Does your business have it’s own website yet?
Having a business website is usually considered a necessity in the modern era of business.
Even if your business does not operate online, not having any kind of digital presence can leave your business at a severe disadvantage. Potential customers will still use the internet to seek information about your business even if your business has no digital operations. If you don’t have your own official Facebook page or business website, then customers will not be able to easily find information about your business. This makes it less likely for potential customers to come to your business.
Imagine if a customer is searching online for a shop to buy a computer in a certain area. If there are 2 shops in the area, the customer is usually more likely to choose the shop that has a better digital presence in the form of a website or a social media page. A website would allow you to present information about your business which would make it appealing to the customer, such as past reviews, services and prices. This is far better than not having any website at all. That would leave your business at the mercy of third party information such as google reviews which can leave a bad impression on customers. Thus, having a business website could give you the ability to always present your business in a positive light to customers.
Some small business owners may feel that setting up a business website is unnecessary, or that they don’t have the resources to do so. On the contrary, setting up a business website is crucial for small businesses. Large companies usually have established reputations and well known brand names which make it more likely for them to attract potential customers even without a business website. As a small business, you need a website to gain exposure to potential customers and distinguish yourself from competitors, giving yourself an opportunity for significant growth.
In this article, we’ll go through some of the first steps you need to take when setting up a business website.
1. Determine the primary purpose of your business website
The first step when setting up your website is to decide the purpose of your business website. This will be determined by the industry that your business is involved in.
If you’re not sure about where to start, here’s some good advice from Gabriel Shaoolian, the CEO of Blue Fountain Media:
“Think about your specific user experience, and the journey the user will go through as they navigate your site…Whatever the fundamental goal of your website is or whatever the focus may be, users should be easily able to achieve it, and the goal itself should be reinforced as users navigate throughout your site.”
What do you want your website to achieve? What will be the end result once a customer has visited your website?
For most small businesses, a simple goal for their website design is to convert visitors into customers. If this is the case, think about how a website could do that. You also need to think about how potential customers are supposed to engage with your business. This could differ depending on whether your business operates in client services or in retail. You will need to incorporate different elements into your business website depending on how you want potential customers to engage your business, so it’s important to determine all of these factors at the start of your website design process.
2.) Decide on a domain name
Once you’ve determined the primary purpose of your business website design, it’s time to decide on a domain name and host.
Your domain name is the distinctly identifiable part of your website address. For example, for https://fsbolt.com/, the domain name would be the “fsbolt” part. The process of deciding a domain name can be a tricky process depending on the name of your business and a number of external factors. It’s generally a good idea to keep your domain name short while also making it easily identifiable and memorable.
Small businesses should generally to avoid using pure acronyms in their domain name as this could make it difficult for potential customers to identify your business website amongst competitors or other websites with similar acronyms. Large companies such as HSBC and CNN can get away with this due to their international reputation and the uniqueness of their acronym, but small businesses may find it wiser to stick with a more descriptive domain name.
https://fundingsocieties.com/ is a good example of a Singaporean company with an effective domain name. Potential customer’s can easily identify the domain name when searching for the website, and it’s just under the maximum recommended length for a domain name.
3.) Choose a host for your business website
Every website needs a host in order to stay on the internet. A website host is a server where your website and all its data is stored so that people can access it at any time. If your website is taken down from the host, then the website will no longer be visible to any visitors, even if they try to search for your domain name.
This is an another aspect of web design that can seem daunting at first. Just typing “website host” into google yields several advertised sites, many of which claim to be the “best” web host available. So how should you choose a website host?
As a small business, the price of the domain will be one of the first factors to look at.
At time of writing (28th September 2018), GoDaddy offers web hosting for as low as $1.49 a month. This may seem like an irresistible offer, but you need to keep in mind that each web hosting plan has certain features and limitations.
As stated earlier, the first step in setting up a business website is determining the primary purpose of the website. When choosing a website host and hosting plan, you will need to take that purpose into consideration. The cheapest plans that web hosting companies offer are usually only suited for very basic websites with few features. This may be acceptable if the purpose of your website is only to present simple information about your business.
However, if you would like to include other features on your website such as an online store or media content such as videos or picture galleries, then you will need to take other features into account such as the bandwidth and storage that the website host provides. As you can see on GoDaddy, the basic plan offers limited storage and a fewer number of FTP users, meaning that you won’t be able to have as many thing on your website, and that visitors may face difficulties in downloading files from your website. This can be a serious problem for certain businesses such as digital media distribution companies selling software or videos that can have large file sizes.
Finally, you’ll also need to consider how you plan on building and designing your website at this stage. Some website builders such as WordPress have specific website hosting requirements. Basic hosting plans might not be able to meet these requirements, which is why web hosts also provide specific plans to suit website builders like WordPress. The basic plans are designed for simple websites that are coded without website building tools. This will require experienced website builders/coders in order to design and set up the website. If your company does not have access to such an expert, you will need to consider what website building tools are available and choose a plan that suits your website building tool of choice.
There are a number of good website building tools available to help small businesses design their websites. We will go over this in a future article.
In this article we’ve gone over the first key steps that every business needs to take when setting up a business website for the first time.
To summarize, you need to start by determining and clearly outlining the purpose of your website, whether it’s simply to present information about your business to attract customers, or for customer to engage your services through an online medium.
From there, you need to pick a suitable domain name and a suitable host for your website that will allow you to design and build a website that means the primary purpose that you have decided for your website.
Stay tuned to this blog for our next article where we’ll take a look at how to go about designing and publishing a website once you’ve completed these initial steps to set it up.
If you need an injection of funds in order to fund the potentially costly process of setting up a website and boosting your online presence, consider taking a loan from FS Bolt.
FS Bolt is a product of Funding Societies Pte Ltd. Submitting an application is quick and easy. You can get an approval decision with 2 hours and receive your loan of up to $50,000 within 24 hours!
https://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/how-to-build-a-business-website/ (best website builders)