One of the things that should be at the top of your to-do list when starting a business is getting a professional-looking website up and running. It might seem like an overwhelming task, but we can break down everything you need to do in just seven days (and even then, it’ll take just an hour or so to complete each task). Here’s your guide to building your business website in a week!
(A quick note: the process will be different if you hire a web designer, who will handle many of the following tasks. This is geared more toward the DIY entrepreneur.)
Day 1: Choose Your Domain Name
This may seem like a super simple task, but make sure you spend plenty of time on the decision. After all, your domain name (that’s SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com, for example) is your calling card to potential business, and you’ll be reciting it to people you meet, so you want it to be easy to say and spell.
Your domain name could be your company name, or your personal name, if you’re a consultant. It could also include keywords that will help people know exactly what you do, like BestBakeryInTexas.com.
There are many ways to come up with a great domain name. The key is to be creative and have a few options in case you find that the first option you search for is already taken. Using the previous example, it could make sense to expand your options and register a domain name like BobsCakeFactory.com or SweetTreatCupcakery.com.
Once you land on your domain name, use a domain registration service to register it. Usually this costs around $10 per year, so it’s really affordable.
Day 2: Decide What Your Website Will Include
Consider this your interior design day! Think about the different components you want on your website. Do you plan to sell products? If so, you’ll need an e-commerce system like Shopify to make a safe and easy place for your customers to buy from you.
You should definitely have a blog on your website, because they offer great potential for attracting new customers.
Will you sell digital products? There are plugins you can add to your website to offer instant downloads, and payment systems, like PayPal, that you can implement.
Day 3: Choose a Web Host Provider
One essential component of your website is a web host provider. This is a company that makes sure the lights are always on, so to speak. Your website will be hosted on their servers, and you won’t have to worry about any technical details, because they’ll handle them.
There are several web hosting companies out there, including:
These companies charge between $3 and $10 a month for hosting services, on average, and may offer other features that make it easy to get all your website needs in one place. The company you chose to register your domain name will likely offer a hosting package as well.
Day 4: Find a Theme
Another fun day! You get to decide what your website will look like today. If you have the budget, you can hire a web designer, but if your budget is tight, you can handle it yourself, no technical know-how needed.
Depending on the hosting company you choose, you may have access to website templates within the same company. SiteGround, for example, has dozens of WordPress themes (and WordPress is really user-friendly for you to update).
You can also go elsewhere to get your theme. ThemeForest is another great resource, and offers tons of really professional-looking website themes you can customize to include exactly what you want.
Whichever service you choose, follow the instructions for getting it set up on your site, then spend time tweaking the colors, layout and images to make it all your own.
Day 5: Develop Content
The copy on your website will either succeed at convincing people to buy from you, or send them running. Go for the former by spending time crafting copy that is enticing and nudges website visitors into doing what you want. First thing you should do is make a list of the top 50 things your clients are struggling with (starting with pain is always a good place to start). Then get started on your blog content. You want several posts ready for reading when you launch, so people see you’ve got great content and come back for more. When you get a budget, consider hiring a professional copywriter who can help develop content for your brand as well.
Day 6: Have Someone Give It a Once-Over
Your website may look pretty great to you, but how will it look to others? Ask friends and employees to spend time on the website and point out any issues they see, like typos, broken links, or difficulty in the checkout process. Address all of these concerns before launching to the general public.
Day 7: Start Promoting It
Once your website is ready to roll, it’s time to start promotion. Put the link in all your social media bios and anywhere else that you promote your company online. If you have an email list, send out a notification that your website is up and running to attract traffic. Add it to your email signature as well.
Realize that you won’t get 1,000 visitors overnight. That will take some time, and some marketing. But if you continually produce great content, your website will stay updated and relevant and the number of visitors to your website should steadily increase!
This post was sponsored by Verisign and reflects the views and opinions of Melinda Emerson and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Verisign.
About our sponsor
Verisign, a global leader in domain names and Internet security, enables internet navigation for many of the world’s most recognized domain names and provides protection for websites and enterprises around the world. To learn more about what it means to be Powered by Verisign, please visit Verisign.com.