12 Essentials to Build an Effective Business Website
Mohammed Wasim Akram
First Published on:
February 15, 2019
Last Updated on:
June 8, 2021
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If my assumptions are right then I would strongly suggest you stick with this blog post till the end because here I am going to share with you a detailed checklist of essentials that you would require to create your first business website.
And it's my promise that, once you complete reading this blog post, then you would have deep knowledge and understanding about the things that are necessary to create a new website for your business.
So without taking any more time let's dive in.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Goal & Necessary Features to Achieve That Goal
The very first step even before thinking about creating a business website is to finalize the goal that you want to achieve with your website and the features that you would require to accomplish that goal.
If you already know what will be the actual use of your business website and how it will help you accomplish your business goals then it would be really easy and smooth to proceed with the further steps.
As for example; let's assume that you are a wedding planner and you already made your mind to get a website to grow your business using the power of the internet.
In this case, your business goal should be generating leads through your website.
Therefore your main requirement would be having some dedicated pages for the services you provide along with the contents, and a contact form on every page with some dedicated fields like Name, Phone Number, Email Address and Message Box so that your potential customers can easily contact you using those forms.
And whenever someone enters their information that information should go directly to your email autoresponder or CRM so that you can respond to them easily using the email autoresponder service or from the CRM.
I hope that by now you have a deep understanding of how important it is to having a business goal with your website as it will help you to determine the features that you would need for your business website.
A Proper Web Strategy (Digital Marketing Plan)
Once you have determined the goal and features to achieve that goal with your business website, then the next step should be to plan the online marketing strategies that you are going to need to send traffic to your website to generate leads through your website using the internet.
Traffic is the flowing blood and the website is the heart of your business thus if the blood stops flowing then the heart would stop working.
Therefore it would be a very smart step to clearly plan an online marketing strategy if you really want to win the game and accomplish the goal that you have set with your business website.
And I am saying this because using Facebook Ads you can find and target almost any kind of audience regardless of your industry, then you can retarget and remarket those audiences using Facebook Ads within Facebook and using Google Ads across the web so wherever they go to the internet they will see your ads.
SEO is also known as Search Engine Optimization which is a long term game and it would not give you any result at the starting because it takes a huge effort and time upfront to do SEO for a website, but if you keep patience then it will get you a lot of free traffic regularly eventually.
A Brandable Domain Name
A domain name is the very first thing that you're going to need as soon as you have decided to create a website for your business, without a domain name it's impossible to create a website.
It's a virtual address for your business website and after you launch your website you need to share this domain name with the people to invite them to visit your website.
Think this way, suppose you have invited your friends to your home for dinner for the very first time and they don't know where your home is located, thus in this case you need to provide your exact home address to your friends so that they can easily reach your home following that address.
There are so many domain name registrar websites available on the web such as GoDaddy and many more where you can register a domain name for your business on as low as 10 bucks (USD).
PRO Tips For Registering A Domain Name:
Always purchase a domain with your brand name or a brandable name
Never purchase a keyword stuffed domain name as Google sees it as a spam
The domain name shouldn't be longer than 15 characters to make it easy and memorable
Get domain name without any special characters in it as it would be hard to remember
Your first priority should be DOTCOM extension for your domain as it is the wildly popular TLD
Go for DOTCO | DOTIO | DOTORG | DOTXYZ or your country domain like DOTIN (India) andDOTUS (USA) only if DOTCOM is not available
Always purchase a domain privacy protection along with the domain name to hide your original details from the spammers
Must check if the same username as your domain name is available across the major social media sites as it would help you in branding, you will find NameChk tool helpful to accomplish that in just one click
A Reliable & Fast Website Hosting Plan
Website hosting is the second necessary thing that you would require to create your business website and without web hosting, it is not possible to create a website.
If the domain name is the virtual address of your website then web hosting is the virtual plot where the website will be built and all its components will be stored.
A website hosting works just like a real plot therefore if you want to build a house then it is necessary to purchase a plot somewhere in a land, similarly web hosting is required to create a website.
There are many web hosting companies that exist in the market, thus you can find different website hosting plans for different size of websites and you can easily choose a plan which fits your needs.
Most of the time while starting a new website people try to save a few bucks and purchase unreliable and cheap web hosting and as a result later on they realize that it was their wrongest decision ever.
