If you are a local small business shop owner or service provider, you should always ask yourself: How do I market, promote and increase sales? What’s the best way to advertise with the highest ROI?
In today’s digital world, the answer often involves websites. Building a small business website can be very time-consuming. Websites are widely used online and offline to promote one’s business.
A robust online presence is usually involved in every successful and 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 top reasons for building a small business website are to provide information about your products/services to potential buyers, provide the store’s location and contact information, and establish 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 the company will 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 of Card Table (Folding Table and Chairs), so they can make a fast getaway with my money.
Why You Need A Business Website
Vital statistics on should your business have a well-designed website or not:
Every second matters – 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 the 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 business’s 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?
What is Web Hosting?
To start a website, you will need what is called web hosting.
Web Hosting is a computer server and service that stores and publishes 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 host many websites on them.
The internet uses domain names like street addresses for the internet. A person who wishes to view 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.
Can Your Business Be Found?
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 several 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 destroys credibility.
As you can see, picking a great hosting company is crucial as you want to ensure it’s Secure, Fast, Stable 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, having your domain and web hosting together will be much simpler for you. 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.
This looks professional, having your own website hosting with a paid-for domain.
What To Look For In Web Hosting Company
What Kind of Hosting Do I Get? Many web hosting choices are 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; it can sometimes look like the cheap plans are the best. They come with promises like unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited email inboxes, etc. Most of these features a small local business owner will never need.
We want to keep the hosting package narrowed down and simple to use for small business owners. But packed with many 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 set up 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 have no site built.
First Decision Is What Website Builder Will You Use
What is a website builder? A website builder is an online program or system used to construct a website.
You used to have to hire a coder to write programing language to build a website. Thankfully those days of learning code like HTML to create a site are in the past, thanks to dragging and dropping website builders. Now there are ones like Wix Squarespace, Weebly, and Godaddy.
These can be great, but their problems are: Most have to upsell after upsell. Yes, they may look inexpensive, and some even offer a free website on their subdomain.
The problem is they lure you in with these specials. You build your site. Then you want to add a contact us page. To get that page built to do what you want, you have to buy a plugin to get it to function how you want. Or they charge more for fast servers to make your site faster. Numerous upsells exist, and it was painful when I started building sites. I would build a site only to realize I would have to fork over more money to get it to perform.
The 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 if you move hosting companies.
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
After 15 plus years of experience, I choose to use a Managed WordPress Hosting solution. Picking WordPress to be my website builder has been the best experience. It has been funny to me as most sites that offer reviews on website builders are 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 – It is free to start building with WordPress.
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.
Don’t know how to do something? There are tons of videos on how to solve your issue.
Versatility – Moving from one hosting provider to another is much easier. You are not stuck like you would be using Wix, Godaddy, Weebly, or others.
There are some drawbacks to WordPress. Take it 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. But there is a learning curve, and you will have to take the time to research how to accomplish certain tasks.
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 chose one with the most bang for the buck.
There is lots of time to invest in building a small business website. If you’re starting a small business, you truly need to let an expert handle this for you while you are an expert at your business. Otherwise, you will have too many irons in the fire.
Go to the Next Step, “What is the best web hosting for small businesses?”