Wanting to create a business website?
Here are 5 steps to creating a website for a local business.
Let's set the scenario as a local business that does not have a website and has never had a website. This article is meant for absolute beginners who have no prior experience with discussing a website and the things that surround it. The purpose of this article is to explain the first steps in creating a local business website and how to set up a website on your own or with the help of a local web designer.
Creating a local business website: Step 1 — Domain Name
Suggested time to complete: 1 week
- Purchase a domain name. A domain name is the website address that your visitors will visit and is most commonly seen with the Top Level Domain (TLD) ending in .com. There are currently over 1,514 TLDs registered with ICANN, the official world authority on domain names. There are many domain name providers where you can purchase a domain of your choice. Keep in mind that Amazon and Google do not sell all TLDs from the list cited above. They offer a more limited list; a list that is more common and likely to be used. However, there are a few providers that allow you to choose from over 700 TLDs. I use Namecheap. It has become the home of all of my domains.
- An important note on purchasing a domain name. Ideally the domain name should have keywords associated with your line of work. A keyword is a specific phrase (usually more than a single word — confusing, isn't it?) that your customers would use to search for your service or product. For example, if your business involves installing fencing, your domain would include the word fencing (e.g. https://www.onthelinefencing808.com/).
Creating a local business website: Step 2 — Web Hosting
Suggested time to complete: 1 week
- Now that you have your domain name, and hopefully it includes keywords, the next step is to purchase hosting. Oftentimes you can host your website with the same company where you purchased your domain. There are reasons why you would not, or could not, host your website with the domain provider. In my case, I wanted a .space TLD but Amazon does not sell (or provide) this TLD. Hence, I use Namecheap because they offer a huge variety of TLDs.
- Time to choose a hosting provider. Think of hosting as where your website lives. A website consists of text and image and the text files have to live somewhere so the world can see them. Hosting is that place where your website files live. It can be different from where you purchased your domain name. When finding a great hosting company I recommend:
Creating a local business website: Step 3 — Website Platform
Suggested time to complete: 1-4 weeks
- Now that you have a domain name and a hosting provider, time to choose your website platform. How will you create your website? There are a few options:
- Using raw code?
- A popular Content Management System (CMS) like Joomla!, WordPress, or Drupal?
- A cloud-based website builder like Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace? Now, you may have never heard of Squarespace and you may be wondering why a local web designer would mention this? The reason is we want what is best for you and your business. We are here to offer guidance. That way we build long-lasting relationships and, as your business grows, we will be there to help you scale.
- Or build a solid relationship with a local web designer who has your best interest in mind? If you choose to go with a local web designer, we are here to help. Contact us using the Contact or About links at the bottom of this page and expect a response with 1 hour (during local Hawaii business hours of 8:00 am — 6:00 pm).
- After deciding upon a platform (give yourself about a week to decide) it's time to add content. We will go into more detail on adding content in a later article. For brevity the process of adding content is including here in step three.
Creating a local business website: Step 4 — Publishing your Website
Suggested time to complete: 1-2 days
- Now that you've purchased a domain name, hosting, and you've decided upon a website development platform, it's time to publish your website. Going live must be done with care and precision if you were using a testing sub-domain. Otherwise, I would suggest putting up a "Coming Soon" page while the rest of the site is being developed. When the time comes to go live give yourself a few days of testing to ensure everything is working as expected.
Creating a local business website: Step 5 — Optimize & Online Advertising
Suggested time to complete: Ongoing
- Now that your website is published it's time to engage in search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. We offer free SEO services as well as professional SEO services. Get a free SEO website audit by clicking the link on this page or contact us directly. Online advertising is connected with the SEO reports we provide because our SEO reports display graphics on your performance and how users found your website. In addition, our SEO reports offer 23 detailed insights on how your website is performing.
There are many steps involved within each of the steps mentioned here. Feel free to contact us here for more details on each step.