How to Start a Company Website?
Want to learn how to start a website for your company? In this step-by-step guide, I will help you build a professional company website.
In 21th century it is not a new fact that all companies must have a website, but according to researches, only 71% of them have real websites. If you have a company and want to establish your online presence, you made a good decision!
Let’s go through the necessary steps to have a good and well performing website.
Step 1: Find a Good Domain Name
A good domain name is a must have element of an online strategy. People will read that domain name; they will also remember and use it. It should be unique, smart and related to your business. Here are few rules of thumb to avoid mines:
The simpler name you use, the easier will be to remember
Avoid using special characters, like dashes, since they will confuse your visitors who won’t remember where exactly the dashes were used. Using domain names with one or more dashes will also make you a target, since your competitors can easily register domain versions without dashes.
Location related names perform better in search engines
If your business is related to a special area, add the location name to your business name too. This will help search engines understand your area of services and will deliver you super targeted users for free. For example, if you have a bakery in Brixton, you can use bakerybrixton.com or brixtonbakery.com as well.
Domain names are not for fun
It may be a good idea to use numbers instead of letters or words, like b3tt3r.com or go2home.com but many of your customers won’t understand the joke. And even if they will, later they won’t recognize exactly where the funny part was added to your domain name and won’t be able to re-call your exact URL. Try to use only classic letters and words in your name.
Use classic TLDs
There are hundreds of top level domain names on the market, like .academy or .art but they are not so common and mainly elderly people won’t know that they are independent domain endings. By choosing a domain name like mysite.art you will have the risk that people will recognize your name as mysiteart.com and even as mysite.com or mysite.us. Choose the classic domain endings like .com, .net or .org, or country related TLDs like .us, .de or .uk.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to set the renew option on. Some domain registrars offer a grace period when you can renew the expired domain names, but the price of this can be easily ten times higher than the original purchase price. And in some cases, there is no grace period, so any strangers can take over your domain name and your well known domain name will be lost.
We recommend: BlueHost
We recommend BlueHost for domain registration, since it has an easy to use interface to manage domain names, including changing the DNS servers and more. The company offers auto renewal, so domain names can be protected from accidental expiration.
Another useful tool for domain safety is the domain lock feature. By activating it, the domain will be protected from unauthorized transfers. One of BlueHost’s strongest parts is the support department; the domain and storage experts are available 7/24. Users can reach the pros via phone, email or chat.
Step 2: Find out Which Hosting Type You Need
Your website will need storage too, so you should purchase a web hosting package. There are literally tens of thousands of providers on the internet, but only a few dozens of them are really good.
The biggest trap you can fall into is the price of hosting, usually the cheapest web hosting providers give you bad or almost unreachable customer support, system halts and other annoying problems. Try to choose a reliable provider with many user recommendations!
You should also choose which type of hosting you need; there are different levels from starter to pro. The most basic type is shared hosting, where you get a piece of storage on a whole server and a control panel which you can use for administration.
When your site becomes bigger and it serves more visitors, you will need to switch to more advanced storage types, for example VPS, where you get bigger resources to serve bigger traffic. The ultimate solution is a dedicated server, where you will own a whole physical machine to work behind your site.
Because we are talking now about a starter website, it is ideal to choose shared hosting. It will solve your storage problem with low cost and send off your site on its way.
Pro tip: If you purchase web storage for longer period, you may get discount or even free domain name as advantage.
We recommend: BlueHost
As BlueHost is a strong market member of domain registrations, a valuable member of hosting market as well. They offer 3 shared hosting packages for customers, full of features and assets.
The Basic package can be a home of one website, giving a huge 50 GB space for files. The bandwidth is unmetered, and users can add 5 email accounts to the package. Its price with free SSL certification starts from $2.95/month.
The Plus package has almost no limits, can hold unlimited number of websites, giving unlimited storage with unlimited bandwidth. BlueHost added a $200 value of marketing offers, and spam protection is also included for the monthly $5.95 price.
