In this modern era of digitalization, the concept of running a business (big or small) without having a website is almost impossible. Today, anyone can shop from anywhere for anything, from cars to clothes and from machinery to grocery via online purchases.
Building a website for your business has now become imperative if you want to compete in the digital space successfully
Making a website nowadays has become incredibly easy; however, still, many business owners remain confused about how exactly can they make their own website?
Creating a well-designed website for small businesses either needs some level of professional expertise at the end of the business owner or he/she can also exercise their option of opting for outsourcing this task to custom web design services companies, depending on your budget and business scale.
This article will discuss the most significant requirements for creating a “Small Business Website” according to your needs, either by yourself or through a custom web design services company.
A small business website can be created by any person or custom web design services company by going through the stages sequentially as given below:
Stage-1: Setting Business Objectives and Goals (Vision & Mission)
Before creating your small business website, you will need to set your goals and objectives to implement design elements and tools that reflect your business needs on your site accordingly. You need to make a good first impression of your webpage to the people visiting your site.
To ensure a positive first impression, you need to be multi-dimensional in thought while creating your website.
For instance, a car showroom office would need a completely different website than a grocery shop or restaurant.
Before starting the process of developing a small business website, you must have answers to the following questions:
- What information do you want to communicate with your visitors?
- What actions do you want the visitors to take after they visit your site? For example, purchase products or services online, come to your office and inspect your product & services, make a request for quotation, etc.
- How will you offer your products or services?
- What CTA (Call-to-Action) do you need to have on your site that directs the visitor on what to do next?
- What testimonials should you link with social media?
- Do you need to have an updated history of work to validate your expertise & skills with valued customers?
- Do you need customer feedbacks for evaluation of the performance of your products and services?
- How your site visitors will pay for buying your products and services?
- What security features you will be needed to safeguard your website and business ultimately?
In addition to the above, you should also think about website traffic. If you want to trade products and services online, then you must pay great attention to the quality and performance of your website.
After having a clear direction of what you want your website to achieve, you can start designing and building your website to launch the online presence of your business.
Stage-2: Select The Right Platform For Creating Your Website
You should select a dynamic and user-friendly platform that will support you in creating a website even without any coding knowledge. The following CMS platforms are recommended for small businesses:
- WordPress.WordPress.org provides you access to the best features and full control over your website. The WordPress software is free and super flexible. You can easily change and add new features and looks to your site. However, you will need to hire a web hosting company separately.
- Custom Web Design Services Company (Hosted website builders). If you prefer all-in-one solutions, then you should consider a reputable custom web design services company like Cydomedia. Such services offer a complete solution for your customized website designs with the required design and development elements. In this case, you have no need to outsource web hosting separately to another company.
Stage-3: Choose A Domain Name for Your Website
Your domain name is crucial since it must align with your business name and purpose. Several online domain name generators can provide you with unique domain names such as DomainWheel. Following are some instructions while deciding and buying your domain name of business website address:
- It should be easy to spell and pronounce.
- Keep as short as possible.
- Include keywords related to your business.
- Use the proper domain extension.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens.
- Ensure it is memorable.
- Avoid irrational names.
- Create an SEO-friendly URL.
However, if you are going to hire a custom web design services company, then you need not worry about purchasing your domain name since they will provide you with one as this service is mostly included in your website package.
Stage-4: Purchase Hosting For your website
After developing the initial strategy and plan, it is now time to purchase hosting for your small business website. The self-hosting option is available with WordPress.org which provides small business owners a high amount of control over their site’s performance and scalability. However, it is recommended that you opt for custom web design services for building & hosting your website since you don’t need to pay the additional cost for purchasing hosting services from another separate provider. Also, it will give an all-in-one solution with peace of mind.
There are several excellent user-friendly hosting companies like Cydomedia, which can design & develop your small business website along with offering you the right kind of hosting services. You can start with the basic plan package and can upgrade later on anytime as your business grows.
Stage-5: Choose A Theme Or Template For Your Website
If using WordPress for building a website by yourself, you can access free theme options from your dashboard by navigating to Themes via Appearance. It can be easily customized once you Install and Activate the theme of your choice.
