How to Create Your Own Small Business Website for Free
As a business owner, you may have various reasons to go online. Whether you wish to gain extra profit, grow customer base or just avail any other merits, the decision to create a small business website will certainly be reasonable and smart.
The thing is that the global network has already become an indispensable part of our everyday life. This is especially true, when it comes to shopping and sales organization. That is exactly why, running a small business website is an advantage in itself. Irrespective of the niche you focus in, a quality website will still become the surefire way to reach all the objectives you set. A standard small business website encompasses several goals and missions at a time:
- Partnership and Client Generation. A website may become the best tool to get in touch with local and international partners. It can help you reach the potential clients around the world, even without the need to travel somewhere.
- Sales and Profit Growth. As your client/partner base starts growing, your sales volume will increase as well. As a result, this will have a positive impact upon your profits, contributing to general revenue. Anyway, that’s quite logical: the more partners and customers you have – the higher your profit will be.
- Credibility. Small businesses that have quality online presentation are more credible as they create positive impression upon the target audience. It’s almost close to impossible to find a reputable business, which does not have web presence. If you intend to grow your company to be able to withstand market competition, you won’t go without launching a business website.
- Informational Value. A website is a top notch destination for your business partners, current and potential clients, who wish to find out more about the company, its products/services, pricing policy, mission, contacts, customer reviews, testimonials and other related info etc. These facts are available 24/7 and everyone can access it whenever required.
- Time Economy. When you have a website with the most important business info included, you won’t have to stay in the office, for example, for the whole day waiting for potential clients or partners to visit it. Instead, you’ll be able to invest this time into other business/personal tasks, letting users get in touch with you via the website. That’s a convenient and time-saving solution.
The conclusion is obvious: a business website is a must for any entrepreneur, who has long-lasting aspirations and wants to bring his/her business to the brand new level. It will help you target the right audience, build customer base, boost sales volume, generate traffic and increase profits in the long run. But how should a trusted business website look like? What elements should it have to help you reach all these goals? Let’s find that out right away.
Must-Have Elements of a Small Business Website
Launching a website seems to be quite an understandable and simple task… until you actually proceed to the process of website creation. And it’s no wonder as any website should consist of those sections and pages that can reveal its essence and mission in the best way possible. The same is about business websites. To make your project effective enough to come up to your expectations and cover your business goals, you have to include the must have elements that will contribute to this task. Have a look at them now.
- Content – Whatever business you run, it’s a must to provide as much informative content as possible to let users find out everything they need about your company. Make sure to include all the business-related information into your project, dividing it into sections, pages and categories to simplify user search. Do not forget the “About Us” page, where you will tell your story – you’ll be surprised to find out that most users are really interested in it.
- Product/Services Sections – Depending upon the products or services you offer, it makes sense to create special sections or even pages to enlist them. Make sure to describe your sphere of specialization in details to tell what exactly differs it from your competitors. It’s also desirable to include quality photos of products (of any) along with descriptions. Visual means of presentation always attract use attention. Keep that in mind.
- Video Presentations/Promos – Do you have video presentations or promos of your company? If so, then uploading them will also boost user interest and evoke the desire to deal with you.
- Call-to-Action (CTA) – This is usually a tet or an image, which encourages website visitors to complete a certain action. CTA is used with different purposes like the need to find out more information about your potential customers, download some files, make an appointment, leave online request or inquiry, try the trial version of a program/service and what not. This is often the first step to successful business promotion and customer generation.
- Trust Elements – Any website visitor expects to see the trust elements of our business credibility. These can be customer testimonials, business logo, partnership proofs, business reviews and ratings etc. the more elements you will include – the higher your company trust rate will become.
- Social Account Buttons – Social account integration is another means of effective business promotion. By having access to the social feeds and accounts, users will stay informed about your business-related info, recent and upcoming events, updates, announcements and other things you’d like them to know.
- Live Chat – Live Chat integration is the best way to stay in touch with your website visitors. They will be able to find out your business-specific info in just a few minutes without having to wait for it.
