It is no longer possible for a brick-and-mortar business to operate without a web presence. From product research to location information to operating hours, consumers turn to the Internet for everything.
As a web design company with experience building 1000 small business websites, we know how to create great and engaging business websites.
Small businesses often lack the budget to outsource certain tasks. for example, Hiring a web designer for your online presence could be pricey. However, developing a small business website yourself can be challenging.
To make the labor easier for you, we have simplified the process.
Here are the steps you need to follow to build a small business website for your startup.
Things to Consider Before you Build your Website
Listed below are a few key elements to consider before building a business website.
Identify Your Website’s Main Purpose
It makes no sense to expect Chinese food in an Italian restaurant.
The same applies to websites.
Your website’s job is to meet your customers’ expectations. Whether you want to use it for selling goods or just posting information, knowing this in advance will make the process of building a website much easier.
Identify Your Target Audience
Each business or industry will cater its products, website, and marketing to a particular type of person. The earlier you identify your target audience, the easier it is to make important design decisions later on.
Plan your budget
Building a professional business website usually requires spending some money – so figure out how much you can spend before letting your imagination run wild! By creating a budget before you begin, you will avoid accidental overspending and know what you can afford.
Analyze your competitors
Building a business website requires you to consider your competitors. A unique idea is pretty rare these days for any business. This means there will be other companies offering the same thing as you!
Researching your competitors can help you figure out what to include and not include on your business website.
Organize your content
It might sound backward, but preparing your content before you build your website is a lot simpler than the opposite.
Having this handy before you start will make the process much easier. Otherwise, you’ll have to stop and start, which increases building time and delays the website launch.
How to Build a Website From Scratch: 12 Easy Steps
1. Get a Good Domain Name
Your domain name is an important aspect of your website. It’s the URL you’ll share with your existing customers and promote on social media. Hence, you want it to be descriptive and easy to remember.
When you have selected your domain name, you need to contact a domain registrar and confirm that it is available. Here are some popular domain registrars:
In case your preferred URL is already taken, you can contact the owner and ask to buy it from them or take advantage of domain-buying services from companies like GoDaddy, which will contact the domain owner on your behalf.
Below are the characteristics of a good domain name.
- It should be easy to spell
- It’s best to keep it short and sweet
- If you can, choose the .com TLD over other TLDs
- Please do not use numbers or hyphens
- Don’t be too specific
- Choose a catchy, easy-to-remember name
- Check for trademarks or copyrights
- Don’t spend too much on a domain name
- Choose a meaningful word (or at least something somewhat meaningful).
- You should buy a domain that includes a keyword if you serve a tiny niche market
2. Choose Website Hosting Carefully
Having a fast and secure website hosting service for your small business website is crucial. Look for a hosting provider with good reviews, a guarantee of uptime, and excellent customer support.
Depending on the technology and support you choose, hosting services can cost between $2 and $100+ per month. When you purchase a yearly plan as opposed to a monthly plan, you usually get a discount.
Some popular website hosting companies include:
- A2 Hosting – Fast & reliable shared hosting
- WPEngine – Best-managed WordPress hosting
- Hostinger – Best overall
- DreamHost – Best value for shared hosting
- Bluehost – Best for new WordPress websites
- HostGator – Best for simple websites
3. Cleary Describes your Business in the Hero Section
Having a website visitor understand your business from your home page is half the battle won. Your home page’s landing fold is called the hero section. Communicate in clear, understandable language.
4. Select a Platform for Building your Website
Ideally, you should choose a solution that will allow you to create a website without coding skills. For small businesses, here are our recommendations:
The CMS (content management system) determines how your content will be stored and displayed.
These are some of the best CMS options for business websites
- HubSpot CMS for marketing
The options for CMS are numerous, and you can also hire a web developer to design a custom CMS for you.
5. Choose an E-Commerce Platform that Meets your Business Needs
Almost every business sells something. You should choose an e-commerce platform that fits the needs of your business. The following are some options;
In your early months, if you expect a high volume of sales, consider investing in an e-commerce CMS. In our opinion, Shopify Plus is the best CMS for medium and large businesses.
