Nowadays, making your own website can be done easily and cheaply with helpful online tools. If you’re looking to make a website for your new business, check out Countingup’s step-by-step guide below on everything you need to know.
- How to pick a domain name and host for your website
- How to build your website
- What sort of information you should include
- How to drive traffic to your website
- How to save time and build your business
How to make a website
Creating a website for your business will require a domain, a host, and a platform to build your website. Each element determines what your website will be called, how it handles your website data, and its look and function.
As you’re building your website, take time to research which providers offer additional services, as some can provide comprehensive packages. Depending on the value offered, this can save you money and hassle when first creating your website.
Step 1: Decide what your website is for
Will your website be a place for customers to find out information about your business, place bookings, make purchases or send inquiries?
What your website does will have a crucial bearing on how you design it, so having a clear picture of what you’re trying to accomplish is essential. For example, a website meant for bookings will only need a few key pages. By contrast, an e-commerce website will need delivery information, product photos and more care included for customer payment data.
Having an easily navigable website takes lots of effort but can help customers stay on your website for longer when researching their options. Otherwise, if your information is difficult to find or unclear, customers can get frustrated and leave your page.
Step 2: Find a domain name
A domain name is the first part of your website:
example.com or your-business-name-here.co.uk
You can buy a domain name at a low cost from several providers, including GoDaddy, Shopify and Google. Each offers different rates and introductory deals, so you should shop around to find the best value for you.
Try to make your domain:
- Short and easy to spell
- Related to your business and memorable
- Versatile for future growth or product offers
The next step is to choose the right top-level domain. The top-level domain (TLD) is the part that goes after your website name.
TLDs like .com or .co.uk are very common and trusted options for many businesses. However, you might have access to some alternative ones like .edu, depending on your business, or .london, .wales, or .scot, based on your location. Having these domains can add clarity about what your business offers or where it operates but may limit your growth to a single region.
You may find that your domain name is available in .co.uk but not .com. Therefore, keep in mind whether or not someone could confuse your website and end up somewhere else. In the future, try to buy up other TLDs and have them re-route to your main website. For example, your-business.com can be set to direct customers to your main website, your-business.co.uk, automatically.
Step 3: Choose a website host
A website host is a business that offers servers for your website to be run from. Some of the businesses that provide domains also offer hosting and design services, too.
If your website handles any form of customer data, make sure your website host provides considerable security measures to protect it. Website hosts also offer dedicated business email addresses which can help your business appear more professional.
Popular website hosts include BlueHost (recommended if you build your business on WordPress), Hostgator, and Dreamhost.
Step 4: Build the website
If you’re looking for a straightforward or common website format, you can build your website yourself. Services like WordPress, SquareSpace and Wix offer templates for you to build a website quickly and easily. Other services, like Shopify, specialise in e-commerce websites so you can create a website to sell products from just as quickly.
Start with a template you like that shows off your product or service best, then make tweaks and customisations to give it more of a “you” feel. This should include things like colours, fonts, logos and language.
As you’re building your website, place the customers’ experience at the centre of every decision you make. Make sure to include pages that customers expect to see, like ‘about us’, ‘contact us’, and ‘FAQs’. Include other information about products or service: think about whether customers need to know about delivery times or how long your service can or should take.
As you’re adding information for customers, consider how it’s presented. Having a central navigation bar where customers can find links to other pages can help them find their way about your site more easily. You should also use high-quality images, easily readable fonts and avoid technical terms in product descriptions.
How to drive traffic to your website
Now that you’ve made your website, you’ll need to bring people to it. This can be done through your advertising or through search engine optimization (SEO).
Advertising your website can be done through various channels – read our dedicated guide How to Advertise a Small Local Business.
Optimising your website for search engines means making information clear to search engines. This can include tagging your website or content with keywords or common search phrases, as well as fast-loading data and interesting content for customers to share with others.
How to save time when creating your website
Building a website can be done quickly and efficiently but optimising and customising it for your customers takes time. Save time and stress in other parts of your business with Countingup.
Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app.
With automated invoicing and helpful receipt capture features, you can be confident that your records are accurate. And with real-time profit and loss reporting, you’ll be able to quickly and easily understand your business performance.
Gain complete confidence in your books and save time with the Countingup app.
Find out more here and sign up for free today.