Nowadays, you can use a website for pretty much everything hence the reason for the steady increase in the number of professional websites for many companies. With the many advantages that come with having a website one can’t help but wonder what the hold-up is especially for small businesses.
With plenty of information all over the internet and a number of templates and builder tools available, developing a website has never been easier. That said, you do not have to be good at coding or have the technical skills to have an impressive website for your business. Furthermore, with the plethora of website designing services in Singapore to choose from, setting up a website that will attract the masses is simple.
If you are looking to expand your customer base through the internet, you need to carefully consider the content you intend to put on your website. It has to sell your business brand and be authentic.
Here is a simple step by step guide for those people looking to have a small business website.
Making a SME Website
Since some of the common excuses small businesses used for not having a website included the fact that they were too costly or too complicated to create no longer makes sense, having a website now is almost inevitable. This is because at this age where everyone is on the internet, not having a website for your company means you are definitely losing so many potential customers.
The comprehensive step to step guide will definitely come in handy. Among the things that will be highlighted in this article that will enhance your understanding include;
- How to choose an authentic domain name for your website
- Purchasing website hosting
- How to install WordPress
- How to make great relevant content for your business website
- Selecting perfect templates for your site’s design
- How to add more features to your small business website by basically using extensions and addons
- How to improve your WordPress skills by using available resources
The best platform for your small business website
Getting a platform is not the easiest thing despite the fact that there are many options to choose from. It is not prudent to randomly pick any platform because of their availability. You want your website to look great and stand out and you also want it to perform optimally. You will also be looking at its functionality, ease of use, great prize, customization and the technicality for instance if it requires you to code.
The most popular website builder in the world is WordPress. There is clearly a reason why about 26% of the web runs on WordPress.
It powers all the other websites by 31% on the internet and this is inclusive of other small business websites in the world.
WordPress is fantastic because it is very scalable, flexible and relatively easy to use. In addition, it provides you with access to many pre-made extensions, website templates and addons. You can easily make any website you want and maneuver it without knowing how to code.
Sometimes, you may have a vision of how you want the website to be but you have financial constraints. In this case, there is no need to worry as this guide will tell you how if you are on a budget you can still create your small business website with WordPress.
Here are the steps you need to follow;
What you must have to make a Small Business Website
When you are looking to make a website for your small business, there are some necessities you must ensure are in place and they are as below;
- Website hosting- this is basically your website’s home and essentially where your files will be stored
- Domain name
- Approximately 1 hour of your time to do the setting up
Setting up the website
There are two versions of WordPress Content Management systems that are different in many ways. There is WordPress.com and WordPress.Org. In layman, WordPress.org is self-hosted meaning that as the user, you can host your website or blog. Here, you will get free WordPress software and you can download and install that on your web server. On the other hand, WorpPress.com is a hosted solution. This basically means that it takes care of the hosting for you. Unlike WordPress.Org, you do not need to download any software or manager a web server.
By the virtue that WordPress.org will give instant access to WordPress Features that are out of the box that is what we will use in our guide.
You will also have to find a WordPress hosting in order to make a website. The most recommended is Bluehost. It is very versatile and also reliable and hence popular. In Addition, it has the capacity of handling very large volumes of traffic and the prices are better than most of its peers. It is also preferred because it does not have so many restrictions and one can easily modify or upload on their virtual server.
Usually for a domain name you will pay about $14.99 per year and for website hosting you will pay starting from $7.00 for every month you use it. Luckily, you can get a cheaper deal from some of the companies they have partnered with if you are their user as you will get discounts of up to 60%.
Choosing a great Domain name for your Website
As we already established Bluehost should be your go to for hosting, you need to visit the website. You should do this on your new browser window. Next, click the green button that reads “Get Started Now”
You will then be required to choose a pricing plan on the next page. Usually, for the smaller businesses, most of them would tend to go for the basic and plus plans as they make more economic sense to them.
After making up your mind on which plan you will go for, click the select button and select the plan you have settled on then move to the next step which will be choosing a domain name.
Tips on choosing the perfect Domain Name for Your Website
People with websites can attest to the fact that choosing a domain name is as important as choosing the company name and thus should not be taken lightly. You need to ensure you get the name right the first time. You want a domain name that perfectly suits your small business and at the same time one that can be easily found and promoted. Take all your time to decide but also do not overthink it.
