and users can freely download them.
Some essential plugins include SEO support, spam blocker, image optimiser, and an e-commerce plugin for a store owner. Others include gallery maker, popup maker, music, games…basically anything you can think of.
You may need at least several plugins from the following to make a website for your business;
- As many landing pages
- Call-to-actions and buttons
- Lead generation (signup) forms
- Contact forms
- Social share icons (for users to share your page on social media)
- Social follow icons (links to your social accounts, e.g. “Follow me on Twitter!”)
- Pricing tables
- Tables for other purposes (e.g. product comparison)
- User testimonials
- Google Maps to show locations
- Video and audio embedding, galleries, star rating, guarantee box, “pros & cons” box…etc.
Plugins are available to download for free, and each plugin allows you to accomplish each of these tasks.
But here’s the problem. If you install too many plugins on your WordPress, your site loading speed will start to suffer dramatically. If your webpage takes more than a few seconds to open up, the agitated visitors will leave your site - you may already know this, right? For that reason, it's crucial that you keep the number of active plugins on your WordPress site at a minimum. But you will definitely need landing pages, call-to-action, lead generation, social share features, etc. are all essential elements for your business website. What should you do?
The solution is to use an all-in-one plugin. There’s one called Thrive Architect, which is designed specifically for business users. Just one plugin allows you to add all the elements that I’ve listed above.
Thrive Architect is a visual WordPress page builder, developed by Thrive Themes, a company that specializes in WordPress themes and plugins since 2013. For the price of only $97 per year, you’ll get to use all these features as many times on your site. I think it’s a great value for money, and it’s my #1 recommendation right now.
4 Use Landing Page Templates
Thrive Architect is equipped with over 300 landing page templates in a variety of styles and colours for different industries and purposes. The templates are categorised, such as;
- Sales Page
- “Coming Soon” Page
- Templates for a One Page Site
- Confirmation / Thank You Page
- Course Launch Page
- Webinar Page
- Lead Generation Page
- Event Page
- Application Page
- Service Business
- Local Business
- Personal Branding
I’ve saved just one of the templates here; https://resources.cybercashworldwide.com/landing-page-by-thrive-architect/
Some of the templates may look unnecessarily lengthy to you, but the idea is to choose one that contains the sections that you need first, and delete all the sections that you don’t need.
The purpose of a landing page is to turn visitors into leads, prospects, and buyers. Thrive Architect’s templates are no exception, they are all sales/conversion-focused, particularly focused on speed and clarity. So they’re designed to attract visitors' attention, and drive them in the right direction (i.e. to make a purchase, ultimately.)
New templates are regularly added throughout the year, and any updates are fully supported by the technical team, so you can be sure that the latest format will be used on your business website.
How you can start customising can be learned from this guide: Simple WordPress Tutorial for Beginners – 3
Why Not Other Landing Page Builders?
There are other standalone landing page builders out there that let you sign up and start building a business website. Why should you take two steps; use WordPress, and then install a landing page builder on it? You may ask.
I’m kind of recapping what I already said earlier - the main reason is that WordPress has been the most used content management system for so many years. It’s extremely unlikely to disappear anytime soon. If something happens to your site, or you change your mind for any reason, you can save your existing site, import it to another WordPress environment, give a little tweak and restart your site easily.
Whereas with a standalone landing page builder, if the company goes out of business, you would have to convert your existing content to an exportable format, which may not be possible. If that’s the case, you’ll have to start everything all over again. This is why WordPress offers the best long-term protection. I hope this makes sense.
How To Make a Website For Your Business - Conclusion
Even if you don’t have a clue what kind of business website you’re looking to create, just by browsing the template, you should be able to start forming the ideas.
Start by creating a simple homepage to introduce what your business exactly offers. Then perhaps create an “About Us” page to explain your work in detail - history, mission, your team if you have, etc. Avoid using fancy, obscure words that nobody understands. Be clear and straightforward.
I hope that this post will assist you in getting your new business off the ground, or give your old site a much-needed update.
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