How To Build A Professional Website for Your Startup/SME For Less Than £50
I’ve been meaning to write this one for a while now. Lots of people who are starting a business struggle with the idea of building their first professional website. A lot go down the Squarespace route which leaves business owners with little control of future change and cost lots of money which, (if things don’t go according to plan) can leave them tied into a contract they can’t afford.
After reading this article you will be able to setup a Hosting account, acquire your .com/.net/.co.uk domain name, build your site on WordPress and acquire the skills to design your page/blog as you wish with a list of resources to turn to if you get stuck.
We will be building this site on a system called WordPress. WordPress is a CMS (content management system) which allows you to alter the site on a back-end without having to write code and alter hosting files. The themes available are all responsive also which means your site will work on Smartphones and iPad. WordPress is one of the easiest and most popular website platforms and the backbone of over 60 million web pages throughout the web. Companies that use WordPress include:
As you can see it’s a pretty trusted platform and used by businesses throughout the world.
Before we delve into the actual website itself we must first build the system as it were that it sits on (where all those back-end files live) this is on a server. The server is basically a computer which is hosted by a hosting company and in this case we will be using Godaddy.
Why use Godaddy when there are many hosting companies?
Firstly, I’ve used Godaddy for 4 years to host all my websites. I took out an ultimate subscription for £6.49*/month but if you’re just planning a single site there is Economy package for £2.99*/month.
*prices reflect deals available when writing this post.
Now you can get hosting for as little as 1 dollar a month but I can confirm the services and help available considering you’re most likely new are nil compared to a more established hosting companies. Also Google when doing SEO (Click here for more on Search Engine Optimisation) don’t value un-established hosting as highly, and your marketing capabilities can be affected by this.
Setting up you Hosting
To setup your hosting, first we are going to go to www.godaddy.com
and click on Hosting in the top left corner and click web hosting again which will take you here:
Now as discussed before you can pick your plan. Here outlines the options and I can only say you can pick the best one for your needs. If you intend to have just one website account I’d go for the Economy to watch those pennies but if you want added email and maybe support sites to go along with your main site I’d go for the Deluxe or Ultimate depending on quite how hardcore you intend to be in your site building endeavors.
Now select your term, i always find 1 year to be enough:
and select your options. SSL certificate is viewed highly to google so of all of these i would only recommend that. None of these are a necessity but only the SSL certificate would make a difference, if your cash strapped then keep these options to a minimum
Here we can buy our domain.
Pick what you want and the available options will be presented as follows:
All the suffix styles should be there unless you went for something like internet.com which will either not be available or will cost a fortune. Some new ones including .business and .uk etc will be available. Your site doesn’t have to be .com/.net/.org any more but i find this established endings can add an element of ‘prestige’ to your brand.
The next phase will lumber you with lots of options and you could be thinking ‘how much?’ but we can deal with this.
If too expensive, reduce the term of your hosting and remove the SSL option. You also don’t have to make the domain private as your probably not a diplomat or anything like that. In doing this you’ll have to subscribe to the new domain but it is cheaper and relatively no more than a good meal, which we buy without thinking but hey, your business should give back more.
Much more affordable.
Now upon doing this, go to checkout and purchase. You’ll have to setup (if you haven’t already) a Godaddy account where you can just sign in with Facebook.
Understanding the back-end and setting up your WordPress page.
Under ‘my products’ of your account select hosting.
Click on manage and you will be taken to the Control Panel (C-Panel) this is were we control our space on the server and build our page from. It should look like this:
Here you can see the file section at the top which we won’t be touching. Instead you will want to scroll down to this bit:
You will want to addon your domain. Click on the icon under Domains and you’ll come to here:
This basically links your new domain to your c-panel.Simply type in your new domain on the top line and it’ll automatically fill in the rest. Click Add domain and proceed back to c-panel by pressing home on the top left in the green menu.
To setup our Wordress site click on the WordPress icon.
Here we find the install application button which installs WordPress to the server. Click this and you’ll be given an option of which domain to use. Click as appropriate.
To the setup page you should have your domain on the top tab. Delete the word blog from the next tab like so:
Scroll down leaving everything as it is until you get to your admin info (this’ll be the login for the administrator (you) to the back-end of your WordPress site).
