Manx By Design

How do I build a website for my business

It’s no longer feasible to run any business, even a brick-and-mortar one, without an online web presence. Consumers turn to the internet for everything nowadays from product research to location and operating hours.
bespoke website design

Here’s our step-by-step guide to creating a successful business website.

Determine the primary purpose of your website….

Decide your domain name….

Choose a web host….

Build your pages….

Set up your payment system (if applicable).…

Test and publish your website….

Market your website online and on social media.

It’s no longer feasible to run any business, even a brick-and-mortar one, without an online web presence. Consumers turn to the internet for everything nowadays from product research to location and operating hours.

Even just a simple, well-designed website can give you an edge within your field, and if you have products to sell, your site can open up new markets, get in front of new customers and expand your business cheaply and easily.

Building a business website is important to inform your audience, explain your unique selling point, boost your brand recognition and drive your sales.

To build a website for your business, you first need to choose a domain name if you haven’t already purchased one, and secure web hosting. 

Here’s our step-by-step guide to help you when creating a successful business website yourself.

First determine the primary purpose of your website.
A business website generally serves as a space to provide general information about your business or acts as a direct platform for e-commerce, if you are selling products or services online. Whether you create a simple website for your business that tells a little about your business or a more complex e-commerce site, the most important thing you must do is say what your company does – on the homepage in plain terms. Customers need to know exactly what your business does within the first headline. This is also the first place search engines look as well. So for example if you are a dog grooming empire and people are searching for dog groomers in Manchester. Then perhaps Manchester animal grooming services might be a good fit. As opposed to Lucy’s Salon! Get the idea.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right website design service for your business, which provides all of the above as standard within all our builds. Look no further? Fill out the below questionnaire HERE and someone will get in touch with you for a no obligation quick chat.

“Whatever the fundamental goal of your website is, users should be easily able to achieve it, and this should be reinforced as users navigate throughout your site.”

Taking Payments on and off your website.
If you don’t plan to accept payments through your website, you won’t have as much work to do in setting it up. If you are a retailer or service provider and want to offer customers the option to pay online, you’ll need to use an external service to receive your payments, one of the most popular payment gateway used is probably paypal, it is easy to set up and integrate with your website for a novice. Alternatively, if you plan to sell online and instore we use SumUp ourselves. It can be easily integrated with your website and you can also accept payments in store using a simple mobile device. With everything detailed within your own dashboard. This choice also comes with Free invoicing software, which is a great bonus for any business. The first thing you would need to do is to sign up for an account. Which can be done HERE. If you need any assistance integrating it to your website. Or, setting up your products just CONTACT US and we can do this for you.

Set up your payment system (if applicable).
While this step won’t apply to all business websites, companies that want to offer the option for customers to pay online will need to integrate an electronic payment system of some kind with their website. The easiest way to do this is through e-commerce software or small business credit card processing solutions. We use SumUp ourselves. It can be easily integrated with your website and you can also accept payments in store using a simple mobile device. With everything detailed within your own dashboard. This choice also comes with Free invoicing software, which is a great bonus for any business. The first thing you would need to do is to sign up for an account. Which can be done HERE. If you need any assistance integrating it to your website. Or, setting up your products just CONTACT US and we can do this for you.

Decide your domain name.
Your domain name is one of the most important features of your website. It’s the URL you’ll share with your current and potential clients and promote on social media. Therefore, you want it to be descriptive and easy to remember and type in. Try to keep it short, and steer clear of abbreviations, acronyms, and numbers, if possible, to avoid customer confusion.

You also need to decide your top-level domain, or TLD. This is the suffix at the end of your domain name, such as .com, .net or .biz. However, non-traditional TLD names have grown in recent years. These TLDs can be based on location, such as .nyc, or type of business, like .marketing, .agency or .law. While these can be descriptive, .com is still the main go-to. Read our article on choosing a non-traditional TLD for more information.

Once you’ve selected your domain name, you’ll need to confirm its availability and purchase it through a domain registrar. As you select your new domain name, check copyrights to make sure you’re not infringing on anyone else’s protected name. If you need us to secure the perfect domain name for your business just reach out to us and we can organize that for you.
TopTip: Your domain name is how users will find your website, so choose one related to your business or services.

Next it’s time for you to choose a web hosting service.
Every website needs a host – this is a server where all your website data will be stored for the public to access.

Depending on your budget, you can choose from two different routes. A shared web host, the less-expensive popular option, means you’ll share a server with other sites. Dedicated hosting costs significantly more, but it means that you get your own private server and won’t have to compete with other sites that could drag down your speed. This is more suited for e-commerce and larger websites. Some web builder platforms, such as Squarespace and Wix, include web hosting in their monthly packages. We provide great value hosting for all our clients. If you need an all in one package covering all of the above, domain – hosting – design. We have affordable options for all businesses from a simple starter website. To a great ecommerce store. Just fill out the simple online questionnaire HERE and we will get back to you with more info.

