No matter what industry your business is in, you’ll want to ask yourself whether having a website is the right way forward.
In most circumstances, having a website for your business is a must. It gives you the ability to explain:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Your story
- How you can make the reader’s life better
By adding these main points to your website, it’s essentially acting as a funnel to draw people into buying your product or service. It’s a way for people to discover your business from a simple online search, and a way for you to make a sale without any of your input.
The great thing is that your website is all there for anyone to read 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What’s the first thing people do when they want to know about something? It’s almost always search about it online. It’s therefore important to make sure that you’re not missing any potential sales that would arise from these searches.
Thankfully there are a number of great platforms on the web that mean you don’t need any website coding knowledge to create a great looking, functional website.
How To Get a Website
If you don’t have the time but have the spare cash available you could consider getting an agency or freelancer to build a website for you. However, apart from the high cost of doing so, we don’t recommend outsourcing your website building to someone else because we think it’s important to have a full understanding of how your website was built and operates.
That way, if any problems arise you are in a position to be able to sort them out yourself. It’s also a lot easier to understand how to use your website if you are the one that built it.
Choosing a Platform
Dependant on your technical abilities, you’ll want to consider which platform you would feel comfortable in using to build your website. There are a few popular website building platforms, some of which are entry level and some of which are more advanced. These platforms include:
If you aren’t tech savvy, website development tools such as Weebly, Squarespace and Wix are probably for you. Although limited in what you can achieve with these platforms, they enable you to create a great looking website in no time at all. They employ a ‘drag and drop’ technique meaning you can build your website by dragging features where you want on a page from a menu. No coding knowledge needed at all.
WordPress is the most popular platform on the internet, powering nearly 25% of all websites. Confusingly, there are two forms of WordPress; wordpress.com and wordpress.org. The Business Bible is run on the wordpress.org platform. In simple terms wordpress.com is easier to set up and run but the wordpress.org software allows for a lot more customisation, at a cost of increased difficulty in setting up.
For more information about WordPress you can check out a comparison article about the two options.
If you’re just starting out, aren’t so sure about your technical capabilities and want to create a free website quickly then we’d recommend you use Weebly.
If you have more confidence in your technical ability, don’t mind paying a small amount per month and want to create a more advanced website with a lot more features and room for expansion, then we’d recommend using WordPress (.org version).
You can check out our guides to setting up and building a website using WordPress right here:
To set up a WordPress website using the wordpress.org software you will need to understand what hosting is and why you can’t have a website without it.
What is Hosting?
As we’ll be discussing in our next chapter of our Guide to Starting a Business, your domain name is essentially the front door to your website. When someone goes to your domain name they are presented with your website. A website hosting company will have all your website files, blogs, images etc, and display them under your domain name.
Website platforms such as Weebly, Wix and wordpress.com take care of hosting for you. All you have to do is create an account, build your website and it will be immediately available for people to see.
If you’re thinking about building a website with wordpress.org you’ll need to buy your own hosting package before you can build your website. Our guide to setting up a WordPress site goes over how to get website hosting with 34SP, and we also outline why we use and recommend 34SP hosting.
Alternatives To Having A Website
Social media pages and profiles such as Facebook and Twitter have improved so much over the last few years that it’s possible to run your business solely from these platforms. Someone searching for your business on Google are likely be able to find your Facebook page as easily as your website. Most importantly, people looking on Facebook for you will be able to find you.
Do we recommend solely relying on a Facebook page or Twitter account? In most cases, no.
Your social media profiles should be another way for people to find you. They should be there to send people across to your website as well as to promote your products or services to your followers.
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If your website is to attract the right customers you’ll need a domain name that is associated with your business name. We’ll be explaining what a domain name does and and how you can get one: