Website – Creating your own website

Website – Creating your own website

Website
Website

A website is defined as a page or collection of pages on the World Wide Web that each contain a specific piece of information that was contributed by a single person or organization and that all link back to a single uniform resource locator.

10 Essential Steps to Building a Great Small Business Website

A strong website is crucial for the success of your small business, regardless of whether you run a hardware store, are a freelance photographer, or run another kind of small business. I know what it takes to make fantastic and engaging company websites since I’ve worked on establishing or marketing over 100 small business websites.

Here are 10 crucial stages to getting started and assisting your small company website to effectively compete in the internet marketplace if you’re trying to develop a new startup website or make your current site more effective.

  1. Get a quality domain name

The main portal to your website is frequently your domain name, also known as your website address.

It must leave a positive first impression in order to be effective for both search engine optimization and usability (SEO).

Here are some suggestions for selecting the best domain name:

Make the spelling simple. Avoid using words that are highly obscure, made up, or slang.

Make it as brief as you can. It is simpler to remember and type accurately the shorter it is.

Please use the correct domain extension. Whenever possible, try to choose a.com domain name (rather than one ending in .net, .co, etc.), unless .gov, .edu, or.org would be a better choice.

Avert using hyphens and numerals. They are less elegant, more difficult to recall, and more likely to be misconstrued when spoken aloud than word-only domain names.

Make the address inclusive to allow for future expansion. For instance, Amazon.com has a considerably wider range of products than BooksOnline.com, which enables Amazon to offer more types of goods than just books, which was its initial intent.

Aim to make it unforgettable. Your website name needs to be memorable in light of the abundance of websites on the internet so that people will know how to find it in the future.

Investigate the domain name. It should be searched on USPTO.gov to make sure it doesn’t contain any registered trademarks and Googled to see if a website with a similar address already exists online.

Verify the value of the price. As most good domain names are already occupied and must be purchased from the current owner, ascertain whether you can buy your desired internet address at a fair price.

Don’t use names that are absurd. To ensure that users understand what your company does right away, choose a name that has significance.

Although Yahoo and Google are memorable names, their branding costs were very high, and your tiny business may not have the same resources.

Establish a URL that is search engine optimized. When appropriate, attempt to come up with a website URL that is geo-located and SEO-friendly, such as “www.LasVegasElectrician.com.”

  • Invest in scalable, safe hosting for your website with responsive tech support.

A business that provides the tools and services needed for a website to be accessed online is known as a website host (also known as a website hosting provider). You link your domain name to your hosting company so that users can access the website you maintain on your hosting account when they type in your website address.

Depending on the type of technology and support you select, monthly hosting fees might range from $2 to $100 or more. If you buy a yearly plan rather than a monthly plan, you can typically get a discount.

Following are some suggestions for picking a reliable website hosting plan:

Despite the fact that you can purchase a “shared server” hosting package for as little as $2 per month, I normally advise against doing so. Shared hosting entails sharing a server and its resources with other clients, which may negatively impact the performance of your website. Furthermore, there is a chance that your website could become infected if one of the other websites on your shared server is compromised.

The most expensive choice, which can cost between $100 and $2,000 per month, is a “dedicated server” hosting plan, but it will also give your website the best performance. If the technology is good, having a dedicated server plan implies that the physical server machine is totally devoted to your website. As a result, all the resources are yours, and it is more secure than a shared hosting plan. But the cost is significantly higher than what most small firms are typically prepared to pay. This may be necessary once you have a site that performs exceptionally well, but for the majority of small and startup enterprises, it is overkill.

To access your server, you must have a user-friendly server interface, such as cPanel. Unless you have the money to employ a pro server administrator to assist you, you should not have to use terminal commands to examine and modify the contents of your server.

Check the server you are contemplating to discover what level of security is in place. Secure File Transfer Protocol access to your server is something you’ll need to have (SFTP). Your server’s contents should be backed up every day. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates should be simple to install with just one or two clicks. Make sure the hosting provider carries out routine security upkeep. Ideally, your hosting provider has a security procedure that has been made public that you can evaluate to learn how they maintain their servers secure.

Several well-known web hosting businesses are:

  • Make a clear description of your company prominently visible.

To avoid confusion when customers visit your small company website, it’s critical to immediately communicate who you are and what you do. Make sure your primary homepage banner (often known as a “hero image”), any subsequent banners, and the introductory text blurb at the top of the page all serve as visual representations of your services.

Additionally, make sure that the “About Us” page links on your main and footer navigation menus are prominently displayed so that visitors may click them and read additional in-depth information about your company.

  • Use the top content management system available.

A software program or application used to create and manage digital material is known as a content management system (CMS). Your site can be maintained with the aid of a competent CMS, and using one doesn’t require any technical know-how. You should pick a CMS that is tailored to your specific requirements because different platforms are employed for various factors, including user-friendliness, extensibility, and cost.

The popular systems listed below have discussions of their advantages and disadvantages.

WordPress: WordPress is the most widely used CMS worldwide. There are numerous helpful plugins to increase the functionality of your site and a sizable, vibrant support community.