NB. If you’re looking for free website hosting options, it’s important to remember that hosting a website is by no means free for the hosting company. Therefore, they may employ other methods, such as placing banner ads on your website, to compensate for the free hosting.

As your business grows, you may find that you need to upgrade to a different web host, or even work with multiple providers to handle your website traffic and operations. It’s important to keep a close eye on your site performance and the experience your customers have using your website so you can determine your hosting needs, and if they might need to change.

If you already have a website for your business and need to find out if your hosting is right for your website’s requirements. Or, you need to switch to a new provider. We can take care of that for you. Just get in touch.

Building your pages.
A great website is a lot more than a static homepage. You’ll need to create multiple pages dedicated to different aspects within your business, such as a detailed catalogue of your products or services, a blog section, company updates. Make sure each page supports your website’s primary goal, it has a clear purpose and also includes a call to action such as, “learn more,” “sign up,” “contact us” or “buy this”.

A contact page, is your customers’ direct link to you, is one of the most important sections of your website, so include as much relevant information as you can (your business’s phone number, email address and physical location, if you have one). Remember business without contact information generally does not promote trust in a viewer.

With this in mind, It’s also a good idea to include information about the business team or staff on an “about” page so customers are able to put real names and faces to your brand. This is especially important if you are a local business.

What about a logo?
If your business doesn’t already have a logo, you can hire a graphic designer or create a logo yourself to use on your website, business cards, and social media profiles, keeping them consistent across all. This will help your clients remember and identify your company quickly and easily. If you need help with logos and design for your website and or social media platforms. We also provide this service, just get in touch.

Place strategic calls to action. CTA (call to action) buttons tend to perform best when they match the information on the page. For example, a “buy now” button makes sense on a product page, but a “contact us to learn more” button might be more appropriate on the “about us” page.

Website speed is a big consideration. Optimize your website to improve your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your business.

Websites should be designed for mobile first, as this is the type of device most used to view websites. But, not forgetting it has to be optimized to view and use correctly across all devices. So, to keep your website up to date and optimized for mobile devices. Also, ensure your site speed is adequate to improve your search engine rankings. This is achieved by building it correctly, not using too many plugins or pieces of software, and optimizing all content within it such as images. Also, keeping video hosted elsewhere.

If your website isn’t loading fast you will lose customers. Automate speed improvements. Set up as many automated speed improvements as you can. If you use a content management system (CMS), installing the right plugins will cache parts of your site so visitors don’t need to download anything more than once. For WordPress users, there are plenty of popular caching plugins from which to choose. These compress files and allow visitors to browse your site more quickly. Some of the more technical aspects of caching and compressing files may require a web development partner if you’re not particularly tech savvy. It is also important to understand that it is bad practice to just use another plugin for every aspect of functionality you need to add to your website. Each plugin loads its own css when your site loads and using multiple will slow your website down. Too many can also cause code conflicts which can essentially break a website on occasion. It is far better to use code to add functionality and keep plugins to a minimum where possible. Speed optimization is a skill and if you aren’t sure it’s best to hand it over to someone who is familiar with website optimization. We offer this service, and if you need help or advice with this aspect of building your business website, please get in touch for a chat, HERE.

Optimize across all devices.
Make sure that your website displays correctly on all mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This step should not be overlooked, Google and other search engines have migrated to mobile-first indexing, which prioritizes the performance of the mobile version of websites when it comes to search engine rankings. You certainly don’t want to fall short. If you’re not sure how to check this on an existing website you have then we can advise you in this respect. Just contact us and we can take it from there.

TopTip: Build informative and engaging web pages that offer a positive user experience. Strategically place CTAs to encourage users to engage in specific behaviors.

Optimize your images.
This is an important one. Also one which people are inclined to overlook because it takes a little time. You simply must Optimize your images. Compress your images so they don’t slow down your website’s loading time, and take the same approach with video, making sure that any clips you have on your website load quickly and don’t slow down how your site moves overall. Ideally video should be hosted off your website to avoid slowing down your website. Or, at the very least keep video off your homepage or landing page, link to it, or save video for other pages if it’s important to you. Images’ metadata, such as tags and captions, should also match what the image/s are all about. Images and metadata are equally important to consider with regard to SEO for your website as text. This is also an opportunity for you to work in your keywords within your images metadata. This tells search engines what your images are about.

