It’s common knowledge that setting up a website for your business can be costly if you are using professional web designers and developers. Fortunately, you can design and build your site using several cost-effective tools.
Designing the look of a website can be as simple as choosing from premade templates and then making adjustments that suit your taste and preferences.
This can include the addition of a logo, a change in color palette, or a specific font that you want visitors to associate with the site.
These are just some of the easy steps that can be taken to establish the online platform that connects you to the digital world. Let’s dive deeper.
Domain name and hosting
You’ll need to decide upon a domain name, register it, and then purchase a WordPress web hosting service for your website. Choosing a domain can be difficult as many of the most popular names will already have been registered.
Check to see if your actual business name or your desired domain name has been registered, for example, mybusiness.com. You can check domain name availability through whichever domain registrar you will be using. If your domain name has been registered, then you’ll need to be creative. For example, many digital marketing agencies may add ‘digital’ onto the end of their business name such as ‘mybusinessdigital.com’.
Once you have your domain name, you’ll need to purchase web hosting for your website. This provides a place on the internet for people to be able to access your website. Shared hosting can be found for a very low cost nowadays and this should suffice if you have a low traffic website. If your site does start to drive a lot of visits, then you can always upgrade your hosting in the future.
SEO and keyword research
You now need to figure out what your potential customers search out for frequently. This is generally an SEO task but it can also be good for user experience by identifying what information your visitors expect to find on your website. You can filter your results by location. For instance, if your business only serves a specific area, you will want to set this to your location.
Generally, the higher the search volume is, the greater the opportunity but the more difficult the competition will be. You want to target keywords that are as relevant as possible to the service or products you provide. For example, if you provide a computer repair service, you shouldn’t really be considering ‘computers’ by itself as a keyword to focus on. It’s going to be too competitive and because it is very generic, conversion rates are likely to be very low. Instead, you want to target a keyword along the lines of “computer repairs in [insert your location].
Choose a WordPress Theme
WordPress offers default themes or you could browse and install themes from the WP theme library. Click on “Appearance” then “Theme”. If you like the default theme, you can leave it, but choose the “Customize” option (under the “Appearance” option) to change aspects such as color and the header. You can change the theme by clicking on a different theme, and then clicking on “Activate.” If you don’t like the default options, you can add a new theme. One way is to click on “Add Theme” where you can access a theme library.
Simply click “Install” and then “Activate” to choose the theme. Another option is to find themes from other sources. To use these themes, you need to download them from the source, and then in your WordPress Dashboard, click “Add Themes” then “Upload Theme.” Use the browse button to find the theme you downloaded, click on the file (it’s usually a zip file), and then upload. Then click on “Install” and “Activate.” Note that some themes add menu items to your left navigation. Also, some have customization options such as adding your social media links.
Alternatively, you can access these services from a WordPress support company such as WPFixs for web development and support services.
Browse the WordPress dashboard
The nice thing about WordPress is that even when it’s updated, the basic functions stay the same. Once you learn where everything is and how it works, you’re good to go. Log in to your WordPress site using your admin name and password. Once logged in, you’ll be taken to your dashboard. On the left is a menu of all the standard options. Let’s have a look at this menu items so that you get a clear picture when browsing the WordPress platform.
Dashboard: Homepage of your dashboard.
Posts: Blog articles.
Media: Pictures and video files stored. You can add media directly to this folder or on the fly when writing a post or page. If you add media to a page, it will get stored in your Media folder.
Pages: Static content such as your “About Me” page. If your home business offers a service, you’d put your service information on a page.
Comments: Manage and moderate comments left on your site.
Manage and customize your site theme, organize your sidebar widgets, create menus (as allowed by your theme) and access the theme’s editor.
Plugins: Add, delete, and update plugins. Some plugins add menu features directly to the Dashboard menu while others get added as a submenu item under Tools or Settings.
Users: Manage people who register as guests, as well as manage permissions of those to whom you give access. For example, if you have a virtual assistant, you may want to allow her to update and make changes to the site.
Tools: Import and export WordPress data. Some plugin settings are accessed through the Tools menu.
Settings: Set up how your blog is read and how comments are posted. Create your permalink structure (how your blog content URLs look) and much more. Many plugin settings are accessed through the settings.
There are a lot of steps involved in the set up of your small business website. While this article does not cover every step exhaustively, these are the more important issues you need to know when setting up your WordPress account.