Help I Need a Website for My Business!
I am often asked by newbie entrepreneurs and small business owners about creating a website. While it’s been a hobby of mine in the past to help friends and family get a website up and running its not something I tend to do on a regular basis.
However, I was recently approached by a friend’s sister and I decided to write this a blog post for anyone out there who has been operating their business without a website and is ready to take the next step.
#1 Domain/Website url:
First thing, if you don’t already have one I would recommend buying your domain/url prior to actually getting a site designed. Typically it costs anywhere from $12 to $30 a year.
While purchasing your domain you will have the option to buy private registration. Private registration hides your name as the owner of the website. However if your name is also your business name I typically think it’s fine to have this information available to the public. For example if you go to http://whois.com and search a website you can see who it is registered to, if they have private registration you won’t be able to find this information.
I typically buy domains through GoDaddy. They are pretty easy to use and you can always find coupon codes and deals, but you can purchase your domain pretty much anywhere.
Just search for the domain/url name you want your website address to be and if its available you can purchase it. I usually buy at least a 2 year registration. You may be prompted to purchase a hosting plan and website builder, but don’t do that until you read steps two and three.
In order to make your website accessible to people on the internet you need to have a hosting provider. There are several options depending on what you decide to do as far as the website platforms (see step three below).
BlueHost starts at around $3.95 per month and GoDaddy has similar pricing. I do like to recommend purchasing your own hosting plan because as a business owner you don’t want someone else to manage all your assets.
Another option is picking a website platform that also includes hosting (see step 3 below).
#3 Website Platform
- WordPress – I love WordPress as a platform. You get a lot of flexibility and there are a ton of customizable free and paid themes available. You can also hire someone to customize a theme to meet your needs. However you do need a hosting provider if you go this route. If you are going with WordPress, I recommend using Genesis Framework by Studiopress and BlueHost for a hosting provider. You can also try a company that focuses specifically on hosting WordPress sites like Flywheel.
- Squarespace – I haven’t worked with them much but the nice thing about Squarespace is that they offer hosting and website templates starting at $8.00 a month, you can also use your own domain with them. In addition you can hire someone to customize any template or create a new one for you.
- Wix – I haven’t used this, but it seems to have a lot of features for small businesses.
You can also choose to have a site developed from scratch, but this is typically much more costly.
Do you have a favorite website platform or hosting provider? Please leave a comment and tell me about it.