You can spend a lot of money building a business website. This post will show you how you can get something simple up and running very quickly without spending a fortune or employing anyone.
A Cheap Small Business Website?
If you follow this post, you can get yourself up and running for $60 a year in total (under £40 today).
For this money you will have:
- A small business website that you can update yourself whenever you want
- A web domain eg. my-new-domain.com
- As many email addresses as you want eg. [email protected]
Getting Started With Your Small Business Website
The first thing you need to do is setup your web hosting (web your website is stored) and domain name (see above).
This is the only thing that you need to pay for and there are a number of companies that offer this.
We recommend Bluehost as it is cheap and simple to install WordPress (which is what you will be using later). At the time of writing it costs $4.95 per month if you sign up for 3 years and $6.95 per month for a 12 month contract).
There is no need to buy any extras eg Backup systems as this can all be done for free using WordPress.
Just make sure that you don’t enter any directory so you will be able to access the website at www.your-domain-name.com , not www.your-domain-name.com/some-directory
Also, please make sure to use a very strong password!
Setting Up WordPress For Your Small Business Website
Once WordPress has been installed, you should be able to go to www.your-domain-name.com in your web browser and see something like this:
This is great but it doesn’t look much like a Small Business Website…
Logging in To WordPress
To make any changes to your WordPress site, you need to first login. You can do this by going to www.your-domain-name.com/wp-admin and logging in with your username and password.
Once you are logged in, you will see your WordPress dashboard:
Making Some Pages on Your Small Business Website
On your dashboard, on the left hand menu, hover over Pages and then click Add New.
In the title box, type “Home” (without the quotes) and then type some words in the big box (this is where the content of the page goes).
On the right hand-side of the page, from the Template drop down box, choose Front Page Template and then click Publish (also on the right hand side):
You will see a message telling you that the page has been published.
Follow the same process to make an About Us page (but do not choose the Front Page Template).
Also, create a Blog and a Contact Us Page but don’t add any content in them (just enter the page title).
Organising The Pages
If you look at your website now, it should look something like this:
All of your pages are there but it’s a bit of a mess.
So, let’s organise them…
Go back to your Dashboard and hover over Tools (bottom on the left). Choose Reading
You can then tell WordPress what your Front Page and Posts Page is.
Choose to display a Static Page and then choose Home for the Front Page and Blog for the Posts Page and click Save Changes
Creating a Menu
You can manage what order the page names are displayed in (and which are shown) by making a menu.
In the Dashboard, hover over Appearance and choose Menu.
Give the menu a name – something like Main Menu and click Save Menu. On the left hand side, now choose Main Menu (or whatever you called it) in the Theme Locations box and click Save:
You can now add all of the pages to the menu.
In the Pages box on the left hand side, tick Home, About Us, Blog and Contact Us and click Add to Menu. You can then drag and drop them into the order you want and click Save Menu:
If you now go back and look at your site, you will see something like this:
A lot cleaner and starting to get there!
Adding Some Colour
Go back to the Dashboard, hover over Appearance and choose Header.
There you will find options for a header image and the text colour in your header. You will need a big image – you could try http://www.freeimageslive.com/
You can then set the colour of text as you please. Here is an example:
This is where you can get creative!
Your Site Name and Slogan
You might also want to change your site name and slogan (shown at the top on the left). You can do this by hovering over Settings in your Dashboard and choosing General.
Adding a Contact Form
Your site will look more professional with a Contact Form on your Contact Us page. The easiest way to do this in WordPress is by installing a free plugin.
From your Dashboard, hover over plugins and click Add New.
In the search box type “Contact Form 7″ (without the quotes). And then click Install Now next to Contact Form 7.
Once the plugin is installed, click Activate Plugin
You will see that you then have a new menu item on the left hand side of your Dashboard – Contact. Click on Contact and you will see that you already have a Contact Form setup – Contact Form 1:
You can do a great deal with Contact Forms but for the purposes of this tutorial, we are just going to use this standard form.
You will see that the form has a Shortcode (something like [contact-form-7 id=”16″ title=”Contact form 1″] ).
You need to highlight this and copy it.
Then you need to go back and find your Contact Us page under the pages menu and edit the page.
Paste the shortcode into the content of the page and then Update the page:
If you then View the page, you will see something like this:
Starting A Blog
It is very easy to blog using WordPress. Each blog “story” is called a post. To add a new one, simply hover over Posts in the dashboard and click Add New.
Every blog story you add will now appear on the Blog page.
There is a lot more that you can do with WordPress – the options are pretty much limitless.
We can help you get your site to the next level, get in touch with us and we can:
- Help you transform your basic small business website into a professional looking site using our WordPress website design service
- Improve your Google ranking and get you more business
- Show you how to convert your website traffic into sales
Tell Us What you Think
Was this tutorial helpful? Could we focus more on anything else? Is there anything we missed out that you need?
Add your comments below – we would love to hear from you.