How to create a small business website?
Hi and welcome to our complete guide for creating a small business website. If you’ve never done it before, it can be a daunting task. Luckily we’ve made it as easy as possible to see if a business website is really right for you, how much it costs and how long it takes to get started.
The only thing to note is that for selling online we have a complete guide for creating an ecommerce.
So, let’s open with the big question:
1. Why does my small business need a website?
Well, it’s a bit like if we lived in the 1950s and you asked: why do I need a physical storefront to run my business? As you can imagine, having your name on a high street window has huge advantages, regardless of what kind of services you offer.
Now of course you could just rely on word of mouth from local clients and customers. But if you want to grow your business overtime, a website -like a physical storefront- helps in a number of ways:
- It clearly shows what your business is about.
- It helps gain visibility and customers.
- It’s a great promotional tool, which can be easily shared.
- It allows you to engage with customers and clients.
- It makes your contact information available for people to find you.
- It lends credibility and makes you look professional.
- It allows you to sell goods directly online (when it is an ecommerce).
2. Ok I’m convinced! Now What?
Time to decide what kind of website you want. To make things simple, we have divided them into two categories: simple websites, and complex ones. Which one you need will greatly influence how expensive it is and how long it takes to build.
|Type of website
|Number of pages
|| 1 – 20
||1 – 100
||Ready-made. Limited customisation options
||Ready made or full customisation available
|Time frame to completion
||3 – 7 days
||Several weeks or even months
|Budget (rough estimate)
||$7.50 to 15 per month
||$800 to $1,500 if you hire someone to do it. Plus per $6 to $25 month
||Included (Cloud hosting)
||You need to buy your own web storage
|Services you can use
||Weebly, Jimdo, Wix
||WordPress, Drupal or Joomla
As you can see, for the simple website category it is best to use a website builder such as Weebly and Jimdo: These are great tools for simple informative websites. So a page that shows what you do and where to find you (although you can of course do a lot more too). They are quick to setup and extremely easy to use. They tend to be easier to manage because they let you buy a domain name, hosting and professional email all in one place. Some of them even offer them as all-in-one packages.
Then you have other solutions for more complex projects. These are called Content Management Systems (CMS) and you might have heard of one called WordPress. They are best if you are building a serious website where you want full control of the look and style, the ability to scale over time, and other advanced options like multiple languages. They also require more technical knowledge – or at least enough free time to scan through all the community forums to find answers!
3. I have a list of things I really need for my website. Can I add them?
Technically, yes. But it might be easier and cheaper with some solutions than others. In any case, the most common must-haves for a business website are:
- your own domain name (e.g. www.your-biz.com)
- email accounts (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org)
- professional looking designs
- SEO features (for better ranking with search engines)
- mobile-friendly templates
- contact forms
- email marketing options
- social media integration
- technical support
- option to add an online shop
Our overview of the main website building solutions below should give you a good idea of where to start.
4. Ready to start building. What should I use?
Here we’ll show you a few of the most common alternatives. As you’ll see they all have pros and cons.