The essentials you need when building a small business website.
As an absolute minimum your new website needs:
- A website address that people can easily type and understand. Learn more about that here.
- A homepage that clearly explains who you are, what you offer and what a website visitor should do next. That could be a clear call to action such as “learn more”, “contact us” or “book now”.
- An “about” page that let’s people learn more about who you are and your business. A lot of people are tempted to skip this, but the “about” page is one of the most visited pages on a small business website. People want to know who they are doing business with.
- A page that details the products or services you offer
- A blog or news feed, Google loves content and a blog or news feed is a place where you can post updates, articles and resources to help your audience and attract new people to the website by improving your search engine rankings.
- A contact page that allows people to find all your contact details.
Some of the technical things you may not have considered:
- A mobile-friendly website, around 50% of your website’s visitors will be accessing it from a mobile phone or a tablet
- A search-engine friendly website. Yes, there are websites that are not search engine friendly and you do not want yours to be one of them.
- Built on a content management system that allows you to create your own changes, updates, edits, etc. Even if you think “I will be very happy leaving this to someone else” having the option to take control of your own website is highly recommended.
- Hosted on your hosting. That you control. Okay, that might be a little confusing, but many website builders such as SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly, Shopify and others offer a great service, but your website is on their hosting and their website platform. What this means is that you are going to invest a lot of time, energy and possibly money building a website on someone else’s platform and if they decide to change features, increase pricing or even shutdown, you are kind of stuck! Now it is very unfair to lump all those providers in together, SquareSpace is a much better (in our opinion) platform than Wix. However, if you are getting started with building a small business website you want to create a strong foundation, one you can build on and that can adapt and grow with your business.
- Use a content management system that is widely recognised, trusted and has a long standing of high-performance and integration. Okay why is all that important? Because the web is ALWAYS changing. New technologies and software, apps, tools and gizmos that can improve your business and make your life as a small business owner are constantly being invented. We recommend the WordPress content management system because it powers around 25% of the world’s websites and therefore many, many tools consider it essential to ensure they are compatible with WordPress. Which is great if you have a WordPress website! And kinda frustrating if you don’t and you want to use that new gadget, gizmo, app or tool.
This just a starting point, as website designers we have a much longer list of technical bits and pieces, that we incorporate with each new website but if you commission a professional to build your website, they will take care of these and should be using best-practise website design standards. We highly recommend that your check testimonials and working sites a website designer has created before commissioning them.
Get Started with Our 5-Minute Website Project Planner.
If you are thinking of getting a website design to help you build your small business website then I highly recommend you check out our 5-Minute Website Project Planner. This tool will give you a headstart on understanding the different elements you will need for your website and get your thinking about some of the crucial elements you will need to put together. It takes just 5 minutes.
If you want to get started with a website designer to help you build your small business website, then you can book a discovery session where your website design consultant will get you started with professional advice that can save you from:
- Making costly mistakes at the outset,
- Choosing a website address that causes you issues later on
- Creating a shaky foundation!
It will also give you the benefit of working with a professional that has the experience of building many successful website for small business and knows where the pitfalls and easy-wins are.