Even though we are in 2021, there are still business owners who think that they don’t need a website. While that might be true for some local companies, in the vast majority of cases, having a website can only benefit your small business because it will:
- Connect your business with new customers
- Keep you in better touch with existing customers
- Help you promote and sell your products and services
- Give you a fighting chance against bigger brands
- Aid your marketing efforts
However, many small business owners avoid creating a website, believing it to be too difficult or that they lack certain skills, and instead, try to grow on social media platforms (particularly on Instagram) often spending considerable amounts of money there and not getting adequate returns (there are a lot of no-help tools and services in the social media marketing sphere, always try to know what you are spending on, check online reviews like this one and feedback of real users).
But you must know that there is one fundamental difference between a website and your social media profile. That difference is the ownership – you own your website and you don’t own your social media profiles. We do not want to convince you that social media does not work, we just want to remind you that it is always a good idea to invest in what you own.
In this article, we’ll show how you can easily create your own small business website using WordPress (if you want to know how to create your online store check this article).
Before You Get Started
Before you start building and designing your website, there are a few things you need first.
- A domain name
This is how your website will be called. Typically, if you already have an offline business, the domain name should be the same to avoid confusing your customers.
- Purchase some web hosting
Basically, web hosting buys you real estate on web servers where your website will live.
- Install WordPress
Got all of that? Great, let’s get started!
Setting up a Small Business WordPress Website
As we said, you will have the option to choose between a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org site.
In this case, a self-hosted WP.org is much better as it has a lot more features that you’ll need to create a profitable website, while WP.com is more suitable for personal blogs.
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to get some hosting. There are many web hosting services out there, so it depends on your needs which one you’ll go for.
For instance, NameCheap is excellent if you want a cheap plan.
Again, take a good look at the options and find what works best for you.
Getting a Domain Name and Hosting
We’ll use NameCheap as an example of how to create a small business website. Right now, you can get a full month of web hosting for free with their EasyWP on all pricing plans by clicking on the “Try for Free” button.
If you don’t have an account already, NameCheap will ask you to sign in and create one by signing up or sign in to an existing one.
Next, you will get to give your website a name.
Here’s a couple of tips to get the best domain name possible:
- Use a name related to your business. For example, if your business has to do with printers and toners, you should include that in your domain name. Of course, it’s best if you can use your business name without any changes.
- Make sure the name is easy to remember, pronounce and write.
- Use a .com extension. A .com stands for “commercial” and the vast majority of websites end with .com. As such, visitors will almost automatically expect your website to end with it too.
The next few steps are optional and you can skip them if you are in a hurry, so we’ll just briefly go over them:
- You can choose a domain you already registered with NameCheap or another domain provider or start a temporary one.
- Next, you can install plugins like Yoast SEO or WooCommerce (you can install them later on when you have WordPress set up).
- You can also review your information to see if everything is okay or need to go back and update something.
- Finally, click “Continue” and in a few moments WordPress.org will be installed and you can access your new small business website.
Customizing Your WordPress Site
Once your WordPress site is up and running, you probably don’t want to leave it like this, so you’ll need to customize it to look like you want to.
This is a good time to install some plugins, especially WordPress drag and drop page builders like Divi, Elementor, or Beaver Builder, which will make building your web pages much easier.
What is particularly good about WordPress visual editors and page builders is that they have professionally designed ready-made templates and website kits that can help you save time and avoid the biggest and most common web design mistakes.
So, WP page builders can definitely be helpful for small business owners.
Creating Standard Pages
Also, as a small business, you’ll need to set up some standard pages on your new website. You can add these by going to:
Pages > Add New
Here are four that you should start with before moving on to writing posts:
This is the first page the visitors to your new site will see so it should be clear and describe what your business does and why they should choose you in a few words.
- Contact Us
This is the way for the customers to contact you, so you should install a contact form plugin and add your email, address and/or phone numbers for them to get in touch with you.
- About Us
The About Us page serves to showcase the team behind your business a little better so that the customer knows who they are dealing with.
- Products and Services
Finally, this page lists what products and services you have to offer. Each product/service should have a heading, a brief description, price (or quote form) and a photo or video (if applicable).
If you’re using videos, here are some good online video editing tools you can check out.
For photos, they should generally be of your products, but you can also use something from the Internet as long as you have permission for it. Free stock photos are always an option, however, so is for everyone else, so you should consider buying photos for your blog.
Finally, you can start creating some blog posts, which are a great way to build awareness for your business and products/services, and share some tips with your visitors.
For instance, if you want to explain why are ink & toner cartridges so expensive (unlike oranges they don’t grow on trees, you know), you can create a post about that. Here is an example of such a post: Why Is Printer Ink So Expensive?
Or you can write about anything you want. After all, it’s your small business website.
That’s it. Hopefully, this article helped you learn how to easily create your small business website, but if you don’t feel like doing it yourself you can always outsource this to professionals.