A great website is crucial for the success of your business. As a webmaster with over 100 small business websites under my belt, I understand what it takes for a website to be engaging and great.
Here are 10 steps to help you get started on a website for your startup or improve your existing site.
Your domain name (also known as your website address) is often your entry point to your site. It is crucial that your domain name makes a positive impression, both for usability and search engine optimization (SEO).
These are some suggestions to help you choose the perfect domain name.
- It should be easy to spell. Avoid using slang, made-up, or very esoteric language.
- It should be as brief as possible it is easier to remember what it is and how to type it correctly the shorter it is.
- Make sure you use the correct domain extension always make your domain name a.com one (as opposed.net,.co, etc.). If it is not appropriate, you can use another extension such as.gov or.edu or.org.
- Avoid using numbers and hyphens. They are more difficult to remember than domain names that contain only words and can be confusing when uttered.
- To facilitate future growth, make the address as broad as possible.Amazon.com, for example, is a wider website address than BooksOnline.com. It allows Amazon to sell just about any type of consumer product instead of only books.
- Make it memorable there are so many websites online, so it is important to make your website name memorable so that people can remember where it is.
- Find out the domain name. Google it to find a website address similar online.USPTO.govto ensure it doesn’t contain any trademarks registered.
- Verify that the price is correct. You should check to see if it is possible to purchase the desired domain name at a fair price. Most domain names that are good will be taken.
- Avoid using nonsensical names. You should choose a name that conveys a message so users know what you are all about. Yahoo and Google are memorable names but were expensive to brand. Your small business might not have the same budget.
- Make sure your URL is SEO-friendly. If possible, you should create an SEO-friendly website address. This address should include keywords and geo-location.
Website host, also known as website designing company in singapore hosting provider, is a company that provides the technology and services needed to make a website accessible on the internet. Your domain name is connected to your hosting provider, so users can visit your website address and see the website you have stored on your account.
Hosting services can run anywhere from $2 to $100+ per month depending on what technology you use and the support you need. A yearly plan is usually more affordable than a monthly one.
These are some guidelines to help you choose a great website hosting plan.
You can still get “Shared Server “Hosting plans as low as $2 per month is not recommended. You share a server with other customers and can cause your website to slow down. It is also possible that your website could be infected if a hacker attempts to access your shared server.
A”Dedicated server”Hosting plans are the most expensive and can cost between $100 and $2,000 per month. However, they will make your website work optimally. A dedicated server plan gives you the ability to use all of the server resources for your site.
It is also more secure than shared hosting plans, provided that the technology is optimized. It is however more costly than most small businesses are willing to pay. This is a great option if you have a site that performs well, but it’s not the right choice for small businesses and startups.
I recommend a compromise as a compromise.”Virtual Private Server” (VPS). Hosting plan that offers the best of both hosting and web design. It costs between $20 and $50 per month. This is reasonable considering the quality of the services you’ll receive. VPS hosting is a single machine that can be partitioned to serve multiple purposes. This gives it the same affordability as shared hosting and offers similar security and performance as dedicated server hosting plans.
Make sure that your hosting company is licensed. Support via chat and phone if you have any problems, you will be able to get help quickly. When a problem must be resolved quickly, email support can sometimes take too much time and prove frustrating. Although phone support is the best option, chatting works well as well.
AnSimple to use server interface such as cPanelTo access your server. If you don’t have the budget to pay a professional server administrator, you won’t want to need to use terminal commands to access your server.
Find out what type of server security you have set up on the server that you are interested in.
Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) will allow you to access your server. Daily backups of server content should be made. It should be easy to install Secure Sockets Layer certificates (SSL) with just one click. Regular security maintenance should be performed by the hosting company. It is a good idea to have a written security protocol that your hosting company can provide you with so you are aware of how they protect their servers.
These are some of the most popular web hosting companies:
Display a concise description of your business prominently
So that people don’t feel lost when visiting your small business website, it is essential to tell them who you are and what they do. Your main homepage banner (also called a “hero picture”) and any subsequent banners are visual representations of your services. Also, make sure you include an introduction text blurb at the top of your page that describes who and what you are.
Also, ensure that your footer and main navigation menus contain “About Us” links so people can click them to learn more about your business.
The best content management system
A content management system (CMS), is a program or application that allows you to manage and create digital content. You don’t need to have any technical knowledge to use a CMS. A CMS can help you manage your website. Choose a CMS that suits your needs. Different CMS systems can be used for different purposes, including a budget, extensibility, user-friendliness, and cost.
