Hi folks Dave Waring again from FitsmallBusiness.com
and today’s lesson of the day. In our last lesson we continued our series on how to start
a successful business with a look at how to raise money for your new business. In today’s
video we are going to continue that series with a look at how to put together your small
business website. So let’s get started! Everyone knows you need a website, but many
small businesses still do not have one because they find it too complicated or expensive.
Building a small business website does not need to be extremely complicated or costly.
Here is a guide on how to create a basic website that will allow customers to locate your business,
find your contact details, and learn about the products or services that your company
offers. If you set up a good basic website from the start, then you can add on additional
features in the future. Step 1: Choose and Register Your Small Business
Website’s Domain Name Here are the 4 primary things to keep in mind
when choosing a domain name for your website: Whenever possible your domain should contain
your company name. For more on choosing a great name for your company, see our guide
on the topic which I have included a link to in the resources link below this video.
Domain names are important for search engines, like Google. When possible they should include
words that people are likely to use when searching for your business and/or the products and
services you sell. Domain names should be easy to pronounce and
remember. Keep your name as short as possible and avoid punctuation, like dashes.
Domain names should be unique. You want to minimize the chance of someone trying to reach
your business ending up at a different site. You always want to choose the .COM version
of a domain. Use Godaddy’s domain name tool which I have
included in the resources link below this video to search for available domain names.
Start with the name of your business. If someone has the “.com” version of your name, try the
name of your business in combination with the geographic location of your business or
what you do (if its not obvious from your name).
For example, if your company is called Smith Plumbers and based in Albany, NY, you would
first try www.smithplumbers.com. If that wasn’t available, you might try www.smithplumbersalbany.com
or www.salvatoreplumbersny.com. Once you have found the domain name you want
you can register the name at Godaddy for around $13 a year. Rand Fishken over at Moz.com has
some more great tips on choosing a domain name which I have included a link to in the
resources link below this video. Step 2: Outline the content and pages that
you want on your site. You should have your content outlined before
you start designing your small business website. Design is secondary to content and should
facilitate client’s easily finding the information they are looking for. Every website should
have 4 pages to start: Homepage: On the homepage, you should include
the name of your business, where you’re located or the area you serve, plus give one or 2
reasons to do business with your company. Products and Services: a page with details
about the products you sell or services your provide. On the page which you detail products
or services, spend one to five sentences describing each type you offer and give
the pricing. About Us: Provide your background, include
testimonials, and list organization memberships like being part of the Better Business Bureau.
Contact Us: Your address, email, phone number, the hours you are open for business, and links
to any social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook. You should also Embed a google
map of your location and include different ways of getting there (ie subway, train, car
etc) if applicable. In addition to a contact page your phone and
address (if applicable) information along with any social media accounts such as Facebook
and Twitter, should be prominently featured on every page of your site. For search engine
purposes make sure that your phone number and address are text and not part of an image.
Step 3: Decide on a Logo The colors and type of logo that you have
will determine the colors and other design elements of your entire site, so start the
design process with your logo. If you already have a logo that you are using in the offline
world, then you want to be consistent and use a digital copy of this for your small
business website as well. If you do not already have a logo then there are 3 different ways
you can create one: Do it yourself: There are a number of logo
wizards out there that will allow you to create your own logo. However, many of those advertised
as being “free” are really not free because you have to pay to download the logo you created
with the “free tool.” One that does not charge you for most of the logos they allow you to
create is Graphic Springs which I have included in the resources link below this video.
Use Fiverr.com: Fiverr.com is a site that matches you with all kinds of service providers
who are willing to do projects, including logos, for just $5. If you use the $5 option
you will have to wait a couple of weeks to get your logo. If you are willing to pay around
$20 you can generally get it that same week. Make sure you only choose designers who have
a portfolio you like and lots of positive reviews.
Use 99Designs: 99Designs runs contests where multiple designers compete for your logo and
other design business. This is a great option because you get to see many different designs
but only pay for the one that you choose. The price ranges from $299 to $799 depending
on how many designers you want competing and the quality of those designers. I have included
a link to 99Designs in the resources link below this video as well as a great guide
on how to use 99Designs from Steve Hopkins over at The Squiggly Line.
Work with 1 Designer: If you decide to work with a designer on your website which we talk
about in the next step then most will create your logo as part of the site design.
Step 4: Design Your Site There are a variety of ways to have your site
designed. Regardless of which option you choose you want to make sure that you keep the following
in mind: Use WordPress.org WordPress is a contact management
system which basically means you can use it for the backend of your website. There are
many, many reasons why you should use WordPress, not the least of which is that it makes it
so you can update your site yourself instead of having to contact a designer every time
you want to change some text. If you need more convincing read Marty Dickinson’s article
on the 35 reasons you should use WordPress which I have included a link to in the resources
link below this video. Avoid Flash: Flash is what allows you to have
an opening page with movement, you can see an example here. In addition to being bad
from a user experience standpoint, search engines cannot read flash so this will make
it much less likely that your site will show up in Google.
Mobile Site: Having a mobile site is a must in today’s smartphone world. If you host your
site with Godaddy, they will not only walk you through the entire process but they also
give you a free mobile version of your site when you choose their deluxe hosting plan.
That plan costs around $8 a month. Here are your options for designing your website:
1. Do it Yourself: The great thing about the technology available today is that even the
layperson can build their own website. Godaddy has fantastic customer service agents which
can get you setup with a basic hosting plan and help you install WordPress. There are
many wordpress themes which are basically templates available, some free and some paid,
that you can install and modify with the click of a mouse. To learn more about this option
and get a wealth of other info for WordPress beginners visit WPBeginner.com.
Use a Freelancer.com: If you don’t see a theme you like or want something more custom then
you can use freelancers on elance.com or freelancer.com to help you build your site. Two things to
keep in mind 1. make sure they use wordpress 2. make sure they are highly rated, have a
portfolio of sites that you like, and have done more than a few thousand dollars worth
of work. If you have a theme that you like but want some modifications this is also a
cost efficient option. 99Designs: Just as you can get a logo designed
by 99Designs.com you can also have your full website designed. The concept is the same,
you submit a brief on what you are looking for and get back anywhere from 20 to 60 designs.
Again here you only pay for the design you choose. The price ranges from $599 to $1599
depending on which package you go with. If you go this route keep in mind that you will
still need to have the site created in HTML which will cost you an additional $1000 or
so. Work with 1 Designer: If you want a more personal
level of interaction, like perhaps sitting down with a designer in person, then this
may be the route for you. You can expect to pay several thousand dollars for a good individual
designer, and again here you want to make sure they have a portfolio you like, have
done work for a lot of clients, and can communicate effectively.
Once you have set up your new website, there are a few things that everyone should do to
make sure you get off on the right foot, which I have outlined in the article 8 things every
new wordpress site owner should do and included in the resources link below this video.
That’s our video for today, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments
section below. Also be sure to stay tuned for the next video in our how to start a successful
business playlist where we will discuss how to setup your business email address.
To learn how to be a more successful entrepreneur be sure to visit us at fitsmallbusiness.com
today. Thanks for watching!