If you run a small business, you are going to need a website. In fact, it should be one of the very first things you do because having an online presence is invaluable in today’s internet-driven world. And luckily, building a website has never been easier.
The website needs to showcase your business. This can include simple things like providing the location and contact information, or it can be more involved and let you show off and sell products and services to customers online.
You can do anything with your website, but it does take a bit of elbow grease to get started.
That’s why I am going to teach you how to how to create a business website for your small business using WordPress.
How to Create a Small Business Website
While the process has been streamlined, you are going to need to have a few things in place. For instance, you can’t build a website if you haven’t fully planned your business. Before you begin, make sure you have a name and business plan in place.
Step 1: Create a Small Business Website Checklist
First, you need to come up with a list of features you hope to add to your website. This might sound basic, but understanding what you need to accomplish is critical when building a website from scratch.
In some cases, the features might not be possible to implement with certain Content Management Systems (CMS). Or you may need special tools to add them.
Here are some of the more common features to help you get started.
- Build An About Us Page
- Adding Branding/Logo
- Add a Store Locator (GoogleMaps)
- Product Pages
- Shopping Cart
- Accept And Return Payments
- Display Contact Information
- Build a Terms of Service Page
- Display Hours of Operation
- Add a Calculator/Estimator Tool
And there’s plenty of more. For instance, restaurants will need things like a menu creator or reservation system. Although in that case, be sure to check out our guide for building a restaurant website. The point is, every business is unique.
Thus, the tools you use should be as well.
Step 2: Choose A Webhost and Pick A Domain Name
The first real step to create a website is to choose a web hosting company and domain name.
A web hosting company is the company that rents out server space to house your website. Whenever someone connects to your website, they are actually connecting to that server. Thus, the web host you choose is vital to your website’s performance.
The web hosting industry is extremely competitive, however, not all web hosts are equal.
Here at GreenGeeks, we strive to be the best web host in the industry without impacting the environment. We achieve this by calculating how much energy we use and then purchase three times that amount in clean wind energy.
Most importantly, our services are top tier. That’s why we have been recognized as one of the top web hosting companies in the industry.
During this process, you will need to pick a domain name. You really want to aim for a domain that matches your company name. That said, it might be hard to get. In those cases, you might want to consider using a different domain name extension.
The shorter the better.
Step 3: Choose A CMS to Build Your Website (WordPress)
Next, you need to consider what you are going to use to create your own website.
This is known as a CMS, and while there are a ton to choose from each with distinct advantages and disadvantages, you should use WordPress. It is the most popular CMS on the market and currently powers 40% of the internet!
It requires no coding, one-click installation, and most importantly, it’s easy to use.
Seriously, anyone can build a website using WordPress and that’s why it is dominating. And unlike many other CMS on the market, there are no limitations in WordPress. You can build any type of website by using the right plugins, themes, or adding your own coding should you want.
Step 4: Select Which Plugins and Themes to Use
Speaking of plugins and themes, that’s the next step after installing WordPress.
Plugins are like apps for your smartphone. They add a specific feature or tool to your website that you can use to customize your website. In many cases, you can achieve the same effects by adding code, but plugins avoid that entirely, thus making it easier to use.
Whereas themes dictate how your website will look. They allow you to add all types of design elements and each one can be further customized to meet your needs. However, to say that themes are purely cosmetic is incorrect.
Many themes also come built-in with custom tools that are designed to work with the theme. although most of these are only available in premium themes.
In either case, I have chosen a few plugins and themes that you may find useful.
Business Pro is a great choice for any small business site. It’s robust enough to adapt to any kind of business while offering a stunning layout for your website. It accomplished this by offering users a ton of customization options and a lot of widget areas to work with.
The theme is also fully responsive, which just means the website will look great on any dive or screen size. This is mandatory to ensure that your website works on mobile devices.
Worker is another multi-purpose theme that is a great choice to build a small business website. It sports a ton of customization options, a great layout, and a responsive design. However, it separates itself by providing some additional tools.
For instance, the theme comes with the premium version of the Booked plugin. This gives you the ability to display a calendar on the front end of your website. It’s great for showing off upcoming events.
If you plan to sell anything on your website, you need the WooCommerce plugin. It adds eCommerce functionality to WordPress, which includes creating product pages, accepting and returning payments, adding product details, and more.
It has everything you need with a slew of premium add-ons to add what it doesn’t have by default. Most importantly, it’s easy to use. The full set-up will be over before you know it and the end result will be a fully responsive store.
If one of the features on your list is to have a chatbox to communicate with customers, then the LiveChat plugin is perfect for the job. Your customers can type into the chatbox and ask questions directly to you or a sales representative.
It looks great on live pages and can definitely help improve sales. I highly recommend this tool on any website that is focused on selling services.
Step 5: Market Your Small Business Website
At this point, your website should be fully operational. The true final step is to get the word out. Or in other words, start a marketing campaign.
Here are a few ways to go about it:
- Build Social Media Business Pages
- Add Your Website to Business Cards
- Create an Email List
- Purchase Ad Space on Google and Facebook
- Create a Blog to Boost SEO and Engage Consumers
And a ton of other ways. If you just want to stick to affordable options, there are several free website promotion methods that work.
Create A Business Website Today
You should have a fully functioning website online before the front door ever opens. In most cases, customers will find your physical location by using the internet. Everyone does it, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.
This guide provides a rough outline of how to go through the website creation process. However, just make sure to have other people take a look at your website before it goes live. This is the best way to catch mistakes before potential customers see them.