I had also been gone through this situation at the beginning of my journey when a bad web hosting service ended up becoming my biggest nightmare.
I don't want to expose the name of that hosting company but I would definitely share my experience a little bit about the main problems that I was facing.
Problem #1. Slow Server: Their server response was very slow which made my website loading time forever, for that reason I used to be frustrated thinking about my slow website all the time.
Problem #2. Downtime: The downtime was most of the time had been sticking there with my website which scared away all my potential website visitors.
Problem #3. Worst Customer Support: Whenever I contacted them related to an issue that I was facing they used to get back to me after 12 hours and their support executive was so rude and never intended to help me out or solve my problems.
Therefore after a long year of struggle, I finally moved my website to Bluehost web hosting with the recommendation of WordPress itself and now it became my favorite hosting company and I am extremely happy with them.
It was not that easy task to find the right web hosting company for my website at that time because there were so many options available to choose from, therefore, I had to research a lot before discovering the best hosting company for my business website.
Hence I would strongly recommend you to get Bluehost web hosting for your new business website as they are a very reliable and reputed brand with a well-optimized fast server and the best part is that they have a great customer support team available 24/7/365.
Other than Bluehost you can also go for SiteGround web hosting if you are going to create an e-commerce website as they have a dedicated plan for e-commerce websites and they also provide great customer support.
A Content Management System (CMS)
The content management system also is known as CMS which is a website builder software that provides a systematic framework to create and manage the entire website as well as its contents.
Just like a domain works as the virtual address and hosting works as the virtual plot in the land of the internet for a website, in the same way, CMS is the foundation or you can say the main pillar of a website.
If you want to understand the CMS more clearly then I need to relate this with the same example which I have been giving you in the above sections.
Let's assume that you are ready with the plan and bought the plot to build a new house and now it's time to set up the foundation and pillars which will hold your house, in the case of the website, CMS would be that foundation and the main pillar of your business website.
So now that you have basic knowledge about the content management system it's time to choose the best CMS for your website which will help you accomplish your goals and grow your business fast.
According to CMS Critic, the answer to these 7 questions which I have mentioned below will help you to choose the best CMS for your business website and I totally agree with them;
Is the CMS easy to use?
Is the CMS SEO-friendly?
Is the CMS within your budget?
How secure is the CMS platform?
Does the CMS allow integration of web analytics?
Does the CMS platform offer technical support?
Does the CMS allow the use of multiple websites or pages?
If you want to know what CMS I prefer for my websites and my client's websites then my answer is WordPress CMS because WordPress is the answer to all the above questions.
If you are still thinking that why you should use WordPress for your new website then let me share with you a few more interesting reasons to choose WordPress over any other CMS for your business website.
WordPress 4.7 Has Been Downloaded Over 19,700,000 Times
WordPress is Available in Over 50 Languages
WordPress Sites Make Up 14.7% of the Top 100 Websites in the World
WordPress Never Sleeps
WordPress Gets 175 Million Page Views Per Month
In 2016, WordPress Published 117,939,148,357 Words
WordPress Has Had 4,969 Commits by 70 Contributors
WordPress is the Fastest Growing Web Publication Software
There Are 3,000+ Free GPL-licensed Themes for WordPress
WordPress Can Be Installed in 5 Minutes or Less
There Are 48,500+ Free Plugins for WordPress
Over 39% of All Online Stores Run on WooCommerce
WordPress Denied 40% of DMCA Takedowns
WordPress Denied 65% of Information Requests
These stats should be enough to convince you to choose WordPress for your business website.
A Lightweight & Fast Website Theme
Before diving deeper into the website theme, you need to know what is a theme in the first place.
A website theme is all about the front end design and functionalities of any website. It helps you to control the look and feel of your web site's front end for your users, in other words, I would say that a theme is the architecture of the website.
According to WordPress;
A WordPress theme changes the design of your website, often including its layout. Changing your theme changes how your site looks on the front-end, i.e. what a visitor sees when they browse to your site on the web.
A theme is essential to create a website because without a theme you would have no control over the look and feel and the presentation of your business website contents.
