How to Build a Business Website?
Having a business but not having a business website is not a situation that you would want to stay in for long. In this modern era, people use the most efficient medium for sharing and gathering information. If you’re running a business, information is crucial. Especially if you want to reach your potential customers before your competitors would.
A simple real life example to how this applies to your business is this. Let’s say that you’re running a delicious vegan food restaurant. Someone hears about it or would just like to find a place where he could get his hands on some vegan delicacies. Their journey starts with Google, where they’ll type in something like “vegan restaurants in my city”. If he does this, you’ll want your restaurant’s website to pop up as a result. If you’ve built your cool looking website, it will catch their eye and will gather your information within a matter of minutes. He’ll know where your restaurant is located, what’s on the menu and what kind of prices you have, everything they’ll need. After that you have yourself a new costumer who will potentially become a regular visitor to your restaurant.
So a business website is basically your online business card. People visit it for information, which is the main reason people build websites in the first place. There are numerous other benefits to having a business website and it definitely wouldn’t cost you much to launch one.
Reasons To Build a Business Website
Imagine all the ways a rapid flow of information with a global reach would benefit your business. In today’s modern era, it isn’t only good to have a business website, it’s something your customers demand. Below you can find some of the numerous ways that a website would benefit your business.
Enhanced Marketing Potential
Flyers and print material based marketing was on the way out ever since the internet offered business owners with sophisticated methods of targeting their potential clients. It trumps classical methods of marketing because it’s faster, cheaper, more targeted and has a much broader reach.
With a business website, you have access to marketing methods such as SEO and the use of Facebook ads. Both of these can prove to be a huge advantage to your business if you’re willing to invest some money into them. As you already know, people spend more and more time on Facebook and other social media platforms, which is why it makes for an excellent marketing platform.
It Gets You More Customers
Most businesses have a local popularity and the city they are located in is where they get most of their customers. But what if you could reach out to potential customers outside of the city. If you could attract more people to visit your business, it would definitely show an increase in your monthly revenue.
The wonder of the internet is the fact that once you upload your business’ website, it will have a global reach. Better yet, you could even sell your products online if you’re running that type of a business. The internet provides this global opportunity for everyone, so it can help you and your potential clients find each other a lot faster.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get an awesome professional looking website. You can even build one for free and have it accomplish way more than you would with printed advertisements.
Even if you don’t have any technical knowledge, you don’t necessarily have to hire a developer to launch your website. It doesn’t take an IT expert to create a website any more. There are plenty of easy to use platforms that allow you to create the business website of your dreams. I’ll go through all the platforms you can use to build your website yourself in the following section.
You definitely wouldn’t want people calling you at night or from a different time zone just to find out something about a product you’re selling. Of course, you would love to have the energy to do so, but you’re only human. That’s not a problem anymore if you have a business website, because unlike your business, it’s never closed.
It’s also much easier for customers to just open up a browser window and see what your business has going on, instead of visiting it physically. So you having a business website makes everyone’s life easier.
More Customer Satisfaction
Visiting your website will be much more convenient for your customers and potential leads. It can also make it much easier for them to buy stuff from you without ever having to visit your store. You are much more likely to just sit down in front of your computer and visit a website instead of driving down into the store or walk long distances before you find what you’re looking for.
Makes it Easier To Understand Customers
You can collect and view data from just about everything that happens on your website. You can monitor how much time people spend there, which pages they are most interested in and allow them to send you a message or an email. You can also update your website to serve your clients better at any time.
Fresh Content and Better Relationships
If you want to establish a better relationship with your potential clients right off the bat, you might want to start a blog, and a social media page for your business website. This way, you can write articles, interesting stories, post pictures and share whatever is happening inside your business. If you have a promotion you want people to know about, then social media will prove to be the perfect tool for spreading the word about it.
Also, by publishing content regularly, you can prove your business’ credibility and gain a lot more popularity which will end up getting you more sales. It also provides people with the possibility to give a feedback of the product or service they bought, or the interaction they had with your business. It’s a win-win situation because customers will know what business they are dealing with and you’ll know what kind of customers you’re dealing with.
Options for Building a Business Website
Like I said, websites aren’t built the way they were in the past. No longer does an IT geek have to sit in his basement for a day to code your website. You can create a beautiful and professional looking website on your own with the options that are available today. There are numerous paid and free software you can use to make it happen, both of which I’m going to cover here. Naturally, the more money you’re willing to spend on creating your website, the less of a fuss it will be.
Paid site builders make the process a whole lot easier, while open source content management systems require a bit of learning, but are by no means hard to use. Let’s see which options would suit you best in your work to create a good looking business website.
Online Website Builders
You have two choices when it comes to online site builders. Either use one that is included within a hosting service (which you will need) or use one that includes a hosting service. Usually, paying for a hosting service that comes with site builder is a lot cheaper, but special site building software have a lot more features. Keep in mind that using one of these software can have some limitations, even if you don’t want any bells and whistles on your site. Here, I’m going to review three of the best online site builders I’ve seen so far.
