The Steps to Building a Functional Website for Your Business

Photo of a laptop on an ecommerce website product page started with text in german

To manage a business successfully, you need to plan your digital strategy, including launching a website. When designing a website, you need to have your business growth in mind. It should be a platform that will allow your business to expand and accommodate any future changes.

Not many small businesses have a large budget for developing a website, so you can start with free resources online. Focus on key principles when building and managing your website to get an impressive return on investment.

Today, Prime Encode covers the necessary steps to help you build a website specifically streamlined for your business.

Get a Good Domain Name

The domain, also referred to as your website address, offers the entry point to the site. Get a domain name that makes a good impression for search engine optimization and usability purposes. Some ideas to consider when choosing a domain name include that it should be easy to spell, you need to keep it as short as possible, and avoid hyphens and numbers.

Also, choose a broad address to allow for future growth. Another tip is to choose a domain name that’s memorable; this way, it’s easy to share and promote on the social media platforms you use for your business. Research online to ensure there are no similar addresses to prevent confusion and ensure there are no registered trademarks for that address.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, choose a domain that’s the same as your business name – or as close to it as possible depending on availability. The cohesion this provides allows you to make a connection with customers regardless of whether they’re on your website or social media pages. This level of cohesion is also a great way to improve your search ranking.  There are benefits to having your website domain be a "dot com" and I suggest to get a .com if it matches your business name.  If it is not available, it is more important to have your business name and domain name match versus getting a .com that is similar to your business name because your domain suffix does not affect Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  For more information on domain suffixes check out this article on Top-Level Domains (TLDs).

Enable Online Payments

Another integration you may want to make on your website is to offer online payment options. This is an essential solution if you sell online and sometimes even when you don’t, and your customers will appreciate it. It should provide smooth payment processing, and the option must work well for you and the customer. For this integration, you can work with a web design team to ensure the process is a good fit and works seamlessly across different platforms (mobile, PC, etc).

Keep in mind that if you intend to incorporate an online payment system, you need to implement cyber threat security measures to help protect your customers’ data. Work with IT pros and purchase software that helps shield this sensitive information from hackers and criminals, many of whom target small businesses.

Implement a Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) includes software that you can use to create and manage content on your website. It helps you maintain the site, and it does not require a lot of technical knowledge. You should consider a CMS designed to suit your unique business needs.

One of the most popular CMS options you can use is WordPress, which offers a vast support community and plugins that can help you extend functionality. Drupal is another option if you’re looking for flexibility, a large support community, and ease of use.

Maximize Efficiency Through Business Process Management

The more moving parts your business has, the more opportunities you have to streamline your business processes and maximize efficiency. Obviously, automation is integral to business process management – especially since it results in lower costs and fewer errors. This is achieved by reexamining and reengineering business processes from start to finish, often with software that is specifically tailored to fit the situation, allowing workers and systems to interact with greatly optimized efficiency.

Choose an e-Commerce Platform

To sell on your website, you must get the right technology. The right e-commerce platform will make it easy to integrate payments and manage transactions. WooCommerce is a leader in this space, as you can use it on your WordPress site to build a store.

Like WordPress, it offers many plugins, making it a flexible choice for any business. Also, you can find many free themes if you don’t want to spend on premium themes. Other e-commerce platforms you can use include Shopify, Business Squarespace, and Wix Commerce.

Create an Engaging User Interface

Users engage with your online business through the interface, so you must ensure the UX design is excellent. To create an attractive interface, use beautiful graphics and find easy-to-read fonts. Also, ensure everything is optimized for speed. If the website is slow, search engines can penalize your ranking. Check out your competition to know which features you can implement to achieve better results.

Conclusion

Building your business takes several steps. In the business space, you need an online presence. A good website will propel your business to a higher level, as you can display your products and services and engage users. These guidelines will help you get started with your website design and development.

Editor’s Notes:

I completely agree with all the ideas within this article and I recommend them to those considering building a site on their own. If you do plan on creating your website for your business here is a beginner's guide that might help you in starting your website using WordPress.  However, I would like to say that Prime Encode can meet anyone's website budget and can supply them with something that is based on sound design, security, and quality hosting.  Your website will run without the need for the business owner or staff having to constantly run updates and figure out how to fix problems. While many free WordPress themes and plug-ins do exist, some are complex to use and others are even shamefully bad in that they either steal information or have bugs that can happen currently or with future updates. If you ever have any questions about any specific WordPress themes, plugins, payment gateways, or payment processors we can give you some excellent feedback. I think it is worth mentioning also that some things are just a good fit for certain businesses and even though we may not utilize your specific CMS or software, we can still offer help and services on the platform you are using.

- Michael from Prime Encode

Mark is one of five “explorers” at Awareness Toolkits (https://awarenesstoolkits.com), who dig deep to find info for the creation of toolkits (articles, resource links, tips, guides, etc.) for those looking to spread awareness about specific subjects.

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