A website is an essential tool for any small business. It's a great way to reach new customers and promote your products or services. But before you can start reaping the benefits of having a website, there are a few things you need to take care of first. In this blog post, we'll walk you through everything you need to get your small business website up and running.
1. Create a marketing plan.
Before you start building your website, you need to have a clear idea of what your goals are and more importantly, how you will achieve them. What do you want your website to achieve? Do you want to use it to sell products or services? Generate leads? Will you use Google Ads, SEO, social media marketing, or something else to drive traffic? When you start with a goal and marketing plan, you will not only be able to cater design and content to prospective users, you will also be able to budget better and launch your site more smoothly.
2. Buy a domain name.
Your domain name is your website's address on the internet. When choosing a domain name, try to keep it short, catchy, and relevant to your business. You can buy a domain name from a variety of providers; instructions for how to purchase from GoDaddy are available here.
3. Find a web host.
A web host is a company that provides the space on their servers for your website and makes sure it's always available online. While many domain registrars also sell hosting, but they are separate services that can be purchased from more than one place (more information on that here). You’re welcome to use your own web host or stay on mine after your site launches.
4. Create a site with stellar content, design, and functionality.
First impressions matter, so you want your website to look its best. Working with a web designer can help you create a site that's both eye-catching and easy to navigate. You can brainstorm and create content as a team or craft it ahead of time. In addition to looking good, your website also needs to work well. A web designer with experience can help anticipate your visitors’ needs as well as yours to create a positive experience for everyone.
6. Maintain Your Website Regularly
You’ve done it, your new website has been launched! Once your website is up and running, it's important to keep up with maintenance so that everything continues running smoothly. Plan on spending some time each week checking for software updates, changing existing content, creating new content, and responding to messages from visitors. If you don't want to manage everything yourself, a maintenance plan may be for you. Read more about the details here.
There's a lot that goes into launching a successful website—but as long as you have a plan in place for both the short-term of site creation and long-term of maintenance and marketing, you'll be off to a good start!
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