“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” - Bill Gates
When you start your own business, the first thing that should strike your mind is to have an effective online presence in terms of a well-built website. It can be a taxing process if you do not have any prior experience with websites. As a start-up, it is possible that you do not have enough financial bandwidth to hire an agency or a professional. So, alternately you can think about using the best free website builder for small business.
The best small business website builder offers a wide range of pre-built templates and tools to create the perfect virtual location for your products and services. However, you might be wondering if it is possible to achieve the brand identity you have in mind using only templates. Fortunately, these models were crafted by professional web designers and come with full customization settings. With this much power in your hands, it is almost as good as hiring a web design agency, but with less expenses and more freedom to create your dream website. This can help you save lots of money which can be channelized towards marketing efforts.
Also, there are so many tools available so choosing one of the best small business website builder can be cumbersome. So, here are some useful small business website tips which will be very handy and fruitful.
Basic Website Design Tips Small Businesses should know
- Powerful Domain Name: The domain name is the web address of your website and is the first point of reference. It is highly vital that it leaves a lasting impression and is easy to recognise and recall. You may take the following into account:
- Easy to spell and recall
- Short and Crisp
- No numbers and hyphens
- Should make sense with your business
Most people go the easy route and use the name of their business as the web address. You can do this as long as you are confident that the name you chose is not generic. Otherwise, come up with a new domain name that is recognisable enough to be tied to your niche, but unique enough to stand on its own. Keep in mind that the domain name is a branding opportunity in and of itself, so yours should be strong enough to be the foundation of your brand identity.
- Website Hosting: Website hosting firms are the ones which give technical and services support for a website for it to be viewed on the internet. You will have to connect the name of your domain to the hosting provider, who will assign server space to keep the contents of your website. Here are some tips which can be helpful when you decide your hosting provider:
- Try to pick a dedicated server over a shared server.
- Choose a VPN plan
- Ensure your hosting provider has an active phone or chat support
- Get an easy cPanel server interface
- You should have excellent server security in place
Having an excellent web host is enough to let you run your online business with peace of mind, but if you want to minimize the risks, consider creating your own off-site backup. Doing this can save you a lot of headache and stress in case of a digital disaster. Even a short interruption of online services can have a big impact on your business, so it pays to have a reliable backup at the ready.
- Proper Website Description: This is one of the key areas which have to be worked out with care. As part of the branding checklist for small businesses, your website description can help build your brand identity and strengthen your online authority. You have to convey your brand story, history, values, ethos, products to your audience in a highly appealing manner. Careful thought has to go behind designing of the hero image or all other visual representations of your products and services. The “About Us” page links have to be clear and easily visible.
- Robust Content Management: The overall visual appeal of your web design depends on the layout of your content, so you must have a good content management system (CMS). A sound CMS involves a special web application which helps in both creation and management of digital content. It lets you add, edit, or delete pages on your website without the help of a professional programmer. It is simple and user-friendly enough even for the average computer user. Some of the commonly used CMS are:
- WordPress: It is one of the most popular and widely used CMS platforms. It is endowed with many useful plugins and also an active support community. Its installation is free and is very simple to use. The only drawback is the issue of security which is why it becomes an easy target for hackers.
- Drupal: It is another famous CMS tool but is relatively more secure than WordPress although it lacks in themes and plugins.
- Joomla: It is revolutionary technology with better features of security, SEO, along with many multilingual capabilities.
- Wix: It is a drag-and-drop builder and comes with a monthly subscription plan. It offers many options for templates to choose from and requires no knowledge of coding.
When choosing the right CMS for you, consider the features and range of functionality of your options. To help you decide, you can check what CMS is being used by websites you like or those in the same niche as yours.
- Right e-Commerce Platform: It is vital that the e-commerce platform you choose should be in sync with your business model. Top eCommerce development companies use many platforms available like Shopify, WooCommerce which is not only popular but also easy to use. It comes with many themes which are both free and paid. Likewise, Magento also offers a cloud-based e-commerce tool which allows ease of use and is hosted on the Magento server.
There is a lot to be done to get your website in place and in business. It requires a lot of patience, forethought, clarity of vision and business. These tools are very effective if taken one at a time in a stepwise manner.
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