Take Your Business Online: A Beginner’s How-To

By Marc O'Dwyer - 13th Jun 2017

Find under: Small Business

 

 

 

Everyone knows that in 2017, a business that doesn’t have an online presence is losing out on a whole lot of opportunities. The prospect of taking your business online can be daunting especially if you’re not the kind of person who knows things about coding and websites and URLs and the rest.

 

In all honesty, it’s a lot less hassle than it looks, particularly with our helpful how-to’s below.

 

  1. Decide What Kind Of Website You Want

This is the most important part, which is why it’s first. Your website is a tool, and it’s critical to determine what kind of function it will have. Is its sole purpose to provide contact details and referrals? Or do you want to create an online community using your website, with engagement and traffic and fancy gallery effects? Deciding on the function of your website will also help determine what it ends up looking like, and just how much work you need to do.

 

  1. DIY Or Hire Someone?

Once you’ve laid down the basics of your website needs, you need to decide whether you can do the whole job yourself, or whether you’ll need to get a professional in. This is mostly dictated by your budget, but it’s also important to recognise your new website as an investment, with returns if you do it right.

 

If you decide on DIY, there are a number of online platforms like Word Press and Squarespace that will certainly make the whole process easier for you. And, if you decide to go with someone professional, it’s important to try and balance quality and price so that you get the best result.

 

  1. Get A Domain And Hosting

The first step in taking your business online is registering a domain name. There are dozens of companies, or registrars that can help you with this process. Most of them also offer hosting, which you will need to get as well. This is essentially online space where you can store all your website data, as well as content related information like images.

 

Top Tip: If you’ve hired someone to help you with your website, check if they also offer hosting services.

 

  1. Pick A CMS And Site Design

To manage your website on the day-to-day, you’ll need to select a content management system (CMS). If you have hired someone to help with your website design and launch, then they will generally recommend one, or have one they prefer to use.

However, if you’re managing the project on your own, then most of the top CMS available not only come with a way of managing your content, but also often have the option to pick the look and feel of your website, which is helpful because they don’t require any background knowledge in coding or website design.

 

  1. Prepare Your Content

Content is what pulls the whole site together. It’s content that keeps visitors coming back, content that gives your website and your business real punch.  Not only should it be compelling and well-written, but it should also conform to best SEO practices as we have detailed in one of our blogs  Big Red Cloud’s best SEO practices, so that your content contributes to your website’s success as well as it can.

 

  1. Maintain Your Website

Finally, part of having a successful and functioning website is ensuring that it is regularly maintained, upgraded if needs be, and generally kept looking all great and shiny. Using some kind of analytics tool is one of the best ways to track the movement and activity around your site, and a good way to plot out future changes and additions.

 

About the Author: Marc O'Dwyer

Marc is the CEO at Big Red Cloud, the easy to use online accounting software for micro, small and medium sized businesses. Having founded the company back in 2002 with the goal of helping companies to better manage their accounts, Marc also finds time to train and compete in Ironman and triathlon events in Ireland, the UK and across Europe.