How to create a website for your business


So you have figured out that you need a website, now you would like to know how to create one.

Remembering that your website represents your brand and is usually the first point of call for new and existing customers these days. There is plenty of help and tools online, making building a website almost effortless, with little to no technical knowledge needed in a lot of cases. There are so many choices to be made and many things to consider. The more interactive your website is, is usually what drives the price up and sometimes these features can make a significant difference on your customer’s decision to make a purchase.

Okay so its not just about building a website you will need a few other components to make it all work, otherwise you’ll have a website that nobody could view, because it just wouldn’t be available!


The first thing you will need is a domain name.

To have a website present and available online, you will need to register a domain name. Your domain name is basically your online website address. A bit like a phone number it is unique to you and it is what people will use to reach your website directly. You should aim to find a domain name that includes your business name, so that potential customers can easily identify with you and your brand. You also want your customers to know that they have essentially found the right company.

You will need to check if a domain name is available to register, you can do so here.  You should try to purchase either a .com as these are the most widely recognized domain extensions with a worldwide presence.  A .co.uk domain is also a good choice for companies in the UK.  If you can get both then do so, as this will also prevent another company from purchasing your name under a different extension. This is something referred to as brand infringement and to combat this we offer brand protection as part of a specialized service. Contact us to find out more.

Once you have found your name, be sure to registered it! Even if you are not ready to build your website just yet, it will protect you from someone else purchasing it. You can usually purchase a domain name for an average of £8 - £14 per year depending on the type of extension you choose for example .coms are usually more expensive to register then .co.uk domains.


You will also need a reliable hosting service...

So what actually is hosting or a webserver? Your hosting service is space that you occupy in order to house your website, data and files, called a web server. Just like a shop you may rent and fill with stock; you will continue to pay a set monthly or yearly fee to your landlord, but in this case your hosting provider. You could also look at it as an online hard drive, your little bit of space; that you use to serve the web.

There are a lot of hosting companies out there, you want to make sure that you have all of the services and tools that you require. You may also want good local technical support. Before you decide, think about the specific requirements you might need and how much traffic or (visitors) you’re expecting to get. If this is all a bit much to take in right now, go put the kettle on then come back and give us a call, we will explain your options.  You will want to make sure that your hosting service can accommodate everything you need before signing up. You wouldn’t be happy if your website was constantly off line because your hosting could not handle the amount of visitors you were getting.

Is a website really worth building for free?

You can have a website online for little or no cost at all these days, using easy drag and drop builders. Some platforms will even host your website for you and provide you with a unique domain name so that there are absolutely no monetary costs. However, this does come at a certain cost to your brand and image and most free sites also come with certain limitations.

A lot of free services are great if you just want to get up and running very quickly, but here are a few things to be aware of:

1. You will not have completely unique web address.

Usually as the company providing the service will give you what is call a sub-domain of their own domain name so you will end up something like www.your-business.my-free-website.com which doesn’t sound that professional and also lets your customers know that you used a free service to build your site, not that anything is wrong with that, but it does not show that you have really invested in your company or its brand, so from a customers point of view, if you haven’t invested in your brand, how could you invest in your customer.

2. There are usually additional fees for basic services that you may require as a business.

Some of these free website builders do allow you to port over your professional business domain name to the free website that you have created, so that your customers do not see the ‘not so attractive’ web address like in the example above. However, there is usually an additional fee associated for this privilege.

3. you will not get a professional email account with a free website service.

In most cases you will be required to pay an additional fee, for an email account when using a free website service; and most likely you will not get a professional email account either. You might end up with something like anything@yourbusiness.myfreewebsite.com. By purchasing and owing your own unique domain name & hosting account you will have the added benefit of being able to create your own professional business email account. A lot of company’s charge extra for this service, however with BusyStartUps we include professional email accounts with all of our hosting packages. So you can have anything@yourdomain.com, See our hosting packages here.

4. You might have unwanted advertisements on your website.

Most if not all of these free websites use your free site to advertise to their own customer base and there is usually an additional charge to remove this.

5. You might not be able to advertise so be aware of this also.

Especially if you are operating as a business website as most free websites are free for personal use only. So by the time you add up all the associated costs, it actually works out a better option to have a simple professional brand focused website built, as it may actually end up costing you much less in the long run.

6. 'Freeness' can be sometimes associated with 'cheapness' and you really do not want your customers to think you were cheap.

It’s a much better option to invest a little amount wisely so that you give the right first impressions such as ‘value for money’. This also goes for you and your business ‘if you sell your self too cheap’, your going to end up ‘short changed’ and under valued.

So as you can see, you can not be completely flexible having a free website as this will come with its limitations, whether that be the number of pages or the amount of hosting space, or even the look and feel of your website.

An alternative to this, is to have your website designed and to have the ability manage your own hosting account so that you have complete control, flexibility and ownership over your online presence. This way, you will look more professional and have the added comfort of a backend system and all the support that you need to run your service.

