How to Create Your First Business Website

As of January 2020 there were over 1.74 billion websites on the Internet.  That is a huge leap from 1991, when the first website was published. With over 4.42 billion users globally in 2020, this makes the World Wide Web one of the greatest inventions of the last few decades. 

Whether you are selling your products online, or simply want to provide some information about your business and your contact details, having a website is essential.

Today anyone can make a website, regardless of their technical skill level. In this guide you will learn why you should have a website and how to create it. 

What Is a Website

A website is a collection of related network web resources, such as web pages, multimedia content, which are typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server. This is what Wikipedia says, anyway.

In other words, it's what you see, when you open your browser and launch, for example, Facebook. Facebook is a great example of how the industry has changed since the first published website. Nowadays, the web isn't just made up of static text websites, but is rather more complex and dynamic with applications used by 4.2 billion users daily around the globe.

The year 2017 was the first time in history that global web access from smartphones exceeded 50%. This was an especially important milestone, as the first mass-produced smartphone, the iPhone, was introduced just 10 years prior to this, in 2007.

Share of traffic

Why Should You Have a Website

Bill Gates' Quote

Maybe you should ask yourself first, if your business needs a website. But the correct answer is yes. 

Consumer behavior has changed over time to adapt to the digital age. In 2019, the number of people going online to find a local business has jumped to 97 percent. If you want them to choose your company, you need to be traceable online = you need a website.

  • Your website can be available 24/7/365 even when you’re not
  • 81% of people research a business or service online before making a purchase decision
  • Save time by providing answers to common customer questions
  • Show your expertise through your website
  • Better opportunities to find right customers

North America has the highest penetration rate with 88.1% of its people using the internet. Meaning almost all your potential customers are online and you should be too.

Internet Usage


What Do You Need to Make a Website

Making a website nowadays is quite easy. Anyone can make a website, regardless of technical skill level. In this chapter I will cover the basics you need to create and run a website. 

1. Choose a Domain Name

A domain name is how your customers can find you. It's an address consisting of “www”, “unique name” and “TLD”. For example www.groost.com. There is no magic in choosing a great domain name, just follow these basic rules.

  • Try to be relevant to your business, so customers don't get confused.
  • Don't use generic words
  • If possible, don't use numbers, it can confuse your customers.
  • If you want (yes, you want) people to remember your website, it has to be short and clear.
  • Your name should be aligned with your other social media profiles.

If you are looking for a completely new name, try Deepnamer. To check its availability across social media platforms use Namechk.

How Much Does It Cost

Domains will cost you about $10-15 a year, depending on registrar and TLD (.com, .net, .co.uk, etc.). To register a domain we recommend Domain.com.

2. Set Up Web Hosting

Web hosting is an essential part of your website. Basically it's a place, where your website is placed and accessible to other internet users. There are many services providing web hosting on the internet. We can recommend Bluehost.com as one of the best solutions. Pricing starts at 4 USD per month.

3. Prepare Your Content

Content is what visitors will see. Be very careful when creating it, because content that is inauthentic, uninteresting or poorly made, can easily lead to customer loss. You might also want to consider hiring a professional to write and structure your content.

Always think about what customers want to know, not just what you want to tell them.

What Shouldn't Be Missed On a Business Website

  • Easy to find contact information
  • A clear and concise description of your business
  • Customers’ testimonials to build trust with web visitors

4. Build Your Website

If your domain and web hosting is set up, you can proceed to the creation process. You basically have 3 options…

  • Hire an agency or freelance web developer and build your website from the ground up
  • Setup existing CMS (WordPress) by yourself or with the help of a professional
  • Use one-of-many online website builders

Agency or Freelance Web Developer

Finding an agency that creates websites is simple. Finding an agency that creates good websites for a reasonable price is nearly impossible. To avoid confusion, I am not trying to say that hiring an agency is a bad idea. If you are running a complex project with a specific need, this is probably the right choice for you.

But if you are about to create your first website, you probably don't need anything special. Websites for you, just like ours at groost, fulfill the purpose of presenting provided services or products.

Advantages

  • You will get what you pay for
  • A website specially tailored for you
  • Fulfill a specific functionality that you want

Disadvantages

  • Very expensive to build custom integrations with other tools you are using
  • Expensive upgrades and changes in the future
  • Dependence on supplier

Setup Existing CMS (WordPress)

Content Management System is a software that helps users create, manage, and modify content on a website without the need for specialized technical knowledge. There are over 400 existing CMS's in the market, but you should focus on only one – WordPress.

WordPress is the most used CMS globally. It practically has no competition. Almost 52% of the entire Internet is running on WP. This system is an open source and has a strong user base.

Besides that, WordPress has the most widespread plugin database. This can add additional functionality to your website. With over 50,000 plugins you can build (almost) anything with WordPress: E-shop, reservation system, presentation website, sign-in section for customers, online courses system… For inspiration see this article from Creativebloq.

Advantages

  • Free to use
  • Dozens of consultants around the globe ready to help you with setup
  • 50,000+ of quality plugins
  • Strong user and support base
  • Great social media integration

Disadvantages

  • With many plugins it can be slow
  • Websites need maintenance and updates to stay secure
CMS Usage Distribution

Installation

Installation of WordPress is usually a one-click process. If you choose the right web hosting provider (Bluehost) you are able to install it in a single click. Web hosting is optimized for running WordPress, so you do not have to deal with server configuration and some similar complex settings.

Themes

WordPress theme directory contains 1,166 free-to-use templates. There are also many paid templates, that are priced around 50 USD. One of the largest databases for premium WordPress themes is Themeforest with around 9,000 themes ready to purchase.

Online Website Builders

The third option to use to create a website are online website builders. These tools work directly in browsers and allow you to build your own website. Its functionality might be limited, but that could also be an advantage.

Advantages

  • Very easy to use
  • Support included
  • No software to install
  • No technical knowledge needed

Disadvantages

  • Not always possible to add functions
  • Overall less flexibility, because you depend on a supplier
  • Not suitable for very complex projects that require a database

Squarespace

Squarespace

Overall, this is the best website builder. It is highly recommended throughout the web. Squarespace is focused on visual design.

Pricing: starting at 12 USD per month

Weebly

Weebly

This is the easiest-to-use website builder. Weebly has around 70 high-quality templates, the best solution for those, who don't feel comfortable with any digital tools. Its interface is straightforward and simple.

Pricing: starts at 5 USD per month (FREE with Weebly branded domain)

Webflow

Webflow

Webflow is a great tool for those who want to use a custom design. It's more of a design tool than a regular website builder.  Despite that, it has many features needed to build a website

Pricing: starts at 12 USD per month (editor can be used for free)

If you want to go deeper and learn more about builders, I recommend this comparison list.

Key Takeaways

  • A website is a way for you to communicate with your customers 24/7.
  • It helps you convey important information about your product or services.
  • It's a place where you can show your expertise.
  • It should consist of information about your business, contacts, customer testimonials, products, etc.
  • You don't have to hire an expensive agency to run your website.
  • There are many, even free, online website builders on the web.

I hope this guide has helped you understand why your business needs a website and what you need to create it. Don't forget to put your website link in your social media profiles, email signature and business cards. 😎

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.