There are an infinite number of reasons for you to create a website if you own a small business. One primary reason is that 58% of the global population or almost 4.48 billion people are active internet users. Nowadays, people are researching online before making a purchase. In fact, not having a website tells people you're not in business anymore, and they will be actively searching for another place. 

In this article, you will learn how to start your own small business website and go through all the necessary steps. 

Think of a Domain Name

The first step is to figure out a domain name for your site. If your business is already up and running, there's no reason for you not to use its name. Actually, it's recommended you use your firm's name to make it easier for people to find you online. 

In case your small business is not yet operational, then you can get a little more creative. Remember, a domain name should be simple, relevant, and easy to remember. The easier it is for people to share it with their loved ones, the better for your business' popularity and branding. 

Find a Hosting Provider

Next, you will need to find yourself a hosting provider. It can be a tedious process, but it's a critical one, as well. The hosting company you choose will be the lifeline of your site. Basically, you can think of it as your online landlord; you have to pay monthly or yearly rent to have your website up and running. 

There are hundreds if not thousands of hosting companies you could use. However, you should make sure to do your due diligence before committing to any one company. You have to take into account the level of support you will need. Then, you have to think of the desired features, the volume of expected visitors, and the price.

Thankfully, websites like UncensoredHosting exist. You can take advantage of the numerous customers' reviews to make an educated choice for your hosting provider. 

Pick a Content Management System (CMS)

After you've decided on a host, you should choose a content management system (CMS). There are quite a number of them you could choose from. WordPress is one of the most popular ones, and more than one-third of the Internet's websites use it. Although, you should know wordpress.com and wordpress.org are slightly different. 

The .com site comes with both a CMS and an included hosting solution. On the other hand, the .org website provides only the CMS, and hosting is up to you to find. Nevertheless, except that, they offer the same functionality and features.

Naturally, there are other choices, as well. Wix is also a neat content management system suitable for beginners, although you will have fewer features and freedom in personalization. If you would instead make an eCommerce site, then Shopify would also be a great choice. 

Set Up Website

Now that you've chosen a CMS, you have to set up your site to your taste. While setting up your site, you have to keep a few things in mind. First, your website should be easy to navigate. Meaning, visitors should be able to find whatever it is they're looking for quickly.

Then, it must be mobile-friendly because nearly 91% of active internet users are also mobile users. Furthermore, 53% of mobile users will abandon your site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Finally, you have to make sure your site's design is visually appealing.

All of these requirements might be hard for a beginner to cover fully. Thus, it's recommended you use a theme.

Choosing a Theme

You can find numerous existing WordPress themes online, both free and paid ones. Although a free template might be good enough for you, it's still preferable to get yourself a paid one. Why? Because they will have all the features mentioned above, and then some more on top. 

Furthermore, you should be able to find some existing themes that are specially made for your business type. You can easily find specialized themes for real estate agents, lawyers, bakeries, and more. In fact, you could even find ones for adult themes like HubX and VideoX

Anyway, you can use Themeforest or even MOJO WordPress marketplace to browse for yourself. You have access to a vast selection, so choose carefully. The theme you use will have an enormous impact on your site's success. 

Don't Forget Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is crucial for your site's discoverability. If search engines can't find your site, odds are no one can. Thus, you have to make sure your website is optimized for search engines. In case you have no idea how to do that, you can check out this great article about small business SEO.

Watch Your Loading Speeds

As mentioned before, mobile users will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. That is also true for desktop users. Thus, you must ensure your small business' website loads fast in order not to lose any visitors prematurely. 

Review 

Now that you've set up your site, you need to test it. First, click on all the links to make sure they're working. Then, check for any grammatical errors. Finally, get someone to review it for you. Of course, you can hire a professional to do it for you, although a friend should be enough. 

Furthermore, you should see if you have a good enough buyer's funnel optimized for conversions. It will ensure your site is tailored to your target audience, and the content will be to their liking. Meaning, they will be eager to come back and eventually become customers. 

Publish and Update

Finally, after you've done rigorous tests, you can publish your website online. However, there's more work to be done. Making your site online is not enough, you have to frequently add new content to keep things fresh. Almost nobody will bother will a website that hasn't been updated in years. 

Thus, if you want more new and returning visitors, you must create more content. Thankfully, it can be anything - an article, a video, an infographic, a helpful tool, etc. It's entirely up to you how you choose to update your site. However, keep in mind what your visitors might find useful and interesting. The best type of content educates your visitors.

Examples

In order to make it easier for you to understand what a good website looks like, below, you can find a list. It contains a few sites from different niches that can serve as an example for you.

  • Seriously Unsweetened

  • Lemonade

  • Crypton Trading

  • Essentially Geared Wine

  • Mixbook

Conclusion

Let's recap what you've learned. First, you need to think of a domain name and find a hosting provider. Then, choose a content management system and a theme with which to create your site. 

After building and before publishing, make sure to test everything and review it for mistakes. Finally, when your site becomes online, update its content periodically. It's up to you how often, but it's recommended to do so at least once a week. 

You now know how to create your own small business website. Congratulations!

 

Published by Charlesa Gibson