I Need a website for my small business. Where do I start?
Last updated: July, 20, 2018
I Need a website for my small business. Where do I start?
What are the arguments for creating a website?
It’s been a long time since a website for business was something secondary or was only about the image. In modern realities, a website is a necessity, an obligatory point in communicating with the consumer, it is very important for a development strategy, and it can not be ignored.
If you are someone who needs a website but still doubts its effectiveness, we have some arguments for you.
Business development and new customers:
a high-quality website becomes a stable source of new customers in 95% of cases.
Flexibility in experimenting:
the website allows you to quickly carry out the experiments with analytics capabilities that are not available offline: banners, promotions, e-mail distribution, contextual advertising - seeing the results, you can quickly make changes on the site, increasing its efficiency.
question and communication forms, forum, question and answer page, integration with social networks, online consultant - all these features are used as a channel for communication with potential customers.
Building community and brand:
building a full-fledged community around your web project using a website will strengthen your position and help you stand out from your competitors. And recommendations with links on other websites will allow you to constantly receive free referral traffic in the form of interested visitors.
Information support and service:
the rapid change of information on the site is possible at any time and anywhere in the world. In addition, with the help of a website, you can automate and qualitatively improve the process of ordering the products, logistics, etc. A well-thought-out automation allows you to save huge sums of money and optimize the processes of interaction in the company.
So, you’ve decided that you need a website? To be honest you can build your website in 1 day, really. Without coding and web design skills. You can build it cheap, and you can definitely start this very second.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to work.
Your Action Plan:
- Choosing a platform
- Choosing a domain name and a hosting
- Finding your design
- Getting your website done
- Need a website? Choose the easiest and the most effective way!
Basically, it takes 3 main steps to build a website: choosing a platform, getting a hosting (usually along with a domain name) and choosing a design. The last one is to install it all and start blogging. It takes 1 day of work, as I promised.
Now, let’s take a look into each of these steps.
1. Choosing a platform
Before you ask yourself «how to get a website for my business?», you should set the priority — are you going to sell stuff with the help of your website or only share the information on it? The platforms for these two purposes differ.
If you’re looking for a site where you’ll share your thoughts, photos, videos etc, you’re looking for the application called CMS — content management system.
After you've installed it, you'll get an admin panel to maintain your website. Now, all you need is to add a usual text with pictures there and publish it. Everybody can see your work on the internet.
The top 3 content management systems are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal (all free). Long story short, WordPress is the easiest to master for beginners. But for the sake of clarity, check our guide with a full CMS comparison chart. If you're new to the web, you could also use a little help from the Firstsiteguide tutorial. These guys can show you you how to start, run and grow your online presence.
E-Commerce platforms are those for online stores. They offer a huge range of features for payments, shipment etc.
The leaders in this field are PrestaShop, Magento and OpenCart. They allow you to get a self-hosted (means totally independent) store. There’s also Shopify — you can set it up quickly, but on their hosting.
Now, take a look at our detailed guide on how to start an online store.
And no worries if you still can’t decide between a store and a blog. You can add a store section to your content-oriented blog with the help of some extensions.
And usually you can also blog right from your e-commerce platform.
2. Choosing a domain name and a hosting
Each website is just a certain amount of files with a code and media. You need to store them somewhere safe — on a good hosting provider.
Now, heads up, because your website’s security, speed, functionality depends directly on the hosting you choose. That is why I’d go with one of leaders in the industry like BlueHost, GoDaddy or HostGator. Visit our guide on how to choose the right hosting for more options.
The thing about a domain name is that you can purchase it along with a hosting plan or buy it somewhere else. Prices vary from $1 to tens of millions. But honestly, early in the game all you need is to find that easy and comprehensive one at the minimal cost.
The true luck will be to find the domain with the keyword visitors will use to find your website on the internet. Take your time to come up with a good one, really. We also have a comprehensive guide on how to choose an effective name.
3. Finding your design
Web design should amaze, should dazzle your reader from the first second and show them the picture they won’t forget. So, razzle dazzle them. Now, if you don’t feel like learning web design for years (and we’re still on that “1 day — 1 website” challenge), there are 3 options to attain that breathtaking effect.
Option #1: Use a standard or free template
Well, default theme won’t look very impressive, of course. It needs a professional touch to turn the frog into a prince.
There are also plenty of free templates. They might not be that up-to-date and have the most powerful arrows in their quiver. Moreover, these providers don’t have any tech support, so in case of emergency you’re all by yourself. But in the very beginning that might be the way to get started.
Option #2: Use a professional template
The words “premium template” sound expensive, but the thing is that in the world of web design, competition between theme providers is fierce, which makes the prices on their products very affordable.