6. Build your Pages
A good website is more than just a static homepage. It’s important to create multiple pages dedicated to different aspects of your business, such as a catalog of your products or services, or a blog for company updates.
Make sure every page of your website helps you achieve your primary goal, has a clear purpose, and includes a call to action (e.g., “learn more,” “sign up,” “contact us” or “buy this”).
The following are essential elements for most business websites:
- Homepage. It is the first thing visitors will see when they visit your site. Provide a short overview of the services you offer. It should also include clear navigation to other sections.
- Products, Services, or Portfolio page. In this section, you will showcase your work and describe what you can offer customers.
- About page. Describe your team or share your story here.
- Contact page. It would be ideal to include a contact form on your website and encourage customers to contact you with any questions they might have.
- Blog. Today, this is an essential content marketing tool for many businesses.
7. Create an Interactive and Engaging user Interface
A website’s user interface is what a visitor sees when they visit. UI refers to everything on a website, including navigation, buttons, layout, fonts, etc.
Having an interactive and engaging user interface will help users accomplish their goals, such as finding information, purchasing your product, or contacting customer support.
Both user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) contribute to a pleasant and productive buyer journey.
8. Install your Payment System (if necessary)
While this step won’t apply to all business websites, those who wish to offer customers the option to pay online will have to integrate electronic payment systems. E-commerce software or a credit card processing solution is the easiest way to accomplish this.
Many web hosts have in-house shopping carts or integrate e-commerce programs. Research options to ensure you get one that suits your current and future needs and is easy to use.
9. Create a Successful SEO Strategy
SEO helps you get free traffic from search engines like Google and Bing.
The sooner you start optimizing your content for search engines, the sooner you’ll see results. As search engines regularly update their algorithms, successful SEO strategies must adapt to these changes to remain effective.
A successful strategy involves understanding your customers’ needs and creating content to answer their questions and solve their problems.
Using these SEO tactics can help you build a successful business website.
- You need to pick the right keywords. Use relevant, online-searchable keywords that relate to your business.
- Keep your content fresh. Adding to your website, writing blog posts regularly, and updating your content signals to search engines that your site is relevant.
- Link internal and external resources. Internal links are links that lead to other pages on your site, while external links are links that link to other popular, high-authority websites.
- Image optimization. Compress images to make your site load faster. Your images’ metadata, such as tags and captions, is another opportunity to incorporate your keywords.
- Optimize your site’s speed. Ideally, pages should load within a few seconds. Check your website’s speed using free tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
10. Invest in SEO Tools
You need the right tools to improve your website’s SEO. You can find many great SEO tools online that can help you conduct keyword research and analyze backlinks.
The following are some of the most popular SEO tools:
- Moz Pro
- Google Analytics
- Keyword Finder
- Google Search Console
Although all of these tools can improve your website’s SEO, remember that no one tool can guarantee success. For this reason, it’s crucial to use a variety of tools and techniques.
11. Test and Publish Your Site
Make sure that your site works on all major web browsers before going live, such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.
Check each page and feature on every browser to ensure images are displayed are displayed correctly, and the format looks smooth. While this will take some time, it will save you future complaints from visitors who cannot access certain features.
Additionally, ensure that your website displays correctly on mobile devices. The mobile version of your site should be prioritized when it comes to search engine rankings, as Google and other search engines have migrated to mobile-first indexing.
12. Build a Website Maintenance Plan
Keeping the website online, adhering to the SEO plan, and constantly updating the content are all part of a website maintenance plan.
Having trouble getting your small business online? Here’s a guide to help you get started
Here’s how to build a website for a small business:
- Get a Good Domain Name
- Choose Website Hosting Carefully
- Cleary Describes your Business in the Hero Section
- Select a Platform for Building your Website
- Choose an E-Commerce Platform that Meets your Business Needs
- Build your Pages
- Create an Interactive and Engaging user Interface
- Install your Payment System (if necessary)
- Create a Successful SEO Strategy
- Invest in SEO Tools
- Test and Publish Your Site
- Build a Website Maintenance Plan