Websites are vital for businesses of all sizes and from any industry. Yet, many small businesses still do not have a website because they believe that they can’t afford it. In 2015, research suggested that only 51% of small businesses have a website.
While some websites will be so complex and large that they require a massive budget to be professionally built and designed, the majority of small businesses won’t require anything on this kind of scale. Plus, it is becoming easier and easier for people to build their own websites using online tools, even without the technical knowledge and experience usually required to do so.
Free website builders such as WordPress, Wix and Weebly provide you with easy-to-use templates and tools, allowing you to customize your own website without any experience with coding. Most of these website builders also offer some premium options, so you can add more to your website as you get the budget for it. These tools are great options if you want to build a fairly simple website of between 1-5 pages.
There are plenty of other options available to build a website for your business, but here we are going to give you a few tips on how to build a WordPress website or blog.
Firstly, there are two options when signing up for WordPress – the .com and the .org site. WordPress.com is much more suited to beginners because the website provides hosting for you. You would have to pay for hosting to create a WordPress.org site. We’ll take a look at the .com site for now.
When signing up for an account on WordPress.com you can choose between the free and premium versions. The premium version offers a lot more customization for your website, so we do recommend upgrading once you have the budget, but starting off with the free version will be fine for most businesses. WordPress.com will provide you with a free domain name, or you can purchase your own for a small fee from websites such as GoDaddy.
Designing your website
The first thing you need to do is select a theme from WordPress’ premade options. The theme is the template for your site, so it determines how it will look but is also customizable. There is a wide range of free themes available, but you can also choose to pay for a premium one. You can customize the colors and elements of your theme to look the way you want it to. The premium themes do tend to offer greater customization, though.
Once you have selected your theme, you can set the pages you want on your website. You could make a simple website or blog consisting of just a single page. But, you might also want to add multiple pages such as “Home”, “About”, “Contact”, etc. The pages will be different for each business, so make sure it fits what you need.
You then need to think about what content you want on each page. The WordPress template makes it easy to add text and images to your pages and customize them so that they look the way you want them to. There are also a number of plugins available to add extra functionality to your website. Some of these plugins are free while others come at a cost.
Monitor your WordPress website
WordPress also provides free analytics tools for you to access. This means you can keep track of how your website is performing and how many people are visiting it. It is a good idea to monitor this so that you know if you need to make improvements need or if you need to work on driving more traffic to your website from other sources.
For small businesses with not much of a budget, a DIY website from a website builder such as WordPress is a great, low-cost option for getting their brand online.