How to start a website as a small business

Image by Hugo Hercer from Pixabay

By Samantha Higgins

Today, the business landscape is very digital. With many factors supporting it, e-commerce continues to grow at an intense speed and will likely not slow down anytime soon. As such, it’s wise for most serious businesses to have a website. However, some small business owners may be confused about how to go about starting a website. Below are some strategies that work.

Consider your website’s goals

Before you go about building your website, you need to first decide exactly what your goals are with launching one. Many businesses use websites for different purposes. A website designed to operate as an online store will operate very differently from a website that is designed to drive traffic to a brick-and-mortar retail location. The intended audience of different websites can also be vastly different. You could be trying to appeal to a mainly local audience or an international one. Your clients could be regular consumers or other businesses. There are many possibilities.

Consider a website building platform

Building a website sounds like a rather technical ordeal. If you are building a website completely from scratch, that would certainly be the case. Thankfully, there are many website-building platforms that small business owners can take advantage of. They can generate the code needed for pages, text, links, images, and more.

One of the most popular choices is Wix. However, there are many other great alternatives for sites like Wix. This includes options like UENI that mainly deal with business clients. It also includes others like WordPress and Squarespace. Choosing to use such a website can save you a lot of time and money. You won’t have to pay a website developer, and you’ll have access to other benefits such as statistics and SEO tools.

Focus on SEO

One thing you must never underestimate is the importance of search engine optimization or SEO for short. The goal of a small business website is to create traffic from the right consumer groups. Without good SEO, this task will become nearly impossible. Nearly 90 percent of internet users use Google to find websites. If you aren’t on the 1st page of Google search results for the appropriate search terms, you may end up losing a huge chunk of business to competitors that are. Make sure you are optimizing the right keywords and keyword phrases. Use statistics to track the progress of your SEO on different landing pages. If what you’re doing isn’t working, don’t be afraid to make adjustments.

Test on different devices and platforms

Just because you think you have a functional website does not mean consumers will actually agree. For example, if you only tested your website and its different features on your iPhone, you have made a mistake. Instead, you should be testing the website on as many different platforms as you can think of. This should include Android, Windows, and maybe even Linux. It means testing the website on phones with different screen sizes. It means testing it on desktop computers, tablets, and maybe even video game consoles. Overall, you don’t want to lose any business because your website isn’t compatible with a certain platform. You should do as much testing on different platforms and devices as possible.

Choose the right hosting option

Another very important factor is how your website will be hosted. It is the web-host that actually facilitates your website being able to communicate with the computers of consumers. With poor hosting, your website may end up going offline when you need it most. Make sure the hosting plan you choose is adequate enough for the amount of traffic you will receive.

Choosing a host with a more flexible plan may also allow more resources to be allocated to your website as your customer base grows. This is one of the big benefits of utilizing a cloud host. Cloud hosting is often scalable in terms of traffic. Also, make sure that your web host has adequate customer service. If your website goes offline, you should be able to talk to a real human being that will alleviate the problem for you.

Overall, building a website for a small business will require a good deal of effort and research. Make sure to put in an adequate amount of time on the project to ensure that your company has a functional website that consumers can find and use to purchase your products. Doing so may be able to increase your revenue several times over.


Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon, with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.


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