In a nutshell, these are some essential tips you need to have in mind when choosing the domain name and they are;
- Simplicity is crucial. Keep the name short, simple and easy to pronounce.
- Use keywords that can basically market your small business and say what it offers at a glance. The name should have something to do with what the business does.
- Always stick to .com version as so many people always find that easier to remember as opposed to others like .net
- In the event that the domain name you want is not available, the other option is to add the geographical location right next to it. This is intelligent because it will also increase the visibility of your domain in the local search results. You will basically have killed two birds with one stone.
Once you have successfully settled on the right domain name, you will then be required to enter some information about your account like name, email and address.
Just below that, you will you will notice some hosting options you can purchase. Although they may be tempting, it is prudent for you to not do the purchase right away. In the event that you will need them later, you can always search for them as its not rocket science.
You will then need to input your payment information in order to complete the purchase. An email that will be sent to you that has details on logging in to your web hosting control panel.
WordPress will then be installed automatically by Bluehost. You can then be able to login to the site directly from your hosting dashboard.
When you log in, you will then see the WordPress admin area. This admin area will be where you will add content, manage the website how you feel like and change settings.
Creating Content Layout for a Small Business Website
When WordPress is installed, you will then have to have an outline of the website content. There is a standard website layout that the small business websites can use that is great.
You will need to go to pages and click on add new page to create a brand new page in WordPress.
The good news is that when you have created the new page you do not have to worry about content at this point or images to be used. You can simply just add the basics like a title and a couple of images and you can edit them later or add new content if you wish.
In a small business website layout, the common pages that you would find include;
- Homepage- This is very important and should ideally have the ability to achieve the website’s primary goal at first glance. It is a welcome page and most companies will tend to make it attractive to customers. Here you should have a short description of what you do and why customers should choose you. Make sure to at least add the business name and something to induce the customers to want to contact you in regards to the products or services you offer
- About us- Most customers always check out this page to know more about the business. They will want to know your brief history and even the people behind your business. You should create an about us page that ideally can tell who you are and your business’s core values
- Services/ Products- since customers need to know what you are offering, it is essential to create a page with a detailed list. Ensure to add a heading for each of your products or services and ensure they all have a brief description the customer can check out.
- Contact us- Here ensure you add a contact form that your potential customers can directly contact you and a phone number. Also, it is wise to provide your business’s physical address so that if they need to visit they can without struggling.
You can decide to also create other pages if you feel the need.
Choose a design for your website
Whereas most of website builders will offer a variety of great designs to choose from, you need to choose wisely regardless. If you do not have an eye for design to be specific, you will feel like choosing from the seemingly endless options is difficult.
WordPress also has the basic templates but if you are not feeling the default theme, then there are other themes both free and paid that you can choose from.
For starters, using a simple design that has the elements you need and that looks great is the best way to go.
In a business website, there is always a navigation menu at the top. The homepage also in most cases has a welcome message that has a call to action button and is followed by more content.
After choosing a theme for your website, you can then install it. Each theme in WordPress has different settings that customize its appearance. Most of the options are under Appearance- customize page in the admin area.
On this page, you can customize it further by changing colors, add navigation menus and more. If the design is what you are aiming for, click the publish button in order to save the changes you have made.
If the themes available are not what you are looking for, you can create a custom design using popular drag & drop page builders for WordPress.
Use WordPress Plugins to Add More Features to your website
If you are looking to add more features to your website, you can use WordPress plugins. They operate like apps and can be installed to add more great features like Google Analytics, contact forms, slider and so much more.
The good news is that there as so many free plugins available on WordPress directory meaning that if you want any new feature there is likely a plugin for that.
Some of the plugins that we install on all websites include Yoast SEO, UpdraftPlus, Sucuri, WP Super Cache, WPForms Lite and Monster Insights
Once you have a WordPress site, do not settle. You need to get as much information as you possibly can in order to improve your website gradually.
Needless to say, there are so many resources online that you can use to know how to create a website for a small business. This guide is a simple way to do it so effortlessly yet still achieving the professional look on your website you are going for.