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A website is essential for entrepreneurs and small business owners, especially when starting out. It allows you to be found and contacted while showcasing your goods or services.
With tools and resources available, you don't need to be tech-savvy or spend a fortune to create your own website.
Getting Your Business Website Started
There are plenty of user-friendly website platforms, affordable hosting services, and online resources that make it possible for you to build a free (or nearly free) business website. However, there are a few steps to take before you get started.
- Create your site domain name. This would be your website name. Many companies offer free domain registration with a hosting purchase. There are a few things to consider when choosing a domain name:
- Make it brandable and skip the numbers or hyphens. For example, try “EnjoyToday.com” over “Enjoy2day.com.”
- Make it pronounceable. If customers have a hard time saying it, they most likely will have a hard time spelling it, which makes it more challenging to find your site.
- Consider making it short. A short domain name will be easier to remember.
- Always try to avoid trademark infringement. Once you have an idea of what you’d like your domain name to be, do a quick search to ensure it hasn’t been used yet.
- Register for a hosting account for your website. You will host your website through a company for a fee — almost like renting out space on the Internet. When considering which hosting company to use, research reviews and pay attention to details since different companies provide different capabilities.
Website Builder Platforms for
Once you’ve determined your domain name and registered your business website with a hosting company, it’s time to choose a website builder that fits best for your business. There are a variety of platforms that help small business owners build a functional and well-designed website — and the cost is more affordable than you might think. For your first site, try to find a good balance: a platform that has an array of functionalities but is easy and intuitive to use.
Overall, a great platform will offer you:
- A variety of website templates and themes
- Mobile design capabilities (over 50 percent of website traffic comes from mobile)
- Easy photo and gallery uploads
- Ability to sync to your social media accounts
- Ecommerce capabilities, such as shopping cart services (if applicable)
- Access to responsive customer service for quick fixes and less downtime
Below are a few website platforms that could be a great fit for new entrepreneurs and small businesses on a budget.
- Wix probably has the largest array of design templates in the website builder space. The templates are easy to use with a drag-and-drop feature that makes the actual building process painless. Templates can be sorted by categories such as business, photography, videography, restaurants, design, etc.
- WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms for small businesses, offering easy-to-use website and blog building for beginners. They have more than 350 templates you can customize with fonts, images, logos, colors, plugins, and more. The platform also has an analytics tool and SEO capabilities, which will help you understand how people are finding your site and how it’s performing on Google.
- Wix E-commerce is a good option for an e-commerce business. The platform allows you to sell your product in many different ways, as well as integrate with other shopping environments, such as Facebook Shop or Amazon. The website also comes equipped with different tools to help you sell at tradeshows or different marketplaces.
- Squarespace is best known as a service for creative industries and e-commerce companies, and it has a very strong visual appeal. While the templates are beautifully designed, they do not allow as much customization as other small business website builders do. But if your business is looking for that "wow" factor, Squarespace would be the platform for you.
- Weebly has been around since 2007, and is great for small businesses that need websites, online stores or blogs. It has a drag-and-drop editor for customization, and offers other services such as email marketing, SEO or blogging capabilities. As a busy business owner, using a company that provides services beyond your website may help you save time.
As a new entrepreneur, your budget is limited. Developing a marketing strategy to drive traffic to your website is a cost-effective way to secure leads and get your business name out there. Once your website is built, think about what's next:
- Is there relevant content you can deliver to your customers via a newsletter, blog, or social media post?
- Consider any how-to’s, checklists, or case studies that your customers would find valuable, and promote these with a call-to-action back to your website.
- If you have a Brick and Mortar business, consider using an Online Directories Service: List your business across multiple directories and mapping services in no time. Ensure that your business information is consistent and up to date, and with consistent information, you'll improve your website's visibility in local search results.
By using the tips and recommendations above, you can create your own business website easily and quickly. For any additional business advice, Bizee has great resources to help you manage your company, including permit compliance, IRS filings or taxes. Take advantage of their expertise so you can focus on the growth of your business.
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