Approximately 36 percent of businesses owners reported not having a website in 2018.
That number may have shrunk a little bit since then. However, the fact remains that a lot of business owners are out there trying to make it without an online presence.
If you don’t have a website for your business yet, you could be missing out on a lot of potential sales.
Many business owners put off building a website because they think it’s too hard or too expensive. This doesn’t have to be the case, though.
Read on for a website checklist that will make it easy for you to put together your own site.
Why Build Your Own Website?
If you’re looking to save money, building your own website is definitely the way to go. There are lots of other benefits beyond reducing costs, though.
The following are some additional reasons why you may want to build your website yourself:
- Maintain control over the design and ensure it looks exactly how you want it to look
- Learn as you go so you can troubleshoot problems yourself as soon as they arise
- Online tools simplify the process and make it easy for you to get started, even if you don’t have a tech background
It may be a bit more time-consuming for you to build your website yourself. The benefits outweigh the costs in most cases, though.
Website Checklist for First-Time Builders
Okay, you’re convinced that it’s a good idea for you to build a website for your business. But, where do you even begin?
Work through this website checklist and, by the time you get to the end, you’ll have a great-looking, fully functional website:
Know Your Purpose
Start by taking some time to think about the purpose behind your website. What do you want to accomplish with it?
Do you want to use the website to expand sales? Share information? Raise awareness?
Maybe you want to accomplish a combination of all three.
Once you know what you want to do with your website, it’ll be easier for you to figure out how it should look and what features it needs.
Organize Your Content
Next, spend some time gathering and organizing the content you want to display on your website. This might include pictures, videos, and pre-written blog posts or information about your business.
If you have all this stuff in one place, it’ll be easier to add it to your site when the time comes.
Choose a Website Builder
Once you have your goals in mind and your content at the ready, it’s time to choose a website builder.
There are lots of online programs that simplify the website building process and make it easy for you to create a functional site. Wix is a good option, as are sites like Squarespace and Drupal.
You can also WordPress, an alternative to a website builder that uses a content management system. WordPress is more advanced than other website builders, but it’s still a popular option, especially among those who want to have a blog as part of their site.
Find a Host
Now, you need to find a company to host your website. Many website builders have a host built into them, making this step very easy.
You’ll still have to choose which type of hosting plan you want, though. For most new websites, shared hosting works just fine. It’s inexpensive and provides you with all the tools you need to keep your site up and running.
Choose a Domain Name
In addition to choosing a hosting plan, you’ll also need to decide on the domain name for your site. This is the name people will type in when they want to access your site.
To simplify the process and help more people get to your business’s website, it’s a good idea to choose a domain name that aligns with your business name. Keep the domain as simple as possible to lower the barrier to entry and bring more traffic to the site.
Select Your Theme
Now, it’s time for the fun stuff. The theme of your website will influence the layout, the colors, and the fonts you use, as well as the way your content appears to visitors.
Choose a theme that aligns with your brand and includes all the basic features you need to get started. Look for a theme that’s responsive, too. This means it will work well whether someone is visiting your site from a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone.
Add a Blog
It’s not necessary, but it’s a good idea to add a blog to your website. This is easy to do, and it’s great for your boosting your search engine ranking.
Having a blog allows you to publish more content on your website on a regular basis. The more content you have, the easier it is for people to find you when they’re searching online for similar topics.
Optimize Your Content
When you’re writing blog content or other content for your website, make sure you’re optimizing it.
This includes using keywords that people are most likely to be using when searching for businesses like yours. You’ll also need to make sure your content is clear, well-organized, and features headers that make it easy to skim.
Share It With the World
What’s the point of taking time to build a website if nobody knows what you’ve done?
Once you launch your website, it’s time to share it with the world. Share it on your business’s social media platforms and invite customers to check it out when they visit your business in-person.
Start Your Website Today
Now that you have your handy website checklist at the ready, it’s time for the fun part — building your website.
You might feel intimidated at first by the idea of building a website for your businesses. If you keep the items on this list in mind, though, you’ll be amazed at how easily it comes together.
Do you want to learn more about website development and design? Do you have questions about maintaining your website once it’s built?
No matter what kind of questions you have, we’ve got answers in the Technology section of our website. Check it out today!