How to Design a Website
Where do I start and what do I need?
In this day and age every small business needs to know how to design a website to stay relevant. If you don’t have a website and think it’s too difficult to get started, Grey Sheep is here to help with pointers every small business owner needs to know to design a website. We will run through where to start, answer some challenges you may face and provide our insight into how to design a website design specifically for your business. Remember, designing a website can be a daunting task, but if you create “small wins” you will have a great looking website in no time.
How do we create “small wins” to design a website?
Let’s break down each stage of the process in creating and designing a website to help your small business grow. There are a couple choices that need to be ironed out at the beginning of the web design process.
- Check the availability of your domain
- Buy the domain
- Choose a web host where our newly designed website will be housed
Is the right domain available for my small business?
Make sure you choose a domain that is easy to type, short and sweet and geared towards your business. A simple Google search will tell you if your domain is available or not. In some cases someone can already have the domain you want but may not have built a website yet. These domain owners are usually trying to sell the domain or they are so overwhelmed they haven’t started designing their website. Choosing the right domain is a critical step in starting your website. You will want to create a domain that is easy for your customers to remember and making it simple is usually better. Remember this is going on your business card as well. The less confusion the more traffic! More traffic leads to more sales!
Buying a Domain: Choosing your Web Hosting
Once you have the right domain and verified it is available, buying a website domain is very easy. There are a ton of web hosting companies out there, most notable GoDaddy and Host Gator. In my experience, I have used both and can praise each. However, I think for small businesses, Host Gator will be a more affordable option. With bigger companies like GoDaddy, their customer service is great, but it can sometimes take a while to get someone on the phone for support. With Host Gator it’s simple for you to get setup and you purchase what you need.
Tough Decisions: Small Business Web Design
This next step is one of the toughest decisions you will have to make. What contract should I purchase for my website? This is one of the toughest and only one that you can answer. Here are some thoughts when considering your web hosting contract:
- Will my business be successful?
- How long do I plan to stay in business?
- Do I spend more upfront?
I usually tend to do a 3 year contract, which may cost a little more upfront but it will save money year over year. Domain prices are usually about the same for each web hosting company. In addition, I usually add the security features as well since they are fairly cheap per year. A 3 year contract usually costs around $400, or about $133 per year, which is not too expensive for maintaining a website.
At Grey Sheep, we not only assist with domain and web hosting but know how to design a website specific to your business. With industry experts designing your small businesses website you will see higher traffic and an increase in sales. Be sure to check out the next edition of “Design a Website for your Small Business: Why WordPress?” where will continue our discussion of helpful hints on why small business owners should design a website using WordPress.