Do you know that you might be losing 50 potential customers because of lack of a website for your business? You do not have a reason for not having a website for your small business. It is no longer expensive and complicated. Our guide is going to give you important steps on how you can have your website or personal blog within a short time.
Basically, there are the same steps involved in creating a blog and a website. Let us look at the difference between a blog and a website.
Differences between a blog and a website
The basic difference between the two is just the way data is presented. A blog is a weblog made for the use of chronological listing. You can easily start a blog with services such as blogger or WordPress. These services will provide with the entire system you need, and you will have numerous designs and templates to choose from.
A blog gets more attention depending on the quality of content, the frequency of updating it and the ease to read the content.
A blog will have a commenting system where readers can participate and ask questions, list of blog posts, subscription feature to get updates via email and many other features.
A blog can be linked to the homepage of a website to make it part of the website. A website can just be a single page or be comprised of millions of users such as Twitter. Basically, a website is comprised of the following:
• A design portfolio of work
• A homepage that shows content from different sections of the internal pages of the website
• A blog can be part of the website
• A page comprised of frequently asked questions
• A page of customer feedback and client testimonials
• Terms and conditions of the company
• A contact form
• An about page that describes what the company offers
Setting up a website and a blog entails the same things only that a website might need more time and skills to set up.
First of all, before you start a website, you need to choose a good content management system.
What is a content management system?
Back in the days, most websites were built using CSS, HTML and even flash. This was so difficult to learn and master.
This has created a false notion among people, and now many people think that it is difficult to create a website from scratch because it needs a lot of design and coding skills. This is no longer needed nowadays because content management systems such as WordPress have come in and simplified the process of creating a website.
In simple words, a content management system is a user-friendly platform that helps users to build websites and manage their online content. You do not need to use a bunch of HTML pages anymore. The content management system can also be referred to as website building platform.
Step 1: Get a web hosting and domain name
For you to set up your website, you will need a hosting service and a domain name. A domain name is a web address such as www.yourbussiness.com while a hosting service is a service that connects your website to the internet.
Nowadays, domain names and hosting services cost as cheap as $2.5 a month. It is important to have your own domain rather than having your site on a domain belonging to someone else. Your website will load quickly if you have your own hosting.
Choosing the right web hosting
How do you know that a particular web host is good? First, before you choose a web hosting, here are a few things to consider:
• Get more knowledge about uptime guarantees and reliability.
• Understand what you need
• Know the available upgrading options for that particular web host
• Check the available features based on your needs
• Know the cost of both signing up and renewal
• Check the control panel for the hosting
• Read the server usage policies for the hosting company and understand what grounds your account can be suspended.
• Understand other supporting features such as environmental friendliness and site backup
Knowing your needs
You need to know what you want if you want to get the right hosting service. You need to know: the kind of website you want to build, if you need windows applications, if you need a special version of software if your website needs special software and the expected traffic volume of your site.
You should have a picture of the functions of your website. Most beginners start with a shared hosting account which is cheap and easy to maintain. They later own upgrade it at a later stage.
The reliability of the server
It is very important to have a web host that operates 24 hours. You will need a host with a stable connection. We recommend you choose an uptime score not less than 99.5%. You can get uptime information by reading the reviews or just track the web host with server monitor tools.
Step 2: Choose a domain name
Choosing the right domain name should not be taken casually. This is just an important exercise similar to choosing a company name. You will need a lot of consideration and thought. The domain name is your identity on the internet. You should choose a domain name that is easy to find and promote. It should also fit your business.
Below are some of the important steps involved in choosing a perfect domain name for your small business.
It should be easy to type
This is a very important thing for you to be successful on the internet. Your customers will find you easily if you use simple words to type. Avoid using slang and words with spelling errors.
Keep it short
If you choose a complex and long domain, chances are customers will mistype or misspell it. This will make you lose potential customers.
Choose a name related to your business
You should use keywords that describe your services you offer and your business. For example, if you repair phones, you may register your domain as phonerepair.com. This will improve your rank on search engines and increase your traffic. The chances are that you will get more customers.
Target your area
Most small businesses are local. You should consider including your state or city in your name. This will make it easy for local customers to find you and remember your business.
Avoid using hyphens and numbers
People who hear about your business will not understand whether you have used numbers or hyphens in your domain name. You should avoid characters that will make it difficult for customers to find you.
Make it memorable
There are millions of domain names on the internet. You should consider choosing a domain name that is catchy so that people can memorize it. After choosing a domain, share it with friends to know whether it is appealing and whether they will remember it the following day.
Research on it
You need to make sure that you select a domain that is not copyrighted or trademarked or being used by someone else. This can lead you to a legal mess. It could cost you a lot of money.
Use appropriate extension
Extensions are suffixes such as .org, .net, .com at the end of your web address. You should choose an extension that works well for your business. The .com extension is the most popular because it has been around for a very long time. The problem is that it is difficult to find a short and memorable .com extension.
Step 3: Get a personalized business email
A personalized business email will make your business look more established and professional. It is so casual to use a Gmail or Yahoo email address. Most customers will perceive your business as not serious. It is advisable that you use a business email using your business domain name.
Choose a simple website builder
This step has great importance when it comes to building your website. You should choose a website builder based on your needs. Most website builders nowadays are easy to use. You don’t have to be an expert.
Some website builders are so complex and offer numerous features that you don’t need. It is not always a guarantee that more features make a website builder superior. Features are important only if you will use them. Make your life easier by keeping things simple.
Choose a website builder that suits your needs and not because someone else used it.
Step 4: Choose a template design for your website
A template is a web design that is pre-made. You can just add it to your site, and it will create a professional looking website instantly. There will be no need to hire a website designer. This is an economical and simple way to have a well-designed website without hiring a professional website designer.
A website designer is also important, but it is not a must to hire one to have a professional website. For starters, I would advise you start with a free template. This is because you may not know the type of traffic that will interact with your website, how they will interact with your website and their needs. It is, therefore, easier for you to start with a cheap template and hire a website designer after you have known what your customers want.
Step 5: Update your website with information and business content
This is fun for most people. It doesn’t need a lot of thinking. It is easy to add up images and information to your website. It will take most of your time. First of all, you will have to design a good home page. A home page is the first page your visitors will land on when they visit your website. This is like the reception area on a commercial building. It should be clean, appealing and welcoming. You should make your homepage look nice and give a lot of information about your business in few words.
You can give a lot of information about your organization in few words by using logos, photos, and videos. As much as photos and videos are important, they might be unfriendly to users if they are stuffed on the website. If you use too many videos and photos on your site, it will reduce the loading speed.
Make sure the photos are of high quality. Choose a good color scheme for your website. This will help you to brand your site and influence your customers psychologically. Choose the perfect font style and font size. Users should not have a hard time reading the content on your website.
It is not complicated to build up a new website or blog for your small business. You can also improve an existing one in easy steps.
You can approach this process with complex techniques or just use simple and easy to use tools. The end result is all that matters. There are people who have used complex ways but in the long run, come up with unprofessional websites. On the other hand, you can use simple tools and come up with a professional website.
You need to know what to do and the right website builders to use. A simple and yet useful website builder is the one with good drag and drop tools. For a start, it is important to go for free and trail tools and then invest your money after proving that the tools can give quality results in the long run.