- Contacts – A small business website is unthinkable without Contacts section. This is that very page users access to find out your business location, telephone, fax, email and other available contacts. Integrating Google Maps into this section will certainly contribute to user engagement and satisfaction rates. You may also consider adding online forms users may fill out to get the feedback from you.
These are the must-have elements a small business website should ideally contain to drive user attention and boost business credibility. Likewise, there are certain issues you should avoid to keep your website popular with the target audience and you also have to be aware of them.
Firstly, experts recommend keeping your website content clear and precise. Do not post articles and texts that are too long – the chances that users will have the desire to read it till the end are too low. This will just be a waste of your effort and time.
Secondly, make sure you add all the available contacts to provide users with freedom of choice and diversity of contact options. This increases the chances that they will get in touch with you, choosing one of the ways that fits their needs most.
Thirdly, make sure to update your website on a regular basis. No one is interested in outdated events, schedules, messages, articles and news. This ruins customer trust, making them feel that you are not really interested in promoting your business.
Finally, it’s a must to make your small business website optimized for mobile viewing. It’s a proven fact that most people now give preference to using their mobile devices to browse this or that website. If your website is not responsive right from the start, you will definitely lose lots of potential clients, who will switch to your competitors, website of which are mobile-friendly.
Selection of the right web building tool is another crucial factor to consider, when launching a small business website. As an entrepreneur you may be quite busy everyday to learn web design basics and create a complex site with advanced platforms or CMS. Hiring a professional web designer is also quite doubtful, when you are not sure that this investment will pay off.
Fortunately, contemporary web design niche has a perfect solution for this user category – website builders, which are specially launched with the skills, requirements and needs of first-timers in mind. At the same time, these platforms often have an advanced feature set meant for users, who have already had certain web design background and, thus, can use this knowledge to start a full-featured project.
What you should know about website builders is that these systems are convenient intuitive and easy-to-use. They offer niche-specific templates, which are mostly responsive by default. Users also have access to multiple design customization tools, smart application of which can give any theme personalized and unique look, which does not compromise with high end performance. Website builders frequently offer step-by-step guidelines that help newbies cope with web design process with no hassle and time loss. Finally, they are user- and SEO-friendly and quite affordable for everyone. Here is a quick overview of steps you need to undertake to create a small business website with a website builder.
How to Create a Small Business Website
As soon as you decide to launch a small business site with a website builder, you may face multiple questions, especially when doing that for the first time. To simplify the task, you can make use of the step-by-step tutorial listed below.
- Pick the Platform. The first and foremost step is choosing the platform that will completely come up to your needs and skills. Modern web design market offers a nice selection of all-in-one and specialized systems, which possess versatile functionality, pricing policy and ease of use.
- Select Hosting and Domain Name. If you use a website builder, this step can be almost omitted. This is because most website builders come with integrated hosting and frequently offer free domains as bonuses, when you decide to upgrade to one of the paid subscriptions. Your task is just to make up the right domain and specify it in the required field.
- Choose a Template. Website builders are known for their extensive selection of quality templates. Many systems divide them into sections or categories to simplify user choice. There is frequently an opportunity to uae a blank theme to further customize it from scratch. That’s sometimes even more convenient for newbies.
- Customize the Design. Having selected the right template, you should reach the dashboard of the system, where you’ll get access to multiple design customization tools and features. Pick those that will give your website that very appeal you intended to get for your project. What you can do here is adjusting the major website elements, integrate widgets, media files, upload content etc.
- Take Care of SEO Optimization. Before publishing the project, you should fill out your website SEO parameters. This is required to make sure your website gets high positions in the search engines.
- Go Live. The final step of your website creation process is, obviously, its publication. Most website builders provide an opportunity to preview the ready-made website and make the required edits on time. As soon as you are sure that everything it’s ok, you may publish a website and enjoy the way it looks and functions.
