How To Create A Website: What Are the Must-Haves for Your Small Business Website?
Last week we covered why your small business need a website. If you missed it click here to read and catch up. This week we’re going to cover the must haves for your small business website, and oh yeah…how to create a website.
Let’s dive right in…to get your website up in front of the world the first must-have is a
Web hosting is a place where you will store your files and display them to your visitors. To purchase web hosting you can go to GoDaddy.Com. There are other web hosting services that you can use, shop around but GoDaddy has a 99 percent uptime and their customer support is on point.
GoDaddy offers 3 web-hosting plans. Take a look through them all and purchase the one that best suites your need and add to cart. You’ll notice that all of GoDaddy’s hosting plans come with a free domain when you purchase an annual plan, so I’d suggest purchasing your hosting before you purchase your domain to take advantage of that free domain savings.
Your next must-have is
Your domain name is the friendly naming system for giving addresses to web servers and web pages (yourcompany.com) Basically it’s your online identity and unique address on the internet. To purchase a domain you can go to GoDaddy.Com.
Once you’re on the Godaddy website, you’ll notice a spot for you to search your domain. This allows you to see if the domain you want to use is even available for use. Your domain name can be a strong marketing tool for your small business. Taking the time to figure out the right domain name can set the overall tone for your website and create brand awareness online to drive people to your site.
Quick tips for choosing the right domain name.
• Choose a name that is short but catchy– and is relevant to your niche. For example our business name is 8393 Creative Solutions. We don’t want our clients or potential clients to spend a long time just typing in www.8393creativesolutions.com
• Make it easy to remember– We shortened our domain to 8393creative.com It’s easy to remember and doesn’t take too much time to type in. To ensure no one else would come along and purchase the long version, we purchased that domain to and pointed it to our 8393creative.com domain. More on this topic as we get further into Web Wednesday’s.
• Use keywords– For example if you’re a creative business using words like creative agency or design in your domain will help get the right people looking for your business. It’s also good for search engine optimization (SEO).
• Choose the right domain extension– A domain extension is what’s at the end of your domain for example .com, .net, .org. .COMs are typically used for commercial businesses which is why you see this used more often in the US. .NETs are typically used for networking services and internet service providers such as Comcast or AT&T’s residential email addresses. ORG domains are usually intended for non-profit organizations. However, there’s nothing legally preventing you from using a .ORG domain for a for-profit business, or a .NET domain for a nonprofit group. Many companies snap up all three variants in order to help protect their branding.
Now that we got our domain and hosting out of the way let’s move on. The fun part is coming. Your next must-have is a
HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, is a secure communications protocol that is used to transfer sensitive information between a website and a web server. Using HTTPS adds an encryption layer of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to your HTTP, which makes your own, and your users’ data extra secure from hacking attempts.
If you have an eCommerce site and you sell products, from a store on your site, this requires users to hand over sensitive information such as their credit card number, home address etc. Investing in a SSL Certificate is a no brainer. It will cost is minimum and that extra layer of protection for your customers goes along way to making your site more secure and trustworthy.
Another added bonus to using HTTPS is that Google has security as a top priority, and sites that use HTTPS has the highest potential to rank higher in the search engine.
Content Management System
A content management system (CMS) is a software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content. For this we’ll use the most popular CMS WordPress. Guess what…It’s FREE! Come back later on in our series and we’ll cover why having a WordPress site is an excellent choice.
To install WordPress on GoDaddy follow these steps
1. Log in to your GoDaddy account.
2. Click Web Hosting.
3. Next to the hosting account you want to use, click Manage.
4. In the Popular Apps section, click WordPress.
5. Click Install Now.
6. Complete the on-screen fields, and then click OK:
7. Domain — Select the domain on your account you want to use.
8. Directory — Enter the directory after the domain name where you want to install WordPress. If you want the domain name itself to use WordPress, the directory field should only have “/” entered.
9. Enter a Username, a Password (and its confirmation), and an Email Address.
WordPress will be installed to your hosting account with the options you selected. GoDaddy says within 24 hours but this process typically takes about 5-10 minutes from my experience. When it is complete, you will receive a confirmation email.
Do you remember that fun part I spoke about…We’ll it’s here! The next must-have is to
Install a Theme or Hire a Web Designer or Web Developer
If you’ve never installed a WordPress theme or if you’re just completely new to web design, I’d recommend hiring an experience web designer to take over. Your website is one of the faces of your business and you want it to look great. First impressions are everything and when clients come to your site you want it to look Supa Fly!
Did you know that we offer Web Design Services? Click Here to Learn More about our pricing.
To install the theme yourself click here and follow the steps.
The last must-have to creating a web site is
Website Structure and Layout
Your design is complete, and now you need to plan out the pages your site needs and the content for each of these pages.
Here are some common pages used for small businesses
Home Page– This is the default page that your customers/clients will see upon entering your site.
About/Who We Are Page– Describes your business, what you do, your niche, history, and team members.
Services/Capabilities Page– List and describe the type of services you offer.
Portfolio/Case Studies– Depending on the type of business you’ll need to prove to your clients that you can do what you say you do. It’s your time to really shine, show off your work.
Shop– If you have an ecommerce site or you just simply sell merchandise you’ll need a shop page.
Contact Page– Typically includes contact information i.e. phone, email, address or a short form that clients can fill out right there to send to you.
Extra pages that you may add are
Testimonials– This adds creditability and showcases how you’ve worked with other clients.
FAQs– Great for answering common questions that visitors of your site has. Keeps down on the emails because the answer to their question is live on your site.
Pricing-Service businesses sometimes list their pricing and sometimes don’t, but the option is there if you choose to.
Wheww we are done…Do you feel like a web design expert now? You have the tools to go out and conquer the world of setting up a web site from start to finish. Once you have your site looking Supa Fly, the next step is to….
You guess it market and promote it. You’re up and running now we need to run and tell the world how fly you are. Come back next week as we layout how to start generating traffic and revenue to your website.