Recently, a friend asked me if there was any advice I could give on how she can create a website for her small business. I told her there are a few important things to consider and decide before taking action, and here are the first four:
What is your budget and how involved do you want to be in the process?
Depending on how much you can spend on a website, there are different paths you can take to get there. Do you want to pay a freelance web designer or marketing company to handle everything? This would leave you time to manage your business and not worry about the intricacies of building a website. Or you might find a hosting provider and use a content management system, like WordPress, to get going. Each has their own costs and level of effort. Or do you want an agency to handle your website and marketing needs? We can help.
Find a domain name.
Before a website can be built you need to choose a domain name that is relevant to your small business. There are a few things to keep in mind while hunting for a proper domain name. Make it easy for potential customers to find your website by choosing a domain that is easy to type. Also, keep it short. A long domain name can lead to misspellings and missed lead opportunities. There are millions of registered domain names, so make yours memorable. Socialize it with your friends to make sure it’s memorable and makes sense. Decide if you want to go with something that matches your business name or matches what your business does.
Gather your content.
No one knows your business like you do. Consider what content you’d like on your website and the tone in which its written. Your content should have personality and be informative. It helps to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. Think about your own experience when visiting a website and what you were looking for when you got there. Did you find what you were looking for or was it futile? Help your customers find what they need by gathering the content they are most likely searching for.
Choose a hosting provider.
Nowadays there are tons of hosting providers to choose from along with different types of hosting plans. One type of plan is a shared hosting. It’s a low cost solution but has its drawbacks. Your website will be on a server with many other websites. This creates limited bandwidth and flexibility and can be an issue if your website grows beyond the limits of the contract. This type of hosting plan is a great solution if you don’t depend on your website for revenue. The next type of hosting plan is dedicated hosting. This means that your website gets its own server. The cost for this type of plan can be very expensive but is great for high traffic websites or larger businesses. Think about where you want your website to take you and how much you’d like it to grow in traffic and revenue.
These are just a few things to consider before diving in and getting your website started. My advice is do your research and ask others what they experienced while in this process. It can help guide you on the path to building a great website.