Guide to Building a Small Business Website

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Your website is your small business’s most important online asset. It’s where you’ll drive all of your marketing traffic, and it’s where customers will make sales or get in touch with you. Quite simply, you need a great website for your business to be successful. 

Here are the essential steps you need to take to build a small business website. 

1. Understand Your Website Requirements

First, you’ll need to know what your small business website needs to achieve. Do you need to build an eCommerce store to sell products? Will your website accept bookings for your services? Or is it simply a place to inform prospective customers?

By understanding the requirements and goals of your website, you’ll be able to choose a more suitable hosting plan and website builder.

2. Purchase a Domain Name

This is the URL name of your website. Ideally, your domain name should be your business name. Luckily domain names are cheap, and you can often purchase them as part of a plan with your hosting provider. It’s important to choose a domain hosting provider that can meet your needs, and the top 5 providers in South Africa – Afrihost, Hostinger, MWeb, WebAfrica, and – are all great options to consider.

Pay attention to the domain name prefixes (.com, .org, For a small business, choosing the .com prefix is generally best.

3. Choose the Right Website Hosting

Website hosting is where your website lives on the internet. There are many different hosting providers and plans out there. These range vastly in price and abilities. 

It’s important to choose a hosting provider and plan that will allow your website to scale. You also need to make sure your web hosting offers good security, and that it matches your website requirements. For example, an eCommerce website will have more advanced hosting requirements than a simple informative website.

With MTN Data Centres, your business can enjoy instant access to an exceptionally well-designed IP network, freeing you from concerns about network infrastructure management, connectivity, and security. This enables you to focus on your online business without any distractions.

4. Use the Right Content Management System

WordPress is the most common content management system (CMS) for building a website. It’s free and offers loads of flexibility and functionality.

If you create a WordPress site, you will need to have separate hosting and a domain name provider. You’ll also need to choose the right theme, and customize your site. Customizing your site is easier if you use a website builder plugin for WordPress (like Elementor).

The other option is to use a website builder like Wix or Shopify that includes fully-hosted packages, with domain names included. These are easier to set up, although they can be more expensive and possibly limiting.

5. Create an Engaging Website That Offers a Great User Experience

Now it’s time to customize your website. Make sure it looks professional and that it offers a great user experience. Consider your end goal and ensure the site is set up to achieve this.

It’s important to optimize your website for search engines to boost your visibility. You should also understand how you will continue to maintain, optimize, and publish quality content on your website over time. 

A high-quality website is key to developing a strong online brand. 

Be careful when setting up your business website, as it plays such a critical role in your marketing and customer journey. If you’re not comfortable with the process, it could be a good idea to hire a web design professional.