Each month, on average, there are more than 540k new businesses started. This number amounts to over 6 million a year. And although only a small number of these businesses manage to survive in the long run, the competition is still fierce.
The beauty of entrepreneurship is that anyone can do it. You don’t necessarily need to have a college degree, lots of money in your bank account, or even previous experience in order to start a business that could become the next major success. What you do need, however, are two things: a strong business plan and a great, highly-functional website.
Running a business is no longer feasible without a strong web presence. People turn to the Internet for almost everything – they use it to search for products, find a company’s location, check its working hours, etc. Luckily, designing a website is now easier than ever. You don’t need to know how to code, you don’t even need to spend a bunch of money on a fancy web designer. All you need to do is follow our step-by-step guide.
1. Choose a Domain Name
One of the starting points and important elements of your business website is the domain name. Your domain name needs to be relevant to your business and easy to remember. Keep it short and simple – avoid acronyms, abbreviations, special characters, and (if possible) numbers unless you have a strong reason to include them.
You’ll also need to think about your TLD (top-level domain), i.e. the last segment of your domain name, like .com, .org. or .net and choose the one that suits you the best.
As a final step, you’ll need to check whether your selected domain name is available and buy it through cheap domain name providers like NameSilo.
2. Choose a Hosting
Hosting is a server where all the website’s data will be stored. Depending on our budget, you have two main options.
The first option is choosing a shared hosting service, which means single physical server hosts multiple sites and you’ll be sharing it with other users.
The second option is choosing dedicated hosting, which is more expensive, but you’ll have the entire server to yourself and won’t need to share it with anyone else. This comes with a number of advantages, such as enhanced performance and security, better speed, flexibility, unique IP address, no overhead for purchasing or maintaining equipment, etc.
With that being said, in most cases when starting an online business, you won’t really need dedicated hosting unless you expect hundreds of thousands of users to visit your website and when it gets to a point where you do, you can always upgrade from shared hosting.
3. Build Your Website Structure
Every good website needs to start with a great homepage which describes, in plain terms, what your company does and have a clear path that visitors should follow once they land on it. The important thing is not to force your visitors to dig through your site in order to determine whether your company can do what they need.
But a home page is just the beginning. You’ll also need to create a number of other pages, each one dedicated to a different aspect of your business. For instance, you might need a blog that you will use to inform and educate your customers, or a detailed catalog of your products and services.
You’ll also need a contact page, which is probably one of the most important pages on a website because it provides customers with a direct link to you. Make sure to include multiple contact channels such as email, phone, live chat, and (if applicable) physical address.
Have an “About Us” page where you’ll include info about the founders and the employees. This will help customers put faces and names to your brand and make your business look more human and approachable.
4. A Few More Elements to Pay Attention To
If you don’t have a logo yet, consider creating one yourself using sites like Canva or, if your budget allows it, hire a graphic designer. Besides using it on your site, you’ll also use this logo on your social media profiles and business cards, so it will help people to easily identify your brand.
Make sure to place call-to-actions (CTAs) on strategic locations through your website. Experts say that CTAs give the best results when they’re relevant to the information on the page. For instance, a CTA button that says “Buy now” is great to position on a product page, whereas a “Learn More” CTA is appropriate for the “About Us” page.
Pay attention to your website’s visual appearance. Avoid using cheesy stock photos because they’ll make your website look mediocre at best. Instead, use high-quality images of your products and services, as well as pictures of your staff and office.
Your site loading speed is crucial. If your pages take ages to load, people will get annoyed and leave. That’s why you need to set up as many automated speed improvements as possible.
5. Test and Launch Your Site
Before launching your site, you need to ensure it works properly on most browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Check every feature and every page on each of these browsers to ensure that the format looks smooth, the images appear without a problem, and all the links are correct.
Of course, this is a time-consuming process, but it’s the best way to make sure your site works well and that visitors can access all pages and features without any obstacles.
6. Market Your Website
To make sure people find out that your website actually exists, you’ll need to create a solid marketing plan.
As usual, everything starts with social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn are the best places to grow your audience and inform people about company updates. Don’t forget to add links to your social media profiles on your site as well. Usually, these are located on the ancillary bar or the footer.
You’ll also need to submit your site to all major search engines. This, combined with a strong SEO strategy, will help you direct potential leads to your pages. A solid SEO strategy consisting of optimized URLs, title tags, and meta descriptions, as well as building relevant keywords into the website’s content, will boost your SERPs rankings, help you drive traffic and, eventually, boost your sales and profits.
Starting a business website is a minimal-cost investment that will pay off in many ways. It will help you build authority and expand your customer base. If you make sure to maintain your site properly and update it with fresh content regularly, you will never have to worry about attracting clients and making sales.