GoDaddy’s Website Builder
GoDaddy is one of the largest domain registrars in the world. They manage more than 60 million domains and has about 13 million customers. GoDaddy is a reputable company that offers web hosting services as well, along with a killer site builder software.
GoDaddy’s website builder is great for a small business owner or an artist who doesn’t have any web development skills and would like to have a website. It takes about 1-2 hours to put it together with simple drag and drop tools. Which is how it allows you to create an online presence quickly and have more time to focus on the busier parts of your business.
Even though platforms like this are easy to use, they can definitely be a pain in the … So having the company’s customer support team at your back to help you out in case you don’t understand something, is very beneficial. Which is why GoDaddy offers 24/7/365 customer support.
GoDaddy’s site builder offers simple drag and drop features that allow you to insert content almost anywhere on your website. It’s what you see is what you get website builder, so once you insert something in the editor, it will be visible on the website. If you ever used a text editor like Word, you’ll get the hang of this easily.
The platform’s interface is quite visually friendly, it makes all the tools visible on the left side of the screen. You can hide it too if you need more space to edit your website. You can also skip a lot of editing by using one of the professional design themes that are already available. You have more than 300 themes to choose from, so I doubt you’ll have a problem finding one that fits your business.
Even though the designs are all well-made, you can customize them to better fit your unique taste. To make your job easier and to avoid messing up your entire website (it happens) you can set backup points, from which you can restore the complete design of your site. You can always rest assured that your process is saved. This is a great feature that not many website builders offer.
GoDaddy doesn’t come with as many unique features and bells as some of the other popular website builders on the market. But for business owners, professionals and artists who are looking for something simple to get the job done, it will prove to be an outstanding tool.
iPage’s Website Builder
If you’re looking to launch your business website with as little investment and as quickly as possible, iPage might be the solution for you. They offer hosting plans for as low as $1.95 per month. Once you subscribed, you’ll have access to their unique website builder that will let you launch your website within 1-2 hours’ time. This is all great, but it is important to mention that the price of iPage’s services will jump radically, once you have passed the first period of your service. You’ll have to choose at least a 2 year subscription to get the price mentioned above. After it runs out, you’ll have to pay $8 per month for your hosting service. So be careful.
Back to the site builder. It is very much capable of creating an awesome website. iPage uses Weebly, which was made by an independent company and was very successful on the market. Although Weebly is an outstanding site builder, iPage uses an outdated version of it and the original version on Weebly’s official website has got numerous updates already. But it still offers great flexibility and is more than enough to build a professional business website.
To start building your website, you just have to log into your iPage account and select the Weebly website builder in the control panel’s „Website” section. You don’t have to download any software and can build your entire website within your browser window. This site builder is extremely easy to use with drag and drop features to create your website. The website you create will be mobile friendly, which is very useful, since most of your traffic will come from mobile devices.
Depending on what iPage plan you have paid for, you can also create an online store. That way, you can showcase products and services too, without putting too much effort into it. You can also add SEO capabilities into the content of your website so that you rank higher in Google search results.
You can add a meta description, keywords and keyword rich titles into your pages, which will boost your SEO by a great deal. The only advantage of iPage’s site builder is that it is outdated, but it’s still very much capable of creating a solid website. It works a lot better than some site builders I’ve come across.
If you want something more robust and complex can also use content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal, by installing them with a single click. I’ll talk more about those in the next section.
Overall, iPage’s site builder is decent, but there are better ones. If you’re looking for something that’s as simple as possible, you’ll definitely have a good time with building your website without much clutter.
Weebly is an easy to use, hosting included website building platform. It’s the same Weebly that iPage uses, only it is managed by the company that has created it, which means it is up to date. It currently powers 40 million websites, which says a lot about its reliability and ease of use. Weebly competes with the likes of WordPress, SquareSpace and Wix, all three of which are very popular all-inclusive platforms.
Weebly is very versatile and offers great value for your money. It will serve any entrepreneur, business owner, artist, restaurant owner or any other professional who doesn’t want to spend too much time with building their website.
Weebly provides housing for all the websites that’s created with it, which ensures that you’ll have fast loading speeds. Their servers are optimized to support the platform as well as possible, so no matter what you include into your site, it will perform really well.
You can use Weebly for free during a limited amount of time, to see if it suits you and whether you can build the website you’ve envisioned or not. Once the trial period runs out, you can subscribe to their starter plan which will unlock everything you require to build and run a business website. It’s called the Starter plan and it costs $8 per month.
The Starter plan will also include $100 worth of advertising credits that you can spend on Google AdWords to market your website and have some additional traffic on it right off the bat. That price is very competitive and it will ensure that you have the easiest way around building your website.
