How To Create Your Business Website
The World Wide Web is 25 years old! A whole generation has grown up in the age of the internet and even those who were alive in the pre-internet days find it difficult to think of just how we managed to get anything done before the Tim Banners-Lee brought us all online. The internet has been the great equalizer and opened up a world of opportunity that previously few could access. This means that you can start your online business and create financial freedom for yourself and their family. That just was not possible before 1991.
So today of all days has to be the day you get your business online. No matter your industry, you are going to need a website. If you have an online business well that’s a no brainer, but even if your business is entirely face to face, bricks and mortar, you still need a website. People expect it and more than adding credibility to your business, people are suspicious if you don’t have a website. Without a website people do not consider you a ‘real business’ and feel nervous about giving you their money. Your website gives you a window to let the world see who you are, what you do and how you can help your customers achieve their goals or solve their problems.
If you are a complete technophobe, don’t know where to start or have just been procrastinating on it then don’t worry. We’ve got you covered and can have your business website up and running in less than an hour!
Create Your Business Website
There’s a few different routes you can go. Many of the free routes are ok and if you have zero cash to get started then that’s the route you go down. But you really want to have your business website hosted on your own domain and that’s what you should ultimately be aiming for. The difference is www.mydomain.com vs www.mybusiness.anotherwebsiteservice.com Having your business website on your own domain is just going to look so much better and give you greater functionality so you can get what you want from it.
A Hosted WordPress Site
WordPress is the main player when it comes to building websites. This is a WordPress site and you will find that most websites you visit will be WordPress sites. You can get started on WordPress for free but remember you won’t be able to use your own domain or use plugins to customize your site, but you do get a very good blogging platform. Most people will choose a hosted WordPress site so they can use their own domain and unlock a ton of functionality so you can really create a bespoke site for your online business. This what we recommend you do.
To have a hosted WordPress site you will need a domain and a hosting service, think of it as a place for your website to live. The good news is that this isn’t that expensive and is super competitive so companies will literally be falling over themselves to give you the best deal. You can expect massive discounts, free domains, extras thrown, money off if you take out an annual subscription rather than pay monthly, etc, etc. When making your choice you will want to consider price of course, but will also want to look at things such as reliability, customer service, disk space and bandwidth.
There a many choices when it comes to hosted WordPress sites and you can spend an age researching them all if you want to, but to save you time we’ve listed the most popular ones belong that will tick all the boxes for most people.
Any one of these should do the job for you. Their offers change all the time so check to see who is offering the best package today.
Other Business Website Options
If this still feels really scary then there’s another route that might be more suitable for you and that’s to have your business website built and managed by someone else. There are many platforms that will do this for you. Most will offer you a free account to get started and then try to sell you an upgrade to unlock more features. That’s a good option if you just want to start out small and then build your business website as it grows.
We like Duda and Sitey for this strategy because you can start with a basic free account but when you want to scale it up, you can really do that and incorporate some advanced features to help with payments or customer reviews. You use a simple drag and drop editor and their pre-designed template to create a really slick looking site. Your hosting will be included in your package but you will have to buy your own domain in addition to that (which isn’t that expensive) although at the moment Sitey is offering customers a free domain as part of their package so you may want to check that out.
Again, good ole GoDaddy has it’s own website builder platform but you will only get a month’s free trial before you have to move to a paid service. Aabaco, which is part of Yahoo, is another good choice. They don’t have a free service but they are really cheap, include a domain and right now they are giving you $100 free ad credit for new customers. Personally, I don’t think their websites look as slick as the others but Aabaco has a lot of good support for small business to help you get started on the web so if you feel that’s what you need then you should take a look.
When selecting your website service you will need to think about whether or not you are going to need an eCommerce platform in order to host a store on your website and sell directly from there. All of these providers have an eCommerce integration but you want to ensure you pick the right one for you. My top tip is to reach out the provider you are interested in and tell them what you need and ask if their service can deliver that. In my experience they will often offer you an additional discount to secure the sale so don’t be afraid to haggle. If you are going the hosted WordPress route, a plugin such as WooCommerce is worth looking at and also ensure that your theme allows for eCommerce integrations so you don’t have to do a massive redesign later on.
Another thing to check out is BigCommerce. You can create an entire online store on this platform that is going to look amazing. They will give you a free trial to get started and then you will move onto a monthly fee which at first might seem a little expensive but this includes handling of payments, security settings, shipment quotes and all the things you need for an online store. If you have an online store this is a great solution but if not then it’s not going to be a good fit. An alternative to BigCommerce is 3D Cart. Similar idea and they also offer a free trial. My advice if you’re going down this route is to try them both out and see what you prefer.
Our Latest Offers section has even more tools to help you such as logo design, creating video, setting up newsletters and more.
But the bottom line is this, whatever your skill level, budget or business model there is a solution for you. So there’s no excuse not to show your appreciation to the World Wide Web and launch your business website today! So get on it!