Do not set your login name to ‘Admin’ as everyone does. Hackers will use this to bombard your site with password software to get in. Setting the login as ‘admin’ will make this easier and trust me this sort of attack is a pain but can be fixed (i’ll be posting about this shortly).
Upon doing this click install and wait for your page to be created
Building your WordPress Site
Click the yourwebsite.com/wp-admin link and login to your WordPress back-end.
This is your dashboard and were you will build your site.
The first thing to do is go to the Plugins tab on the left.
Click ‘add new’ via the search and install and activate the following plugins:
XML sitemaps (this will notify the search engines when your website is updated).
Wordfence Security (this allows you to scan and protect your site for viruses or malicious attacks).
Jetpack by wordpress.com (this is a really good wordpress tool that allows for stats and many other handy things).
Google Analytics (enables google analytics tracking on all web pages which means no copy and pasting code from google Analytics – a post on what this is coming soon)
And your done here. Depending on what you intend to do with your site in more detail there will no doubt be a plugin to suit your needs. Whenever you need something (be that a graphics, fonts or popups for example, Google it and ask for the WordPress plugin. Simply type that plugin into the search and add it. Be sure to check the star rating and how many downloads for the best plugin.
The next phase is setting the style of your page or ‘theme’ as its know. For this go to ‘Appearance’ and ‘Themes’:
Click ‘add new’ to browse the hundreds of free themes for your page. Pick whats best, Activate and Install.
By clicking on the name and ‘view site’ in the top left you shall now be able to see your site beginning to look like a website. You can see what you like and don’t like and we can now look into making the changes and building the content up.
For example you might want to adjust the header. You can do this by going to ‘Appearance’ and ‘Customize’ in the left hand menu of the dashboard. Depending on the Theme you have picked, the developers will have allowed for many changes in the customize menu. Here you can make changes live without saving if your not happy like so:
After making these adjustments click ‘Save and Publish’.
Now to look at widgets. Widgets are what make up the columns on either side of the page (in this case the right hand side and the footer for example). Under ‘Appearance go to ‘widgets’ were you’ll end up here:
Here the options on the left can be floated into the boxes on the right which are the positions on the site. For example I could click on calendar and move it to ‘Primary Widget area’ which would put it on the right hand side of your site. Most themes have widgets built in for your Facebook page you simply upload. You can also google ‘Facebook websites html’ and copy the code into a Text widget and place where you need. The text widgets are probably the best as they are most flexible when you learn about of HTML. To lean HTML you can’t go wrong with w3schools you don’t have to learn paragraphs, but the odd line of HTML will help especially when adding pictures/hyperlinks etc to widgets.
The next phase is adding an about page (or pages in general) an about page and a terms of conditions page are more things that will improve your SEO and Google is fond of them. To do this we must go to the ‘Page’ tab on the dashboard menu and click ‘add new’.
Here you add your page title and content. As you can see you have a text editing tool which can be updated via the plugins (add new) but for now the standard tool works and via ‘add media’ you can add pictures. Their is a tab for writing pages in ‘text’ but you won’t need that. Just add and edit content in ‘visual’ as if your were building the page in a word document and publish. The new page should appear in the standard menu already prepared in WordPress and you’re done. Click publish and marvel at your new page via here again:
The next bit will be adding main content or ‘Posts’ to your front page or ‘Home page’. To do this we must click on ‘Posts’ on the left hand menu of you dashboard and click ‘Add new’. The layout will be familiar as it’s the same as the pages layout we’ve just covered.
Write you post as you did before in the page part. Each post will be given a URL (web address connected to you site which you can editeg: http://bizvinci.com/accounting-and-bookkeeping/simple-explanation-of-double-entry-accounting/ and the post will automatically appear on your homepage as an article for your readers to see.
Once you’ve done this, write out the post title and the content. You can save the page as a draft and preview as a draft before uploading via the menu in the right column:
And there you have it. You should now be able to get hosting and build a wordpress website with your own domain. After doing this and uploading i would advise to play around with everything before showing all your friends/clients/customers. Get acquainted with the system (which won’t take long) and soon enough you’ll be lending advice to your friends and sharing this article and your very own.
Further Reading – Click On Each Book For More Info! (via amazon.com)
If you liked this, please follow the BizVinci Facebook page in the left column (scroll below if on a phone). Like, Share and you can follow me on instagram @petermears1987. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. Cheers!