When it comes to developing your website, you have a lot of choices. Do you build it yourself or hire a designer? Ask yourself a few questions: What’s my budget? Do I have time to build and update my site? How technical am I?
Not to worry, there are options to fit every budget and every skill level. Here are 6 simple steps to planning your website and getting online quickly.
- CHOOSE A DOMAIN. This is your website address, also known as a URL. Pick it out carefully, depending on whether you want it to describe what you do, or it’s a derivative of an already existing business that you own.
- CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM. There are automatic online website builders using drop-and-drag features (which can be quick and easy,) but often these are temporary fixes. Do you want to own and control your material? If this is your business, then the answer should be yes. This gives you the most options. We recommend using WordPress as your content manager since you can make even simple do-it-yourself websites look beautiful.
- CHOOSE A WEBHOSTING PLAN. You’ll want your website material to live online in a server that will host your website. This is the job of a Webhost. Your webhosting plan should include the ability to add unlimited new pages, new domains, and email that uses your domain name.
- CREATE YOUR WEBSITE. This is where you decide whether you can do it yourself or if you need help with a Webbishly Website Designer. If you’re ‘webbishly’ inclined, then start by doing it yourself. Even if you hand the job off to someone on your team later on, you’ll gain a good understanding of how to control your website. A startup small business website will commonly include basic pages like
- About Us
These pages set the right expectation for visitors and cover your basic business needs.
- CREATE CONTENT. Creating content is as simple as brushing your teeth: you just have to make it a habit. Give yourself a week to gather information and write up some short (300 to 500 words each for each page) material that describes what you do and what your business offers. Rely on existing business plans, photos or printed material you may already have.
- PUBLISH AND SHARE. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Update your business cards with your website address, and add it to your Facebook account, and all of your outgoing email. Don’t forget to use free services to list your website such as Google®, yellowpages.com®, Places, Yelp® and Foursquare®.
Now you’ll be off to a great start. Once these pieces are in place you can think about things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keywords, which helps Google put your website in front of people when they search for your type of business.