Whether you’re starting a new online business, taking your existing business to the next level, or are creating an online portfolio, creating a website in 2021 is a worthwhile investment. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have had to take their operations online to stay in business. Although the majority of the workforce is back at the office, a considerable percentage of people are still working from home, and internet usage is still high.

Online visibility is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all businesses.

The advantages of your business having an online presence include, but are not limited to:

  • Low overhead costs
  • Flexibility
  • Limitless income and growth potential
  • Available 24/7 to customers
  • Freedom

If you have an online business idea that you’ve been wanting to start, or want to elevate your business, we have a quick guide on how to get started on your website and go live in under ten minutes. 

How to Create Your Own Website:

Step 1: Register your domain

Registering a domain name is the starting point for getting your website off the ground. If you don’t know what a domain is, it’s simple. Your domain name is the address of your website – it is the unique address that customers will use to locate your business on the internet.

Selecting the right name depends on a variety of factors like location, brand identity, and scaling.

Here are three things to keep in mind when choosing your domain name: 

  1. Include keywords in your domain name: conducting keyword research will help you determine the key phrases that potential customers use when searching for a business like yours. Incorporate the main keyword into your domain name. For example, instead of just saying lewisandsons.co.za, your domain should rather be lewisandsonscheapcarrentals.co.za.

Use tools like Google Trends Explore, Ubersuggest, and Soovle to help you find the right keyword.

  1. Keep it simple: your business domain should be short, easy to say and spell, as well as memorable. Ensure that the domain tells your customers what the business is about and is something they can easily remember. 
  2. Leave for growth: your domain name should accommodate growth and not limit your business. Registering a local URL like .joburg is beneficial to target traffic from that region, but it’s also advisable to buy an additional domain that has the .com extension to accommodate growth in the future. 

 Step 2: Select a web hosting provider 

If your website domain is your site address, then web hosting is the home. A website requires space for data files and web hosting is when a service provider allocates a specified amount of space on their server for you to store your files. Our hosting allows your website to be live on the internet.

Finding the right web hosting provider is tricky because the industry is fast becoming saturated, and many companies under-deliver on their promises.

Here are a few tips for choosing a reputable service provider:

  •  Read the customer reviews. Platforms like HelloPeter, Facebook, and Twitter are great platforms for you to read about other people’s first-hand experience with the service provider. 
  • Compare prices. Cost is a major determining factor especially as a young entrepreneur with limited financial resources. 
  •  Call customer care. Call and inquire about the packages – from the assistance that you get you can gauge how helpful or friendly they will be when you’re a paying customer and need assistance. 

Step 3: Choose a suitable web hosting package 

The web hosting package you choose is dependent on many factors. Here’s how to choose the right hosting package for your business:  

  •  Determine how much disk space you’ll need and the traffic you expect to get to your website.
  •  If your website needs e-commerce capabilities then your web hosting package needs to include or support that.
  • Consider how much technical assistance you’ll need.
  •  Scaling.

Step 4: Build your website  

You can either DIY with a website builder, choose a template from existing themes or let the professionals take care of your website design.  Getting a professional web designer will take the pressure off you and ensure that your website looks sleek and professional. If you want to try your hand and do it yourself, then the drag and drop function on a web builder is ideal. Or you can use tried and tested templates from a variety of themes.

 Step 5: Launch and market your website

When you’re happy with how your website looks, it’s time to go live! Your customers can come in and do their shopping and browse your website. Market your website using social media channels and email marketing – ramp up your marketing efforts and tell your customers about your website.

Don’t forget to work on your website’s SEO by using SEO best practices and publishing compelling content regularly. Once your website is up and running, the real work begins. Don’t be afraid to try new marketing techniques to bring more eyes to your website.