It’s 2020, so yes, your business does need a website. The bad news is that getting a website built for you can be cost-prohibitive if you don’t have a healthy marketing budget. But he good news is, websites are not hard to make or maintain if you have the right tools. This handy guide will walk you through the ins-and-outs of how to create a website for a business, even if you have no technical or website building experience.
In this guide, we are talking about using Bluehost and WordPress to build your brand new business website because this is an affordable combination that gives you control over the overall look and feel of your website. While we are just covering the technical side of website creating today, keep your eyes peeled for more in-depth guides on creating content for your website and how to use it as a blog!
- How to Create a Website for a Business in 8 Steps
- Need help creating website content?
How to Create a Website for a Business in 8 Steps
I highly suggest that new business owners use WordPress to create their website because it gives you the freedom and control over your content. Platforms like Wix and Squarespace create nice looking websites, but their usability is restricted based on the parameters that they set out.
For example, Squarespace creates nice looking websites that can be great for small business retailers or those with product sales (though, realistically I’d suggest Shopify for that) but they aren’t that great for blogging. And Wix creates great blogs, but they’re not as versatile for those of us that want to end up selling products.
WordPress is great because you can tailor your website to look how you want it to. Plus, once you get the hang of it, it’s really not that complex to use it. Seriously, if I can do it, you can do it. So, let’s get started setting up your new WordPress website!
Step #1. Choose your hosting plan
While you can use WordPress on its own, their self-hosted sites are really for casual bloggers and those just wanting to make a simple website with no business purpose.
If you want to create a website for your business or a blog that you intend to make money, you need a third-party host. For new entrepreneurs and beginner bloggers, I recommend Bluehost because it’s cheap.
Once you have a large amount of traffic coming in (probably a few years down the line) you’ll want to switch to something more heavy-duty. But at that time you’ll presumably have the money to bring a professional on board to help you out (and you should). In the meantime, Bluehost is perfect.
When it comes to choosing your hosting plan, most of us will gravitate towards the “basic” plan which comes in at $3.95 USD per month if you pay for the entire year. And while this is a fine choice, there are the following restrictions on the account:
You can only have ONE domain. This might be perfect for your business, and it might not be. It depends on your future goals. If in the future you’re planning on having a separate blog or personal website, I can tell you from experience that hosing everything in the same area is WAY easier. Currently, the hosting account that runs TaeHaahr.com (through Bluehost), also manages the website for The Lady Dicks and Hello Taee. And we do this all for under $10 per month.
You can only have FIVE emails for your domain. While this might sound like a lot, it does bring up a slight privacy concern depending on who can access what because you’ll likely want to go with generic emails like firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com. That means that everyone with access to the payroll email can see all of the email’s contents. Note that even with separate emails, the person who owns the hosting account can almost always access all email accounts.
You have a maximum of 50 GB of website space. This means that you’ll want to house the largest assets for your website elsewhere and link them through. For example, host videos on YouTube and not directly on your site. Honestly, this is probably what you should do anyway considering the direct hosting of large files like your trailer will make the website significantly slower to load. But 50 GB adds up faster than you think, so factor that in.
Step #2. Connect your domain
Your domain is the address that people type in to access your website. It’s important that this is easy to remember and not too complex to spell. The shorter the better, but realistically shorter URLs are more expensive so go with something in your budget that works for your brand.
- The domain of this blog is taehaahr.com
- The domain for my fashion blog is www.hellotaee.com
- The domain for The Lady Dicks, our comedic paranormal history podcast is www.theladydicks.com
Each of these domains is easy to remember and type into a search engine. More importantly, they are on-brand. As a side note, all of these are WordPress / Bluehost websites, so feel free to check them out.
If you already own a domain you’ll want to enter it into the “I have a domain” box. If you are opening a new website and have no domain, you can get your FREE domain during your signup with Bluehost.
Step #3. Complete the sign-in process
Once you choose your Bluehost plan, you’ll be prompted to enter your account information. It’s pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t walk you through how to fill out your name, address or email.
Then you need to fill in your payment information. Also self-explanatory!
And, finally, choose your password. Also self-explanatory! ? Once your password is picked simply log in to your brand new account.
If you don’t love Bluehost’s options, we also recommend SiteGround. Their web hosting also starts at $3.95 per month. Along with hosting, they also offer managed WordPress hosting, cloud hosting and WooHoo Commerce hosting.
Step #3. Pick your WordPress theme
The theme is what dictates what your website looks like. For example, the theme for TaeHaahr.com is called “Blossom Chic” and it dictates how the front page looks, the fonts and colours we use, and how you navigate the website.
There are free themes through WordPress and paid themes. The paid ones are typically more versatile and you can change more about them. I recommend starting with a free theme and trying a few out before you spend any additional money.
Your theme can be changed at ANY time. So, once you find one that you love if you find that you’d like to change more about it, you can visit the vendor page for the theme to first make sure that you can modify what you want to, and then make a purchase directly from them.
At first, you’ll only have a few theme options. Pick the one that resonates the most with you, you can later change your theme by visiting Appearance > Themes inside the Dashboard.
Step #4. Login to your new website
With your new theme picked out and the basics of your website (on WordPress’ end) set up, it’s time to log in to your brand new website with the information you just created.
Step #5. Do some basic set-up
Once you’re inside the WordPress Dashboard, you’ll be prompted to walk through a set-up wizard. Choose between Business and Personal, and WordPress will help you set up the very basics of your website.
Step #6. Find the Bluehost tools
You can access Bluehost tools through either your Bluehost account or directly inside your WordPress website by visiting the Bluehost tab on the right-hand panel inside your dashboard.
Step #6. Build a page
You can add your first Page by selecting Page > Add New on your Dashboard panel. We’ll go over the difference between pages and posts in another blog post in more detail, but as a general rule, you want your pages to be filled with content that doesn’t change often.
Step #7. Create a post
Similarly, you create a blog post by visiting Post > Add New in your Dashboard panel. Post content is the constantly rotating content on your page. For example, on TaeHaahr.com, our About content is a page, but this post that you’re reading right now is a post.
Step #8. Launch your site
You probably won’t want to launch your website on the first day because it will have no content, so it’s important to note that you can keep a “coming soon” page on as log as you want to.
When you’re ready you can turn off the “coming soon” page by visiting Settings > General then scrolling to the heading at the bottom that says “Bluehost Coming Soon Page” and turn it to Off.
Need help creating website content?
Website content can be challenging to create. What do you talk about? When should you publish? What do people want to read about RIGHT NOW?
It can be a whirlwind when you have so many balls that you’re trying to keep up in the air. Thankfully, we can help. We create compelling website content that your audience will love. A little taste of what we help with includes:
- SEO-friendly blog content
- Editorial calendars
- Landing pages
- Online bios, service pages and other sales information
If you’re sick of pulling your hair out trying to stay on track with your content, then reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help!
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