Now that you are aware of the process of website creation, it is high time to pick the system that works better for the development of small business websites. In this respect, you won’t find better solutions than Wix and uKit. Let’s review these two systems in details now.
Wix – The Best Website Builder for Small Business
Wix – is the world-known all-in-one website builder that makes it possible to design all types of projects and it also works great for the development of small business websites. The system comes with an abundance of templates, design customization options, plans and other features that let you design high end projects for entrepreneurs. These are the major highlights of the website builder:
- Responsive Business Templates. Wix comes with a collection professional themes to fit multiple business niches. All the designs are mobile-ready by default and you can also choose between lots of tools to customize the selected theme.
- Wix ADI and Standard Editors. The website builder grants access to two editing options. The first one implies the use of the Wix ADI tool, which automatically creates websites for you, using the preliminary submitted info. If you wish to test your web design skills, you can give preference to the Standard Wix Editor, which implies manual editing process.
- Blogging and eCommerce. The website builder lets you create a web store or connect a blog to your small business website. This will add extra functionality to it, engaging users to browse it over and over again.
- Wix App Market. The platform has an extensive collection of business widgets and apps available in its App Market. You can choose from free and paid widgets, such as Open for Business, Online Business Card, Small Business Accounting, Contact Management +CRM, Contact Page & Phone, Form Builder Plus and many more.
- Email Marketing. Wix offers an opportunity to create and send newsletters due to the application of its ShoutOut feature. Additionally, the system uses the Ascend tool – the all-in-one business solution for professional website creation and management.
Wix is a moderately-priced website builder. It has a free plan that is enough to test the system as well as separate plans for standard and business/eCommerce websites. The cost of the cheapest plan constitutes $13/mo, while the cost of the most expensive Enterprise subscription constitutes $500/mo.
2. uKit – The Easiest Small Business Website Builder
uKit – is a simple and easy to master website builder, which was created exclusively for the development of small business websites. The system is known for its abundance of business widgets, responsive themes and other business-specific features. You won’t need any coding skills or knowledge to design a project with the system – so intuitive and understandable it is. Let’s enlist uKit advantages below:
- Responsive Business Templates. uKit template collection is pretty extensive and you can find multiple designs to come up to your business specialization. All the themes are responsive be default and you can even switch between them throughout the web design process, if needed.
- AmoCRM. The system allows integrating the advanced AmoCRM tool to simplify the processes of order and customer management. This matters a lot for business websites.
- uCalc Integration. One of the highlights of the website builder is its uCalc cost calculator you can integrate into your business website to let customers personally calculate the cost of products/services they are interested in.
- Business Widgets. Apart from uCalc, the system offers other business-specific widgets for better website management. These include Timeline and Timer, for example, which let you keep control over the order completion process.
- eCommerce. uKit offers two eCommerce options – connection of the eCommerce widget and Ecwid plugin integration. Both options have their pros and cons – just consider your eCommerce web design needs and budget to decide on the most suitable option.
Speaking about the cost aspect, uKit is one of the most affordable, if not even cheapest, small business website builders. It doesn’t have a completely free plan (it only offers a 14-day free trial), yet its subscriptions are more than affordable, especially for entrepreneurs. The cheapest uKit plan will cost you $4/mo only, while the most expensive subscription constitutes $12/mo.
Whatever business you run, you will sooner or later realize the necessity to establish web presence for it. Building a small business website should not be a complicated process, considering the skills and time/budget aspects that matter a lot for most entrepreneurs. However, before designing this kind of project, you should clearly understand your objectives and result your expect to get in the long run.
Website builders are those tools that can help you complete the web design process with minimum time/effort/money investment. These systems work great for first-timers and they are simple, intuitive and affordable – right what most business owners need.
Wix and uKit are two renowned leaders of the web building niche, which can be equally chosen as business website creation tools. Each of these systems offers a distinct feature set, template collection and tools you can effectively use to customize the selected design. What you need is to explore each website builder and the range of goals it serves to make the right choice.