These are some of the most popular systems, along with descriptions of their weaknesses and strengths.
WordPressWordPressIt is the most widely used CMS in the world. You can use many plugins to enhance the functionality of your website. There is a large, active support group. If you can’t find the plugin you need, you can easily find a WordPress developer to make it for you. WordPress is free and easy to install. It is easy to find a person or agency who can help you with your website. WordPress is well-known among web developers. Because WordPress is flexible and extensible, I recommend WordPress for small businesses.
However, WordPress security is the biggest weakness. WordPress is so popular that hackers are most likely to target it. It is essential that your WordPress site be maintained and protected regularly to prevent it from being hacked. It is not possible to protect every third-party plugin. Therefore, keeping your WordPress site safe must be a continuous commitment. You can find out more here.
DrupalDrupalAnother popular CMS is WordPress. It has many of the same advantages as WordPress such as flexibility, ease of use, and a large support network. It is more secure than WordPress and can be used to protect your website from malicious activity. However, there are not as many theme or plugin options. This makes it less extensible. Whitehouse.gov was originally built with Drupal for many years. However, it switched to WordPress in the end and continues to use WordPress today.
Joomla! Joomla!Another CMS that is very popular Joomla!It has better SEO, security, and multilingual capabilities out of the box than WordPress. However, WordPress’s capabilities can be surpassed by a few plugins.
SquarespaceSquarespaceThis service is available monthly or annually and allows you to create a website and blog with ease. This package includes website design, development, and software maintenance. It also includes metrics, domain names with an annual purchase, SSL security, and 24/7 support. This package is ideal for creatives as it includes top-quality design templates. This is the perfect service for those who are tight on budget and need a beautiful website but can’t afford a designer.
Squarespace has a lower learning curve than WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla!, but offers more extensibility options. Squarespace is a great option for those with little to no technical knowledge who want an easy and quick way to create a website.
WixWixIt is quite similar to Squarespace but is more user-friendly. You can subscribe to it monthly but not annually and get similar features. Wix also has drag-and-drop functionality. You can drag and drag elements to any place on your page. Squarespace, on the other hand, is more structured. Wix takes even less time to learn than Squarespace. This is a great option if you are looking to quickly publish a website.
Wix offers more templates than Squarespace, but you have to stick with the template you chose or risk having to rebuild your entire site. Squarespace allows you to modify your template at any time without the need to rebuild the whole site.
Select a reliable e-commerce platform
You will need the right technology if you intend to sell goods or services via your website. If you don’t sell any products, e-commerce may be a good option to increase your profit. You will need to select the right platform to enable users to transact financial transactions online.
These are some of the most popular e-commerce platforms for small businesses:
WooCommerceWooCommerceIt is one of the most widely used e-commerce platforms in the world. It can transform your WordPress website into an eCommerce store. There are many plugins that can be used with WordPress. They also attach to WordPress, making it very flexible. WooCommerce comes pre-built with many premium and free themes.
A premium theme created by a trusted developer will provide better support and security. A WordPress developer will be able to assist you in setting it up and using it if you don’t have the technical skills. WooCommerce offers all the capabilities and scalability your small business may need.
ShopifyShopifyIt is a cloud-based eCommerce platform that allows users to set up and manage online stores, as well as to manage inventory, shipping, payments, and product orders. This is not a WordPress extension, like WooCommerce. It is a standalone platform hosted on Shopify’s server. Therefore, if you have a primary website, your Shopify e-commerce site will technically be independent. Your regular website that is built with WordPress, Drupal, or Wix can link to your Shopify account, provided it does not have a Shopify integration plugin.
Unlimited products, unlimited bandwidth, and fraud analysis are just a few of the features offered by Shopify. Shopify’s key advantages include the fact that you don’t need to be a developer in order to create a store. Everything on the backend has already been set up when you sign up. However, Shopify does not allow you as much control and flexibility as WooCommerce.
Shopify PlusShopify PlusShopify is similar to Shopify but offers more customization options, more staff accounts, and international eCommerce options. You also get better support. All of this comes at a higher subscription price, and it does not offer the same flexibility and customization options as WooCommerce.
Business SquarespaceSquarespace offers an eCommerce subscription. This is a great option if you choose Squarespace to create your site, and you have simple eCommerce needs. Business Squarespace has a transaction fee.
