Being the awesome entrepreneur that you are, you already have the flare to create your own home based business. Or at least, you have an idea of something you’d like to embark on to bring your personal passion to life.
And just like any business, you’re going to need a website to advertise and sell your services or products.
Not quite sure how to go about it?
No worries! I’m laying out the 10 key steps to builidng a great small business website – WITHOUT needing to learn code. Phew!
Alright, awesome mompreneurs – let’s go!
First off, you’ll need to get your domain name. This is also known as your website address and is basically the entry point to your site.
Make sure that it’s easy to use (as in not confusing) and is optimised for search engines like Google (more on that later).
To keep things simpler and easier to set up, I suggest you purchase your domain name directly from your hosting provider (more on hosting in step 2). That way you won’t need to mess around with the domain settings to make it point to the correct server. Sounds a little techy? It is, so just stick to your hosting provider. We’ll go over hosting in the next step.
Most of the time, it will make the most sense to use your business name as the domain. However, sometimes this is already taken and you’ll need to come up with a variation.
Here are some tips for coming up with an good domain name:
What is hosting and why do you need it? Well, a website hosting provider is a company that offers the technology and services necessary for a website to be viewed on the internet. It’s basically a big server where all your website files are stored.
Your domain name will connect to your hosting provider so that when users visit your website address, they are shown your website that you store on your hosting account. So without hosting, your website won’t be visible to anyone.
Personally, I recommend using SiteGround, which is a WordPress specific hosting provider. Their platform is built for performance which makes it very fast, their server security is top notch and their chat support team responds quickly and is very knowledgeable. A dream to work with!
As for the various hosting plans, for most small businesses the cheapest option, which is the StartUp plan, will be sufficient. They often have offers on their plans, currently this one is at €2,49/month (excl. VAT) if you sign up for an annual plan.
Next, you’re going to need a content management system or CMS for short. This is a software program or application that is used to create and manage digital content.
A good CMS will help you maintain your site without needing much technical knowledge to use it. There are various popular systems, like Squarespace, Shopify or Wix, but personally I’d recommend WordPress any time.
WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS. It’s free and relatively simple to install, especially if you use the SiteGround step-by-step installer. It has a vast, active support community and many useful plugins to extend the functionality of your site. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you want, it is easy to find a WordPress developer who can make one for you!
Its flexilibity and extensibility makes it the perfect platform for any type of business.
WordPress’s popularity means it’s also a popular target amongst hackers. Just make sure your site is regularly maintained and secured through best practices (checking for plugin updates, making sure the plugin is provided in the official WordPress repository, deleting unused plugins immediately, etc.).
If you plan on selling goods and/or services through your website, you’ll need the right technology to do so.
WooCommerce is one of the world’s most popular e-commerce platforms and is the go-to platform when using WordPress to turn your website into an online store. 🛒
Just like WordPress, there are many plugins available, which makes it extremely flexible. There are many free and premium themes pre-built for WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is quite straight forward to set up and also offers a very high amount of capabilities and scalability that your small business might need (now or in the future).
Once you’ve got the technical stuff done, you can start creating the look and feel of your website. Make sure your small business website leaves a positive impression that drives results.
Don’t just start creating without a plan but think about your strategy first. What is your website goal? Who is your audience? What information are they looking for?
Here are some more suggestions you can implement:
It is important to let people know who you are and what you do right away so they don’t feel confused when they visit your small business website.
You can do that by making sure your main homepage banner (or “hero section”) and subsequent banners are visual representations of your services. Also add an introductory text box near the top of the page that describes who you are and what you do.
Additionally, make sure both your main and footer navigation menus have “About Us” page links easily accessible so people can click them and read more about your business in depth.
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is a set of practices you apply to your website to ensure search engines index and rank your website appropriately and then show it to search engine users. 🔎
Once your website is “crawled” by search engines, it competes with websites that have similar content. The better your website design and content is, the higher your site will show up on search engine result pages.
SEO mainly includes the following practices:
Both content quantity and freshness are important to search engines, so it’s important that you create a plan to publish quality articles and/or blog posts on your site and on external sites that link to your site.
If you want to rank highly in search engine results and encourage people to return to your site again and again, you will have to update your website with new and relevant content as frequently as possible. ✍️
In addition to static page content and articles, a great form of content to post on your website is testimonials. Asking for testimonials from your customers and then publishing them on your website is a great way to post fresh, high-quality content on your site that makes your small business more attractive.
A little bonus when it comes to testimonials: these are also a great way to establish credibility and inspire trust!
A website is a marketing tool that should grow with your business, so don’t just create it and forget about it. In order to have a successful website that ranks well in search engines and doesn’t get hacked, you need to make sure it is properly maintained. 🔧
Here are some tips to create a small business website maintenance plan:
As you can tell after reading this article, creating a great small business website may not be as simple as you first thought!
But what if there was a magic tool that would allow you to know all the steps from the preparation of your site right up to its launch, all without breaking your head thinking. Would you sign up?
That’s exactly what I’m offering you with this Notion Blueprint: a checklist for the creation of your website that will allow you to have an action plan and a professional process to apply step by step.
Well actually,… you’re not just getting one but 6 checklists in 6 easy-to-follow steps to prepare and create your professional website, hassle-free! 👇
Pin it to Pinterest! 👇