Alternatively, you may select a premium WordPress business theme by paying some cost. Premium themes often include various features like pre-built portfolios, eCommerce pages, and page builder integration.
On the other hand, custom web design service companies like Cydomedia have a pre-selected template that you can choose from. You can preview and finalize your selection easily since you will have access to the curate theme gallery already.
Stage 6: Creating The Content Layout For Your Website
Now you are in a process of customizing your small business website. The following are some of the most common pages that will be needed for your small business website layout.
- Homepage– This is the welcome page, the first thing on your website that will be seen by visitors when they come to your site. Incorporate your business name with a CTA for your products or services or contact page. You should mention a brief description of the primary reason your customers should choose you.
- About Us– In this section, you need to add information about your team since your customers need to know more about the people behind the business before making a decision. Create an About Us page to inform visitors who you are, what is your vision & mission, what are your business ethics, and what relevant knowledge & skills you possess in the industry and market.
- Services / Products or Portfolio page – This will display your work to provide details about the services or products you are offering. You can add a caption for each service or product with a brief description. You can also add pricing or request visitors to contact you for a quote or any information or clarification.
- Contact Us– Your visitors will be needed to contact you. For this, you must add a contact form with an email address so that users can contact you directly. You can add your physical address or phone number of your business with a location map.
- Blogs – Nowadays, many businesses require exclusive details of products & services. For this, you can create a separate blog page, individual pages for each service or product.
Stage 7: Configuring A Payment System For Your Website (If Required)
If you need customers to pay online as per your business needs, then you will need to integrate your website with a third-party electronic payment system. This can be done through Ecommerce software or third-party payment processors. Many custom web design service companies offer an in-house shopping cart or integration with eCommerce software.
Stage 8: Optimizing Your Website For Search Engines
You need to ensure that people will find your website easily on the internet. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one strategy that can benefit you. SEO is basically a set of practices that are applied to your website so that it is more likely to rank high on search engine results pages. There are some major SEO practices that you should keep in mind:
- Use appropriate keywords in your posts and pages.
- Optimize the speed of your website.
- Make your site secure and having an SSL certificate installed; SSL is the standard security technology that ensures data passed between web servers and browsers remains private.
- Having a mobile-friendly site.
- Existence of high-quality backlinks (links on external websites with related content) that lead to your site.
- Using internal links throughout your site to keep people clicking and reading
- Using social media to link to your site (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
- Choosing WordPress as your website platform, you can install an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, which scans your content and suggests improvement tips.
Stage 9: Test Your Website Before Publishing
Usually, companies who offer custom web design services agree towards keeping your website private while you are building it to publish only when it is ready for visitors.
However, before you publish and promote your website, few last-minute checks are a must.
- Preview your website to confirm how it will look on mobile devices to ensure that it is readable.
- Carefully read your content to ensure that everything is accurate.
- Remove any filler content from your theme or template.
- Check for any UI/UX or navigation issues.
- Check whether all the pages are working properly without any glitches.
You can consider reaching out to existing or new customers to inform them about your online presence or you can also promote your new website on social media or via email marketing
Stage 10: Device A Maintenance Plan For Your Website
If you want to have a successful website that ranks well on search engines and doesn’t get hacked, then to stay relevant, updated, and secured, your website needs a suitable maintenance plan. The followings are some important guidelines for small business website maintenance:
- Update WordPress software plugins, add-ons, and themes regularly. Without updates, they are likely to get hacked even if the website host’s security is strong.
- Your website may encounter any breakdown at any time due to viruses & malware. Therefore, implement automatic or manual website backups so that the website can be easily restored whenever required.
- Ensure that your website has a secure socket layer (SSL) certification feature applied to it and is intact.
- Update your website frequently with blogs & posts based on prevailing industry norms and events, new products and service offers, and company news to keep users engaged.
Creating a website for any small business doesn’t require you to go through any complex process. Both CMS and custom website development services can allow you to create one for your new and growing business with relative ease. The important thing is getting one right away in order to penetrate the fast-growing digital space.