In order to have your own website for your business set up, you need to prepare something, you need to have an exact plan what approach you are going to choose. First you need to know your target, what type of website you need, then the budget for your website, either it is FREE, small dollars or certain amount, finally the strategy for accomplish this whether DIY (do it yourself ) or DFY (done for you)
Know Your Target
First of all I believe the reason that bring you here is because you like to have a website up which owns by you. It is very important for your business and it is not hard at all nowadays with tons of tools around you no matter what skill level you are. I am sure and truly hope that you will find my posts helpful if you follow along with your journey/website even completely for free.
Before approaching the end result, let’s discuss the purpose of your website first, then you will know what kind of structure or framework needs to be in place before you start your journey. I divided all sites’ purpose into 4 different categories.
You are a small restaurant owner or corresponding businesses’. You have hundreds of business card to hand out to your customers but you don’t have a website/link on it and you would like to have it. Mainly you would like your customer go to your website and have a look at your dishes/products, call you or come by your store.
After having this website, you can hand in more business cards and bring more people come to your store with better online facilities. So your website is the advertisement for your local store, mainly it is just a product display tool. You do not need more complex stuff than that.
You have a website where you have whole bunch of products for users to take a look at it, search or do quotes and perhaps there is registration or order form for them to fill out and upon submitting those forms you collect their information only for people coming to your store such as appointments, pre-enrollment later on etc. So your website is the communication tool somehow help to collection information for you and send it back to you either from forms or emails or other social media tools.
You like your customers go to your website searching your products, making an order, perhaps pay you and you can collect their money in a few ways and your website can produce the invoice or receipt to them upon payment completed. From time to time you can search up your inventory and make simple math on your profit. So your website is the e-commerce tool help dealing with your customers.
You have a successful local business already and you like a website to boost your online presence and perhaps to get ranked in high priority on Google, Bing or any other search engine for people to search on the certain keywords. It may bring you more customers come to your website CLICK, PURCHASE or COME BY.
You like to have a personal blog to share thoughts, opinions and give your readers helpful information about your passion or expertise in your life. You may want to have a business online and it generates income for you from time to time if you help people and put effort on it. In this case you can have your online website alone without local store. Well, this is whole new topic and you could probably refer to my own blog here, it will step you through the whole process and give you the details about it.
Budget For Your Target Website
With your website’s purpose and roughly plan in mind now it’s time to think about your budget. As I mentioned earlier you can choose absolutely FREE approach no problem. To be able to have a website, you need to have a domain first (It’s like your store name online, eg: YourStoreName.com), then you need to have web hosting, its like file storage you own in the cloud, you use that storage to store your website’s files and picture. Lastly you need build your website (using free tool and template) on that storage.There are tons of web hosting, domain and website building tools nowadays. If you search it up you mostly likely will be overwhelmed and have to go through so many reviews decide what to use and what not. Here I am going to simply these for you and I will pick classic ones and categorize them into 3 different directions among those million dragons, you can simply pick which direction will suit best for you.
Typically saying we have variety of fully customized pre-designed template website builders, We have drag and drop builders such as WIX, Square space, Weebly Shopify etc, they all offer free website template and free hosting. WordPress is PHP written and it is very common open source with huge abilities of website creation tools and plugins, it is most powerful content management system platform. We also have very good web hosting Top ones in this industry like Godaddy, Hostgator and Wealth affiliate etc. How to compare and determine what is for you? What the exact steps you have to follow?
Upon considering different functionalities for different size of business with above website building tools I recommend 3 budget approach below:
1. Just start off your local business/store and you are not going to expand it nearly soon.
If you consider yourself ‘drag and drop’ person and your business just start off or you just need show case for your local store(let’s say you are not concerning too much running out of storage in nearly soon or your visitors not going to grow so quickly). You could choose FREE(free domain + free hosting + free website) one for sure, in this case you end up getting a subdomain, like ‘YourStoreName.wixsite.com’ instead of ‘YourStoreName.com’ as a root domain. WIX, Square space, Weebly Shopify they all offer free plans as well as premium, combo plans with higher speed and more storage. Among these I recommend WIX as it is very user friendly, very simple drag and drop with many useful built-in apps and e-commerce integration.
With WIX’s FREE plan, you get limited storage (500M) and limited bandwidth (500M) and email support only(no 24/7 phone support). If you just start off your business and you like to drag and drop, this is perfect for you.
2. You would like to expand your local business
If you will concern you will running out 500M pretty soon (say you need upload so many dishes for your restaurant on monthly basis and you do not want start over your package again due to not enough space) you can budget very small amount for paid plan.
