Running a business without a website is like trying to drive across the UK with one missing wheel. Not only that, but Google now prioritises its ranking algorithm for mobile versions of websites. This means that if your website is not 100 per cent mobile-friendly then it will suffer in Google’s rankings.
You simply cannot afford to have a substandard website.
Fortunately, it is possible to create highly professional-looking websites with only a few clicks these days. There is a bit of a learning curve, but most of it is quite intuitive.
First, some terms
You need to be familiar with a few definitions before getting started or else you’ll get tripped up by the smallest things. I will define these in a very simplified manner, so if you’re a tech guy, please forgive the oversimplicity:
This is the actual name of the website which you see in your browser’s address bar. For example, on this particular website, the domain is startmybusiness.com. Google UK’s domain is google.co.uk.
This is where the files of your website are actually stored. For example, you are viewing this page on the StartMyBusiness.com domain. You are viewing a specific file (this page) which sits on a computer somewhere and which has been “sent” to you after you typed in the “domain” into your browser’s address bar.
That computer where this “file” sits is where the website is “hosted”. A single website is made up of very many files.
Signing up for a domain which you own and can use for your website. This service is provided by what is called “Domain Registrars”. It can be likened to buying a postbox somewhere, except the postbox has a name and can be accessed via people’s computers.
Okay, here are the easiest ways to get a website built yourself:
GoDaddy is one of the world’s hosting giants. It has been around since the early days of the internet and provides an incredibly smooth signup process from domain registration to website creation.
It allows you to create websites using popular systems. The number of options might be overwhelming for you but the interface is very easy to use. So, simply clicking around and getting curious will get you half of the way there. They really do make the entire process from signup to hosting incredibly simple.
Wix was founded in 2006 but has really gained traction in recent years. It offers a drag-and-drop interface for creating professional websites with very many features including contact forms and newsletter signups.
My advice if you use Wix is to really take the time to learn the system. I have seen websites created with the Wix platform which looked appalling, and I’ve also seen sites that looked magnificent.
This is true of any system, really. You do need to spend some time learning the ropes in order to create something that doesn’t look overly amateurish.
WordPress has become a household name. It is used on everything from personal blogs to massive news sites.
Known primarily as a blogging platform, the system has come a long way from its humble beginnings on 27 May 2003, and is used for far more than blogging these days.
There is a WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
For the purposes of this article, we recommend the dot com version because it has fewer headaches, although they do charge a minimal monthly fee for hosting your website and registering your domain for you.
You can, of course, use the dot org version and download the files yourself then upload them to your web hosting company. That starts getting a little complicated and in that case, you might as well just go with GoDaddy which automates most of that process for you anyway.
This is another giant of online website creation and is Wix’s main competitor. I won’t bother comparing both systems here. You can read an in-depth comparison here if you want.
Squarespace offers slightly less freedom in the design, which basically means that you’re less likely to mess it up if you’re not trained as a designer.
5. Start My Business
We offer a unique service in that we have professional in-house designers who create your website for you entirely from scratch for the simple cost of registering your company. We also design your branding and take care of SEO for you.
We won’t send you the website in 30 minutes, but you’ll spend far less time yourself getting a website up with our service than with the others mentioned above.
No excuse not to have a professional website
With so much choice, there is no excuse not to have a professional website for your business. It’s not even a choice of time vs money anymore because all the above services are so unbelievably cheap.
But time is the main cost you’ll pay on the services listed, except our own. If you do put in the time to learn the basics of these online DIY tools you’ll come out with a stellar website which can attract tons of leads that become your future clients.