If you’ve got a business idea or want to grow your small business, you need to have your own hosted website.
This used to be a daunting task requiring some basic HTML coding experience and an understanding of FTP and other esoteric IT acronyms.
Times have changed and it’s now quite simple to build a great looking basic website for your business.
BUT, If you want to sell anything on your website and be able to take credit card payments, you’ll need to take the next step and created your self hosted website.
If you’ve got some basic IT and computer skills, you can do this yourself.
We’re going to show you how you can make a great business website in WordPress for less than $100.
1: Buy a Domain Name
To get found by Google you’ll have a much better chance of creating good SEO juice if you own your own domain name.
That’s because Google largely ignores subdomains (which is what you’ll have if you use a free WIX or wordpress.com platform (tip: there are 2 versions of WordPress. The free site builder/blog platform on WordPress.com and the actual WordPress software which you can download and build on your own server. That’s what we are describing here).
Domain names are cheap to purchase (typically under $30 for 2 years).
Checkout Crazy Domains to find and buy your perfect domain name for your business.
2: Pick a Hosting Account
Now that you have a domain name, you’ll need a web host for your actual website (the images, text and database).
A web host is like an apartment block where you rent a room for your website. The domain name you just purchased is the address. Make sense?
There are some great inexpensive hosting companies, but I’ve found that Siteground is hands down the best but the process is the same whatever host you choose (Godaddy, Bluehost are just a couple of others).
Siteground has great security, support and very fair pricing.
Pick a basic plan on Siteground right here. We recommend the Startup WordPress plan for $4.95 per month.
3: Park your Domain Name with Siteground
You need to ‘point’ your domain name to its new home (Siteground). This is done by updating your domain names DNS records at Crazy Domains.
This is easier than it sounds.
Log back into your Crazy Domain account. Find your domain name and click on DNS
You just have to update your Name Server records.
You can find the Name Server records you need in your new Siteground account.
Click save and you’re done.
Your domain name is now managed by Crazy Domains but resolves to your new website your about to build in Siteground.
4: Setup WordPress in your Host account
WordPress is the framework that runs your website.
What makes WordPress insanely great is you can find a professional built theme for just about any kind of business.
Think of WordPress like the frame, wheel, engine and brakes of a car. You need to install the framework first. Later on we’ll apply a theme (the paint, upholstery, seats, tinted glass) so your creation looks great.
Log into your new Siteground account and go to CPANEL
Once there, just select WORDPRESS TOOLS and WORDPRESS INSTALLER.
Fill out the wizard and you’ll have a fresh installation of WordPress on your account.
(Siteground will email you your login info that you specify when you create the account. You’ll need this for the next step).
5: Choose and Setup your WordPress Theme.
Login to your WordPress account. On the dashboard, navigate to Themes. There a few to get you started. Check them out and pick one that you like.
Even better, go to Theme Forest and search for a theme from the thousands on offer. You’ll be able to find the perfect theme, whatever your business.
Once you buy your theme, download it to your computer. Log back into WordPress, themes and click upload. Great themes are available for less than $50. The amount of work you’ll save buying a theme that fits your business far outweighs the cost. The hard work has already been done for you. Just pick one that feels right for your business then tweak it.
TIP: when you’re browsing themes on Theme Forest you can find fully functioning demo websites that give you an idea of what the theme can do. You can import this content when you setup your theme. This is a fantastic shortcut to get your site up and running quickly. Import the demo content, then you can edit the text and images for your own look and feel.
6: Create your Website Art
This is the fun bit. With tools like Canva, it has become easy to create great looking graphics for your website. The best bit is the free version of Canva has all you need to create page and blog graphics.
7: Essential WordPress Plugins
WordPress is great because you can search and find free and paid plugins that can do just about any programming function you need for your website.
From shopping carts, to security, you can find just about anything. This is where WordPress is superior to platforms like WIX or Squarespace. You have much more control of the look and functionality of your website.
The essential 2 plugins for EVERY WordPress site are:
- YOAST SEO (which helps you tweak your sites SEO for Google.
- ALL IN ONE SECURITY (bad actors will try to break into your WordPress site. This plugin will stop them (when setup correctly).
Before you launch your new website you want to make sure you’ve applied good SEO practices to your site.
The YOAST SEO plugin will help you with this, but there are a few simple things to understand about effective SEO (and it’s simpler than most people let on).
- Have a keyword in your long tail: eg a music shop may have – mybusiness.com /how-to-buy-an-electric-guitar. This would be superior to mybusiness.com/franktalksaboutnewguitars (if the article was about how to buy an electric guitar).
- Keyword your titles and first paragraph. This example, the heading should also be How to Buy an Electric Guitar
- Make sure you use the term your want to be found for in search through the article. (Don’t overdo it.)
- Keyword the images you upload. The simplest way is to rename an image file like IMG_0298.jpg to something that’s relevant. If your business sells guitars, you might have an image that is how-to-buy-electric-guitar-gibson.jpeg (google image source is a powerful way for people to find your website.
If you follow these basic principles you’ll begin to rank well on Google organic search.
WordPress includes a powerful blog editor. The post powerful thing you can do for your SEO is blog regularly.
That’s because Google’s search algorithm will favour websites with fresh content over websites that have not been updated for a while.
The easiest way to create fresh content is to have a regular blog.
Try to blog at the very least once per month. 750 words is plenty.
Don’t be aimless though. Blog with intent about your business and offers. The object of a good blog post is get the reader to take action. With a business website the action is buying your product or service.
This is called the CTA (Call to Action in marketing speak). Don’t waste your time writing a blogpost the doesn’t have a CTA. It could be as simple as a ‘CALL US NOW’ button.
Once you’ve got the look and feel of your new website correct and you’re happy with the content, go ahead and launch your site.
TIP: Don’t worry about getting every tiny detail absolutely perfect. A website is a living document and you can log in and edit and update at any time. The aim of publishing your first website is getting it about 80% there. That final 20% you could obsess over for months, so much better to get the site published and generating business for you now then obsessing over small details most people won’t notice.
Building a website has never been simpler if you have basic computer competence. This isn’t a definitive guide, but just an overview of the steps you take to get a good looking WordPress website up for your business.
If all this seems overwhelming, check out our great site builder offer
If you need help putting your site together, get in contact with us at Port Mac Websites for an obligation free quotation.