Page Speed.
Pages should load as quickly as possible; within a few seconds is ideal. You can use free site speed checkers such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see if your site is performing optimally. If it isn’t and you would like some help with this, then get in touch. Fill out THIS FORM and we can provide you with a plan of action which is absolutely FREE.

Testing and publishing your website.
Before announcing to everyone that your website is live on the web, make sure it works on all major browsers, like Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Click through each page and feature on every browser to ensure images show up, links are correct and the format looks smooth. This will take some time, but is necessary.

Analytics Software.
Another important feature to incorporate in any website from the very beginning is analytics software. By setting this up before the website is live, you can iron out any issues and coordinate a proper analytics program for your business. Once the website is live, you can monitor page performance and determine why a certain page/post/product etc is successful or unsuccessful based on your analytics. If you need help setting up analytics for your business website and prefer not to handle the technical details yourself just get in touch.

Google for Business.
Another important consideration is Google for Business. Are you already connected? Would you like to rank better locally or globally? This is another important service which we can help you with HERE.

Connecting and Marketing your website on social media.
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest is the best way to increase your audience reach and alert customers to what’s going on with your company. If you aren’t sure which platform you should be on. Or which is relevant for your customer profile/demographic then we can help you with that. As digital marketing experts we can advise you and create a plan for you which best suits your business. Enabling you to improve your reach and customer base, and get more revenue.

Want to stand out from other businesses? Invest in search engine optimization (SEO).
Submitting your website to major search engines will help direct potential leads to your page, as will deploying a strong SEO strategy across your site. This involves defining all title tags, meta descriptions, and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) that are relevant to your company – services – products and aspects of your industry. This can boost your rankings in search engines for the products or services you’re trying to market. If not done correctly you are essentially throwing money down the drain.

Building relevant keywords within your content from the very first phases of your website, and having a strong focus on SEO from the start, will help you generate traffic very early on.
As you build and grow your business website, it’s important to continue with on-site SEO tactics which will help you improve your ability to move up the ranks.

Choosing the right keywords, and selecting keywords that are relevant to your business and that your potential customers are searching for online. If you need a solution that can help you identify, analyze and track these keywords, get in touch we can provide you with relevant suggestions if you prefer to have a go yourself.

Want to stand out from other businesses? Invest in search engine optimization (SEO). It’s money well spent. Find out more HERE.

Why links are important for your website. Placing internal and external links within your website.. Internal links are basically the links on your website pages that lead to other pages within your website, whilst external links are the links from your website to other popular, high-authority websites. Backlinks are the links from high-authority websites back to your website. Place these links strategically throughout the pages of your website. Make sure that the links make sense, fit the context within your topics and provide value to the reader.

Staying relevant.
Staying relevant is important, so update your website frequently with posts on current events, your new products and offers, and company news to keep visitors coming back to the site.

Last but not least. How to Maintain your website.
You should always check at least monthly to ensure your software and all add-ons within your website are up to date. If your software is not up to date, you are in danger of being hacked, Even if your website host’s security is strong. If you don’t update software you are at risk of security breaches. On occasion when updates occur if you have used multiple plugins or pieces of software within the build of your website, this can crash your website. Or cause errors. Then these can cause conflicts to arise If you don’t have time to do this yourself, we offer website maintenance as a service to all our clients which is free for the first year. If you already have a website and would like us to take over maintenance for you, then fill out this FORM and we will send you the details.

Starting a website for your business can be a low-cost investment that will help you to establish credibility, reach a wider customer base, and connect with potential customers more than you ever could through traditional marketing techniques.

If you build your website using best practices, keep your website updated with fresh, current content and are quick to address any technical issues, and maintain it well you’ll never have to worry.

Business website FAQs
How much does a business website cost?
Our prices are very affordable, and this doesn’t mean we compromise on quality. We can afford to pass on savings to our customers because we are a small team with less overheads than some larger businesses. This also allows us to provide a more personalized approach for all our clients. Our prices start at £250. An average sized fully ecommerce website with all the extras starts at £550. A bespoke designed website can cost from £650, this would require a lot more work and may contain many more pages than a regular website.

How long does it take to create a business website?
Website creation can range from days to months, but if you’re looking for an average, we can turn your ideas into a beautiful responsive online representation for your business in as little as three days. If you need an ecommerce website from which to sell your products and services then this can be achieved in as little as 1-2 weeks. Time restraints are generally dependent on how quickly we can onboard our client, and obtain all their content etc.

If you aren’t quite sure where to start, or are just pondering what to do, then fill out the form below and we will get back to you with some prices and information.

Fill out enquiry form HERE

If you need help with technical issues on a current website, contact us. We love fixing things.



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