How to Set Up a Small-Business Website
Your small business has a phone number and may make use of email, but without an active presence online with your own website, you could be losing business.
A small-business website is useful for keeping your customers informed, allows you to market products and services, gives you a platform to share useful information and advice and helps you build a loyal following. Whether you do it yourself or hire a developer, a small-business website should be an essential part of your business operation.
Secure your domain name. Before establishing your website, you need to set up your Web address. You can do this by choosing a domain name, one that includes your business’s name. The dot.com extension is used by most businesses. Contact a domain registry company to check availability and purchase your domain name.
Decide what type of website you need. Sites range from the simple to the complex, with some providing information only, others offering a storefront and some offering a blend of the two or some other variation. Be prepared to explain to the developer what sort of website you want. Examine the options given to you and then choose a plan that is right for your business. You can and should update your website from time to time, so you can make changes later on if needed.
Design your website. The look, feel and navigation of a website is very important. How your customers perceive your site will determine whether they use it or not. Find a designer who understands what your customers may be looking for and can design a site that lets them find what they want in the fewest steps possible. Your designer needs to be skilled in hypertext markup language, understand Cascading Style Sheets or be experienced working with a content management system such as WordPress. Familiarity with layout, color schemes, form management, copyright laws and search engine placement is essential.
Choose a Web host. The pages of your website will be handled by a Web-hosting service. Varying levels of service are available, including shared, virtual and dedicated hosting. The more complex the website you create, the more likely you will need the most robust hosting package with the most features included.
Launch your website. A developer will work with you to make sure your website operates flawlessly before its official launch date. Be prepared to review the pages, test navigation tabs and outbound links and examine how the website looks when viewed through various browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. Once the site is done, pages can be uploaded to the Internet for public review and further testing and tweaking.
Start planning your online presence for your business or your ideas for a business now by contacting me today. FREE advice and consultation to get you started.