How to Build a Business Website: 9 Step DIY Guide

In today's digital age, knowing how to build a business website is crucial to succeed in entrepreneurship. A website serves as the digital face of your enterprise, allowing you to reach a wider audience and establish credibility.

If you want to have a crack at building a website yourself, this step-by-step guide will provide the knowledge you need to get your business online, setting the foundations for future growth.

1. Purpose and Goals

Before diving into the technical aspects of building your business website, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of what you want your website to achieve. Consider both your immediate objectives and long-term goals. Are you looking to provide information about your services, sell products, or generate leads for your business? Understanding your purpose will guide every subsequent decision. Do not skip this step!

Goals

2. Domain Name

Your domain name is your web address - it's what users will type into their browser to find your website e.g. www.wheatleydigital.com. It's important to choose a name that reflects your brand and is easy to remember. You can buy domain names from reputable registrars such as Namecheap, GoDaddy, and Hostinger. Once you find the perfect match, go ahead and purchase it!

Domain Names

Additional Tip: How to Transfer a Domain Name

If you are unhappy with your current registrar, or have found a better deal elsewhere, you can transfer your domain name from one registrar to another. To initiate a transfer, you'll need to unlock the domain at your current registrar and obtain an authorisation code. Then, at the new registrar, you'll provide the domain name, authorisation code, and complete any necessary payment. The process can take a few days and involves confirmation emails to ensure the transfer is authorised. It's important to note that domains must be at least 60 days old and not within 60 days of expiration to be eligible for transfer.

3. Hosting

Once you’ve set up your domain name, it’s time to choose a hosting provider. Consider the following important factors while making your decision:

  • Speed and Uptime: A fast-loading website ensures a positive user experience, while reliable uptime ensures your site remains accessible to visitors 24/7. 
  • Exceptional Customer Support: Opt for a provider with responsive support channels, including live chat, email, and phone support, ensuring any technical issues are swiftly addressed.
  • Applications: Consider the availability of popular applications like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal for seamless website management.
  • Features: Opt for a provider with robust features such as SSL certificates, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), website builders, regular backups, and guarantees.
  • Hosting Plan Options: Check the range of hosting plans available, including shared, cloud, and VPS. Consider scalability to ensure your business needs can be met as you grow.
  • Site Transfers: Easy site transfer services and transparent pricing structures should also be part of your decision-making process to ensure a smooth and cost-effective hosting experience.

Hosting Providers

Selecting the right hosting provider is crucial for ensuring your website is accessible and performs well. Below are some popular hosting providers and their pros and cons.

Bluehost

Pros: Affordable, 24/7 support, beginner-friendly, one-click WordPress installation.

Cons: Limited scalability for high-traffic sites, prices rise after the first year.

Hostinger

Pros: Budget-friendly, 24/7/365 customer support, unlimited free SSL, 99.9% uptime, daily backups.

Cons: No dedicated hosting option.

SiteGround

Pros: Specialist WooCommerce hosting, excellent customer support, unmetered traffic on all plans, free SSL, CDN, email and other extras.

Cons: No dedicated or VPS hosting, prices can rise quickly after the first year.

WP Engine

Pros: Managed WordPress hosting, excellent speed and security features, integrated customisable themes.

Cons: Higher pricing compared to shared hosting, no domains available, email is separate.

Website Builders

Choose a website builder that aligns with your technical skills and future needs. Below are some popular options and their pros and cons.

WordPress

Pros: Highly customisable, extensive plugin ecosystem, SEO-friendly.

Cons: Learning curve for beginners, requires regular updates.

Wix

Pros: Drag-and-drop builder, beginner-friendly, wide template selection.

Cons: Limited flexibility for advanced customisation.

Squarespace

Pros: Beautiful templates, all-in-one platform, 24/7 support.

Cons: Less flexibility compared to WordPress.

Shopify

Pros: E-commerce focused, user-friendly, built-in payment options.

Cons: Transaction fees for non-Shopify payments.

Webflow

Pros: Advanced design capabilities, responsive, suitable for designers.

Cons: Steeper learning curve, may not be as intuitive for beginners.

Connect Your Domain Name to Your Hosting Plan

Once you’ve committed to a hosting plan, you will want to connect your custom domain name to it. The exact method will depend on your domain name and hosting provider’s processes, but a good place to start is with your hosting provider’s documentation. If you get stuck, just contact their customer support!

4. Design

Before diving into the actual construction of your website, it's crucial to have a clear design plan in place. Start by sketching out your design options by hand or using tools like Figma, allowing you to create wireframes and mockups. This step provides a visual blueprint of your website's layout, helping you to visualise the overall structure and user interface. Once you've settled on a design you're happy with, it's time to bring it to life using your chosen website builder. Whether you're using WordPress, Wix, or any other platform, having a well-thought-out design plan in hand will streamline the building process. Remember, a thoughtful design not only enhances the user experience but also sets the stage for effective content placement and functionality.

Design Stage

5. Build

Now it’s time to proceed with building your website. Make sure to consider the following.

User-friendly Design

An increasing number of users browse on smartphones and tablets so remember to optimise your site for mobile devices. Also remember to make it easy for visitors to find information by using intuitive menus and well-organised content.

Engaging Content

Use visuals that align with your brand and engage your audience, and craft clear and concise content that communicates your value proposition effectively.

Call-to-Actions (CTA’s)

Strategically place CTAs to guide users towards desired actions, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form. Balance is key - not too many, not too few, just keep it Goldilocks!

6. SEO

Optimising your website for search engines is essential for organic traffic. Focus your pre-launch Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts on:

  • Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords and incorporate them naturally into your content as you continue to learn how to build a website.
  • Meta Descriptions and Title Tags: Write compelling descriptions and titles that entice users to click.

Note: Once your website has launched, you can continue refining your on-page SEO, as well as utilising backlinks to build a network of reputable websites linking to your content. The latter will help to drive traffic and increase your domain authority, improving SEO.

7. Analytics

You will want to install code on your website to track user analytics. Follow our Google Analytics Setup guide to do this, and then you can start tracking your Google Analytics Metrics post-launch to monitor your website’s performance.

8. Security and Performance

Prioritise the security of your website by implementing SSL certificates, using strong passwords, and keeping all software up-to-date. Regularly monitor performance and optimise for speed to provide a seamless user experience.

9. Launch

Congratulations, you are now up and running with a great business website! Remember, a website is a dynamic entity, so remember to regularly update content, monitor performance, and adapt to changes in technology and user behaviour. Stay informed about industry trends and implement improvements accordingly as you continue to learn how to build a website.

Key Takeaways

By following these steps on how to build a business website, you'll be well on your way to creating a powerful online presence that not only serves your immediate needs but also lays a solid foundation for future business growth. 

Remember, websites are dynamic entities, so make sure to regularly update content, monitor performance, and adapt to changes in technology and user behaviour. Stay informed about industry trends and implement improvements accordingly as you continue to learn how to build a website.

Looking for Expert Web Design Services?

If you would like the help of a professional web design agency to craft a site that drives traffic, converts visitors into customers and represents your brand, then make sure to check out our web design services and contact us today to kickstart your journey!