There are many reasons that one might consider building business online. Not only does an online presence allow you to reach out to a much larger audience, but it can also help you to increase customer service, cut costs, and generate more revenue by being available 24 hours a day. And while all business owners should have an online business, not all of us know how to build one. Here are some step by step instructions to help you get your business up and running online.
Step 1: Decide what type of website you will build
There are many different types of websites that you can choose to build your business around. Most websites fall into one of the following three categories; brochure website, online presence website, or online shop website.
The most common type of website for business owners is the brochure website. This is a site that typically contains between 3-10 pages of information and is formatted very similar to a paper brochure. Content within this type of website is usually limited, but it can be convenient for customers and clients to access the information they are looking for.
The online presence website is a more advanced version of the Brochure website. Within this type of website you will find brochure-like information in combination with relevant articles, forums, product information, or company updates. This type of website does require more time and commitment, but also improves client satisfaction and dedication. It also increases trust within your business.
Finally is the online shop (also referred to as the E-Commerce website). The sole purpose of this website is to sell services or products. These websites are usually less common for small business owners as they do require the proper software, increased security, and far more resources than the other two website types.
Step 2: Register a domain name
Once you have decided what type of website you want to build, you will need to register a domain name. This will be used as part of both your website address and email address. For example, if your domain name was excellentbiz.com, than your email might be firstname.lastname@example.org and your Website address might be www.excellentbiz.com. Always be sure that the domain name you choose is short, descriptive, and memorable for your clients.
Step 3: Decide how you will host your website
When it comes to website hosting, you have two options; host your own or work with a web hosting service. There are advantages and disadvantages of each. When hosting your own website, you have complete control and flexibility, but on the downside you need to purchase and maintain all of the computer hardware yourself. Not only can this be expensive, but you also need to have a high degree of technical knowledge to make it run efficiently. When working with a web hosting service, your software and hardware choices are limited and you will need to pay monthly fees. With that said, these fees are relatively inexpensive and a web hosting service can help you with any technological problems that you run into along the way.
Step 4: Build your website
During this stage you will need to design the look and feel of your website, attach images, and write the programming code. Sometimes your web hosting service will provide you with tools and templates to get you started. With that said, if you are not familiar with website design, the best option is to hire a website designer to do the work that you cannot.
Step 5: Test your website and go live
Once your website has been built, test it out. Check to make sure that each page is exactly how you want it and that every link within the website works properly. Once you are satisfied, go live!
Congratulations! Once you have completed these 5 steps of building business online, you will have successfully taken your business to the online world. With that said, this is just the beginning as there is still much more work to be done. Once you are finished building business online, you still need to promote your website, optimize it for search engines, analyze your traffic website, and obtain and reply to customer feedback. And remember – online business is on ongoing project – continue updating your site and promoting it across the web to keep clients returning.
If you need help designing and building your website, our team of professionals can help. Click here to learn more about our services and request your quote today.
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