(And if you are unable to locate a plugin that performs your desired function, it is simple to get a WordPress developer who can create one for you!) Additionally cost-free and reasonably easy to install, WordPress. Finding an individual or company that can work on your site is not difficult because the majority of website developers are familiar with it. Normally, because of its adaptability and extensibility, I suggest small businesses utilize WordPress to build their websites.

However, it should be emphasized that WordPress’s major security flaw is that due of its popularity, hackers frequently attack it. To prevent hacking, your WordPress site needs to be continuously updated and protected.

Additionally, it is challenging to protect every single third-party plugin, thus maintaining the security of your WordPress website requires a continuous commitment to a number of best practices (checking to see if your plugins have been updated within the past few months, making sure it is a plugin provided in the official WordPress repository, deleting unused plugins immediately, etc.).

Drupal: Another well-known CMS is Drupal. It has many of the same advantages of WordPress, including as adaptability, simplicity, and a sizable support community. Notably, it is a more secure CMS than WordPress (less vulnerable to criminal behavior), but it is also less flexible because there are fewer plugin and theme possibilities.

The White House website (Whitehouse.gov) was operated with Drupal for a long time before switching to WordPress, which is still in use today.

Joomla! : Joomla! is a well-known CMS. Out of the box, WordPress is more SEO-friendly, secure, and multilingual than Joomla! But with a few plugins, WordPress can outperform Joomla! in these areas.

Squarespace: Squarespace is a monthly or yearly subscription service that makes it simple to “drag and drop” websites and blogs together. It is an all-inclusive service that covers website design, development, software maintenance, metrics, a domain name with an annual purchase, SSL security, 24/7 support, and hosting with unlimited bandwidth and storage. It offers you top-notch design templates and is especially ideal for creatives.

This is a fantastic solution if you have a limited budget, require a straightforward and attractive website, but cannot pay a website designer.

Compared to WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla!, Squarespace has a significantly lower learning curve, but it has far less extensibility options. However, Squarespace is a great choice for you if you have little to no technical experience and are seeking for a quick and simple approach to create a website.

Wix: Wix and Squarespace are quite similar, however Wix is a little more user-friendly. It provides a monthly subscription but not an annual one and has comparable features. Wix is a drag-and-drop builder as well, allowing you to freely place elements wherever you choose on the page; in contrast, Squarespace has a more predetermined layout for where you can place elements. If you need to launch a site quickly, Wix might be your best option because it has an even lower learning curve than Squarespace.

Wix has many more template options than Squarespace, but once you select one, you must stick with it or you will need to fully rebuild your website. With Squarespace, you can change your template whenever you want without having to start from scratch.

  • Pick a reliable e-commerce platform.

You will need the proper technology if you intend to sell products and/or services on your website. (If you don’t sell anything already, you might want to think about starting since e-commerce could perhaps boost your income.) You must select the appropriate platform for your business model if you plan to allow users to conduct financial transactions with you online.

Several well-liked small-business e-commerce platforms are listed below:

WooCommerce: One of the most well-liked e-commerce platforms in the world, WooCommerce enables you to create an online store from a WordPress website.

It connects to WordPress and offers a wide variety of plugins, making it just like WordPress in terms of flexibility. For WooCommerce, there are numerous pre-built free and paid themes available. (Typically, using a premium theme from a reputed developer is preferable because it will provide better security and support.) You will probably need a WordPress developer to assist you in setting it up and using it if you are not tech-savvy. WooCommerce also provides your small business with a huge range of features and scalability that it might require.

Shopify is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that enables you to design and personalize an online store as well as control products, inventory, payments, and delivery.

Because it is an independent platform housed on the Shopify server rather than a WordPress extension like WooCommerce, your e-commerce site would technically be separate from your primary website if you have one. Unless your primary website includes a Shopify connection plugin, you can link to your Shopify account from any standard website created with WordPress, Drupal, Wix, or another platform.

Unlimited items, unrestricted bandwidth, fraud analysis, promotional codes, reports, and many other features are among the features. One of Shopify’s main advantages is that you don’t require a developer to set up a store, and that when you sign up, everything on the backend is automatically configured for you.

The drawback is that WooCommerce gives you more freedom and control over your store.

Shopify Plus: Shopify Plus is the same as Shopify, but with more staff accounts, a better level of customisation, and international e-commerce choices. Additionally, the level of support is higher. All of this clearly entails a greater subscription fee, yet WooCommerce still offers more customization options and flexibility.

Business Squarespace: If you used Squarespace to design your website and only require a very basic e-commerce solution, you can go this path. Squarespace offers an e-commerce subscription option. A transaction fee is charged by Business Squarespace, but this can be avoided by changing your subscription to a simple online store.

A free domain, SSL security, SEO, cart recovery from abandoned shopping carts, discounts, real-time carrier shipment, and more are all included. It has been remarked that Shopify is more user-friendly, though. It simply isn’t as flexible as WooCommerce, like Shopify.

