Starting a small business, whether it’s a passion project or a side hustle, can be challenging enough.
If you want to make a name for yourself online, you might look online to see hundreds to thousands of websites that have on-brand colors, menus and pictures. You might worry about how you can compete with all these amazing websites.
Let alone, hiring a web designer can be expensive if you are seeking to establish an online presence.
This process isn’t as challenging as it might seem. You don’t need an elaborate site with lots of cool graphics, either.
A small business can use some website builders that are user-friendly for beginners to create very appealing websites. In addition, most of them are extremely budget-friendly.
We’ll show you how to make a small business website easily with no coding or designing either.
A few things to consider before building your business website
There is not a single way of designing a website because there is not one “size fits all” solution. Before you start designing your website, you should consider what you want to achieve from it.
In addition, the type of business you are operating impacts how your site looks. For instance, a podcast website requires a very different website design than an architecture firm.
Ask yourself these questions when planning your small business website:
- Are you able to tell your visitors what your site will be about?
- When visitors visit your site, what do you want them to do (e.g., buy your products online, request a quote, etc.)?
- In what ways will you promote your products or services?
- Do you have a portfolio?
You need to keep your customers in mind if you’re selling online. All platforms and hosting providers will affect your site’s success in this area.
The 7 steps to create a small business website
As soon as you know what your website will accomplish, you can start creating your website. Here are 7 key steps you can use when designing and building your business’ website.
1. Build your website on a platform that works for you.
For small businesses, we recommend the following user-friendly solutions:
WordPress.org will give you full control over your site and all the best features. WordPress is super easy to learn and easy to use. It’s free, and you can customize the theme easily.
Hosted website builders such as Squarespace or Wix. You do not have to outsource hosting to another company with these platforms. However, there are fewer design options available and you need to buy a plan. A Squarespace Business package will cost you $18 a month for instance.
2. Choose a domain name
Here are some ideas to consider when choosing your domain name:
- Make sure it’s readable and memorable.
- Try to keep it as brief as possible.
- Add keywords that relate to your business.
You can buy a domain name on your own, or purchase your domain name through Squarespace or Wix if you choose to use them.
3. Find a hosting company that meets your needs.
If you’re working with Squarespace or Wix, then skip this step. WordPress users have many excellent hosting options, including Bluehost with their Basic plan for as little as $2.95 per month. This package is often suitable for small websites with an easy-to-follow dashboard and WordPress installation, but you can easily upgrade your hosting as your business evolves.
4. Select a theme or template
You can easily customize free templates from Squarespace and WordPress.
You can install and activate a free theme from within your dashboard by going to Appearance > Themes. You can also choose a premium WordPress business theme that includes pre-built portfolios, eCommerce pages, and page builder integration.
On Squarespace’s site are all of the templates available for preview. Simply click on Start With This Design when you’re ready. The editing area will appear straight away, where you can do most of the site’s customization.
5. Plan and create your content
As a small business owner with a real website, you’ll be likely excited to start adding content right away. To start, make sure you have a rough outline in mind.
Businesses need the following on their websites:
- Home page. It should list some general information about your services, with easy access to the rest of your site.
- Products, Services, or Work. Here you can show off what you’ve got to offer and showcase what your past work, products, or services look like. Show any case studies if any.
- About page. This page includes an introduction to your team or a story about you, how you got started and what you have to offer to visitors.
- Contact page. Your website should provide a contact form so you can encourage visitors to contact you if they have any questions.
- Blog. Today, most businesses need a blog, and it is a great content marketing tool to write about your knowledge and experience in your business niche.
Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress make it easy to create pages and publish blogs.
6. Optimize your site for search engines
You need to ensure people can find the content you create online. Having a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that can help you gain more visibility in the search results.
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the process of improving content so it can rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). There are a few key aspects to remember, which include:
- Optimizing your posts with the appropriate SEO keywords
- Making your website load faster
- Seeing your content can work on any device by picking a responsive design
- Links on your site should include internal and external links
- Incorporating post titles as permalinks
When building your website, it is wise to follow this SEO checklist. Yoast SEO, an SEO plugin, scans your content and offers suggestions for improvements. It can be installed on WordPress websites.
7. Review and launch your website
WordPress lets your site be public as soon as you install the WordPress software on your hosting website. A lot of website builders allow you to publish after you’ve finished your site.
Even so, you may want to make a handful of checks before you launch and promote your website:
- Does your website look good on all devices including tablets and smartphones?
- Can visitors navigate your website well?
- Is your content accurate and up-to-date?
- Have you cleaned up your theme or template to remove any filler content?
If you found any issues with your website, make sure to test your website beforehand. The worst thing that can happen is that your customers may leave your website as soon as they’re unable to find what they’re looking for on your website. You want to make your website as user-friendly as possible so you can gain more traffic and grow your business.
Getting the word out about your new site might start driving traffic. You might let your existing customers know that you have a new website on social media or via email.
Get started on creating your small business website
Your small business may not be able to hire full-time web developers, but that shouldn’t stop you from having an online presence. A platform such as Squarespace, WordPress, or Wix caters to newcomers and helps you build an effective website in little time.
If your website is gaining more traffic and you want to take your website to the next level, read more tips on how to refresh your website.