Having a professional website is imperative for business of any size. When your customers are looking for services and products in your industry, they go to the web. You have one chance to make a first impression.
Here at KDM, we specialize in designing sleek, easy-to-navigate sites that you can* maintain yourself. Through the use of WordPress themes (your site design template) and the robust back-end content management system (CMS), you can have an affordable, low-maintenance site that reflects your brand.
*We offer site maintenance and content management services as well.
Call right now 678-761-4420 – and we’ll discuss your project. I’ll have a proposal to you in no time and you can have a new website within a few weeks.
I’m working on some package pricing but if you’re like me, you want to know where the pricing starts – right? While everyone’s needs differ, most sites will fall between $800-$1,900 for a small-business site with a blog and 4-5 static pages. There is no need to spend thousands unless you need customized java scripts or a fancy e-commerce solution. (There are plug-ins for WordPress sites that handle small to mid-size e-commerce needs.)
What is involved in setting up a website?
- Select and reserve a URL (Yourname.com)
- Select a theme (layouts compatible with WordPress)
- Create content (all the great things you want to say to the world, and the images that “paint the picture”)
- Select a hosting solution (we can help you with this – most under $10/mo.)
- Launch your new site
- Promote your site
Select your Domain Name
If you already have your “dot com” name reserved, great. If it’s parked, we can simply transfer it to the new hosting provider; or if you already have a hosting provider that supports WordPress, you can stay right where you are.
How do I select a good domain name? Does it have to be SEO friendly? In an article from Tom Lowery at Huffington Post, we learn that “Many assume the first step to starting your own website is design, but choosing the right domain name is equally important–in fact, perhaps it’s the hardest part of the site creation process. If you consider the difficulty in transferring websites to new URLs – not to mention the potential SEO losses that could occur by doing so – it’s clear that you need to get things right from the start.” See Tom Lowery’s 5 Tips for Choosing the Best Domain Name.
My advice, brainstorm ideas, see what’s available and always choose a “.COM” extension.
Here is GoDaddy’s advice: https://www.godaddy.com/business/10-tips-for-choosing-the-right-domain-name.aspx
Select a Theme
WordPress offers over 2,000 themes to choose from. It is important to select a responsive theme; this is a theme that works on desktop as well as mobile devices.
Here are a few recently featured themes:
While many WordPress themes are completely free, others are offered by design/programming houses. This is a good option if you’re interested in premium support. Learn more about this option.
This is often the most time-consuming part of the process. Creating great content takes time and it’s something that will need to take place even after your site has launched. If fact, it’s critical that you create new content ALL THE TIME.
There are volumes written about the importance of content and how it will help you grow your business. Let’s start with a simple list of “Content Must-haves” so you can get your site live.
- Overview – This is your home page copy – who are you, what do you stand for, what do you sell?
- About Us – This tells people more about who you are, where you’re located and often gives some background on how you got where you are today.
- Products/Services – This is where you tell people about your great products and/or services.
- Blog – This is helpful, entertaining information that your potential customers are looking for; it may be related strictly to your business but often branches off into other areas that your target audience would find useful. More on blogging from Social Media Examiner: Create a Successful Business Blog
- Graphics – “…worth a thousand words”; Graphics are important to support your branding goals and make the site user-friendly.
Select a Hosting Provider
A hosting provider, like GoDaddy or HostGator, will manage the server where your site ‘lives’. You can find a good hosting plan that runs less than $10 a month. You’ll want to be sure they offer the software or applications you’ll be using.
The WordPress application is typically available for quick install on major hosting platforms. PC Magazine has a list on their site to compare several options: Click here to see PC Mag’s list of Hosting Options.
Launch and Promote Your Site
Launching your WordPress-built site is simple, you just click the “Publish” button and it’s live! So “build it and they will come”, unfortunately, doesn’t work, unless of course you’re giving money away for free…but even then, people need to learn about it somehow. This is where your promotion comes in. Here is a quick list of promotions to consider.
- Tell your friends
- Send a postcard or email to your existing customers – offer a discount coupon or run a sweepstakes/giveaway
- Shout it out on social media – Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram…
- Setup a Facebook Business Page
- Advertise online – Facebook would be a great place to start.