According to iThemes having a theme will allow you to control;
The overall design or style of your site
Page layouts (or templates)
Styles for blog posts and blog archives
Additional stylistic details
PRO Tips By WPBeginner For Choosing A Perfect Theme For Your Business Website;
Strive for Simplicity
Responsive is Not Optional Anymore
Translation + Multilingual Ready
Support Options for When You Need Help
Ratings and Reviews
According to my opinion, one thing should be there on the above list which is "E-COMMERCE READY THEME" because at some point of your business journey you might need an option on your business website to sell some digital or physical product or even services.
In that case, changing the entire theme would be a real pain for you, but if your website theme is already e-commerce ready from day one although you might not need that functionality right at the moment still you should consider having that while choosing a theme for your business website.
Now I would like to give my recommendation, If you ask me to suggest to you some great themes which have all the above-mentioned features in place then my suggestion would be only one theme right at this moment,
Just close your eyes and go for the Astra theme and you will be guaranteed satisfied with this theme and I can confidently say that because I have been using the Astra theme for most of my sites as well as for my client's sites.
I just love this theme and couldn't emphasize enough how much I like the Astra theme as it's an ultimate combo package of almost all the necessary features that you are going to need from a website theme.
A Website Builder (Theme & Page Building Tool)
A website page builder is a tool that allows you to design beautiful looking pages with the help of its drag and drop functionality even if you are not a tech-savvy person.
Back in the days when there were no page builders exist then designing a page was a big headache because to design a beautiful page coding was a must-have skill set.
Now you might be thinking that when you already have a theme in place then what is the need for a page builder?
So let me share with you a few things that themes can't do but a page builder can easily do;
With a website theme, you get some ready and default designs for a few pages which have limited customization ability.
You can't change any design from the pages because those are one time made default designs.
In a theme, you will not be able to add any new section or remove any existing section of your web page which you don't want anymore.
If you want to accomplish the above task then only you can accomplish it with the help of coding or by using various plugins for every single thing.
With a website page builder, you can create and customize almost any kind of page design you can imagine.
A page builder is dedicatedly made for changing things on web pages as per your requirements.
With a page builder, you can easily add any kind of new section or remove any existing section which you don't want to keep anymore.
Just install a page builder plugin on your website and without any coding or number of plugins you can easily accomplish all the above-mentioned tasks.
So now hope you understood the benefits of using a website page builder and determined for using a page builder to create well-crafted web pages for your business website.
But let me clear with you one thing, that even if you are using a plugin still you need to get a theme for your website for the general architecture of your website.
One thing to keep in mind that every theme doesn't support a page builder, in other words, page builders don't work with just any theme.
Therefore choose your theme wisely which fulfills all your needs and then choose a better page builder that can seamlessly integrate with your theme to help you create a fabulous website.
If you want my recommendation, then I would strongly recommend you to go for the Elementor page builder.
And the reason behind this is that Elementor is an ultimate page builder with a whole lot of features and it's a front-end page builder thus you can see the changes on the same screen live at the same time as you make any change.
There is a lot of page builders out there and I tried most of them myself and according to my experience Elementor is a far better page builder than other alternatives and it also seamlessly integrates with the Astra theme.
Necessary Reliable & Efficient Plugins
When you are creating a WordPress website and don't want to mess around with codes to add new features and functionalities to your business website, then plugins would be the game-changer for you.
A plugin is actually a piece of software made with codes to enhance or add a new feature to your website.
According to WordPress,
Plugins are packages of code that extend the core functionality of WordPress.
Checklist To Choose A WordPress Plugin By Themeisle;
Choosing free WordPress plugins by average ratings
Updates and compatibility
Support and documentation
If you follow the above-mentioned tips given by the experts then it would be very easy to find perfect free plugins for your business website from the WordPress repository.
But if you want to purchase a paid plugin that is outside of the WordPress repository then you need to look for a few more things as well, apart from the above-mentioned tips.
My PRO Tips To Purchase A Plugin;
All the above-mentioned tips are applicable in this case as well
Always purchase from the reputed brand website or market place
Never purchase a pirated or nulled plugin as they are not secure
Never purchase a plugin from unknown sites whom nobody knows
Purchase a plugin after checking some tutorials and reviews by the experts
If you ask me what are some best places to purchase a plugin for your business website then I would like to recommend to you some marketplaces I like the most, and those are CodeCanyon and Mojo Marketplace.
