We see people ask all the time, “I’m a Small Business – Do I need a Website?”
The answer is YES!
“but I have a Facebook Page”
The answer is still YES!
Seriously, I can not think of a business that does not need a website, even if it just has the contact details and opening hours. So many businesses have missed out on sales because I could find their contact details easily.
Why do I need a website?
Most people when they are looking for a product or service, jump on Google (or similar search engines) and try to find a business to help them. They may know your business name, they might not, but they need to find someone.
You might be a concretor or make cakes, and think, I don’t have anything to fill a website, but even having a basic 1-2 page website, gives you a chance to be found. Yes, some Facebook pages will show in a Google Search, but I have found too often, either only 1 shows, (could be your competitor) or the contact details are incorrect on a Facebook listing. If you have a website listing and your Facebook page showing in the search listing, this doubles the chance of you being contacted.
Doesn’t a Website cost $1000’s to build and is complicated?
No, a website can be very simple to build and cost very little, depending on the functionality you need.
Now you are starting to think about the possibility of having a website, start to think what features you might need, eventually. This can help save money in the long run, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t think of something.
A concretor is not likely to need an e-commerce platform, however, a cake maker might add this down the track to either sell ready made cakes, course or to make a booking for a wedding cake.
What features are available?
There are many features and functionality available for your new website, and the exact feature list will affect the price.
Here is a list of features to consider:
- Basic Business Details – Contacts etc (Must have)
- Photo Gallery – Showing past work can help show what you can do.
- FAQ – Do you spend a lot of time answering the same questions?
- Links to social media – Where else can people find you
- E-commerce – Do you need to sell directly online?
- Any Conditions of Sale – Terms or Refund policies
- Email Newsletter Sign up
- Showcase Videos
I just want the basics, where do I start?
You can get a web developer to create you a website, we even help you create a basic website if you need, but it really can be easier than you think to create a website.
There are free options, I wouldn’t recommend them, but I recommend a basic host, a branded domain and a WordPress website.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that takes care of the complicated coding of a website. WordPress powers approximately 25% of all websites on the web so it is well established and can be trusted. The most important thing is to keep everything up to date to ensure your website is secure.
We explain the basic elements of a website in the resource section so won’t go into it all again.
When it comes to the domain there are many options. I recommend for small businesses based in Australia to get a .com.au domain that is tied to your business name. www.businessname.com.au is the best option unless you truly are a global brand. You can get both the .com and the .com.au domains and link them to the .com.au website. This helps show customers that you are an Australian Business. To Register a .com.au Domain name, it must be tied to your business name and you must have an ABN.
There are many places to register a domain name, and the price will vary. Don’t be scammed by places charging $79+ per year. We Recommend GoDaddy for domains and a .com.au is registered 2 years at a time and will cost approx $16.99 / year.
You then need somewhere for your website to live and that is where website hosting comes in. Again there are many options that vary considerably in cost. When you start to build a large e-commerce site, you may need to consider the features of your host but for now, a basic Shared Hosting service will be fine. All my sites started on a shared host, this means that multiple websites are all run from the single server, therefore reducing the cost of the host. We Recommend Bluehost for website hosting and discounts apply for your first year with ongoing cost approx us$7.99/month.
You can then install WordPress on your shared hosting. This is the basic code to build your website, once installed you can easily access the backend of your website and begin to build your website. The first page you will have is your Home Page, this is where the most important information can live. The Next page you should create is an About Us Page which will introduce the business and who is behind it. The third page you should create is a Contact Page which has all the contact details so people can get in contact with you.
Theme – Optional
When you install WordPress a basic free theme is included which will get you up and running. The theme is the look and feel of the site. This basic theme is updated yearly so you can update the look yearly for free, or stick with the same look. If you decide you want to change the look from the basic theme and would like to pay for a theme, we recommend buying from ThemeForest. They have many themes to choose from and the average cost is approx us$50.
Branded Email Address
One of my pet peeves and I feel is very unprofessional is an email address firstname.lastname@example.org or worst @yahoo.com, do they even still exist? Now you have your domain name, you can very easily create a branded email address. We use email@example.com for some businesses or if we want something more personal firstname.lastname@example.org. This looks so much more professional than a free address and the best part, you can create this for free with your Bluehost account. Bluehost can host your emails and you can access them through Outlook on your computer or via the mail app on your phone. If you prefer the features and usability of Gmail, you can have your new branded email address hosted with G Suite for approx $5/month. Contact us for a discount code to save 20% off your first year.
What if I get stuck?
I hope you can see that it can be easier and cheaper then you may think to get a website online for your business. If you get stuck or decide you would like us to set this up for you to run yourself, feel free to contact us. We love working with small businesses to help them succeed.
Note: Some links on this page, may be affiliate links meaning we may make a small commition at no additional cost to you. Thank you for the support.