Are you setting up a website for your startup, but don’t know what steps to follow? Building a website might not be as complicated as you might think. You can complete the building process in 4 steps.
Startups can benefit from websites by having full control over what gets published and the design of the user experience. Therefore, you can fully customize the customer experience to leave them satisfied. It’s a virtual place where customers can regularly visit to learn about new products and complete purchases.
Surprisingly, up to 46% of small businesses don’t have a website, which means you could be at an advantage by investing in one. Want your piece of virtual real estate? Then here is a 4-step process for setting up your website, and you can do it in a single day.
Step 1: Register the domain name
Let’s start by registering your domain name – a process that’s easy to complete. Pick a name and see if it’s taken using the search functionality available at a registrar. The domain name should reflect your brand and add to the overall SEO of your website. Therefore, choosing domain names with related keywords may increase your SERP rankings. It also makes it clearer what your website is about.
Wondering what domain names cost? They can set you back around $10 per year or thousands – it depends on which one you need. However, you can look for cheap domain names by shopping around. Accredited registrars allow you to register a domain name. They are authorized service companies that have the approval to sell domain names.
Step 2: Choose a web host
Once you have a domain name you’ll need to find a web host – it’s a service that will host your website on their servers. Therefore, customers can access your website around the clock in a secure manner. Startups can begin on basic packages and upgrade once website traffic grows.
When selecting a web host these features are essential:
- Unlimited bandwidth: This allows your website to enjoy as much bandwidth as it requires to process requests during peak traffic periods.
- SSL security: Your website should offer SSL security to protect the data of your customers. The security provides encryption to protect data from hackers.
- Custom email accounts: Using your website to send emails portrays professionalism to your subscribers.
- Customer support: Hundreds of things can go wrong when setting up and managing a website. Getting help to overcome those hurdles can make a big difference when starting a business.
- Easy install: Features such as one-click install for WordPress simplify the process of setting up your website.
You’ve found a good quality hosting company once the following items are ticked off the list.
Step 3: Choose a content management system (CMS)
Now let’s invest in the software that puts it all together. The CMS allows you to build the website – add blogs, implement user-interface design choices and add product pages. It needs to be installed on your web hosting platform. Ideally, you can choose a web host and CMS that allow for easy integration.
Are you building the website using your own resources without professional help? Then a beginner-friendly CMS is the way to go. However, if you are outsourcing for the project or using an in-house professional, they can pick a suitable platform.
The complexity required to build your website depends on the CMS you choose. Options exist that require no coding and you can get great results. However, for custom solutions, having a strong knowledge of coding is advantageous.
Step 4: Test and optimize your website
Don’t expect your website to work perfectly once it’s built – it won’t! Test various features to ensure customers aren’t disappointed. You’ve probably invested a lot of resources and energy into the launch of your startup and website, so don’t blow it by ignoring the testing phase.
Here is a list of things to test before allowing your website to go live:
- Navigational links: Navigate through your website to make sure the navigational links are working. It’s unrealistic to click on every link of a large website. Therefore, you can use broken link checkers to complete the job for you.
- Checkout process: Are you selling something on your website? Then go through the process of buying one of your products and completing the checkout process.
- Page loading speed: When the page loading time increases from 2 to 5 seconds, then the bounce rate goes up from 9% to 38%. Therefore, you need to test page loading times and optimize them to cut the speed down.
- Grammar: You’ll be surprised by the simple grammar mistakes that can populate a website. It’s worth getting an editor to scan through the content to clean up mistakes.
You can also carry out A/B split testing to improve the website once it’s live. The process involves testing variations by creating 2 versions of the same page. You’ll need to send traffic to each page and track the performance. End with assessing the data to figure out the variation that leads to a higher conversion rate.
A/B testing is an ongoing process that is a worthwhile investment. The cost of pouring resources into testing will pay for itself in the form of more sales. It’s an activity that is as rewarding as the amount of work you pour into it.
With the 4-step simple process, you can build a website in time to launch your startup. The speed of each step depends on your preparation. For example, if you don’t have a brand identity, then it might be tricky to decide on a domain name. Or, you may be picky about the hosting company and CMS you choose – indecision can hold up progress.
Completing the 4-step process won’t take long once you have made the required decisions. Don’t worry if you make a wrong turn whilst building your website. No decision is final – you can always choose a different CMS or web host if things aren’t working out as you hoped. The quicker you start taking action the sooner you’ll have real customers browsing your website and buying products.