Starting A Business Website? Here’s What You Need
It’s important for every business to have an online presence. Even if you only run a single shop, a website gives you a place to display your products, list your opening times, post your contact details and potentially appear on Google when users are searching for products and services like yours.
What Do You Need To Build A Business Website?
Assuming that you have already set up your business and are looking to start building an online presence, the first thing to do would be to decide on a domain name. The domain name functions as the address of the website, like facebook.com or bbc.co.uk. Without a domain name, your website address would just be a random string of numbers.
If you’re lucky and your business has a unique name, you might be able to find one which matches exactly. If that’s not possible, you could use a slight variation. For example, if your business was called “Henderson’s Butchers” but this was already taken, you could use “hendersonsbutchersuk.com” or “hendersons-meat.com”.
Another approach is to choose a URL which describes what your business does rather than its name. For example, this fictional butcher might choose to buy the URL “freshmeatinsussex.co.uk” or “mylocalbutcheruk.com”.
Choosing your URL has implications for your search engine optimisation. Make sure you choose one which is relevant and which you are happy with. There are several companies which will allow you to buy domain names directly, or you can ask for Carden Digital’s help in finding the right one. Our team can discuss your company’s goals and present you with a range of available domain names to choose from.
Every website online needs to be hosted somewhere. You can think of web hosting as renting space on which you can build you website.
In theory, there’s nothing to stop you hosting your website on a computer in your house, but more than a few visitors simultaneously and it’s likely to crash. Today, almost all websites are hosted in the cloud. In fact, it’s estimated that over a third of the internet is hosted on Amazon’s AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud platform.
At Carden Digital, we offer high-speed, affordable web hosting.
Picking the right domain name and choosing a web host are both important, but the most important choice you make is what content you will have on your website. Now is a great time to think about the scope of your website and how you envision your current and future customers interacting with it. Some business websites are single pages with contact details and a few images – something akin to an interactive flyer. Other businesses create full e-commerce experiences with their entire inventory available for purchase through the website.
It’s important to have enough content to fill each page, otherwise your website will look bare and unfinished. For example, if you’re going to have a separate web page for each service your business offers, make sure you have a few hundred words of content about each of those services and not just a paragraph. Informative, relevant content is also a key ranking factor for search engines like Google and improving the quality of your content will improve your search engine results.
Deciding what sort of website content you want to have, will also help you figure out the next step.
If you’re good at coding and have some experience, you can build a website from scratch. However, a more popular method is to use a template. If you’re using a popular website builder like WordPress or Wix, there are thousands of templates to choose from. Templates include text, colour schemes and images, but also specially made sections. For example, you might find a template specifically designed for handyman services which includes a calendar section for you to mark when you are available.
If you do not have the coding skills to build your own website, Carden Digital can help. Our web developers have built sites for multiple businesses operating in a variety of different sectors. You can see a selection of our website projects on our case studies page.
Just like your phone or your computer, the platforms and plugins which make up most websites receive regular updates. These updates add new features and improve security. If you own a website, it’s important to keep on top of these updates. This is particularly important if your website gathers or stores any user data in its databases. If this data is breached due to a lack of security on your part, you could be liable for a hefty fine.
If you don’t keep on top of your website maintenance, your site is likely to perform worse over time and may eventually break. However, just clicking yes on every update without knowing what they do is also likely to end up breaking your site. This is because the various plugins, assets and themes which make up your average WordPress website can interact and interfere with each other. Sometimes an update to one plugin might break another, or cause part of your site to no longer be accessible. Updating a site, even a simple one, requires a degree of web development expertise and problem-solving experience.
Luckily, Carden Digital’s web developers can continue to support your site after it has been completed, ensuring that it is updated on regular basis without breaking.
We hope this has been a useful overview of the key elements of building a great business website. If you would like help building the perfect website for your business, our team are here to help you through every step. Speak to our web development team today.