If you have taken the leap of faith and left your current employment to launch your own business, then congratulations. Even if you are still working but are keen to flex your entrepreneurial skills with a side-line business, then congratulations to you too.
Making the decision to branch out on your own and set up a new business can be exciting, but also daunting, with so many different elements that need to be considered and taken care of before you can successfully market your brand to your target audience and start making sales.
With one of the most important aspects being your company website. Now, unless your previous occupation was as a web designer, you may be needing a little helping hand when it comes to building your first website.
From deciding which CMS (content management system) to use, to registering your chosen domain name, to designing your website, keep reading to find out the five key steps that you need to undertake to build an effective and engaging first website.
1. Choose a website builder
Otherwise known as a content management system, you first need to decide which CMS will complement and work effectively for your business.
The most popular CMS is WordPress, with 52% of websites using this website builder, followed by Wix and then Joomla.
WordPress is arguably the best CMS for first-timers, as not only is it free, but it is also very easy to use and has lots of plugins that you can use once you have become more established and used to the system.
2. Choose and register your domain name
This is a fairly simple process, especially if you already have chosen the name of your company as this is what you should use for your domain name. Domain names usually end with either .com or .org or .net and there is a reason for this, users recognize and trust these extensions. Do not try and be unique or original by creating a different extension, you will only alienate potential visitors.
If you need help with creating your online brand persona or increasing your brand engagement online, then you may wish to look at hiring a digital marketing professional to ensure that you maximize your new website.
3. Pick a web host
A web host is vital if you want your website to be visible on the Internet, which of course you do. Web hosting allows you to store your images, content and website files and there are many web hosting providers for you to choose from.
Once you have chosen a web host, you then need to pick your web hosting plan which can range from basic (ideal for beginners and those on a strict budget) to unlimited packages. Don’t worry if you can only afford the basic plan, for now, you can always upgrade at a later date once you are more established.
4. Start designing your website
Now it starts to get exciting as you can actually see your first website start to take shape. Although you can design your website yourself if you wish, it can be a good idea to seek professional help if you want your website to be optimized and as effective and user-friendly as possible. Digital Silk is a creative digital agency that specializes in web design, app design and digital marketing and offers great support and advice for new businesses looking to create their first website.
If you do want to go it alone, you first need to pick a theme on your chosen CMS. WordPress offers a variety of different themes with most of them being completely free and easy to customize. You should not rush this process, as you want your theme to be original and be able to reflect your brand’s personality, so try out different ideas and do not be afraid to think outside the box.
The next step is in adding content to your site, with most people starting with their ‘About Me’ and ‘Services’ pages. Try and ensure that you let your personality shine through as well as your brand values so that potential customers can start to become emotionally invested in your brand, leading to loyalty and increased sales.
5. Add more features
As explained earlier, WordPress offers a variety of plugins, in fact, there are currently over 50,000 available. Plugins are essentially different features and functions that can make your site better.
The installation of new plugins is simple, with some of the most popular ones for 2020 being:
- Yoast SEO
- Wordfence Security
- Google XML sitemaps
You are now ready to launch your first website.