The Choice Plus package has the same price as Plus, starting from $5.95. It has all assets that the smaller package has, but contains free domain privacy and CodeGuard Basic site backup service.
We recommend BlueHost since it is reliable, has name on the market and provides good shared hosting packages at really low prices. No traps, no fake offers, click here to see the shared hosting offers of BlueHost!
Step 3: Get a Good Logo
Your website will need a good logo, too. People think sometimes that logos are simple design element, but you should avoid this type of thinking. Your logo is the key element of your website; it shows the essence of your company values, thinking and key tasks. By having it in low quality, it will show that your company also is a low value entity and will frighten the customers.
It is possible that you already have a logo for your company and it performs well on printed materials or other real life elements. Don’t forget to consult with a designer in order to see, how the logo will act on the website. We highly recommend hiring a logo design from 99Designs. On this website you can get high quality logo designs.
The other elements of site should also follow the colors and style of logo, and this task needs a real pro designer person.
Pro tip: It is vital to have the logo in different file formats and dimensions. Ask the designer to make simple file versions like .jpg or .png among with designer or printer shop related formats like .psd or .ai.
Step 4: Create Your Website
The final step of having a working website is the creation of site. There are many ways to going through on this section, you can ask a programmer to code the layout, use any of free or paid Content Management Systems or use any of online web site creating tools.
Hiring a programmer
Making a custom website with unique layout is not recommended for starter websites. Not just because programming is an expensive thing, but there are many wrong programmers on the market. If you don’t have any coding experience, then it is very difficult to find out which programmer is good and which is not.
Website coding is not just about copying the draft and applying it on a live site, it is about making good code behind the front end. By making wrong code, your website will be slow which deters your customers and gives you a penalty in Google. The slower your website, the more customers you will lose.
So, unless you are not a programmer or have a friend who is, skip the idea of a making unique website and try the other solutions.
Pro tip: If you hire a programmer, always test his or her references with such online testers, like Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom Website Speed Test.
Using online website creators
There are many services on the Internet that allow users to create a website online. Most of them also provide web storage and use a subscription pricing model. There are also free services, but they display their own ads on your website and don’t give you a chance to remove them, unless you pay an extra fee.
These advanced creators usually come with in-built templates, so you can choose a layout based on your company’s profile or style. After you chose one, you can customize it with drag and drop tools. This mean that you can freely add new sections, rows and columns, and special elements like forms, boxes, texts, images, videos and more.
In most website creators you can apply custom CSS code, so you can modify the website’s style. The best providers also give you video tutorials or even paid support for customization. Having such a website can be a good idea, so if you’re happy with the assets you give, you can start your website. However, there is an even better solution; WordPress.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to save your customization if you edit an in-built template. Otherwise an internet connection problem can totally ruin your work and you can start the whole work over.
WordPress in a free and open-source Content Management System (CMS) that you can use to build your website. Two facts describe its popularity: 31% of the websites use WordPress as their CMS. The software was downloaded by 60 million people so far. It is developed continuously and can be set up in a minute.
WordPress is the ideal choice for starting your website; even the cheaper shared hosting will be good to host an instance of it. Installing WordPress needs only some database and storage knowledge, but many providers have an installation team, sometimes for free. And even better, there are 1-click solutions in hosting providers’ assets, what install WordPress with only few clicks. This really means that you can set up a live site only with a few clicks, without knowing a simple word about databases or internet technologies.
Another advantage of WordPress is themes and plugins. Themes act like coats, by installing a theme you can totally change your website’s look. You can even turn it to web shop or magazine with a single theme. There are ten thousands of themes on the Internet, both paid and free ones.
One of the most liked themes on the Internet is Divi which comes with a highly advanced Visual Page Builder. The developer team behind this WordPress theme is amazing; their state of art masterpiece, Divi revolutionized the market with its easy to use layout builder.
