There’s no question that a website is good for business. It legitimizes your company, makes you visible online, and gives you a central hub for your digital marketing efforts. Unfortunately, many startup and small business owners just don’t have the free cash to hire someone to build a website for them. It’s for that reason that we’ve created this guide. On this page, you’ll learn how you can design, build, and update your own small business website without any programming or graphic design skills.
1: Buy a domain
The first step to building your website is finding and purchasing a domain name. We recommend using Bluehost to find and purchase your domain name. When choosing a domain name, keep things simple. In most cases, your domain name should be your company’s name (risrmarketing.com, for example). If your company name has already been purchased as a .com domain, consider a few simple phrases associated with your company. If you’re a roofing company based in San Antonio, Texas, you might try “saroofingcompany”, “sanantoniohomeroofers”, or “satxroofingco”.
Bluehost makes searching for and purchasing a domain name for your small business website a simple process.
2: Purchase Hosting & Install WordPress
Once you own a suitable domain name, you’ll need somewhere to host your website. There are a lot of options here, but we recommend Bluehost as they offer a great combination of service, usability, and affordability. Shared hosting is just fine for most small business websites, meaning you’ll be paying just $20-$30 per month to host your website.
After you’ve signed up for a website hosting package, you’ll want to install WordPress. WordPress is a free content management system (CMS) that allows you to build, manage, and update your business website. If you’re using Bluehost, their one-click WordPress install makes things easy.
3: Purchase a theme with a drag and drop page builder.
Once you’re able to log in to your WordPress administrator panel, you’ll be ready to install a theme and start building your business website. While most websites are built by developers, you can build your own without writing a single line of code. There are a number of drag and drop themes for WordPress that make creating a polished small business website easier than drawing stick figures using Microsoft Paint. We recommend the Divi theme from Elegant Themes- you can purchase the theme outright for less than $100, and it’s extremely customizable.
It’s easy to create a professional quality small business website with a drag and drop theme.
4: Get images for your business website without breaking the bank
Your website will need images to spruce things up, and you’ll quickly discover that stock images can get expensive. You’ll also need to be able to modify some of the images you have to give your site a consistent look and feel. To tackle this problem, head over to Snappa.com and sign up for an account. Snappa is an extremely affordable service that gives you access to a large library of images licensed for commercial use, and includes easy-to-use editing tools so that you can create your own images, backgrounds, and graphics.
5: Get a head-start on SEO while building your site
Search engine optimization (SEO) is going to be an important part of your digital marketing strategy if you’re on a budget, so you’ll want to start laying its foundations while you’re designing your website and writing copy for its pages. To start, make a list of keywords that you want your website to show up for. You can do in-depth research later; for now use common sense to come up with a few terms. For example, an auto repair shop may want to rank for their company name and a few of their more popular services. If you’re a local business, include your location in every keyword (“tire and wheel balancing in Omaha, Nebraska”, for example). This will make sure your website is competing for the right audience.
Once you have a list of keywords that you want your site to rank for, install the Yoast SEO plugin using your WordPress Administrative Panel. Then, start building pages for each keyword, and use the information provided by Yoast to optimize each page.
By using WordPress, a drag and drop theme, Snappa, and Yoast, you can build a pretty impressive business website. It will take some time, so be ready to work on it when things are slow around the office or in the evenings. However, taking the time to learn how to use these basic tools will allow you to build a professional-looking website for your business at a fraction of the cost of hiring an agency or freelancer to do it for you.
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