If getting your business website live has been languishing at the bottom of your to-do list for a while now, you really shouldn’t wait any longer. It’s more important than ever to have a strong online presence. Also, you can actually get a decent website live in less than an hour if you use a web builder like Wix or GoDaddy!
What better way to enter a new year and forget all the troubles of the previous one (inflation, cost of living, you get the idea) than to explode onto the online scene with a new website which will kick-start a new business – or elevate your existing one – and help start a fruitful and profitable 2023.
For this article, we’ll look at the main steps you should take to get online with speed and ease being the most important factors. (And don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on having a quality site!)
5 reasons to build your business site this January (and no later!)
Quickfire website building guide: 5 steps and your site is live
1. Choose and register a domain
Choosing a domain name is one of the most exciting parts of building a website! It is the way people will be able to discover, remember and find you so you want to make sure it’s memorable – and for extra points, somewhat explains what your website will be about.
We definitely recommend Bluehost to register your new domain; this is a web hosting company that allows you to name your website, select a design template and start building with the right hosting plan all in less than five minutes! But if you want to use a different web builder (like Wix), you can use Bluehost to simply register and buy the domain. Our in-house research and testing show Bluehost to be the best provider out there right now for everything to do with hosting and domains.
2. Choose one of the easiest web builders to use
We’ve tested hundreds of website builders over the years here at Startups, and have performed extensive research on each, so the ones listed below are the ones that came out from our research/testing as the easiest to use to get a site up and running fast.
Wix and GoDaddy may be the easiest to get started with, and they offer free trials.
Don’t I need to choose a web hosting provider?
Not when you use a cloud-based web-building platform like the ones above! With web builder products, hosting comes included, making this the quickest, easiest option for creating a site.
3. Select a theme or template that suits your industry or business type
There will be hundreds to choose from, no matter which web builder you choose! You’ll find plenty of pre-made templates covering different distinct industries – for example, hospitality, beauty, charity, travel websites etc – so you should definitely be able to find something right for you.
Once you’ve chosen a template, you can customise it to match your branding and style. The extent of customisation that’s possible (and how easy this is to do) depends on the builder you choose.
To help you decide, here are some template examples below:
GoDaddy is a great option for beginners as its website builder requires no technical experience to get started.
Wix use HTML5 for their specially designed website templates to optimally support audio and video.
Squarespace’s clean, minimalist templates use their experience to prominently feature different functions specifically for your industry.
4. Get building and customising with drag-and-drop editors (a.k.a the fun bit)
As well as most website builders being cloud-based, they will also all typically allow you to customise your site using the drag-and-drop method too, which is incredibly fun and a great way to get your new website exactly how you envisioned it.
According to our research, Squarespace has the highest design functionality score in this area with an excellent 4.7 out of 5, notably due to its new ‘Fluid Engine’, its very own original and intuitive drag-and-drop system. Wix and GoDaddy place not too far behind with a rating of 4.4 out of 5 and 4.3 out of 5 respectively.
Find out more about Squarespaces’ Fluid Engine below:
5. Preview and tweak
You’re going to make good use of the ‘Preview’ features your website provider offers so you can check what your new website will look like to visitors when it goes live.
You can check as many times as you like, in a mode that hides all of the editing features that only you can see, so you get the authentic client or customer experience and can decide if anything else needs to be tweaked or changed before your launch.
My site is live! What next?
Congrats! By this time in the process, you will have a fully functional website, all ready to be published to the world.
The things we mentioned are all it takes to get a site functional and live. There is more that can be added or configured over time, like blogs, articles, pop-ups, and tweaking for search engines, but the five steps above are the bare bones of it.
The sky’s the limit now that you have the know-how to get your new website into action. You’ll be able to watch your sales soar; get your brand, voice, and mission/purpose out there in the digital world where it deserves to be, and actively grow traffic and exposure over time into a truly profitable client base.
So what are you waiting for? You could have that brand new website you’ve been dreaming about live and ready for the new year as soon as, well, today. Let’s launch this thing. Good luck!