How to make a website
How complicated is building a website?
Building a business website can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. If coding is your jam and you want full control over every aspect of your site’s look and function, you might enjoy building intricate code for a truly unique website. This will take an investment of time and energy, but you reap the benefit of a truly one-of-a-kind business website.
On the other hand, you may find that a bit daunting and prefer an easier path using premade templates from a website builder. Many providers offer drag-and-drop functionality that will allow you to make a website with little to no coding knowledge and limited technical skills. However, if your time, tech skills and money are limited, a website builder can be a saving grace.
How do I start building a website?
As you start to make a website for your small business, you want to be crystal clear on its purpose. Will your website only provide written content or need to handle secure product sales? Being clear on the website’s goal will inform all the decisions that follow, from choosing a domain name to selecting a website builder and hosting provider.
Determine your website’s purpose
As a small-business owner, you spend a lot of time clarifying your business goals and value proposition. You want to make sure your business’s value is clear to potential customers who visit your website. Whatever your niche, your website should have a clear focus and highlight your value proposition.
There are many types of websites, but don’t feel tied to one type.
- Portfolio sites are great for creatives. Portfolio sites allow potential clients to see your best work and contact you for services.
- E-commerce sites are used for selling products online. E-commerce plug-ins provide safety for transactions and streamline taxes, shipping and order-related tasks.
- Blog sites tend to focus on written content with minimal photos or visuals.
- Landing pages or lead generation pages are used to connect with potential customers or leads.
- Other types of websites include forums, event sites and media sites.
Choose your domain name
What’s in a name? Your domain name is an essential part of your branding. Be sure to keep it simple, memorable and relevant to your business.
Domain names are typically paid for on an annual basis. On average, the basic cost to register a domain is between 10-20 EUR per year.
Many website builders also offer domain name registration services, as well as web hosting, maintenance and e-commerce; plan costs vary by provider.
Choose your website builder
Wix and WordPress are popular options for website building, although there are many to choose from. Website builders provide easy-to-use templates to help you make a business website from scratch. With so many features available, you have to narrow down which ones are relevant for your business needs.
- Content type. Will your website heavily feature videos or graphics or focus mainly on text? Will it include multiple contact forms or a reservation system?
- Ease of use. Some website builders are easier to use and require less technical knowledge than others.
- Growth options. As your business grows, your website will need to grow as well. Can you add e-commerce functionality later? Does the software offer advanced plans with additional features? Can it handle higher traffic?
- Storage limits. Storage space determines how much content can be stored on your server. Rich media types such as audio and video requires more space.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Improving your site’s visibility in search engines can be complex, recommended are platforms that offer built-in or add-on SEO features.
- Analytics. Related to SEO, website analytics are a great tool for evaluating — and improving — the performance of your content, layout and overall website.
Choose your website hosting provider
For your site to go live online where people can see it, you need a website host. Website hosting providers store your files and make them available for your audience.
Many popular website building software options offer all-in-one services that bundle domain registration, site building and web hosting. But if you choose to do them separately, you’ll need to find a web hosting provider.