You can get a premium template for $50, and for $70 you can find one that has lifelong tech support included.
I’d choose the template with support, because every company has its own ways and techniques of creating templates and I’d want someone at my service, ready to explain how things work in every particular case. For example, take a look at the comprehensive collection of themes from TemplateMonster as they're provided with such an option and a lot more.
We have a detailed guide to finding a perfect template that will help you achieve your goals. You can also take a look at this list of easy small business website builders, which includes Novi Builder on the list.
Option #3: Find a website designer
Lastly you can hire a website designer. It can cost you thousands of dollars, and chances are you’ll get same premium theme just customized a little bit. So make sure you use a trusted network of freelance designers, study their recent projects carefully and read reviews.
4. Getting your website done
Okay, here you are — with a mighty platform, a beautiful theme and a reliable hosting you’ve purchased. It’s time to fire the engine and combine those three into one website that works.
As I’ve mentioned before, your site files are hosted on servers of your hosting provider. Installing the platform you’ve chosen on that server is that last step on the way to getting your website done. There are 2 options here:
You can choose a quick installation (a free service from many hosting providers) which is basically like that every “next - next - done” installation process.
Or you can install the CMS manually if you want to change some default features in the course. First, you upload engine files to your server, then create a database and database user. After you’ve assigned the user to the database, just open your site url and follow 2 – 4 installation steps (like adding your site name and filling in other details). There it is.
Now, if you’ve decided to change your default theme into something fancier, the theme installation in most cases is done with several clicks in your engine admin panel (always ask your theme provider for detailed technical documentation on it).
Congrats! Probably at this point you have a live website and feel totally confused what’s next. Read our following guides for more information and feel free to leave your tips and real experience in the comments below. Okay, I’ll start: I’ve built my first website in 30 minutes (considering that I had quite an assistance from the guy who has created hundreds of those).
And how long did it take you and how much does it cost to build a website?
5. Need a website? Choose the easiest and the most effective way!
You can say: "In the 21st century, creating a website should be easier, faster and offer more opportunities, minimizing user’s participation!", - and you will be absolutely right!
These features are offered by modern site-builders: there are many of them today, but the market leaders are Wix.com, Weebly.com, Ukit.com – they offer users hundreds of free templates and options for customized settings. At the same time, they do not relieve you of the need to take a bunch of routine actions. Moreover, you can choose only the template available in the database and the support service, most often is an automated bot system, and the templates have poor functionality. As result, you get the website that is not unique.
This is a good solution for the first time - but only for those who are ready to deal with a huge amount of settings and spend money on the purchase of dozens of necessary applications. For everyone else there is Weblium.com.
Weblium.com, the most advanced do-it-for-me website builder, is for those, who want to cross the stream where it is shallowest. Ask yourself: "If I want a website for my business, won’t I take advantage of the unique offer to develop completely customized website solutions from the Template Monsters creators, which allows me to get a ready website that meets my individual requirements within 48 hours?" The answer is obvious.
What will you get if you choose Weblium:
- All work is done for you - and the result meets your requirements and expectations by 150%! No more searching for hosting and domains, programming, time spent on thinking over the perfect site structure, searching for freelance designers, etc.
- Ultra-fast website creation procedure in 3 simple steps: complete the form - wait 2 days - get your website ready!
Why Weblium is the most winning web solution:
- Fast (above 90/100 in PageSpeed Insights) and totally responsive website thanks to the top-notch technology!
- The website optimized for any device: custom design in line with your preferences will look perfect on any screen size!
- Access to user-friendly admin panel with the intuitive drag-and-drop editor - make any changes in a few clicks!
- Hosting, domain name, and SSL-certificate for 1 year!
- Ultimate customer support!
- Initial SEO-settings and integration with Google Analytics!
- Every website is built on the basis of niche market research, ensuring a solid online presence. Weblium creates the website structure exactly for your niche!
- All sites immediately get an excellent domain rating (since they are hosted on a platform that already has a trust (domain rating 54). In order to get such a rating, you need to invest a lot and a lot of money – so you can just save them!
Most of the young startups in England, USA, Greece, Australia, Nigeria, Romania, Portugal, Jordan, etc. are already using Weblium.
Enjoy doing your business. Weblium will take care of the rest.
Jeff is a 20 year old Tech Support Operator at TemplateMonster. Helping our clients to edit and customize their sites every day, he knows what they need most and how to make it as easy as possible. More than one satisfied client already promised to call their child after him. Being a semi-professional high jumper in the past Jeff leaves no issue unresolved.