A website is one of the most important things that a business can have, and without it there is certainly quite a lot that can be a lot more difficult.
If you run a business and you are starting to wonder what you can do to set up a website successfully, there are many things that you might want to focus on here. As it happens, it might be easier than you think, but it will certainly require some thought and effort.
In this article, we will take you through most of the major steps you need to take if you want to successfully set up a business website. All of these will have to be considered at some point or another, so let’s take a look right now.
Before you do anything else, you need to first figure out what your needs might be. In other words, what are you hoping to get out of your business website, and what can you do to ensure that you are going to get it? Do you just need a placeholder that you can direct people to, or does your site need to provide further useful information in some form? It’s hugely important that you work this out as closely and finely as you possibly can.
Once you have a good sense of that, you can then think about getting started with the actual web design and so on. But there is another step that you might want to think about first too.
Most businesses will find it necessary, or at least a lot easier, to make use of a hosting service, rather than hosting the website themselves. This is because it is generally simpler and with a lot less hassle, and on the whole actually more affordable too, because you don’t have to shell out for the cost of the server yourself. So finding a hosting service is a really good idea, for businesses of any size and regardless of what your specific website needs might be.
Many business hosting services provide you with a range of other services and benefits too, such as design and SEO help, email services and more. So those are probably going to have precedence over other types, and are well worth thinking about. All in all, just make sure you find a host that you are happy with and which seems to be appropriate for the job.
The domain name is a hugely important thing you need to get right, too, for branding and marketing purposes as well as practical purposes. You might have this bought in conjunction with the hosting service, or you might have to do them separately. But in either case, you should try to make sure that you are registering your domain as early on as possible and that it is exactly what you need it to be.
A lot of small businesses starting out these days actually allow the domain name to dictate what the business is called, and that is one possibility. However, it’s best if it is a good name first and foremost, so you might want to think about both in tandem with one another. In any case, make sure that the domain is something that is easy to remember - and avoid any accidental double entendres when it is typed into a URL bar.
Once you have your domain name in place, you are going to be in a much better place to get cracking with building the website itself.
Now you can start setting up the website itself, which is in many ways one of the most exciting parts of the whole process. Here what you are doing is starting to build the pages of your site, and to get that right you will need to make sure that you are taking it slow and that you are directed by a real understanding of what you hope to achieve all in all with the website.
A lot of people do hire web designers to do all of this for them, but that is by no means the only way to do it, and it’s not always strictly necessary, so that is something you should bear in mind. However you do it, though, you should make sure that you are watching over proceedings, and that you are following a definite plan that you have in mind, because that is going to make a world of difference.
Gradually build your pages and add to them as required. It’s generally best to get one or two pages in place and publish the site, even if it is just a generic landing page for now saying coming soon. That is preferable to having nothing, anyway.
Now it is time to start adding more pages as required, and to customize them and the whole site as you go. As you do this, think about what necessary information you want to provide and how to prioritize it, and make sure that you are not simply adding content on to your site for no good reason. This ultimately never really works out very well, and it just results in a site which you are not going to be happy with, so that is something that you should try to bear in mind here.
But as you add some pages, do make sure that it is being done professionally, and do all you can to keep the branding the same as your business. That is a really vital part of keeping the site on-brand, which is essential if you want customers to understand that it is your business and that they are going to find what they need there.
Make sure not to go over the top either - often having fewer items and less content is really the way to go, so that is something that you should bear in mind as best as you can here.
In fact, that is something that you should try to do as best as you can throughout the design and build of your business’ website. All in all you want to try and keep it as simple as possible. As long as you can do that, it’s going to mean that you are much more likely to have a site that functions well, which has a quick page load time, and which you are generally just going to be very happy with. This is a wonderful situation to be in, and it’s going to help you out a lot. It will also make the customer feel a lot better when they view the site.
You should also focus on keeping the site as updated as possible, too, because that is something that is likely going to make a huge difference to how successful the site is, and it’s vital that you are bearing this in mind as best as you can throughout. There might be a lot of updates you need to do, or you might just want to make sure that you are adding content to the site regularly, so that it helps boost the SEO.
That is actually another really important consideration, because the better the SEO is, the more successful the website is going to be and the effect this can have on your overall business is huge. As long as the SEO is as it should be, you should find that you are going to have many more visitors, and that they will hang around on your site more too, which can prove to be hugely important in all of this. So make sure that you don’t overlook this vital part of the whole process of having a website.
You do need to market your website, just as your website is meant to be marketing for your business itself. To do this, you should focus on SEO, as we saw above, but also look into other means of promoting the website on and offline. That would include, for instance, having a decent social media campaign to ensure that you bring more eyes into the site, and talking with people about your website in a traditional word of mouth setting too. Both of those things are really going to help make your website a lot more popular with people.
All of that can take some time and some practice, so you will find that it is necessary to stick with it and keep at it if you want to succeed here. As long as you do persist, there is every chance that your business website will be successful, and that it is going to be as effective as you would hope in every way you might need it to be. That is something that you are going to find really useful for the sake of the business as a whole.
Felix is the founder of Society of Speed, an automotive journal covering the unique lifestyle of supercar owners. Alongside automotive journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects.