If you are a local small business shop owner or service provider, you should always be asking yourself:
How do I market, promote and increase sales?
Whats the best way to advertise with the highest ROI?
In today’s digital world the answer often involves websites. Websites are widely used online and offline to promote one’s business. A robust online presence is usually involved in every successful and the well-known company.
Think of a successful company you know. Search their name online. I bet they have a website, right? That’s the online face of their business marketing their business 24/7.
In today’s world where people are more active online than off. That online presence is essential to business success.
Some tops reasons for building a small business website:
Provide information about your products/services to potential buyers
Provide the location of the store and contact information
Establishes a sense of security
Think about it if you did a Google search to find little to no information on a company.
Would you feel that company is going to be around for the long haul?
Or is this a local business that could disappear overnight? Leaving me without the service or product, I paid for. When I think of a company without a website, I think Card Table (Folding Table and Chairs), so they can make a fast get away with my money.
Why You Need A Business Website
Vital statistics on should your business have a well-designed website or not:
Every second matter – customers time is valuable if your site doesn’t load in four seconds or less, over 25% of those who found your site will have left and gone to the competition.
First impressions mean everything and are formed primarily based on the design related elements of your site and information provided. A well-designed site gives your business credibility
Over 75% of online consumers are less likely to return to a place after a bad website experience
Most consumers think that a local businesses mobile website should be the same or better than their desktop website.
Over 50% of users say they wouldn’t recommend a company with a poorly designed mobile site or that is slow loading
Here are the steps to answer the questions:
How to set up a website for small businesses?
How do I get a website for my business?
To start a website, you will need what is called web hosting.
What is Web Hosting?
Web Hosting is a computer server and service used to store and publish websites online. The server is connected to the internet making the sites accessible to internet users. Website data (programming code, HTML files), text, images, and other source files are on computers called servers. These servers are then connected to the internet.
Many times these servers are hosting many websites on them.
The internet uses domain names like street addresses for the internet. A person who wishes to view a particular website types in the domain name in their web browser address bar or finds the domain address through an online search. The hosting server you purchase is contacted and the website data is retrieved and displayed.
Pick a Quality Web Hosting Company
You will want to pick a quality web hosting company.
Why can’t I use a free website builder? Why can’t I just use Facebook?
Using free web hosting is not a good idea for a couple of reasons.
One: It shows most free platforms are free for a reason. They can have links or even images showing that you used their free hosting. This does not display credibility for your company.
Two: You will want to hook up your domain. A domain is https://ignitedbiz.com this is your company’s address online. You don’t want your address to be ignitedbiz.freewebhosting.com – That looks cheap and destroy’s credibility.
As you can see picking a great hosting company is crucial as you want to make sure it’s
Easy to Use
Shouldn’t I Pick A Company Domain First?
No, as there are many reasons for this.
First, when you pick a web hosting company, there is a chance you will get it free or discounted.
Second, most of the domain sellers have terrible upsells one after another, for instance, paying for privacy
Third, it will make it much simpler for you if you have your domain and web hosting together. Making setup simple is what we are about.
Once you get the correct hosting, you should be able to start creating a starter website that you can transfer to a domain that you purchase through the small business website hosting company.
What To Look For In Web Hosting Company
What Kind of Hosting Do I Get?
There are so many web hosting choices available to a business looking to get a website up and running. The number of options can make your head spin. It is even possible to get cheap web hosting for just a couple of dollars per month (Most of these require you to pay three years in advance for this price).
Now keep in mind there are hosting plans out there that cost hundreds of dollars per month. Especially if you want a dedicated private server to host your site on.
Shopping for a web hosting company can be a real headache, in fact, it can sometimes look as if the cheap plans are the best. They come with promises like unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited email inboxes, and so on. Most of these features a small local business owner will never need.
For the small business owner, we want to keep the hosting package narrowed down and simple to use. But packed with a lot of features and unique bonuses to make your site rank well.
So how do I pick a reliable web hosting provider?
As always, there’s more to a given web hosting plan than meets the eye. Our focus on this site is to make it simple to setup and straightforward for the small business owner to get up and running quickly. If you try to figure everything out and compare, you will spend a year plus and no site built.
First Decision Is What Website Builder Will You Use
A website builder is an online program or system used to construct a website. You use to have to hire a coder to write programing language to build a website. Thankfully those days of having to learn code like HTML to create a site are in the past thanks to dragging and drop website builders.
Now there are ones like:
These can be great but here are the problems with them:
Most have upsell after upsell. Yes, they may look inexpensive, and some even offer a free website on their subdomain. Problem is they lure you in and then to get the website builder to do what you want you to end up having to buy a plugin to get it to function how you want. Or they charge more for fast servers to make your site faster.
Next issue with these companies is once you’re on their web hosting package it is extremely difficult if not impossible to move your site to another web hosting company. The funny thing is they know that and once the introductory rate is gone guess what happens…
I am sure you know they jack up the price because you will never be able to switch. The cost and time not to mention the loss in search engine rankings you might lose.
Support on these sites has not been the best in my experience as most are paid inexperienced workers who probably have never built a website themselves.
FYI I even got certified and went through Wix’s training program.
Managed WordPress Hosting
My choice after 15 plus years of experience is to go with a Managed WordPress Hosting solution. Picking WordPress to be my website builder has been the best experience. It has been kind of funny to me as most sites that offer reviews on website builders happen to be built on WordPress themselves but they try to sell Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and others as the best website builder.
Wordpress is one of the most widely used website builders out there. Some of the top reasons to pick a managed WordPress solution:
Free and Open Source – To start building with WordPress it is a free website builder
Plugins – Want your site to do something most likely there is a plugin for it
Themes – There are numerous different WordPress business website templates and designs to pick from when building
Wordpress – Easy to use and don’t know how to do something there are tons of videos on how to solve your issue
Versatility – It is much easier to move from hosting provider to another. You are not stuck like you would be using Wix, Godaddy, Weebly or others.
There are some drawbacks to WordPress. Take if from me I started with HTML code went to WordPress then to WIX (For a short time) back to WordPress. WordPress has developed and is always at the front for SEO and Creativity.
In the Next Step Learn Which Managed WordPress Hosting We Choose and Why.
Now that we have narrowed down the type of website builder we are using to build a small business website with. The next step will be picking the best-managed WordPress hosting. Hint we didn’t go with the cheapest nor did we go with the most expensive but we choose one with the most bang for the buck.