Knowledge is Power
Anyone can build a website, but building a professional website that will make a lasting impression on customers takes time and knowledge. But who has extra time? Certainly not small business owners. Here are seven tips to simplify the building process, and give you a better understanding of the ins and outs of website creation.
Register a Domain Name
Before you begin building your site, you want to register a domain name to provide extra branding.
There are many sites available to help you find an available domain name. Costs of registering a name various, it can set you back as little as 75 cents and up to thousands per year depending on the name.
Set Up an Email Account
Setting up your small business email account is a professional and cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website. You can set up newsletters, service announcements and get valuable feedback from customers. Many website hosts will include email services.
Sketch Your Website
Research what kind of site you would like to create by surfing the web and visiting other businesses’ sites within the industry. Once you’ve indentified what features you do and don’t like, build your website page by page.
TIP: Sketch out what you would like your site too look like on index cards, it gives you a better idea of how many pages you will need for your website.
Choose a Host
A hosting service makes your website visible online. There are several types of web hosts depending on your needs and budget: free, standard, dedicated, virtual and shared hosting and collocation.
Before choosing a host consider: whether it will provide enough storage space and bandwidth, if it’s reliable, has a good reputation among users and if it will provide the correct hosting platforms and features for your site.
You may also want to consider whether you will build the site yourself or have the hosting service do it for you. You could always build it on your own and hire an expert to spiff it up and make it more professional looking.
Use Social Media
Social media sites are more than just vehicles to keep in touch with old friends and flames. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to generate a buzz about your brand and direct people to your newly-created site.
Even though they are not great sources of advertising revenue, they can serve as excellent social- marketing tools for your small business.
Publish Your Site
Before publishing your site, check to make it looks and works the way it should. There are many tools that will check the design of your site and allow you to see any mistakes before going live.
Maintain Your Website
The hard work may be over, but keeping the site up to date and fresh is essential. Keep content fresh, offer new deals and offerings and engage your customers so they come back again and again.
You should also keep in mind that you will need to maintain your domain name registration and hosting plan so they don’t expire and take you offline.
Small businesses without a strong online presence are missing out on potential sales, branding opportunities and the chance to become a global business. Building a website doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a lot. Here are seven tips for building the website of your dreams.