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Stop whatever you’re doing and ask yourself this simple question: “Do I need a website?” If your response was anything other than “yes,” you need to think again. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the head of a multinational corporation employing thousands of people or a local mom-and-pop shop down the road, you need a website to help potential customers find you online. If you have a business, failing to establish a home online can mean lost revenue. You don’t want that.
How To Start Your Own Business Website
Fortunately, there are many web hosting services available to you. Choosing one can be difficult because it depends on the quality of the service and its ability to adapt to your needs. Best Web Hosting Services is a great place to start, as it highlights 10 of our favorite web hosts.
Top 10 Website Builders To Create Your Small Business Website [updated 2020]
When it comes to building and designing the nuts and bolts of your site, you have a lot of options. You can hire someone to design and code a website, or you can try it yourself (if you’re a beginner, great courses on how to build websites are a great place to start). You can use an online service to create web pages or build them offline using a desktop software tool. Or, if you’re a coding dynamo, use a plain text editor to create a website from scratch. How you mix and match these decisions depends on your skills, time, budget, and gumption.
If you’re ready to get started, this guide will introduce you to services and software that will help you build your own website, even if you’re inexperienced. Remember, none of these tools will give you an idea of a winning website – that’s it. Nor will they build a web for you
, a different task than building a site. However, these services and software can alleviate some of the headaches that come with not having extensive expertise in CSS, FTP, HTML, and PHP. Let’s begin.
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How To Build Your Small Business Website
A blog, short for the archaic term “weblog,” is a unique subcategory that you can recognize from the familiar layout of a website. Typically, new content is at the top of the page, and older posts are revealed as you scroll down. If you want to build a simple website quickly, starting a blogging service is a great way.
A major player in the blog game is WordPress, a content management system (CMS) that powers millions of websites, including this one.
. Websites powered by WordPress are incredibly easy to set up, modify and update – every day. You don’t have to learn fancy-schmancy FTP tricks (although you can certainly use them if you want to), and there are a ridiculous number of free WordPress themes and WordPress plugins that will give your site a real face and great functionality. Check out How to Get Started with WordPress to learn everything you need to know about the CMS, including the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Although WordPress dominates the blogging space, it is not the only major blogging CMS.
Yahoo’s Tumblr is another very popular blog platform that lends itself to shorter, more visual posts. However, you can find themes that give your Tumblr site a more traditional look and feel. Google’s Blogger includes tight integration with Google AdSense, so making extra pocket change is a snap. New blogging services like Anchor, Feather, and Medium put more stress on writing and publishing than complex design, but they’re incredibly simple to update.
Create Your Own Business Website: What You Need To Know
These services can host your content on their servers for free, but in exchange for that zero cost, your online destination will have less than a fancy domain like jeffreylwilson.tumblr.com. This might be fine for a personal blog, but it looks very low rent for a business that wants people to trust it to pay for whatever it sells.
If you prefer a more traditional URL, you’ll need to purchase one from GoDaddy or Namecheap. Domain name pricing can range from very cheap to very expensive, depending on whether or not domain squatters are looking to turn valuable real estate online. You want something small but memorable and attractive. To learn more, read How to Register a Domain Name.
Depending on the hosting service, if you want to use a domain purchased elsewhere, you may need to download the CMS and upload it to your own hosting platform.
If you’re worried about how your website will look on mobile devices, don’t worry. Websites created on these blogging platforms usually include responsive design versions that are mobile friendly, so they are well formatted for smartphones and tablets.
Person Starting Own Business Some Online Business Ideas
Blogs are booming, but sometimes you just need a simple place to park your internet persona for branding purposes. In this case, you might have a nameplate site, or as we like to think of them, a personal webpage (rather than a multi-page website). Instead of linking internally to your store or other main pages like a more traditional web page, a personal website usually has links that go elsewhere – to your social networks, wish lists, playlists, or anything else you can link to.
An example of a nameplate service is about.me. Upload a large photo as the background of your personal web page, then artistically overlay information and links to create your digital nameplate. These free sites help you grab images from your social networks or hard drive, then give you the tools to work seamlessly with text and links, and you’ll need to look at other private pages to get an idea of what actually works.
These services usually offer a premium tier that offers more hosting flexibility. For example, About.me’s $8 per month premium package removes the company brand and gives you the ability to link your website to an externally purchased domain.
Artists with large portfolios to show shouldn’t feel left out. There are many custom page/site builders, including BigBlackBag and SmugMug, that showcase your work as well, or better than Flickr or Instagram can.
How To Start Your Own Business & Online Store From Scratch
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When it’s time to go beyond blogs, beyond online resumes, beyond the links page, what service do you turn to for a full website that gives you the flexibility to build whatever you want? There’s no shortage of them, but three of our favorites are DreamHost, HostGator, and Hostwinds, full services that include several types of hosting and tiers.
If your site doesn’t require a lot of server power, you can start around $10 per month for shared WordPress hosting. However, as your business expands, your website may need more horsepower. That’s when you should look into cloud, VPS, and dedicated hosting. These services are standard when you need a web host that offers plenty of storage space, a significant amount of monthly data transfers, and multiple email accounts.
Even if you don’t sign up for those web hosts, you should look for services that offer similar features. You need a WYSIWYG editor that allows you to customize each page and add images, videos, and social links. Forking out a few extra bucks usually gets you solid e-commerce and search engine optimization (SEO) packages for better Bing, Google, and Yahoo placement. Most advanced web hosting services include at least one free domain name when you sign up.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website For A Small Business?
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Before we move on, we should discuss integrating e-commerce into your website. If you intend to sell a product or service, this is an important part of the website building process and cannot be ignored. Fortunately, most web hosting services offer different bundled software and integrations.
Things to look for when checking out hosts for e-commerce include drag-and-drop store builders, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software to protect financial transactions, and email marketing plugins so you don’t have to work with an outside vendor. Promote your business. There’s nothing inherently wrong with using an affiliate marketing service, but anything that adds convenience means spending more time on the rest of your business. For more detailed advice on starting to sell online, you should consider our story on 6 factors companies should consider when choosing a web host.
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Simple Steps To Start Your Own Website
There is another relatively quick way to get your website online: website builders. These are standalone services that include drag-and-drop tools and templates
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