Start Your Own Website Business – If you have a small business or are about to start one, there are many reasons to create a website. Perhaps most importantly, a professional-looking website adds credibility to your work. So it can help you find and keep customers, clients and even partners. People prefer to build relationships with companies whose websites are easy to navigate and find information.
1. Find out what you want from your site. The structure and design of your website will depend on the type of business you run. An e-commerce business needs different tools than a restaurant owner or other service provider. Your website should also clearly state your mission—what you do—so visitors know exactly what to expect when they enter.
Start Your Own Website Business
Consider your Internet browsing experience and the websites that tend to grab your attention.
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2. Buy a domain name. This is your URL that users enter into the Google address bar. In most cases, you want to register a URL that matches your business name, but sometimes it’s not available.
If so, you have a few options. You can choose a domain name that reflects your business or explore .net or .biz alternatives.
From the customer’s point of view, it is useful to have a URL that is easy to remember and not too long. It can also help to include words or phrases in your URL that potential customers might search for, such as the name of your city or keywords in your industry.
If you also use a company to design your site, you can buy a domain name through a hosting platform (more on hosting in a moment) like Squarespace. Or you can use a service like Namecheap, GoDaddy, or Google Domains if you are not ready to set up hosting. Even if you register your domain through one service, you can still connect to other web hosting and design platforms.
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Domain registration is included with Squarespace hosting plans, or you can pay $20-$50 to purchase your own domain. Namecheap ranges from $1 to almost $70. GoDaddy and Google Domains also have different pricing structures based on the TLD you choose, from .com to .biz to football.
3. Find a hosting platform. First, a brief explanation of website hosting: Hosting companies provide server space that stores your content and delivers it to Internet users. Your site needs to live somewhere, and that’s where web hosting services come into play.
There are many non-technical, user-friendly tools for hosting and building websites. Most are template based, so all you have to do is enter your information and hit publish.
If you’re just starting out and just need a website to communicate information to potential clients, a platform like Squarespace offers great structure and flexibility. If you’re running or planning to run an e-commerce site with an online store, Shopify is a beginner-friendly platform.
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“For ease of choosing a starter template and customizing it with a platform and knowledge base, Squarespace and Shopify are easily the two best choices when it comes to DIY small business websites,” said founder and creative director Jordan Gilman. from UNFRAMEDCreative branding and strategy agency.
If you’re a tech-savvy business owner who wants more control over the design and functionality of your site, or if you’re hoping to create a lot of content that will drive traffic, another option is with a self-hosted platform like WordPress. In this case, you need a separate and more powerful web hosting plan with a company that specializes in small business sites.
You usually pay for hosting monthly or annually; the latter is a one-time upfront payment but generally costs less. Most platforms offer different levels of packages with increasingly robust features, especially for e-commerce features, so you can choose what you need.
For example, Squarespace costs $12 per month (billed annually) for a basic personal website and $18 per month (billed annually) for business sites with additional features such as e-commerce and custom email addresses. If you prefer monthly billing, you’ll pay $16 and $26. Shopify plans range from $29 per month to $299 per month, with a 10% discount on annual plans. Self-hosted WordPress.org is free, but you have to pay for third-party hosting.
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4. Be creative with your design. Once you’ve got the basics down for your site, you can start working on the fun stuff: design. Most beginner-friendly hosting platforms have templates that allow you to enter information, upload images, and publish. Squarespace, for example, has templates for everything from artist portfolios to e-commerce stores. You can also use this opportunity to refine your brand with a new logo, a new photo, or an updated mission statement.
5. Include important information. Your website should make it easy for visitors to find the information they are looking for and convert them into customers. Gilman suggests adding some basic categories:
6. Market and maintain. Although web hosting platforms make it easy to set it and forget it, you need to be actively involved in the development of your website. Update hours and prices, add new services as they become available, and continue your business story through blog posts or social media.
While it can be helpful to look at existing sites for inspiration, know that your site is unique. Start small and focus on the specific needs of your business.
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“There are a lot of options out there, and the right choice really depends on the situation and the goal,” says Marcus Miller, head of digital marketing at UK agency Bowler Hat. “The most important thing small businesses can do is educate themselves so they can make the right decisions.”
Emily Long is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, health and wellness, home security and automation, travel and more. Read more What do karate teachers and plumbers have in common? Both need a website to make their business successful in 2021 and beyond. In fact, the same can be said for any type of business.
A well-thought-out web design can be the difference between your business rising above the competition or falling by the wayside. Not really. Research shows that 75% of Internet users admit that they judge the credibility of a company based on its web design.
We have created a step-by-step guide on how to create a business website from start to finish. We have also included expert tips and information on the best web design companies that can help you create your business website.
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Want to showcase your art collection, sell products, or just display your contact information? Whatever purpose you choose for your website, you need to clearly show what your website does on your home page.
Defining a clear purpose helps visitors understand what your website is about. It also lays a solid foundation for a positive user experience (UX). Why? The less time visitors spend scrolling and clicking to find answers, the better. With so many small businesses having websites, you need to do everything you can to stand out from the competition.
Choosing the right website address or domain name is very similar to deciding on a name for your business. It’s usually the first thing users see about your business, so it gets noticed.
Ideally, your domain name should be your business name only. However, if you decide to use something else, make sure it accurately reflects your business goals and makes a good first impression on users. Here are some tips on how to choose a domain that delivers…
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✔ Price Check – Use a domain registrar to check the price of your domain (if the domain is popular, you may have to buy your domain from another user)
✔ Domain Name Research – Use tools like US Trademark Search to find out if the domain name you want is in use or contains a registered trademark.
In terms of website costs, your domain is an annual subscription that ranges from $10 to $20 per year, depending on the popularity of the domain.
Web hosts provide a digital space for your website to be seen on the world wide web. Without a host, your website won’t work. It usually costs between $2 and $300 per month, depending on the type of hosting you want and the provider you use.
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Thanks to years of extensive research into great web design and hosting in the US, we can confidently recommend these three web hosting providers to power your business website:
But which type of hosting is right for you? For most small business websites, we recommend VPS hosting (details to follow), but below we cover the most common types of hosting…
Typically, using this type of hosting costs between $2 and $5 per month
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