How To Start a Small Business Website in 4 Easy Steps
About This Post: How to start a small business website
This blog post give you a step by step guide on how to start your small business website.
Who to choose to host?
Who will design the website?
It will give you important information you MUST stick to.
Make sure you follow these steps in order, to make the best start to your business website.
Gary Evans | Quillations Affordable Website Design
Email | firstname.lastname@example.org
Call | 07305 794643
So you want to know how to start a small business website?
Well, you have come to the right place!
This blog post assumes that you have your business plan, business name and budget sorted before you start.
If you havn’t, then this is vitally important to get sorted BEFORE you start spending money on your website.
Because if you have failed to prepare your business correctly, you will struggle in the future.
Make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve when it comes to your business website.
How would you like it to grow?
What do you want your customers to do on your site?
How many pages would you need to start out with?
Without information like this, you will be going in blind.
And going in blind may cost you more in the future.
So a couple of quick tips for you before you start your small business going online:
- Know your budget, and stick to it.
Your budget does not have to be huge, but always think about both Monthly AND Yearly costs.
This will help you know what you can afford upfront, and what you can afford spread across 12 months.
You can afford to spend £200 per month, every month.
You can ALSO afford to spend £600 “today” as well.
This is important as you may have to pay a cost upfront, and then payments each month.
(Please note: These figures are just plucked out of thin air! Actual costs will be shown later!)
2. Know how you want your online business to grow.
This is a very important tip.
When it comes to starting to build a small business website, you want to start out small.
Because a website does not get found straight away!
On average, it can take around 6 months for a brand new website to be found on Google.
So by starting small, you can save money.
You don’t want to go and build the biggest website going, spending thousands on it right for the start.
It will just sit there for 6 months doing nothing!
What you really want to do, is start with the basics.
Wait until your website is indexed and found by the search engines.
By adding different elements every few months, it also shows the search engines that you are active.
This will help give you more authority for the keywords you wish to be known for.
So by knowing how you want your website to grow, it will help you plan each new page.
Step 1: Choose you Small Business Website Host
“But what about my Domain Name?” I hear you cry!
Well, this may well be free for the first year with a website hosting service!
By choosing your host first, you will be able to get a better understanding of the costs you may need.
A quick tip is to make sure you are looking at hosts with the same currency as you!
Also, have an idea as to what type of platform you would like your website to be built on.
Quillations personal recommendation is always WordPress.
All of the small business websites we build for our customers are built on WordPress, as in my opinion it is the best!
So for this post, I will be basing everything on a WordPress website build.
There are only 2 companies you should look at for your hosting:
As it stands, the prices for these two companies are as follows:
Straight away, you can see that the best value for money as it stands is IONOS.
(OK, so I am a little biased as this is who I always direct my clients to, but surely you can see why?!)
Now you may be a little confused at this point.
“Why am I being told to look at just these two companies?”
Well there is a reason – honest!
Basically, these two companies sell both Domain Names and Hosting themselves.
You pay them, they host your domain and website.
With other companies who offer you website hosting, 9 times out of 10 they are “re-sellers”.
This basically means, you pay them, and they go to someone else and purchase your hosting and domain name.
That means the company own your domain name and hosting services – AND NOT YOU!
Please note: There will be a blog post on re-sellers coming soon.
With IONOS, you can pay Monthly for your hosting, which helps keep your costs down.
And you can also get a Domain Name FREE for the first year!
BUT DON’T PURCHASE ANYTHING YET!
Because at the moment it is all about research.
Get your figures first, then purchase everything together.
So by going with IONOS your expenditure so far, would be as follows:
£50.40 for the first year (hosting paid monthly.)
£86.40 per year after that – (also paid monthly.)
Quick Tip: It does pay to shop around, but please compare every deal to these 2 companies. They are 2 of the best deals I have found.
Step 2: Choose Your Small Business Domain Name Host
So you get a free domain name with your small business website right?
So why look at a different domain name host?
Simple: You need to know how much it will cost after the first year.
So again, we will compare Go Daddy and IONOS – as these are the 2 big players.
For this example, we will use the domain name “mydomainnameisthis.co.uk”
1st Year Cost = £0.88
Cost after 1st Year = £11.99
Prices correct May 2019
1st Year Cost = £4.80
Cost after 1st Year = £12.00
Prices correct May 2019
As you can see, there is little comparison between these two.
If you sign up for the IONOS WordPress website hosting, you get this domain name for free, as well as an SSL Certificate – then it will be £12.00 per year after.
Please note: Always double check the prices – as they are subject to VAT and change.
Again, we will use IONOS as our example, and stick with the Website Hosting and Domain Name Hosting with the same company.
This always helps, as it keeps your Invoices as one.
It is also a good idea to have everything in the same place!
So our expenditure with hosting and domain name is as follows:
£50.40 for the first year (hosting paid monthy PLUS domain name)
£98.40 per year after that – (also paid monthly PLUS domain name)
Step 3: Choose Your Small Business Website Designer
Now you may be tempted to build your website yourself, which is great.
But remember: Time costs money!
Put it this way: You spend all of your time on the road doing plumbing.
You get home and sort out your quotations and invoices.
You then need to build your website, maintain your website, check your keywords are working etc.
Now this isn’t a quick job.
It takes time.
As a plumber, your hourly rate may be £20.
Working on this assumption, you will work on your website every evening for 4 hours.
That is the equivalent of £80 per day for 5 days minimum.
Your total costing for this would be £400.
And that doesn’t include maintenance and keyword research!
By choosing a website designer like Quillations, you could have a website for just £280!
A saving of £120!
Due to this, I will always recommend using a website designer on your small business website.
Please read my blog post on Website Designers for Small Business to find out how to complete this process.
Step 4: Add Your Results Together
That is it!
You now have everything you require to start a small business website!
- Business Plan
- Business Name
- Website Host
- Domain Name Host
- Website Designer
Finishing with IONOS as your website and domain host, and with a website built by Quillations, your final expenditure is as follows:
- Initial Payment = £280 for website designer Quillations
- £4.20 per month (as an average) for website host IONOS
- £0.00 per month for domain host IONOS
TOTAL FOR YEAR 1
- £7.20 per month for website host IONOS
- £12.00 per month for domain host IONOS
TOTAL FOR YEAR 2 ONWARDS
It is very simple to start a small business website, as long as you do things the correct way.
- Don’t just go for deals which are too good to be true: They usually are!
- Stick to the main website and domain hosting companies.
- Hire a website designer, as your time costs more.
Why pay a fortune before you have made one?