No matter what type of business you’re launching sooner or later you are going to want a website. If you’ve never done anything like that before then it can all seem like magic – very expensive magic. But you’d be surprised at how inexpensive (and relatively easy) creating a website for your business can be.
In the early days of the Internet websites were usually very expensive propositions and took months to create and a team of experts to maintain. These days, however, you can build your own website using free or nearly free software and templates. Hosting a site can also be relatively inexpensive too. But you have to start somewhere.
We found a very good article on the AllBusiness website (allbusiness.com) written by Michel Theriault, titled “7 Steps to Create Your First Small Business Website”
Michael’s article not only outlines his seven steps, he also provides links to software suppliers, content management systems, and even links to a host of other articles that can help you get that first website up and running in no time.
Some of the key points he mentions in the article include things like the all-important step one: deciding what the purpose of your website will be. Is this just an informative website designed to let people know who you are and what your business does or do you intend to sell items online? Different types of websites require different approaches and in some cases different types of software or hosting services.
Next he talks about content management systems and how they differ (he also links to a handful of systems you can use for free). He then talks about choosing a web hosting service that is compatible with those systems.
The article then goes on to talk about things like templates (the software frameworks behind the scenes that determine how your website will appear to visitors). Again, he provides links to some free (and a few inexpensive) templates.
Michael then talks about the importance of organizing your website, and thinking about how you are going to organize menus and how people will navigate though your site.
Finally he about that all-important (and perhaps the most daunting) aspect of any site – the actual content. Your site isn’t going to be very interesting if it doesn’t have any content. For many people this is going to be the hardest part of building a website but it is definitely worth the effort. And, of course, you are going to have to maintain and update that content once you’ve got everything up and running.
Michael’s article is a good place to start if you are thinking about building a website for your business. He covers the basics and drills down on many of the critical aspects. The article isn’t necessarily for the expert web developer but it does have some valuable information for just about anyone interested in starting up a website for the first time. You can read the entire article here.
And just in case you aren’t familiar with the AllBusiness website there is a wealth of information there and no matter what type of small business you are starting (or trying to grow) you’re bound to find something to help get you going.