How can I setup a website for my business is a question I get asked a lot. If you have a real world business you may know that you need to have an online presence, you may even realise that its the cheapest form of advertising you can buy. If money is no object then I can assure that you can spend thousands on getting a custom designed website. A website that may not rank well in the search engines, so your potential customers will never find you. I strongly suggest that instead you invest a little time and a lot less money and setup your own website. There are three steps:
- buy your domain name;
- buy some hosting for your website;
- install and configure WordPress for that site.
But WordPress is for blogging you say? Well no its not – WordPress is just a tool which you can use to create a blog, a static website, a portfolio page or an online resume. In the same way you can can chose to use Microsoft Word to write the next great Australian novel, or the shopping list. Its just a tool.
Buying Your Domain Name
Many small businesses will automatically think that their domain name should be TomBrownPainter.com if they happen to be a painter called Tom Brown – that’s not a bad choice, but you may actually want to consider a more SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly url around “painter” and any other skills you might have and the local area you serve. PainterDecoratorMyTown.com or MyTownHousePainter.com may be better. Don’t worry – you don’t have to build separate websites for all of them. You can point all of your domains to your main website and each domain will cost you less than $10 year.
Buying Hosting for Your Business Website
You may be offered a free domain with your hosting – I’ve explained before about hosting scams. Domains are cheap, hosting is cheap don’t try to go with the more dubious options of free.
Chose a host which includes something called “fantastico” on its feature list – a good webhost like Hostgator will do so. Using fantastico its only a couple of clicks to install the software – and you are ready to start making WordPress your own by installing some useful extensions to the software – called plugins.
You will also need to chose a theme which controls how your website looks – but that is a whole different post!