You might think that designing a website for your small business might be costly and a complex process because you don’t have the know-how and experience. It’s not.
You might not necessarily need a website for marketing and PR, social media might be enough for the most of it, but a website is important for credibility, and to build trust.
How Effective Are Websites For Small Businesses?
According to a statistic published on Statista this year, almost 84% of the UK businesses that employ ten or more people had websites in 2018. An analysis from Companies House data by glass.ai shows only around 30% of all businesses registered in the UK have websites. So, if you own a small business and start with a website you will have the advantage of larger web visibility than almost 70% of other businesses. So, there’s an opportunity here if you’re setting up a new business in the UK or if you have a business without a website.
A report published by eMarketer shows the ratio of e-commerce sales are more than one-fourth of all sales in the UK, and it will be almost one-third in four years. You have the potential to grow pretty fast for the upcoming years if you can to direct your customers to buy your products from your website.
What Do You Need To Set Up A Small Business Website?
We recommend you to check two things before you start setting up a website for your small business: the availability of your business name which is a step when you’re starting a new business, and the availability of a fitting domain name with your business name.
It’s all technicality after you decide the purpose and domain name of your website.
1. Choose A Web Hosting Service
Some of the website building services also offer hosting for their clients but picking a hosting company only focuses on hosting will probably make your website run faster which is an advantage in terms of SEO. According to top5hosting.co.uk, Some of the best hosting companies for the UK are;
2. Choose Your Website Structure And Design
You can choose, the one that fits your business, literally from thousands of templates. Every website building services offer niché concepts from cocktail delivery service templates to modelling agency templates, from one-page portfolios to moving and storage services. Then, you can start building your pages. Try to be clear, to the point; think about the user experience, how you can reach your customers or clients faster, and why they should pick you among hundreds and thousands of other businesses.
3. Set Up A Subscription Or Payment System
Of course, not all businesses need to set up a subscription or payment systems but creating an email list for your future (or current) marketing operation is important for you to reach people and inform them about developments of your business and industry.
If you set up an email subscription system, it’s more likely for your clients and customers to have the impression that you are taking your business more seriously and keeping up with new industry trends. It’s an option for every business, however, you must set up a payment system if you’re planning to sell services or products via your website.
4. Test Your Website Before Publishing
You should test your website in various browsers and devices (smartphones, tablets, desktops, etc.) and optimize the design if there are any bugs or other problems.
5. Take Care Of Your Website And Stay Up To Date
After your website is online, you should regularly check for maintenance, any updates from your hosting provider, any plug-in updates if you use any, SEO, or other technical issues.
How Much Does A Website Cost?
You used to need at least hundreds and thousands of pounds to have a professional-looking website but it’s not the case anymore. It’s getting much cheaper and easier to build websites, thanks to the availability of drag & drop systems like Wix or Squarespace offer. The cost of hosting services start from as low as £2.28 per month and website building services starts from £2.89 per month. The costs might go higher depending on your business needs.
Which Website Builder Is Best For Small Business?
Setting up a website for your business is a must, especially if you’re in e-commerce. Of course, there are virtual shop options on websites like Shopify and Etsy, but commissions by these companies might slow down your growth and decrease your profit. You can create websites with website building services such as Bluepark that focuses only on e-commerce, or other service providers (WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, etc.) to set up an e-commerce website.
It depends on your business goals to shape your website if you’re not in e-commerce. You should decide the purpose and functionality of your website. Then, you can create a one-page website if you want to showcase only your skills, portfolio, and CV; you can set up a professional blog, or you can create a detailed website that explains your services and goods.