Build Your Business Site With a CMS
When it comes to building website, open-source CMSs are my tools of choice. They are very robust and allow you to create a website with little or no technical knowledge. Better yet, they are all free to use, which makes them even more awesome. Open source content management systems allow you to build websites just as easily as you would with website building platforms mentioned above and can save you a lot of money over a longer period of time.
If you’re looking for a simple way to create a business website, using WordPress is one of the first recommendations you would get. It is the most popular content management platform on the internet and has been for more than 15 years now. It has all the tools and templates that you’ll need to launch a business website quickly and easily. There is a reason why every fourth website is built with it to this very day. Which adds up to about 78 million websites being run with WordPress. That’s pretty insane!
WordPress allows you to add the simplest or even the most complex features to your website with it’s easy to use plugin system. If you need to have a section on your website that shows its location on Google maps, you can use a plugin for that. If you want to have a membership area, you can add that just as easily. But if all you want is a website that has some basic information about you and your business, than you can have it up in less than an hour.
There is really no limit to what you can accomplish with WordPress and there’s even more with every update coming out. It is well known all around the IT industry so it’s also easy to find a web-developer who will help you out if you want to add more complex features to the mix.
WordPress also has thousands of professional looking templates for you to choose from. Although a lot of them are free, most of the good ones are premium themes. You’ll have to pay around $50 to $60 for them, but they’re very much worth it. If you have found a decent hosting provider, the costs of launching your website will be way below $100, but you can also manage it for free.
I’m using WordPress to run my blog and various other website as well, so I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It is easily the best platform for launching your business website on in my opinion. All you have to do is use the one click install provided by your hosting service.
Joomla! is among the most popular open source CMSs in the world. It provides a lot of flexibility enables users to build any kind of website or even applications. It’s more than 10 years old and has a lively and engaged community. If you use the platform, you can always reach out to them for help or any online resources you need to learn.
Joomla! has an easy to use interface, with a complex code behind it. It’s a kind of crossover between WordPress and Drupal. It is pretty comprehensive so even inexperienced users can easily understand it. But it’s popular among web-developers as well, thanks to its flexibility and the unique tools it offers to make building websites and applications a whole lot easier. It’s also incredibly easy to keep your website or blog up to date with content once you’ve launched it.
Although Joomla! isn’t as popular as WordPress, there are a lot of templates and plugins available for it. You can download themes from websites like ThemeForest and install them on your site with a few clicks. You can have a professional looking business website in no time, without having to touch a bit of code.
I personally haven’t used Joomla! but I’ve heard a lot of good about it. Still, there is a reason why a website building platform gets more popular than the other, so you should keep that in mind before you choose.
Drupal is a great choice for building any kind of website, but it isn’t easy on those without technical skills. You can get the hang of it once you’ve watched a few tutorial videos, but it is important to mention that the platform is mostly used by IT agencies that constantly build website.
Drupal is far more superior to WordPress and other platforms in the amount of flexibility it offers, because you can edit just about every bit of code within the system. Which is why it is a more professional oriented content management platform. Beginners can get the hang of it as well, but they’ll only reach a limited amount of capabilities.
From a user perspective, Drupal functions on the same principal as any other website builder. It has a plugin system and a theme system that you can use to expand its capabilities and design your website. If there’s any additional tool you need to use on your site, you can just download a plugin or create your own plugin if you have the knowledge for it.
To put it short, if you don’t want to go down a steep learning curve and would like to use the simplest option to build your business website, Drupal isn’t for you. But if you have a degree of coding knowledge and value the incredible amount of customization Drupal offers, than it’s for you.
If you want to give Drupal a shot, just install it through your hosting provider’s control panel.
Custom Built Website
Now for our final option, building a website from scratch. You’d be surprised how out of fashion it is to build a website out of a simple text document like IT geeks used to do it in the past. In reality, even professional companies don’t do that anymore and use one of the above mentioned open-source platform for coding frameworks to build their websites. Though there are still scenarios where building a site from scratch is a good option, it isn’t the most efficient most of the time.
You can hire a freelance developer or a web development company to build a website for you. It will definitely look 100% the way you want it, but it isn’t necessarily your best option. You should only choose to have a custom website built for you if you have some special features you couldn’t add otherwise and if you have a huge budget. Having a website built for you doesn’t come cheap, so the more extensive features you want to add and the fancier design is, the more you will have to pay for it. Be sure to do plenty of research and ask a few experts before you would decide on hiring someone to build a custom website for you.
In my opinion, buying a hosting plan, installing WordPress and building your website with it is the best and most inexpensive option there is out there. A lot of bloggers, artists and business owners have done it themselves and there’s nothing holding you back from doing it too.
If you want to go for the simplest option though, I can wholeheartedly recommend using Weebly to build your website. It is simple and offers all the features you would need to launch a professional looking business website.
I hope you have enjoyed reading through this article and that we have helped you learn something new!