A professional website serves as the calling card for your business, drawing visitors to your site through the content you provide, showcasing your contact and business information in one handy place and functioning as an essential part of your marketing campaign. When developing a new site, you have three major considerations:
- What is your website’s purpose?
- What information does your website need to display?
- What type of web hosting do you need?
Here we’ll break down each of these questions to help you make the smartest choices when building your site and determining what will be the best web hosting package for your business.
The Big Idea: Your Website’s Purpose
A website can enable you to sell your product or services, provide useful information to potential clients or investors and showcase a new product or brand. However, a website that tries to do all of these things at once can lose its focus. Before you draft your web copy, think about what you want your website to accomplish. Depending on the purpose you select, you’ll need to tailor the language of your web copy, the colors you choose, and the overall architecture of your site to match this purpose. A skilled web designer will help you design a site that brings all this together, be it informational, commercial or a bit of both.
As you define your purpose, you’ll want to think about what your desired conversion goals will be. When users visit your site, do you want them to make an appointment using an online form, download a white paper or purchase a product? Good web design will help guide the user through your website to a successful conversion.
The Goods: Your Critical Information
After you’ve narrowed down your website’s purpose, you’ll have a good start in determining the right type of information to include on your site. Regardless of purpose, all business websites should include its contact information, its location, directions via public transit or car and any other basic information. You’ll also need an “About Us” page that provides some background on your company and its history. Including social media profile icons is a good idea as well, so that users can easily share links on Facebook and Twitter. Depending on your company, you may want to also feature a company blog to cover news and updates, which will help drive traffic to your site.
The Power Source: Your Website Hosting Service
Once you develop a website plan, you’ll need to purchase a domain name—if you haven’t already—and select a small business hosting plan. A website host not only parks your website on its server, making it accessible to the world, but it makes sure the server is running and performs routine maintenance and security checks so that your website remains available. Web hosts also offer a number of different plans to choose from: shared server plans, which are inexpensive; dedicated server plans, which give you sole server use; and virtual private server (VPS) plans, which offer you a private silo on a shared server.
Researching, brainstorming and developing your first business website can be time consuming, but it will be time well spent. Once developed, your website will work for your business 24/7, driving conversions and accomplishing your main business goals.