Have you just got a new name or brand? You will probably want to know how to build a small business website to start marketing it. This simple, plain English guide will show you the basics of how to get started.
Step 1: Purchase domain name and hosting
Once you’ve got your domain name, you’ll want to host it somewhere. We recommend Digital Pacific to do this. A Personal Hosting plan should do the trick if you’re a sole trader with low website traffic, otherwise consider a Business Hosting Plan.
As soon as you have your hosting setup, you will want to point your domain name to the hosting. This is done through something called “DNS” settings. Our blog post explains what this is all about.
Step 2: Install website software
Once you’ve got your hosting sorted you’ll have access to something called “cPanel”. This is the web interface that will allow you to install your website software. The software of choice is WordPress – used by around 80 million websites around the world.
To install WordPress, log into your cPanel and then look for the WordPress icon.
Be careful, it could sit under something called “Softaculous”.
You will normally choose the default options for your WordPress installation.
Once this is installed, you will have a basic website. Try typing in the domain name to your browser and see what is shown. At the time of this writing, the default installation will show a picture of a pot plant.
Step 3: Choose what it will look like
Once you have a basic website installed, you will want to change what the website looks like. This is known as the theme. There’s tens of thousands of website themes out there, most of them are paid.
If you want a free option, just login to your website and jump to Appearance > Themes. WordPress lists a lot of themes. If you’re just starting out with a basic website then the free themes might be sufficient. If you’re after something more robust then go with a paid option. Some great paid themes can be found at Themeforest.
After you have selected a theme you will want to jump to the theme’s options to brand the website for your business. This includes:
- The name of the website;
- Your logo;
- Your fonts;
- Your business colours.
Step 4: Add content
Once you have completed setting up your theme you will want to add content. Content includes:
- Web pages (like your home page, about us and contact us pages);
- Blog posts (these help to get people to visit your website);
- Documents (like PDF documents);
For a basic website, you will need:
- A home page
- A products / services page
- An “About Us” page with what your business is all about
- A Contact page with your business location, contact form and contact details.
- A blog page with a listing of your blog posts.
An example of a basic website can be seen in the demo of our Online Presence package website.
Step 5: Finishing touches
Once you’re happy with the content, then test the website. Testing will include:
- Checking that all the links work, including links to your social media profiles;
- Confirm that your contact form sends an email to you;
- Make sure that the site looks great on mobile and tablet.
Step 6: Launch
Spread the word through your networks that your website is live! If you’ve got a big network, then host a launch party!
Spreading the word can include telling people via:
- Your social media profiles;
- At networking events;
- Via email to your customer and prospects database.
Step 7: Monitor and improve
A website is part of your marketing team. It needs attention and feedback.
Want to know more?
This article covers the basics of how to build a website BUT there’s way way way more to it than this.
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