A Website Logo & Favicon (Brand Logo)
A logo and an icon both are the must-have things for any kind of websites, these are the brand identity of your business website as well as of your business.
A logo makes your brand memorable to your audience and your customers, if you give some effort to create a logo that resonates with your brand then it will definitely payback for the efforts and money that you would have invested in it.
If your logo properly represents your brand and the message of your brand, then whenever people will see your logo they will recognize it and it will trigger the emotions attached to your brand on their mind.
Therefore you should carefully craft your logo and the icon for your business website because they could help your business become the next Coca-Cola or Nike of your industry.
There are many ways you can create a logo and an icon for your brand and the choice is totally up to you though I would suggest option number #2.
#1. Make It Yourself: You can create your brand logo and an icon yourself using PhotoShop, Canva, or any other similar available software on the web.
#2. Hire An Expert: You can hire a professional graphic designer who has deep knowledge and experience in creating logos and icons for small businesses and brands.
If you follow along with these tips while creating a logo and icon for your business website and brand then no one can stop you from making a memorable and perfect brand logo.
Necessary Content for The Website (Text, Image & Video)
Content is the most important component of any website because without adding any content you would have nothing to offer on your business website.
Not having contents on a website would be the same as you have placed the most beautiful plates, spoons, forks on the dining table in front of your guests but there is no food to serve.
There are total 3 types of contents usually use to serve on a website;
#1. Text-based content: This kind of content used on the website in the form of the blog post, article, page copy, and sales copy, and most of the website contains more than 70% of text-based content, which you are also going to need for your web pages.
#2. Video-based content: Nowadays video contents are BOOMING the industry, people are using video contents on their websites within the web pages along with the text-based contents to make their website more engaging. Thus you should also consider video content for your web pages.
#3. Audio-based content: This kind of content used on websites especially in the form of a podcast. Although very fewer people create a podcast on their website still it's a powerful way to attract more high-quality business leads through your website using the podcast.
Initially, you would mainly require text-based content when you are going to create a new website for your business.
And to get content for your website either you can write the content yourself or you can hire a professional content writer which I recommend you to do if you have less experience and time to create contents yourself.
PRO Tips For The High-Quality Contents For Your Website By Thrive;
Please, please, please, DON’T plagiarize.
Don’t use run-on sentences.
Don’t write content that is too complicated.
Don’t write long walls of text.
Don’t repeat yourself ad nauseam.
Don’t oversell your product or service.
Don’t forget your target audience.
Don’t use images that you don’t have a legal right to use.
Don’t use bad anchor text.
Know what the goal is for each page.
Use Calls-To-Action (CTAs).
Use an outline.
Sound like a human!
Use bullet points, numbered lists, headers, etc.
Provide the answers to your target market needs.
Make sure your paragraphs are organized.
Make sure the content on your web pages can be scanned quickly.
Once you’ve written a page of content, review it.
Meet the content deadlines!
High-Quality Images for The Website
Images are the most important thing which improves the user experience by making the website more visual and beautiful, if you don't use images on your business website then it will look almost like a white paper with a bunch of texts on it.
Images speak louder than word!
Hence if you use images in a properly organized manner that tells the story of your brand then you would not require to use too many texts, as the images will do the work of texts.
Images play a big role in making your business website attractive, illustrative, and beautiful at the same time.
So now the question is what kind of images you should use on your website?
Don't worry I am going to share with you the most crucial tips to find the best images for your website;
Never compromise with image quality, always use high-quality images on your website
Compress your images before uploading them to your website
Images should be relevant and should reinforce your brand
Use actionable images that encourage people to take some action
Try to use original images over stock images as much as possible
Images should represent some sort of emotion so that people can connect with them
Use images of people that are similar to your target customer
Try to get some candid images of your team as it will help you build trust
Be consistent with images
Find images that have similar colors to your website color
Don't overdo because less is more
If you follow my above-mentioned tips to choose images for your business website then you would end up adding perfect images on your web pages.
So now that you already know what kind of images you would require for your business website then it's time to share with you some great places where you can find perfect images for your web pages.
Once you have found the images for your business website the next thing you are going to require is an image editor to resize and compress those images so that they can be a perfect fit for your website.