There are other advanced tools in the theme, not just the builder, to name a few, responsive editing, 20+ pre made layouts and 46 pieces of content elements are totally worth the theme price. The list of content pieces is long, but audio player, shop, blog, call to action, gallery, video slider and pricing table elements can be used for all new website owners.
One more feature is also special; the user made layouts can be exported, uploaded to other websites or share with other people. This asset created a tiny layout market, where users share their own Divi layouts for free or for some money with each other.
Plugins are small code add-ons what give extra feature to your site. So you can have a guestbook, an image gallery, a forum or any other feature by adding plugins. There is a whole industry built on coding plugins, so you literally won’t find any special case which is not covered by a plugin. Or at least, there will be thousands of programmers who can develop it for you.
There are quite a few plugins on the market, which already became almost essential, so you can also use them for sure:
- Wordfence to secure and protect your website against hackers
- Yoast SEO for search engine optimization and writing better articles
- Simple Share Buttons Adder to give social media sharing tools for visitors
- Contact Form 7 for adding forms easily
- Akismet, the number 1 anti-spam tool of WordPress
- Jetpack to have full detailed statistics and admin tools
- W3 Total Cache for serving your website faster to visitors
An extra asset of WordPress is the visual editor where you can write blog posts or news articles for your site. It has an easy to use interface with similar buttons and signs that you will find familiar from Microsoft Word and its clones. By using the editor you can easily publish articles.
WordPress is definitely very good software for starting a website and you won’t make a wrong decision by utilizing it on your new site.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to export your WordPress backup on regular basis; the software allows you to do it with a few clicks. This behavior will save you a lot of time if your website collapses or is being attacked. There are also plugins to do the export automatically.
Step 5: Create Content and Update Your Sites Regularly
However this step comes after your site went live, it is essential to publish new content on your site on regular basis. There are two main reasons for this:
- showing people that your company is alive and has news continuously
- showing Google fresh content to get free visitors as an exchange for it
A very important rule, that new content should be related to your site profile. If you know jokes but you are not a clown, then your company website is not the ideal place for publishing them. Most likely there will be news from your company, events that happened, new industry gossips, so you will always have new content to share with people.
The good quality articles will also increase your reputation, thus make your more customers while your website is active. And if you share the written materials on social media platforms, like Facebook then you made everything that will skyrocket your website traffic and establish the audience.
Pro tip: However video content requires more effort to create such content and spread it on YouTube. According to researches, most people make the final decision to buy after they watched a relevant product video before.
Step 6: Deliver Traffic to Your Website
Even you have the best website on Earth, you won’t benefit from it if you don’t have traffic. By making the regular content creation and news posting, sharing your articles on social media platforms, your site will get organic traffic from search engines.
Apart of it, personally you can also deliver more traffic to your site, just try these practices:
- Guest blogging: ask website or blog owners, whose business is related to yours, to give you article space for writing a guest article. You should write a really interesting and useful one to catch the readers’ eyes and forward them to your website. Having such content will make a boast on your SEO as well, so this is a double advantage you should use!
- Buy PPC Ads: you can also buy ads in the biggest PPC networks, like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. This act will bring extra customers to your site; however they will be less engaged than visitors, who arrived from your amazing guest article.
- Pay an influencer: There are influencers on social media platforms, especially on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Hire them for advertising your site and they will deliver traffic to your site. As a plus, your brand will get much bigger attention from the influencers’ fans than earlier, and the social followers will start to be connected to your company. Wherever they will see your brand later, they will remember that your company is the cool one that was mentioned on the favorite influencers’ channels.
- PR articles: This is an old fashioned SEO strategy which still works. You should buy article space on bigger magazines or local newspapers and publish an article about your company. The effect will have a double side: people will read the article and be notified of your brand and/or visit your site, while the backlink from the strong magazine site will have a powerful SEO effect.
Pro tip: All social media platforms have top lists where you can find the important influences. For example, you can see the trending videos of YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/feed/trending
Now, you know how to create a website for your company. Go ahead over to BlueHost, choose the plant you need and start building your WordPress site today!