In today’s digital age, a website is quite literally the backbone of any successful small business. If a small business hasn’t got a high-quality website, and high-quality search engine optimisation, then it’s likely to fall behind the competition and fast. Your website acts as your virtual storefront, showcasing your products or services and providing potential customers around the world, and your website offers a way to connect with you and buy your products or services.
This comprehensive guide written by our WordPress web developers, will walk you through the process of creating a high-quality small business website using WordPress, we will cover everything from choosing a custom domain name and securing reliable web hosting to designing your site and investing in search engine optimization.
A Guide to Getting a High-Quality Small Business Website
Creating a high-quality small business website, using WordPress, is a multi-step process that requires careful planning and execution. That is you shouldn’t just start designing your WordPress website, without properly planning all the pages you need, also you should think of a set of brand guidelines. The steps outlined below will help you establish a strong online presence, attract potential customers, and ultimately, increase sales.
Define your marketing goals: Start by determining the primary purpose of your company website. Do you want to sell products, showcase your portfolio of let’s say artwork, or provide information about your services, if you are let’s say a solicitor? Having a clear vision will help you make informed decisions throughout the process.
Research your competitors: Look at other businesses websites, in your industry to understand what works and what doesn’t. For example, a local solicitor’s practice, might be using YouTube videos, to help their customers to understand how the divorce process works. Therefore you might also want to add a YouTube video, or multiple YouTube videos on your website, as this might be a good way of selling your services. This will give you valuable insights and inspiration for your website design and content.
Plan your website’s structure: you should spend a lot of time doing this, so make sure you have a nice cup of tea, and start to create a sitemap outlining the pages you’ll need and how they’ll be organized. This will serve as a blueprint for your website’s navigation and content layout.
Choose Your Custom Domain Name, make sure that you pick the right domain name for your business
too many companies, pick a domain name with an area in the domain name, for example mentioning the city of Cardiff plus roofers for example. What if you want to obtain business in another city?
You might therefore be restricting the amount of customers that you might otherwise receive if you had called the business, or the domain name different name. For example if you call it Cardiff roofers, then you might not get any work in Bristol, because even though you might work in Bristol, customers might just think you only work in Cardiff.
So don’t put a city name in your domain name.
Your domain name is simply the address that users will type into their browsers to access your website. Consider these tips when choosing a domain name:
Keep it very short and simple, don’t pick a long domain name, because people will forget the domain name, for example if there’s a long domain name written on a van, then it can be hard to remember.: Choose a domain name that is very easy to remember, easy to type, and pronounce. For example, dog treats.com
Choose the right extension for your domain: While “.com” and.co.uk the most popular and widely recognised domain extensions here in the United Kingdom, there are many other options, such as “.net,” “.org,” or industry-specific extensions like “.restaurant” or “.photography.” Pick one that best suits your business. However we would highly recommend whenever possible just choose.co.uk if your business is in the United Kingdom, and will your sales take place in United Kingdom.
Get Reliable Web Hosting
A reliable web hosting provider is absolutely essential, for ensuring your website remains up, which basically means remains live, and running smoothly. Consider the following factors when selecting a web host:
Uptime: Opt for a hosting provider which guarantees a 99.9% uptime or better. This ensures your website will be accessible to visitors almost all the time.
Choose a UK hosting company that offers excellent and top quality customer support, available 24/7 via phone, chat, or email. You might want to test the customer service phone line, in that if you are left waiting for a long period of time, then this is not good, you might not want to choose that company. However, you might want to choose another company, that when you ring them, more or less instantly you get through to a person they can help you with your query.
Your hosting company should be able to accommodate your website’s growth over time. For example a hosting company might be great for a website that has 1000 visitors per month, but what if the business grows you have 1 million website visitors, can a hosting company handle that many visitors? So you want to pick a UK hosting company that does is capable hosting your company website, if you were to have a huge increase in shoppers on your website.
For example as your business expands you might have a sale weekend, but if the website crashes, and you could be losing customers to need to pick a hosting company that is capable of hosting your company’s website even if you have a huge increase in shoppers say over a weekend.
Security: Prioritize hosting companies that offer robust security features, such as SSL certificates, firewalls, and regular backups.
Now it’s time to start designing your website
With your domain and hosting in place, it’s time to start designing your WordPress website. This step involves creating the visual elements, so for example, what will the homepage look like, how do you want the text to be laid out, and overall aesthetics of your site. Keep these design principles in mind:
Responsive design: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, this is absolutely essential, as a significant percentage of shoppers access the internet through mobile devices such as using their iPhones. A responsive design ensures your company website looks and functions well on all screen sizes from a tablet, through to a smart phone.
Intuitive navigation: Make sure the main menu is easy to use for your shoppers, to find what they’re looking for by creating a clear and straightforward navigation structure.
Consistent branding: we would highly recommend, hiring a local marketing company, to create a set of brand guidelines. This company can help to design your company’s logo, ,advise you on which colours to use and fonts throughout your website, to create a cohesive and recognisable brand identity.
Visual hierarchy: Organize your content marketing in a way that guides shoppers through your website, emphasizing the most important information and calls-to-action.
Add high quality images onto your company website: Use high-resolution, professional-looking images, hire a photographer, so that they can add pictures of all your staff onto your website and hire graphic designers, to create visuals to create an engaging user experience. Avoid using generic stock photos, these are often make a website look cheap, instead opt for custom graphics or photography that reflects your brand’s personality.