Here I recommend Godaddy/Hostgator instead of WIX combo/premium/unlimited plan simply because with WIX combo plan, you still have limited storage(3G) and limited bandwidth(2G), with WIX unlimited plan, you still have limited storage (10G) and unlimited bandwidth. The price is approximately $12-$16. But with cheaper price($6-$10 per month) you can get much better deal with unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth with HostGator hosting packages. You can get root domain with Godaddy as cheap as $1 per year. Choose HG and WP, install WP in HG cPanel, very easy to use, I have tutorial here step by step guide you.
Once you have done WP installation, you go into WP backoffice dashboard, there are thousands of theme choose, and variety of plug-in for enhancing your site functionalities. whatever feather you need, you name it, there is a plug-in for it. Will the unlimited space and bandwidth, 100,000 monthly visitors.
Also they offer 99.9% uptime and 24/7 phone support as well. You can have 100, 000 visitors go to your website on monthly basis with no problem at all. After hosting step, you simply would need install WordPress which I have step by step guide here. Compare with WIX, they only have certain amount of free template to choose, also limited apps your customization is limited. Upon installing WordPress, you have thousands of themes to choose from, also thousands of plugins which bring more en-rich functionalities to your website. Whatever the functionality you need, you name it, there is a plug-in there.
3. You like to boost your business online
Finally If you plan your website will be your online business, you need to apply SEO, email-management, social media, and subscription management etc. You need learn and apply all kinds of tool, WA is the way you go. Monthly fee is $47 with top security web hosting platform, 24/7 support and all kinds of tools, community, private help all in 1. You can host up 25 your own domains and 25 free domains without hassle. This is the approach if you ever think you need BOOST your business online.
- A FREE/Newbies/Dummies/WIX
Free Plan $0 + $0 + $0 YourStoreName.WixSite.Com 500M Storage/500M bandwidth
Unlimited Plan $0 + $16/mon + $0 YourStoreName.WixSite.Com 10M Storage/Unlimited bandwidth
- B DIY/GoDaddy/HostGator/WordPress
DIY Business Plan $1/year + $6-$10/mon + $0 YourStoreName.Com Unlimited/Unlimited
- C BOOST/Wealth Affiliate/WordPress
WA free Plan $0/mon + $0 + $0 + $0 YourStoreName.SiteRubix.Com Unlimited/Unlimited (25 free sites)
WA premium Plan $47/mon + Domain + $0 + $0 YourStoreName.Com Unlimited/Unlimited (25 + 25 free)
Strategy on Your Aim Website
Take consideration of your website’s purpose, choose your budget plan A-FREE, B-DIY, C-BOOST
I. If you are a local small business owner, you own a restaurant, daycare or learning center etc. You like to have a website that you can have its URL on your business card than you can hand in to your customers. Also it will make you perhaps more customer to come by your store or register in your daycare. Good news is you can have free start up website for this type (I. COME) of website and you pretty much can choose FREE approach or DIY approach step by step depending on whether you concern running out of the storage in nearly future.
II. If you are a local small business owner and have many products that you would like to present on your website for users to click on then depending on what do you expect after they click, if you want information only of product description and pictures etc. You could have free website for this type (II. CLICK) too. But if you like to keep track of how many user clicked, or how many inventory have left after they click or after they click perhaps bring him to another registration form or contact you etc, then free website may be suitable for you at this point. You need to consider DIY approach with WordPress installed.
III. If you are global business and like the customers to make purchase on your website and perhaps keep track your inventory after each customer purchase, also you would like to have payment system to collect your money properly you will need to have e-Commerce website with all billing handling functionalities which are most likely not free. Free website has limit functionalities and free theme and free plugin (theme is look and feel installed on your website, plug in is like add on apps on your website, it can help you accomplish more purposes) also does not have billing handle capability. For those III.PURCHASE type of website I recommend you use e-Commerce template. Both FREE approach and DIY approach have full e-Commerce Integration, but DIY approach will have more enriched plug-ins which allow website’s more functionalities with unlimited support behind.
IV. If you have existing website and want boost your business online to have higher level of online presence, then you will need to know SEO stuff and some plug in and online marketing to boost your website if you want to do through DIY approach. Or you could choose DFY (done for you/let us help) our team can help you here to boost your business with better SEO and searching result on Google by affordable price. It will increase your revenue by bringing more potential customers. BOOST is the best approach here for you and you can ask our help at any time.
V. If you wish to have an online business or blog to share thoughts and provide information to help others, then this is whole new world of creating website, for detail you can check out here. BOOST approach with Wealthy Affiliate will be the best.
If you just start your business whether local store or online, you can choose FREE hosting/website to accomplish simple target first, then depending on the size of your business you can choose to upgrade to paid theme or eCommerce later.
If you have a established well known business, then budget is not your first concern, you want your business run smoothly then you do not want use free website as you will need integrate to higher lever pretty soon to fulfill your business need and you do not want waste your time to start over your website again. Choose DIY, DFY or BOOST would be your better choice.
If you have read this far, I believe you already have your plan in mind, go ahead check out plans page!