While creating a website you are going to need several different sizes of images and without using an image editor you cannot crop and compress those images as per your website requirements.
From free to paid, there are several tools available to edit the images as per your requirements but I prefer to use Adobe Photoshop which is the best image editor ever exist in the world.
There is also a free image editor tool available to use which is Canva and it's a great option for beginners.
Now it's totally up to you that which tool you would like to use to edit the images for your business website.
DIY (Do It Yourself) Skills or Hiring a Web Designer
If you are still reading this blog post right now, then I can assume that by now you are already aware of all the essential elements to create a website for your business.
But if this is the first blog post that you are reading on this website about the website stuff then I would highly recommend you to read the below-mentioned blog posts first to acquire basic knowledge and understanding about creating your own business website;
Hopefully, you have gone through both of the blog posts by now, hence you can easily prepare for all the required things without a problem and proceed to the main thing which is to create the website for your business.
So now you have mainly two options to create the website for your business; #1. DIY - Do It Yourself Skill Development or Hiring An Expert.
#1. DIY - Do It Yourself Skills
I assume that by now you already know the ins and out of creating a professional website for your business and you are ready to create that yourself to save some of your money, which is totally fine as for the very first time I did the same as you are thinking to do so right now.
But to create a website yourself you need to know that how a website actually works and also you need to develop some sort of skills such as a basic knowledge of graphics design, computer operation, HTML language, internet surfing and last but not the least is the quick learning the ability.
You would have to go through a learning curve which will take a certain amount of time which totally depends on your ability to learn things, in simple language I would say that how fast you can learn new things.
If you are a tech-savvy person then it will not take a very long time to learn all these things but if you are not that tech-savvy then it might take a long time for you.
Although it's time-consuming and there is a learning curve still I would say that it's not impossible to learn to create your own business website yourself.
But I must say that even if you learn to create a website yourself still it would take time and consistent practice to make things perfect and professionally crafted.
Hence if you want to create your business website yourself then I have a step-by-step illustrative guide to install a WordPress website using the Bluehost web hosting, and I strongly recommend you to follow along with the guide as it is very easy to understand and implement in real.
#2. Hiring A Website Designer
If you are very busy with your business and neither you want to go through another learning curve nor you have enough time to learn to create a website yourself, then this is an essential step you would need to take to create your business website.
According to me, we should focus on one single thing at a time because trying to be a multitasker can easily distract us from our main goal which could cause a huge loss in our business as well as in the other aspects of our life.
In this scenario, you should hire someone who has deep knowledge and expertise in website creation and digital marketing so that he can understand your business needs and help you create a professionally crafted business website that will help you achieve your business goals.
If you are seriously making your mind to find someone to create your business website, then you could consider our SyncWin Services for this project because we are dedicated to creating business websites and we are just a mouse click away.
Here are the few reasons why you should consider us for creating your business website;
We are only dedicated to creating high converting business websites, landing pages, and sales funnels
We will align your business goals with your website goals to make a website that helps you accomplish your main goals in the long run
We are not a general digital marketing agency which provides all kinds of services under the sun
Our main goal is to create high converting websites that become money-making machines for businesses like yours
We will properly analyze everything about your business requirements and goals even before begin working on your project
You would be absolutely in safe hands as we will take care of everything so that you can focus on your business
And last but not the least, we provide website creation services virtually over the internet, therefore, you won't have to go anywhere to find a developer or an agency
In this blog post, I have covered every essential element that you are going to need while creating your website so that even if you hire someone to create a website for your business, still you would have a deep understanding of all the ins and outs of creating a website at the first place.
If you want to create a perfect business website then consider the things in this blog post as the ingredients of a successful business website, just like to cook some special food it is necessary to use each required ingredients in a proper manner to cook delicious food.
In the same way when you create a website for your business then you should use the proper ingredients and if those ingredients integrate with each other properly and seamlessly then, as a result, you will get a flawless website for your business.
Now I strongly believe that you have got a great value out of this blog post, if so then I would like to encourage you to share this blog post with your colleagues, friends, and community who might also need this guide to gather knowledge about website creation.
And the last but not the least if you have something to say or ask then you are strongly welcome to share your thoughts using the comment box section right after this blog post.
Thank you very much for giving your valuable time to read this article, I hope it would be helpful to you, wish you all the best.
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