Even as a small business owner with limited resources and time, you surely know the importance of a strong online presence in today’s mobile-first world. And there’s a high possibility you’ve gone digital on the back of social media accounts. But they’re not enough. Sooner or later, you will need to create a website to succeed in business.
We’re here to correct the outdated thinking that you must know coding or have a hefty budget to afford to build your own website. While this might have been true a decade ago, you couldn’t be more wrong today.
How to create a website in 6 steps
Follow these instructions to create a website in less than an hour with GoDaddy Website Builder.
Identify the purpose of your site.
Sign up for a free trial.
Answer two questions.
Tailor the template to your tastes.
Make it GDPR-compliant.
Preview and publish.
First, let’s touch on what a website can do for your small business.
Why you need a website
Yes, social media attracts viewers. But it’s easy to get lost among the hundreds — if not thousands — of other businesses there. A website:
- Gives your business credibility and legitimacy.
- Provides plenty of space to offer details about your products or services.
- Is completely under your control.
- Provides one more place for customers to find you online.
- Can be used to understand your customers better via analytics.
From a business perspective, social media is a trailer. The real plot unfolds on your website. This is where people who’ve seen you on social media can get all the details, request a quote or find out how to get to your office.
What are your options?
First, do-it-yourself solutions like GoDaddy’s Website Builder make it easy for anyone to quickly build a website (even from your phone!). GoDaddy supplies a template based on your industry that you customise by adding photos, text, videos and social links.
Second, content management systems like WordPress.org are a popular option for people with some technical skills (or a willingness to learn). The open source platform is free to download, although you will need to buy hosting to make your WordPress website visible to people around the world.
As with Website Builder, you start with a pre-built template (known in the WordPress community as a theme) and alter it to suit, adding plug-ins to make your site do what you want it to do. There are countless WordPress themes and plug-ins available — some are free, others require a fee — to help you get the website you want.
Third, you can hire a web developer to build your site for you. We suggest this option for those who have the funds but no time or interest in creating a website themselves. You’ll want to ask the developer how much they will charge for the initial build, as well as ongoing maintenance such as security patches and core updates.
Create a website using Website Builder in 6 steps
Let’s see how you can build a website on your own in Website Builder and increase your business exposure … even with zero knowledge of coding, site builders or marketing.
1. Identify the purpose of your site
Everything begins here. You must decide how your website will drive the business forward. So take a step back and think about what purpose you want your website to serve. For example, websites can:
- Generate leads
- Showcase your services
- Sell and ship products
- Create a sense of community among customers
- Establish authority in your industry
- Help your business appear in local search results
Then, ask yourself what you want your visitors to do once they get to your website. This could include actions such as:
- Browse through your products and services
- Read a blog post
- Call the phone number
- Request a quote or estimate
- Leave a comment
- Buy a product
Ask (and answer) these questions before you start building your website. This will make the building process much easier.
2. Sign up for a free trial
With Website Builder’s 14-day free trial, you can test the waters with no commitment. You don’t give payment information when signing up, and you can cancel the membership anytime during the trial (or just let it expire). This way, you can experiment with building a website to see if you like it with no risk.
Visit the Website Builder product page, click on Start for Free and watch your life change.
3. Answer two questions
Once you’re in (congrats!), you’ll answer two easy questions, including what industry you’re in. This helps us choose the right template for you out of thousands. So whether you own a vegan bakery, a manufacturing company or a local clinic, we have a beautiful, pre-built template perfect for you.
All templates come pre-built with:
- A top section for your business name, phone and a call to action.
- An About Us section where you can tell your business story.
- A newsletter signup form so you can send regular emails to interested visitors.
- A Contact Us section, with a map showing your business location.
To clarify, you aren’t bound to the selected template and can change it at any time. Any content or data you’ve entered will be automatically transferred to the new template.
4. Tailor the template to your tastes
This is the most interesting part — customising the site as per your business goals. Though it might feel daunting, in reality it’s the opposite.
Here you’ll give your ideas an actual structure by choosing from the inbuilt options. To sample different looks, click Theme in the toolbar on the right, then scroll through eight visually diverse options using the right and left arrows. Once you find one you like, click Done.
Quickly add new sections to your site by clicking Pages > Home > Add Section and choosing from a list that includes the following:
- Photo gallery
- Menu/Price list
- Social links
Insert high-quality Getty photos from Website Builder’s image gallery or upload from your phone. Then add your own words by clicking on any text area and typing into the corresponding text box on the right. Content blocks will expand as you type; changing a photo is as easy as clicking on the image you’d like to replace.
As your business grows, you can add additional features to keep up with the customer demands — online appointment scheduling, email marketing, a store and more.
Remember: You can customise the look of the site 100 percent — from colour schemes to fonts, images and section order.
5. Make it GDPR-compliant
Provided you have any online business interactions with citizens of the European Union (even those living in India), you’ll be expected to comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) now in effect.
This EU act protects its citizens — no matter where they live — by giving them control over how their personal information (name, email, location, etc.) gets stored and used by companies globally. Most notable is their “right to be forgotten,” which directly impacts how your website handles cookies.
With Website Builder, you can quickly add a pre-figured cookie and tracking alert, which gives visitors to your website a chance to opt out of tracking. You may keep the wording as is, or customise it. Either way, your new website will be GDPR-compliant.
Read more about GDPR and what it means to your business here.
6. Preview and publish
Now it’s time to preview how your website will look to visitors on mobile, desktop and tablet. Website Builder automatically converts your website to look great on the visitor’s device. Because most people prefer to use a smartphone for their online activities, this is a key benefit of Website Builder.
To preview your new website, simply click Preview in the upper right corner of the builder. To continue making changes or additions, click Edit. If it looks amazing overall, hit Publish and your website will be live, so search engines can add it to their results pages.
You can make changes to your website any time and on any device — phone, desktop or tablet. Which is good, because building a website is an ongoing process.
An investment in long-term success
Whether you do it yourself with WordPress or GoDaddy’s Website Builder or hire a developer to build it for you, a website is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your business. Follow the steps outlined above to create one you’ll be proud to share.