Are you a small business owner who wants to learn how to make your own small business website? If so, having a well-designed website can be a great way to help market and grow your small business. Here are six things to consider before making a website for your small business to make it as effective as possible.
1. Choose A Good Domain Name
The best way to start a small business website is to find the right domain name. Your domain name, which is your website address, will be the way visitors find your site. It is essential to choose a website domain name that relates to your business so people can find it and help improve your SEO rankings.
Here are some tips for coming up with the best domain name for your small business:
- Make it easy to spell. Try not to use made-up words, an alternate spelling of words that don’t make sense, or any slang.
- Keep it short. The shorter your domain name is, the easier it will be for your visitors to remember it and type it correctly on the first try.
- Use a reputable domain extension. The domain extension is the ending of your domain, like .com, .edu, or .org. Try to use .com because it is the most common and easiest for people to remember. That is unless there is another extension that makes more sense for you to use (.info, .tech, or .gov.)
- Don’t use hyphens or numbers. Using numbers can make it harder for your potential visitors to remember, and they might mistype it in if they aren’t sure if it should be written in the number form or written out.
- Make it memorable! Unfortunately, there are so many websites out there on the internet. Try to make yours memorable to stand out from a crowded field.
- Create an SEO-friendly name. Whenever possible, try to create an SEO-friendly URL that states your geo-location and any keywords. For example, www.ChicagoElectrician.com might help you rank higher on Google and other search engines.
2. Choose A Reputable Website Host
Next on the list for creating a small business or start-up website is to find a host that is secure and will scale with you as your business grows. You will connect your domain name to the website host, which will then power your website. When people enter your URL into a search name, they will be able to find your small business website thanks to your hosting provider.
A website host can cost you as little as $2 a month to more than $100. It depends on your particular needs and what type of features you need. I recommend that you purchase a yearly plan instead of going month to month because you will get a better discount.
A few different website hosting plans include:
- Shared server: This will be the cheapest type of hosting, and can cost as little as $2 a month. However, I would not recommend you choose this type of hosting. Shared hosting means you will share a server with other customers, meaning the performance of your site might suffer at times.
- Dedicated server: These will be the most expensive option, and you might have to pay $100 or significantly more each month. You have an entire server dedicated to you, which means you can completely customize it to fit your needs. However, because it is so costly, it is not necessary for most small businesses or start-ups.
- VPS server: This is a good choice that is in between dedicated and shared servers. A VPS server is like a shared host in a dedicated environment. However, you will be responsible for all small business web design and development, so make sure you either can pay for a developer to take care of any problems for you, or you have the necessary skills.
Here are some small business website tips on what features your web host should offer:
- 24/7 phone or chat support that is responsive
- Easy to use interface like cPanel
- Server security options like Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and the ability to add an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates to your site.
Some of the best small business website hosting providers include:
3. Choose A Good CMS (Content Management System)
CMS is an application or software application that helps you manage your digital content. The type of CMS you will likely want is one that doesn’t require much technical knowledge. Each CMS is different and built for various needs.
Here are a few of the popular content management systems:
- WordPress is the most popular CMS. I would recommend WordPress to most small business owners because of the wide variety of plugins available that help to extend the functionality of your site. WordPress is very easy to use.
- Drupal is another popular CMS that is also very flexible and easy to use. However, it doesn’t have as many themes or plugin options.
- Joomla! is used by many developers because it has very good SEO, multilingual, and security abilities than WordPress. However, if you find the right plugins, WordPress is more effective than Joomla!
- Squarespace is perfect for beginners who have no technical knowledge or the budget to hire a designer. The site is full of small business website design ideas and has professional templates to make your site look amazing.
4. Choose A Professional Design
When developing websites for small businesses, the design is one of the most important things you should consider. If you have no technical skills, you might be wondering how to make a small business website. However, many website hosts will also offer website builders to help you create your own website on your own. Many hosts, like Squarespace, will have a drag and drop editor, that means you can change your website without having to know any code.
A few website design tips for small businesses include:
- Utilize easy to read fonts
- Compress your graphics and optimize them to help your site load faster
- Design a navigation system that helps your visitors move from page to page
- Incorporate call to actions like “buy now” or “call now”
5. Select A Secure eCommerce Platform
The best way to make a website for a small business where you plan on selling goods is to choose a business eCommerce platform. If you want your customers to trust you with their financial and personal details, you should choose a reputable platform.
Here are a few of the most popular eCommerce platforms:
- WooCommerce can transform your WordPress website into an online store. It attaches to WordPress and has many different free and premium plugins and themes that you can use.
- Shopify is a standalone platform that gives you the ability to create and customize your online store. Through Shopify, you can manage products, payments, shipping, and inventory.
- Squarespace also has an eCommerce business plan. However, this service is only recommended if you have basic eCommerce needs. It is not as flexible or user-friendly as Shopify or WooCommerce.
6. Mobile-Friendly Websites
Another one of the steps to creating a website for a small business is to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Studies have found that people will bounce off a page if it takes more than a few seconds to load. If you are using a website design agency, ensure they make your website mobile-friendly.
Otherwise, make sure the template you are choosing is mobile-friendly. Some web hosts like GoDaddy or Wix allow you to edit your mobile website on your phone, making it easy to see the changes you are making.
When you are trying to learn how to create a small business website, it can be intimidating. But hopefully, with these tips, you can create the perfect small business website.