However, this can be avoided by upgrading to an online store subscription. You get a domain free of charge, SSL security, SEO, and abandoned cart recovery. There are also discounts and real-time carrier shipping. It is however not as user-friendly as Shopify. It is also not as flexible and user-friendly as WooCommerce, just like Shopify.
Wix Wix has a Shopify extension that is extremely user-friendly. To use Shopify, you will need to upgrade your Wix account.
GoDaddy Online StoreGoDaddy offers a new standalone subscription platform for e-commerce that is very easy to set up. You don’t need any technical knowledge to start your shop.GoDaddy Online Store. These templates are easy to use and can be modified in a few ways. The templates include SEO and marketing tools, social media integration, and appointment booking. They also have SSL security and rapid page loading.
Your small business website should leave a positive impression and drive results. Here are some tips to help you do this:
- Use stunning graphics and simple-to-read fonts
- Optimize your graphics for speedy loading. Search engines such as Google will penalize websites that load slowly.
- Look at the websites of your competitors to find out how they have optimized their websites. Then, implement similar components for your website.
- Find out what your target audience wants from your website and make it easy to achieve it.
- Ensure that your brand is consistent throughout your website design.
- Create a user-friendly navigation system that allows users to quickly get to the pages they want.
- Make contact information easily available.
- Include clear call-to actions (especially the “Buy Now” button).
- Make pages that are common for small business websites such as:
- About us
- Descriptions and images of products/services
- Sitemap (for SEO purposes).
- Management team
- Get in touch
- Additional pages that are relevant to your small business
Search engines: Optimize small business websites
SEO refers to a set or practices that you use to optimize your website for search engines to index it and rank it appropriately. Search engine users then see your website. Your website will compete with other websites with similar content once it is “crawled by search engines”. Your website will appear higher on search engine result pages if it has a good design and quality content.
SEO includes these practices:
- Keyword research and implementation
- Optimized website code
- Rapid loading speed
- Secure and installing an SSL certificate; SSL is the standard security technology that protects data between web servers.
- Mobile-friendly websites are a must
- Existence of high-quality links (links to external websites with similar content) that link to your site
- Positive reviews on the internet (Google, Yelp and Facebook)
- Use internal links throughout your website to keep people reading and clicking
- Use social media to create links to your site (LinkedIn. Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest.
- SEO is an ongoing, critical process that can make the difference between appearing on page 1 of search engine results pages (which will result in large amounts free traffic to your site) and page 300 (which will result in no traffic).
Create and publish high quality content regularly
Search engines value both content quality and freshness. This is why it is important that you have a plan in place to post high-quality articles and/or blog entries on your website and any external sites linking to it. You must update your website as often as possible to ensure your website ranks highly in search engine results. This will encourage people to visit your site again and again.
You can also post articles and static pages on your website. However, testimonials are a great content form. You can make your small business stand out by asking for testimonials from customers and publishing them on your website.
Your content should be consistent with your brand tone and people will enjoy it.
Install webmaster tools
Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console to analyze site traffic and performance. (preferably through Google Tag Manager) and Bing Webmaster Tools. The following information can be tracked with these tools:
- Your site receives visitors daily, weekly, and monthly
- Each page has been viewed approximately 2,000 times
- “Bounce rate” is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing one page. Google algorithms gives higher rankings to websites with a low bounce rate. This means that users spend more time on your site and find it valuable.
- Visitors spend an average of 3.5 hours on the site
- Crawl errors (errors that search engines find on your site when crawling its content).
- Broken links
- Keywords that direct users to your website
- Backlinks to your website
- Time to download web page
- Additional information to help you improve your SEO
These are some ways to maintain a website for a small business.
- Webmaster Tools data should be checked at least once per month. Any vital errors can be emailed to the user in real-time.
- Traffic data can be used to better understand your audience and help you cater to them.
- Performance data can be used to improve and correct warnings and errors.
- Make sure that all software is up-to-date.
- You can run security scans to ensure that your website is safe from malware and has not been hacked.
- Split testing is a way to determine if certain versions of your website improve performance. For example, if you sell a product, there might be two versions of the landing page. The split testing will allow you to determine which version has a higher conversion.
- Follow my SEO advice (see point #7) and continue to publish quality content (see number #8).
- You can market your business online in the most effective and up-to-date ways.
- Site visitors can leave feedback.
- Keep checking in on your competitors from time to check their online presence to see if they have any tips for you.
- Your website should be backed up at least once per day and for at least 10 days.
It may not be as easy as you thought to create a small business website. If you follow these steps, your small business will be able to succeed in the online market.