Every entrepreneur today knows how important it is to have a website for their business. Small business owners and home-based online business owners require an internet presence and as much as any other larger-scaled business offering products and services. A business website could open up your target market by making your business gain a larger audience and more potential buyers via Google searches and online social media marketing.
Regardless of what your preferred marketing methods for your business are, when you build a website for your business it can act as an extension of your business card and provide all the information people need to understand what you are offering.
These key tips could be useful in making the process of creating your small business website successful and easier.
Decide the purpose of your business website
You already operate this business outside of the internet so you would have to figure out what exactly you want the website to do to improve your small business. The website you build could be about trying to engage more potential customers with interesting content as part of your marketing strategy. Or you might want to sell your goods and services directly to your customers on the internet. Knowing the intent of your business website beforehand is important as it will guide you on how to best develop it moving forward.
Choose your web content management software
Once you have a clear vision of what your website is for, you would need to choose from a wide variety of content management software (CMS). Many options are free or open-source and only have charges for optional add-ons. If the main purpose of starting your website is e-commerce (i.e. to sell your products online), you would need to select software that works specifically for that purpose.
However, if e-commerce is not the main part of your website’s intended use you can opt to use some of the more popular open-source management software like Joomla! or WordPress and make use of the free or low-cost add-ons they offer. The setup for both software will take some time and effort to become familiar but there are plenty of templates and user guides to help a newbie get started.
Select a web host
A website host is where your site will be located to your visitors. Although your choice of content management software could influence your choice of a web host, you should also base your decision on the speed and number of visits you estimate you would receive on your business website. Small businesses often go with the less expensive hosting services for a start and graduate to more powerful, pricier, hosting services as their websites mature and requires the extra services.
You should check that your host provides automatic installation from where you have designed the website (using your CMS). Many web hosting services will allow you to install or transfer your designed website with a single click. Finally, you should check that the host offers good customer support service as you would need it along the way.
Pick a website builder and template to build upon for your website
After selecting both the CMS and web host, you would need to choose a website builder and template. There are thousands of free templates that you can work with to create your desired website appearance. However, some of these free templates may be limited in features so you might want to spend some money on a paid, premium template that offers more features.
Design the general layout
When you are settled on the template, you should have an idea of the options for your layout. Begin work on getting your company logo, menus, and other information you might want on your webpages. The content featured on your website is very important but using the right font and graphics to present that information in a user-friendly way will determine how well your website performs. You would need to make a good visual impression so look at the design of other websites for ideas and inspiration and incorporate your favorite elements into your own website. This way visitors and customers will keep coming back.
Carry out regular site maintenance
Regular website maintenance will keep your site running smoothly. You want to make sure things on the site are all in working order and none of the links are broken. Many visitors look at the site to see what is new. It’s simple to add content and blog entries to give your visitors new and exciting information.
At the end of the day, you would need to keep in mind that no successful business website was built a day. Invest your time and energy in designing something that suits your needs and it will all be worth it when the money starts pouring in.