Creating a website for your business is a great way to promote your brand, showcase your products or services, and drive traffic to your business. A website is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to market your business, and it only takes an hour or two to set up.
There are many cost-effective and simple solutions available, meaning you don’t need to be tech-savvy in order to create one. You just need to understand some of the basics of creating a business website. Here is a quick guide on how to create a website for your business.
Step 1: Pick a Platform
You can host a website on a variety of platforms. Your first decision will be which platform will host your website. There are two main options to choose from. Both are effective ways to build your website, but each has its own advantages.
Self-hosted platforms like WordPress and Squarespace, where you will own the website and pay to host it on a web host’s servers. Many web hosts also have platforms that let you easily create a website. Essentially, you just pay to host your website and they will help you create the website yourself.
The advantage of this is that you own the website and can even build one yourself from scratch if you know how to code. The only cost is the cost of having your website hosted somewhere online. You can move the website freely between web hosts as much as you want.
Your other option is hosted platforms like Weebly and Wix, where you don’t own the website but you can use it for free. Hosting is often offered with this option, but the website will look quite different from your own branding.
If you want to make any changes to your website, hosted platforms are not ideal unless they specifically allow rebranding. This is becoming an increasingly popular option and lets you make the website completely branded to your company. When done right, no one will know who the host is or that you used a program to help you build the site.
The advantage of a hosted platform is that they help build complex websites easily. These websites are also made easy to build by drag-and-drop systems that let you build it visually and the code is changed behind the scenes. These are easier and more versatile to build a website with than self-hosted sites.
The downside to a hosted platform is that the website always stays where it is. You cannot switch hosts and move the website. If you decide to leave that host’s platform, you have to give up your website and start over somewhere else.
Free Website Creation Tools
Some platforms will allow you to build your website for free, but your website may have limitations on what it can do and how it can look. Increasingly, this is not the case as companies that offer free website creation tools usually offer paid hosting plans to go with them. Here are some popular free website creation tools.
Wix lets you create a beautiful website with no coding knowledge required. You can drag and drop your way to a great-looking site in just a few minutes.
Weebly’s simple drag-and-drop interface will let you create a professional-looking website in less than an hour.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world and the open-source software is free. There are two versions of WordPress that you can use. One is a self-hosted option that you can install on any web host. In fact, most hosts have a version of WordPress that you can install with just a few clicks and in less than five minutes. The other option is a hosted platform where WordPress (the company) helps you build the site from templates on their servers.
Paid Website Creation Tools
Paid website creation tools let you build a beautiful website from scratch. These tools offer more flexibility than free platforms so you can create a website that is unique to your brand. You can add your logo, colors, images, and text.
These platforms allow you to create websites with a modern design and a variety of layouts.
Shopify makes it easy for anyone to set up a professional-looking online store. You can create a variety of different products and customize your store with images and text.
Squarespace is a hosted website builder that can also let you create an online store. Squarespace is connected with a payment portal, which makes it easier for you to use your website as a POS system and sell products in person.
Weebly also offers a store builder that allows you to build an online store with ease. Weebly has been around for a while but is still one of the most popular paid hosted platform options available.
Step 2: Select A Template
Once you’ve found a hosted website creation tool or a self-hosted platform that you like, you can start to select the right template for your website. Most hosted platforms will give you a few templates to choose from, but you will have to work with the layout and colors that are provided.
You can also design your website from scratch using a self-hosted platform, but it will take you a lot longer. Even the stand-alone version of WordPress lets you install templates to change the design quickly. Your best option is to choose one that lets you use professional templates to organize your website.
Choose a template that aligns with your business goals. Most templates are thoroughly described by the manufacturer and have demos available so you can see how it will flow on your website. Choose a template designed for your type of business so that it has the right features that make running your website easier.
Step 3: Add Your Content
Once you’ve chosen a template, you can start adding your content. Every platform has different ways of customizing content and branding. Follow the instructions that come with the platform or the template for the best success.
Every part of your website has a purpose and some of those parts are mandatory. Here are the pages that you should focus most of your early efforts on:
Home Page: What is Your Business?
The homepage is where people will go first when they visit your site, so it’s important to make a good first impression. At the top of the page, you should include your logo and a few headlines that explain what your business does.
You can also add links to your social media pages and any other pages on your website, like your About page. Your homepage should be designed so that it is easy to scan. People don’t have time to read through a wall of text, so they will scan the page and look for visual clues as to whether they should visit your website. A headline is a good way to catch someone’s attention, but you should also include an image.
About Page: Business Details
For the about page, you can write a few paragraphs about your business and the team behind it. You can also add a few images and links to any media coverage or awards you have received for your business. If you offer a service, you can also use this page to explain what you do.
Contact Page: How to Contact You
The contact page is where you can provide your contact information and let customers know how they can reach you. You can also include information like your business hours, office address, and any other details your customers might want to know. If you offer products or services, you can use the contact page to tell customers how they can purchase from you. You can include links to any other sales platforms that you use, like Amazon or Etsy.
Start a Blog
One of the best ways to update your website regularly and engage with your customers is by starting a blog. Use your blog to share your expertise in your industry, or promote your products or services. You can even just let customers know more about your team and the behind-the-scenes goings-on of your business.
Use a blogging platform like WordPress to create a blog, which will be easy to set up and easy to update. Use a hosted solution like Blogger or Squarespace to quickly set up a blog and get started.
Contact Answer Aide to Learn More About How to Integrate An Answering Service Into Your Website
A telephone answering service can be an important part of your team. When people visit your site, they’ll need a way to get in contact with you. When an answering service answers your calls, we can answer basic questions or sift through auto dialers, so your team only has to focus on the most important calls we’ve screened first.
If you’re ready to get started with a professional answering service, we’re here to help. Contact Answer Aide by calling (866) 427-3500 or by filling out our online form. We’re happy to partner with you to support your business while it grows.