Nowadays, running a business without an online presence is like preventing yourself from achieving your goals. It will be surprising to know that you do not have a website or even a Facebook account when it is just easy to set up one.
Keep in mind that your target customers are using the internet to find businesses like yours, as well as the products that you offer. So, if your business is invisible during this research phase, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities to drive sales.
That said, here are some quick tips on you can start a website for your startup:
1. Know Your Website’s Purpose
Your website is not just there as a display. Thus, before you decide on having one, you need to take its purpose into consideration. This includes knowing how having a website can help achieve your business goals.
That way, you can determine how your website should function. As Erin Pheil of Followbright puts it, you have to make it easy for your website visitors to accomplish their tasks.
For example, you want to make it easy for your international customers to buy your products. Then you might want to consider having an online store. From there, you can start creating layouts and wireframes on how you would want your website to look like.
Doing so gives you an insight on what functionalities you will need, such as payment gateways, in order for your website to work.
2. Have a Website Layout
Since you now know what will be the purpose of your website, you may start imagining how you would want it to look like. This includes the pages that you will need for your website like the Homepage, About Us, and Contact Us.
You can start with paper and pencil, use online drawing tools, or ‒ if you are tech-savvy ‒ work on a wireframe. Otherwise, you can seek the help of a professional website designer.
What’s cool about the latter is that they can handle the UX/UI part of your web design. This is also something that we do at Sytian Website Developer Philippines to ensure that your website can be as intuitive as possible. Not to mention that it should be able to provide excellent user experience to your website visitors.
Also, during this stage, you might want to start weighing in which content management system (CMS) to use. Simply put, a CMS is a dashboard that allows you to update your website’s content.
So, which CMS should you use? That will depend on your technical knowledge, budget, and the complexity of your website:
- WordPress: According to W3Techs, WordPress powers 35.1% of websites globally. This is not surprising since it has user-friendly tools and plugins available. Not to mention that it comes with mobile-friendly themes.
- Joomla: This CMS allows you to create and manage dynamic websites. Some recommend Joomla if you want to start an e-commerce website, a membership website, or when you have a lot of content to manage.
- Drupal: Ideal if you are an experienced web developer. That’s because it requires at least basic knowledge in HTML in order to publish content.
3. Claim Your Domain Name
This is pretty easy if you already have an existing business. In fact, you can get this one while creating a layout for your website. After all, you just need to claim a domain name that is similar to your business’s name.
On the other hand, you should carefully think of your domain name because (1) you will be paying for it, (2) you will have to use it for at least a year, and (3) it can impact your branding strategy.
Here are some quick tips:
- Make it easy to remember and type
- Go for the .com
- Make sure it does not bring any copyright issues
- Keep it short and simple
4. Choose a Reliable Web Host
Your website will not be available online without a server. This is where web host providers come in. It is like hardware for your website, wherein you get to store all of your content.
There are also different types of web hosting services, but here are some of the most common:
- Shared Hosting. Refers to a hosting service wherein your website will be stored on the same server as another website. Ideal if you have very limited budget but it comes with a lot of risks.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting. A type of hosting service wherein your website “virtually” owns a server that is shared with other sites. Ideal if you want more control over your web host but do not need a dedicated server.
- Dedicated Server Hosting. This is when your website is the only one hosted on the server. Ideal if you want control over your server and you have the budget.
But before you jump in on the cheapest web host that you can find, there are factors you need to consider when choosing a web hosting company. Having an unreliable website can also be detrimental to your search engine optimization efforts and your business’s bottom line.
Hence, it is important that you weigh in on multiple hosting companies before deciding where you would like to host your website.
5. Develop and Design Your Website
Now that you have everything set up, you are now ready to make your website layout materialize.
You can choose to DIY or tap website design professionals like for help. Regardless, your website should be able to make a first good impression.
Meaning, it should load fast (especially if a user is accessing your website through his mobile), must be mobile responsive, and allows your site visitor to accomplish his task with ease.
You should also take note that your website must look clean. Clutter is one reason site visitors get turned off, and you would not want that for your business.
6. Test and Launch It
Once your website is up and looking dandy, your next move is to test it.
Check whether all links are working and redirecting you to the right web page. Are the images and videos on your site loading properly? Are you receiving the messages from the contact form on your website?
Also, check how your website looks like on tablet and on mobile while connected on a stable Internet connection and while using your mobile data. You should also try posting some of your blog posts on social media to see how they look like.
Once everything is done and looking fine, you are now ready to launch your website.
About the Author – Kenneth Sytian is the Owner and CEO of Sytian Productions Website Developer Philippines. He has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is the driving force behind the company and influencer in the industry of web design and development in the Philippines.