How to Make a Small Business Website – Step by Step (2018)
Are you looking to make a website for your small business so you can find new customers on the internet? Making a small business website has become quite easy, and you can do it all by yourself without hiring a developer. In this article, we will show you how to easily make a small business website (step by step).
Step 0. Before Making a Small Business Website
Unlike the old days, building a small business website has become quite easy. You can do it all by yourself without knowing any coding or hiring a developer by following our step by step guide.
Here is an overview of what you’ll learn:
- Choosing a domain name for your small business website
- Purchasing website hosting
- Installing WordPress
- Making a content outline for your small business website
- Choosing a template to change your site’s design
- Adding more features by using addons and extensions
- Resources to get help and improve your WordPress skills
Which is The Best Platform to Make a Small Business Website?
The biggest mistake most beginners make is choosing the wrong platform to make a business website. Thankfully, you are here so you would not be making that mistake.
WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world. It powers 31% of all websites on the internet including millions of small business websites all over the world.
The best thing about WordPress is that it gives you access to thousands of pre-made website templates, extensions, and addons. You can make almost any kind of website imaginable without learning to code.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily create a small business website using WordPress on a budget.
Step 1. What You Need to Make a Small Business Website
You will need the following three items to make a small business website.
- A domain name – This will be your website’s name such as wpbeginner.com
- Website hosting – This will be your website’s home and where all your files will be stored
- 60 minutes of your time
Ready? Let’s begin.
Step 2. Setting up Your Small Business Website
There are two types of WordPress available. WordPress.com, which is a hosted solution, and then you have WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. See our full comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org to understand the difference.
We will be using self-hosted WordPress.org because it will give you instant access to all WordPress features out of the box.
We recommend using Bluehost to set up your website. It is one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.
Normally, you will pay $14.99 / year for a domain name and website hosting starts from $7.99 per month. This is a lot of money if you’re just starting out.
Thankfully, Bluehost has agreed to offer our users a free domain name, free SSL, and 60% discount on website hosting. Basically, you can get started for $2.75 per month.
Let’s go ahead and purchase a domain name and hosting.
Step 3. Choosing a Domain Name for Your Small Business Website
First, you need to visit the Bluehost website in a new browser window and click on the green ‘Get Started Now’ button.
On the next page, you will be asked to select a pricing plan. Basic and Plus plans are the most popular choices among small business owners.
Click on the ‘Select’ button to choose a plan and move on to the next step.
Now, you will be asked to choose a domain name for your website.
Tips on Finding a Domain Name for Your Business Website
Domain names are crucial to the success of your website. You need to spend some time on choosing the perfect domain name for your business but don’t overthink it.
- Stick to the .com version because users find it easier to remember (see .com vs .net – which is better)
- Your domain name should be related to your business (For example, stargardening.com )
- If your preferred domain name is not available, then try adding geographical location next to it. This increases your domain’s visibility in local search results (For example, stargardeninghouston.com)
- Keep it simple, short, and easy to pronounce.
- Homepage – This is the welcome page of your website. Add your business name with a call to action to your services/products or contact page. Provide a brief description of why your customers should choose you.
- About Us – Your customers want to know more about people behind a business before they can make a decision. Create an about us page to tell users who you are, what are your business values, and what relevant experience you have in your industry.
- Services / Products – Create a page to list details about services or products you are offering. Add a heading for each service/product and provide a brief description. You can also add pricing or ask users to contact you for a quote.
- Contact Us – This is the page your users will need to contact you. You will need to add a contact form so that users can contact you directly. Additionally, you can add your businesses’ physical address or phone number.
- WPForms Lite – Add contact forms to your WordPress site
- Yoast SEO – Improve your WordPress SEO and get more traffic from Google
- MonsterInsights (Free) – Helps you track visitor stats using Google Analytics
- WP Super Cache – Improves your website’s speed by adding cache
- UpdraftPlus – Free WordPress backup plugin
- Sucuri – Free website malware scanner
- WPBeginner Blog – This is where we publish our WordPress tutorials, how tos, and step by step guides.
- WPBeginner Videos – These step by step videos will help you learn WordPress FAST.
- WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 52,000 subscribers and 7 Million+ views.
- WPBeginner Dictionary – The best place for beginners to start and familiarize themselves with the WordPress lingo.
- WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on WPBeginner.
- WPBeginner Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for WPBeginner users.
Need more help? See our guide on how to choose the best domain name for your business website.
Setp 4. Installing WordPress
After choosing your domain name, you will be asked to enter your account information such as name, address, email, etc.
Below that, you will see some extra hosting options that you can purchase. We don’t recommend purchasing these extras right away, so go ahead and uncheck them. You can always add them later if needed.
Next, you will need to add your payment information to finish the purchase.
After completing your purchase, you’ll receive an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel.
Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you, and you will be able to login to your WordPress site directly from the hosting dashboard.
Once logged in, you will see the WordPress admin area. This is where you will manage your website, change settings, and add new content.
Step 5. Creating Content Layout for a Small Business Website
Now that you have WordPress installed, you need to create an outline of your website content. Good small business websites are simple and follow a standard website layout.
Simply go to Pages » Add New page to create a new page in WordPress.
Don’t worry about the content, text, and images at the moment. Just adding a simple title, some text, and a couple of images would be fine. You can always edit these pages and add more content if needed.
Here are some of the most common pages used in a small business website layout.
Additionally, you can create more pages if needed. For example, you can create a separate blog page, individual pages for each service or product, and more.
Step 6. Choosing a Design for Your Website
By default, WordPress comes with a basic template that you can use. If you don’t like the default theme, then there are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes that you can choose from.
We recommend looking for a simple design that looks great and has all the right elements.
Normally, a business website has a navigation menu on top. The homepage usually has a welcome message with a call to action button, which is followed by other content.
Once you have chosen a theme, you can go ahead and install it. For detailed instructions, see our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress theme.
Each WordPress theme comes with different settings to customize its appearance. Many of these options are located under Appearance » Customize page in WordPress admin area.
From here you can add navigation menus, change colors, add or remove different sections, and more. Once you are satisfied with the design, don’t forget to click on the Publish button on top to save your changes.
If you’re unable to find the theme that fits your need, then you can use one of the popular drag & drop page builders for WordPress to create a custom design for your needs.
Step 7. Using WordPress Plugins to Add More Features
There are more than 50,000 free plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory alone. This means, no matter what feature you want to add there is good chance you will be able to find a plugin for that.
Below are the plugins that we install on every website:
Need some cool plugins for your website? See our expert pick of the essential WordPress plugins for business websites.
For detailed instructions, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Step 8. Learning WordPress
Now that you have a WordPress site, you may want to step up your game and learn more tips to improve your website.
WPBeginner is the largest free WordPress resource site in the world. Following are the handy WordPress resources you will find on WPBeginner, all of them are completely free.
You can also use Google to find answers on WPBeginner by simply adding ‘wpbeginner’ at the end of your search term.
If you are unable to find an answer, then feel free to reach out to us using our contact form. We will try our best to answer your question or point you in the right direction.
We hope this article helped you learn how to make a small business website. You may also want to see our complete WordPress SEO guide for beginners.
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