Another thing to think about is that’, you will not get a professional email account with a free website service. Like purchasing and owing your own unique domain name and hosting comes with the added benefit of being able to have your own professional business email account. Lots of company’s charge for this as an additional fee, however with BusyStartUps we include professional email accounts with all of our hosting packages. So you can have anything-you-like@your-domain-name.com, See our hosting packages here.


Website design & Build

So you have your domain name and hosting account set up… and you have decided that professional is the way you want to go then it is now time to design and build your website.

The online market is extremely competitive these days especially because adaptations can happen so quickly and changes appear almost instantly. Having a properly designed website is key to make making look and feel professional, otherwise you might end up discouraging people rather than encouraging people to stick around and learn more about your business. Remerging that a well designed and easy to navigate website should express your brand and can be the difference between a customer purchasing from you or navigating away to your competitor.

There is a special skill that experienced web designers use to ensure that your users have a positive experience using your website, all of our designers are either user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) trained.

When you are choosing your website designer or design company, insure that they understand the vision that you have for your brand and business and have the skills and tools needed to produce work, that not only represents you, but you can also be proud of.

There are a number of ways to build a website and you may find some options better than others you could have a static website with little to no interactive features except perhaps a contact form, then you might decide that having a simple HTML website might be best, however the limitations are that they are not ideal if you want to make regular updates, because if you have little technical knowledge you might have to hire a designer to update your site on your behalf. The benefit of building in this way is that your site is completely customisable and will be compatible with almost any web browser. A well built HTML site will also have faster loading times and can be a great option if you want something less complex.


Updating your website regularly.

It is clear that websites which have fresher content are usually more attractive, you might have a service where perhaps you need to regularly keep people informed of a particular service, for example if you were running a food business you might want your customers to know if you run out of a particular dish.

For this you will need a content management system or (CMS) to manage and update your website. You will be able to create, and update your web pages without the need to have a knowledge of programming, and this can be done from anywhere globally as long as you have a connection to the internet.

There are a number of content management systems to choose from out there. Here are some of the top ones that we recommend, and actually we provide a one click installer to quickly and easily download and install a CMS to your website server or hosting account.

  • • Joomla
  • • Drupal
  • • Wordpress
  • • Magento

Content!

Your content is arguably the most important component of your website, so you might find that this takes up most of your time, as having rich and interesting content is what is going to keep your visitors on your site. You will need to think about letting customers know who you are and what you have to offer, what images you may decide to use and what tone of voice you want to use when addressing your customers.

A landing page

Most websites start with a landing page most commonly known as a websites home page. or website designers may refer to this as an “index page”. If you have a very simple information based business card website, then you will only possibly need this one page which should include your business name and contact information as well as a short summery about your products or services.

An about or info page

If your website is larger then one page, you will need a page displaying information about who you are and what you stand for as a company. You may also include a brief description about your your products and services, your history or other important information that you want to get across to your audiences. Your ‘about us’ page can really be a chance to showcase who you are and help you to shine just that little bit extra.

A contacts page

It’s a good idea to have a dedicated page for all of your contact information, and more commonly a form where your customers and visitors can get in touch with you right on your website. If these details are not displayed clearly your potential customers will go else where especially if the service that they require is urgent.

Products & Services

You can really use these pages to describe your products and services and why your potential customers should choose you over your competitors. You can use images and product reviews to help customers to make a buying decision. Even you you do not plan to sell directly through your website, the better you describe your products and services, is the more chance in you having a potential customer as well as additional customer referrals.

Testimonials

If you think about most things in life, if you have a recommendation from somebody else that has purchased something new; that maybe you were thinking about purchasing or if you want to try out a new company, you can rest assured that you would most probably feel better if you had other people to talk to, that had already experienced what you might otherwise be apprehensive about. Testimonials are a very powerful marketing tool and a brilliant way to make that happen. You should try to include as many client reviews and testimonials, as much as possible as this will only strengthen your relationship with your potential customers.

Your Portfolio

If you can show people examples of your previous work they are usually much more likely to know if you are right for them, sometimes saving both you and the customer precious time. It is also an attractive way to show of work that you are most proud of. This is often done using a gallery or videos displaying images of your work.

Blog and rich content

Blogging is the term for writing passionately about a subject online. These days’ people are increasing driving traffic and credibility to themselves by including rich content and good old information to their websites to help their target market excel, It’s a good idea to offer blog content for free but you can also offer more extensive paid for manuals and information to increase sales and revenue streams. It’s also a great way to walk the walk and showcase your level of knowledge and skill around a particular subject, again helping customers to choose you.

An online shop - E-Commerce

If you want to start selling online, then you need to ensure that you have an e-commerce solution for your site.  This will allow you to process payments online, worldwide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you want to sell online, it is especially essential that you have an SSL certificate protecting your website from threats and attacks, and also to safeguard your customers somewhat knowing that their personal data is protected. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. There are many types of SSL certificates you can purchase ranging from basic to extensive with liability cover and cash compensations.

That’s it – you’re ready to go! We hope to see you online soon… and remember we are always here to help.