5 Easy Ways to Create a Website for Your Business
Insights on how to create a website for your business by Amanda Brunett – Thinstaff Concierge
OK, so maybe you’re not a “techie.” And the words domain name, web hosting, HTML, and responsive design, might sound intimidating and expensive.
However you know your customers expect a professional website. These days it’s mandatory that you provide people with information about your product or service, background about your company, and most importantly – a way to contact you online so they can buy something!
Well here’s the good news. You don’t have to be a “techie” or spend upwards of $10,000 on a website with a fancy marketing agency. There are plenty of low cost options to help you create an amazing online presence. We’ve highlighted 5 solution partners to help you make the right decision for your business. And as always, our Thinstaff concierge team is available to help assist along the way.
So let’s explore 5 different options to create a website for your business. And – for those that might be a bit more adventurous, we also highlight a do it yourself (DIY) approach that only requires a little bit of tech know!
Strikingly – Mobile Optimized
Strikingly is an easy to use website builder and is uniquely designed for businesses wanting a site optimized for mobile devices. Strikingly can help you build a professional looking website, with templates created to look amazing on any mobile device. With this solution, simply use a Strikingly domain, or create and use your own domain, build your site with their editor tool, and publish. You now have a live website!
No code or design experience is needed. Through this solution, building a basic website is free! Keep in mind it won’t have a lot of “bells and whistles”. At minimum, it allows you to familiarize yourself with the service with no risk.
For additional fees you can upgrade to a custom domain name, gain access to integrated apps, and obtain more sophisticated editing functions with plans around $16 per month. The biggest benefit of this solution is the reasonable price and simple tools that allow you to get a business website up and running quickly.
Keep in mind Strikingly specializes in mobile friendly websites that are primarily informational in nature. If you are looking to set-up an eCommerce site you will likely want to explore other platforms.
You can visit Strikingly to learn more
Web.com – A Little Bit of Everything
Web.com is positioned as an online digital ad agency that provides end-to-end website development and services to build your online presence. Through this solution you can; have your website created by their professional designers, do it yourself with the assistance of building tools and templates, create and customize your eCommerce site, and automatically create a mobile version of your site for an additional fee.
Web.com offers services to assist in building your online presence with digital advertising, search engine optimization, and social media sites.
Initial web hosting starting at $5.95 per month, domain names starting at $15 annually, and eCommerce websites start at $6.95 per month. The benefit of using Web.com is it is a one-stop shop for establishing your business web presence.
Beyond the usual domain name and web hosting, their premium services can help with eCommerce sites, page rank and social media presence. However, keep in mind that there fees for additional services and features can add up quickly.
You can visit Web.com to learn more
Shopify – Multichannel eCommerce Platform
Shopify is an online sales platform designed to eliminate the complexity of building your own eCommerce platform with easy to use templates, unlimited bandwidth, search engine optimization tools and a variety of plug-ins that enable you to easily take care of back-office activities such as; shipping, inventory management, and much more.
In addition to their website building tools, Shopify offers a unique in-store POS (point of sale) system through your iPad or mobile device creating multiple registers and scanners. This allows you to manage online and physical sales from one place.
Pricing of this solution is ideal for small businesses with plans starting as low as $14 per month for an online store with fewer than 25 products, and $49 per month for their in-store POS system. The benefit of Shopify is its appeal to business owners who have a need to simplify their in-store POS system and want to expand business through online sales with simple and intuitive tools that make creating a website, and managing sales and inventory easy.
You can visit Shopify to learn more
Bigcommerce – Alibaba Integration and Standard Packages
Bigcommerce is an online service that provides you the capability to create a fully operational eCommerce site. This solution provides you with; your own business website and domain name, ability to create your online store with access to many configurable options, and access to a variety of online marketing tools including search engine optimization.
Bigcommerce offers several plan options with prices starting at $29.95 per month. Some of the benefits of Bigcommerce are; they provide a hosted solution, so no need to hire a full-time programmer to maintain your website, easy to use and practical features to give you a competitive edge in the marketplace, and pricing that help both grow and promote start-up and established businesses.
Their solution packages are standardized and therefore easy to use. They are also differentiated by the fact that they have partnered with Alibaba.com, which allows you to seamlessly integrate your retail web store with Alibaba wholesalers. This can simplify your supply chain and reduce the costs of sourcing your products.
You can visit Bigcommerce.com to learn more
“Do it Yourself” Website – Low Cost and In Control
If you are more of a “do it yourself” person then it’s still possible to create your own website without having to be a technical guru. The benefit is that you’ll end up spending less over the long run and you’ll have complete control of your site. However, it will require you to do some work to pull it all together.
Here’s the 5 things you’ll need to do:
1. Find and register a domain
- A domain name is the www.yourbusinessname.com address for your business. However, it can be difficult to find an address that hasn’t been taken. There are websites like namemesh.com or pickydomains.com that can help you find an available name. Once you’ve found a name you can register it through our thinstaff domain service.
2. Establish a hosting provider
- Web hosting provides you with a place to store and manage all the computer files associated with your website. When people access your website they will reference these files from your hosting provider. Companies like bluehost.com or hostgator.com are providers that can provide you with low cost hosting.
3. Establish a WordPress.org instance for your site
- WordPress.org is a content management platform. They offer an open source version for free that you can install via your web hosting provider. Wordpress makes it easier for you to manage content and changes to your site. It will also provide you access to a marketplace of other free or low cost add-ins to manage eCommerce, security, design, search engine optimization, and other common features.
4. Find and apply a WordPress theme
- After installing WordPress you’ll want to select a theme. Themes offer professionally configured designs and options to complete the professional finish of your website. You can find and install themes from sites like themeforest.com.
5. Configure your site with content and images
- After installing your theme, you’ll finally be ready to start configuring the look and feel of your site. You’ll want to ensure you use professional imagery and well written content. If you need assistance, you might consider services like freelancer.com or fiverr.com for copywriting and sites like istockphoto or photodune for stock imagery.
If you can dedicate the time, the DIY option allows maximum flexibility. And after the initial set-up costs are behind you, the ongoing support and maintenance fees should be very low.
Ultimately the Choice is Yours
Creating a website for your business doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many different options out there to help you get started and online. You can use “all in one” companies, basic informational website builders, or explore full scale do it yourself options. Whatever your budget, there’s simply no reason why you shouldn’t have a website for your business.
Our goal at Thinstaff is to help business owners. If you don’t see the perfect solution for your business on this list, be sure to visit the “information technology” solution category on Thinstaff.com to quickly explore more options. Or, simply contact one of our trusted Thinstaff concierge agents at 1-800-506-2286 and they’ll be happy to assist.
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