Wix: Wix really provides a very user-friendly Shopify plugin. To use it, you must subscribe to Shopify and upgrade your Wix account.

Shop online at GoDaddy A relatively new and user-friendly e-commerce standalone subscription platform is offered by GoDaddy. To start your shop with GoDaddy Online Store, very little technological experience is needed. The templates are neat and straightforward, and they can be modified to some extent. Tools for marketing and SEO, social network integration, scheduling appointments, SSL security, quick page loading, and other features are among the features.

  • Design an intriguing, enduring, and captivating website user interface.

Make sure the user experience on your small company website generates results. You can achieve this by putting the following advice into practice:

  • Make use of eye-catching images and legible typefaces.
  • Ensure that your visuals are optimized and compressed for quick download. Search engines like Google will lower your rating if your website is slow.
  • Implement comparable elements that will work for your small company website after researching the competition to see how they have designed and optimized their websites.
  • Find out what your target audience wants from your website through research, and then make it simple for them to obtain it.
  • Maintain brand identity throughout the entire design of your website.
  • Create a user-friendly navigation system that enables people to easily access the pages they require.
  • Publicize contact details that are simple to find.
  • Include clear calls to action, particularly “purchase now” buttons.

Create pages that are typical for websites for small businesses, like:

  • Home
  • Contact us
  • About us
  • Sitemap (for SEO purposes)
  • Management team
  • Privacy policy
  • Terms of use (the online contract governing how users can use your site)
  • Products/Services (with descriptions and visually appealing images)
  • Additional pages relevant to your specific small business
  •  Improve the search engine optimization of your small company website

In order for search engines to properly index, rank, and display your website to search engine users, you must implement a set of techniques known as SEO on your website. Your website will be in competition with other websites that contain comparable material once search engines have “crawled” it. Your website will rank higher on search engine result pages the better it is designed and written.

The following techniques are primarily used in SEO:

• Effective use of keywords; optimized website coding; quick page loads

  • Having an SSL certificate installed and being secure; SSL is the industry-standard security technology that guarantees the privacy of data transferred between web servers and browsers.
  • Having a site that is mobile-friendly
  • Existence of high-quality backlinks to your website (links on other websites with relevant content)
  • Obtaining a lot of favorable reviews online (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.)
  • Utilizing internal connections on your website will keep visitors clicking and reading.
  • Linking to your website using social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)

SEO is a crucial continuing procedure that may make the difference between having your website appear on page one of search engine results (leading in a ton of free visitors) or page 300. (resulting in no traffic).

  • Consistently produce and release high-quality content

Create a plan to publish high-quality articles and/or blog entries on your site and on external websites that link to your site because search engines value both the amount and the freshness of your material. You must update your website with fresh, pertinent material as regularly as possible if you want to rank well in search engine results and draw visitors back again and time again.

Testimonials are an excellent type of material to post on your website in addition to static page content and articles. A wonderful method to post new, high-quality content on your website that increases the appeal of your small business is to solicit customer testimonials, which you can then place on it.

Assure that the tone of your content is suitable and consistent with your brand.

  • Put webmaster tools in place

Install Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, and other tools to use important data to help you monitor traffic and site performance. Preferably, you should do this using Google Tag Manager. The following kinds of data can be tracked using these tools:

• Your site receives daily, weekly, and monthly visitors.

• The number of views on each of your website’s pages

• “Bounce rate,” or the proportion of visitors to your website that leave after seeing just one page (Google algorithms give higher rankings to websites that have a low bounce rate, on the theory that visitors are spending more time on the site and find it valuable.)

• The duration of visits on average

Broken links on your website, user-drawing keywords, backlinks to your website, the speed at which your pages load, and other data that can help you improve your SEO. Crawl errors on your website (mistakes that search engines made when crawling the content of your website).

  1. Set up a website maintenance schedule.

You shouldn’t build a website and then leave it to become outdated. You must make sure your website is properly maintained if you want to have a successful one that performs well in search engine results and isn’t hacked.

To build a small business website maintenance strategy, consider the following advice:

At least once each month, check Webmaster Tools data, and have any critical mistakes immediately emailed to you.

Learn more about your audience using traffic statistics so you can better serve them.

To improve and correct mistakes and warnings, use performance data.

Ensure that all software is up to date at all times.

Conduct security checks to ensure that your website is free of malware and has not been compromised.

Use “split testing” to determine whether specific changes to your website’s design can improve its functionality. For instance, if you’re selling a product, you might have two variations of a specific landing page with different images and copy; split testing lets you determine which version has a higher conversion rate.

Find trendy and successful online marketing strategies for your company.

Give website visitors the opportunity to comment on your site.

Continue to periodically check out what your rivals are doing with their internet presence to determine if what they’ve done can also work for you.

Make sure to perform several backups of your website at least once every day going back at least 10 days.

Conclusion

As you can tell from reading this post, it can be more difficult than you initially anticipated to build a fantastic small company website. However, your small business will have a great chance of prospering in the online market if you stick to the instructions provided in this article.

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