How to Make a Business Website
As the digital space slowly but surely eats up more and more of the public space, you as a business owner must adapt to the times. Business meetings are more likely to happen on Zoom than in a conference room, and the networking possibilities online are nigh limitless. You do not want to miss out on expanding your business due to a lack of accessibility, and the best way to make yourself and your business more accessible in 2021 is knowing how to make a business website.
I know that some of you may think creating a website is a task too daunting; that is a common misconception about the digital space, kind of like the so-called difficulty of building a computer. Rest assured, we will show you the ins and outs of how to build a business website.
What is a Business Website?
A business website is a platform for companies, corporations, small-business owners, and entrepreneurs to advertise their products, connect with their consumer base, and sell their goods. It lets your consumers know what you are about, what you have to offer, and if you are looking to connect with like-minded industry figures (and if you are hiring).
Why Do Businesses Use Websites?
Businesses use websites because it is 2021. I know you might think that simplifies it too much but think about the digital space vs the public space. You can connect with all kinds of people on the internet and in numbers that far exceed what is possible in the real world. I doubt a person living in a country halfway around the world will see your newspaper advertisement.
Even before Coronavirus, people were spending a tremendous amount of time online. Businesses use online platforms because if they did not, they would be missing out on potential customers, a lot of them.
Business Website vs Regular Website
This part probably goes without saying, but business websites entirely focus on selling products and other facets of one’s business.
Compare and contrast this to say a journalism website. Plenty of journalism websites rely on ad revenue to keep the lights on, so seeing constant ad banners is not uncommon. But chances are if it is a video game journalism website, said website does not need to be concerned about a peanut butter ad stealing away reads. But if you are a business website looking to expand your customer base, you probably want to keep all eyes on what you have to offer.
How Can You Create a Business Website?
First thing you will need to do is have a domain name. After that, starting up a business website is as simple as finding a website builder that you like and going from there.
There are quite a few to choose from, with each offering benefits that others might not have. Some websites are specifically tailored toward those who are not as equipped with technology (although they can also be more bare bones than competitors to keep accessibility high).
Others have high functionality but do not really hold your hand at all. Here are some of our favorites:
Wix is the biggest name in the website building space right now, and that probably will not change anytime soon. With more than 110 million website builds, it has the reviews and credentials to back up this number one pick.
Wix allows users to either let their ADI (artificial design intelligence) do all the work, or you can alter and customize aspects of your website yourself (if you have coding knowledge).
You can pick from hundreds of design templates and set up various websites such as blogs, portfolios, or online stores. You can get assistance formulating an SEO plan and optimizing your website for mobile devices. A lot of budding business owners overlook this step. Many people are on their phones more than a computer, so you need to make sure their experience is just as good as desktop users.
Wix offers numerous pricing plans depending on the kind of website you will be making. For business websites, the prices range from $23 to $49. Keep in mind that this is for a yearly plan with the entire payment upfront. You can try out Wix for 14 days for free to see if it is the right website builder for you.
Some of the most notable drawbacks of Wix are lack of onboard analytics and less than ideal data restrictions. Personal customization is almost not newbie-friendly, so stay away from it unless you know what you are doing.
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If you are looking for a website builder that gives your website the best aesthetics, then Squarespace is probably the best option for you.
Squarespace has built up a reputation for creating high-quality, professional-looking websites for business owners. You could be a single person selling custom T-shirts out of your bedroom, and your website will look on par with that of million-dollar companies.
The design options here are expansive, and you can give your website a unique feel to stand out from the competition. There are almost two dozen different template genres to choose from, and those are broken down further by the area of focus of your business. Squarespace then offers up numerous examples of what they feel would be good designs for your website. Squarespace will need a little more technical know-how for you to utilize it efficiently.
It comes with numerous pricing plans ranging from $12 to $46, depending on whether they are annual or monthly plans. For monthly business plans, you will have to pay $8 extra per month if you do not go annual. You can also experience a 14-day free trial.
We always like to make a budget selection for lists of this nature, and if you need a website and have a tight budget, Weebly is likely your best bet.
Weebly's plans range from free (though we highly recommend you do not bother with the free plan) to $29 with minor discounts if you go annual. Header slideshows, HD Video players, and real-time stat tracking are some of the features you can expect from Weebly. It's not too hard making a website on your own with Weebly.
What Weebly boasts in affordability, it lacks in flair. Compared to other website builders, like Squarespace, template designs are blander. Weebly offers many features for the price point, but not nearly as much as more expensive competitors.
Weebly offers a lot of bang for your buck, and it is a great starting point for someone testing the waters of their business model. I would recommend Weebly to small-scale business owners or those who do not have a ton of time dedicated to managing their website.
You learn how to write in English class growing up, you can teach yourself how to write, but WordPress teaches you how to write for the internet. So, if your business revolves around journalism or writing, WordPress is for you.
It does not matter what you are writing about, be it video games, sports, music, dogs, etc. If you want your website to take off, then you are going to have to master SEO. And WordPress is a great teacher.
With WordPress, you will understand the ins and outs of SEO, like focus key phrases, the importance of inbound and outbound links, and meta descriptions. WordPress will let you know if your SEO is good or bad, where it is lacking, and how you can improve it.
WordPress also has an easy-to-navigate dashboard and plenty of writing tools that will make your job easier.
Pricing plans range from free to $59, depending on monthly or annual plans, and there are some notable pros and cons. The free plan gives you 3 gigabytes of storage space, which is generous for a free option. The higher-end deals offer up to 200 gigabytes of storage.
A lot of the best features are gated behind the two most expensive plans, unfortunately. Out of the four website builders on this list, WordPress is probably the least newbie-friendly. I would only recommend this option to people in the writing/journalism fields.
Hiring Someone to Build Your Site
Yes, you can hire a freelancer to design a website for you, but I would not recommend it. We have seen this plenty of times before, and you can run into some problems if you go down this route. Say you hire a freelancer, and all goes well, but then something goes wrong months after the fact. You do not know what you are doing, and maybe that freelancer is long gone. Now you need to pay someone else to fix it.
You are better off using a website builder and acquiring a basic knowledge of creating and maintaining a website. Contracting a freelancer to build a website from the ground up is also the most expensive route.
One Last Thing to Remember: User Interface
Always make sure that your website’s UI is easy to navigate. If exploring your website is too tricky, some may consider it more effort than it is worth.
No one, and I mean no one, likes a clunky interface. Just make your website one that you enjoy using. Get some friends or family members to give it a test run and provide feedback. Just remember that first impressions are everything.