You’re a new business owner. You’ve just started your own business online, whether it’s a clothing boutique, a freelance photography service, a tutoring business, or anything in between. You’ve got the passion, the skills, and the drive to succeed.
But one important piece is missing from the puzzle: to design a website.
Today, having a website is a must-have virtual place where potential customers or clients can discover your offerings, learn about your brand, and ultimately connect with you.
Don’t Rely On Social Media.
Relying on social media platforms turns out to be risky. If you lose access to your page, you’re left with nothing. So, instead…
- bring people to YOUR website and
- save their email addresses to YOUR newsletter list!
How Can I Design My Own Website?
In this guide, I’ll break down the tools you need to design a website. To see the actual process on how to design a website check Web Design For Small Business: 13 Steps To Create A Website. However, I recommend you to hire a skilled web designer assistant for this task, if budget allows for it.
What You Need To Design A Website Without Code
So let’s dive into everything you need to unlock the power of a well-designed website! It will all get easier once you know the tools you need to build a website.
1. The Domain
Imagine you have a special address that belongs only to you. It’s like your unique house number but on the internet! That special address is called a domain.
A domain is a name that people type into their internet browsers to visit a website.
For example, if you have a website for your lemonade stand and your domain is “lemonadeworld.com” people can type that into their browser, and voila! They’ll see your lemonade stand’s website, with pictures of your delicious lemonade, your location, and ways to order some lemonade online.
So, think of a domain as your website’s special address on the internet. It’s what helps people find and visit your website easily.
When Buying A Domain:
- Choose a name that is easy to type and remember. Use friendly words that people can remember, like mypurplecow.com, and avoid domains like myPCW.com.
- Buy the domain yourself and register it under your name. Please don’t ask your web designer to do it for you. Why? Well, let me explain! If the domain is under your name, you have full control over it. You can decide who can access it and how to change things years after purchasing it. Yet, if the domain is under your web designer’s name, they have full control, and you have restricted access. If you discontinue collaborating with your web designer, you may be left with nothing. That can be frustrating!
- Buy the domain from the web hosting platform because it’s easier to manage. If you will hold your website in Squarespace, buy your domain with Squarespace.
- Keep your domain renewal turned ON as long as you have the website.
- One domain is enough, even with a small to medium online business. Only buy multiple domains if you have a strategy for using them. Companies use various domains when doing cold outreach, but that’s something you will focus on later.
2. Website Files Hosting
Imagine you have a special box where you keep all your drawings, stories, and photos. The hosting platform is like that special box in the world of websites. It’s a secure online space storing your website’s files, pictures, text, and videos for people to access anytime.
It’s the magic door that connects your website to the rest of the world, even when you sleep.
The hosting platform will hold the following:
- all your website’s files (if you decided to go with a wordpress website)
- and/or all your email accounts like (if you don’t decide to go with a third party like gmail for business)
When Choosing A Web Hosting Platform:
- Research and choose a reliable domain with a good customer care reputation. You will need customer support more often than you think. I only use Romarg.com and Siteground.com.
- Look for a hosting plan that allows for at least 20 GB Storage. 6 GHz CPU, 3 GB max memory, and daily backups.
3. Website Builder
A website builder is a platform dedicated to easily design a website without code or programming. Different website builders are available for you to try.
But before exploring different options in 2023, ask yourself: How are your tech skills?
- WordPress builder is for more tech-skilled people who want lots of control and freedom to customize their website just as they wish. Please build a WordPress website with the support of a web designer, and ask for training on how to edit your pages and blog so you can manage it in the long run. It can take up to 4 weeks to get a basic 5-7 page professional website built and tested.
- Note: In this article am talking about the WordPress builder that is different than the wordpress.com hosting!
- Squarespace is good for you if you want a clean and professional-looking website without too much hassle and many functionalities. The themes are well-designed, and the “drag and drop” blocks will help you easily create the website yourself. It can take 2-3 weeks to get a basic 5-7 page website built and tested.
- Wix is like Squarespace’s small brother with the same approach to drag-and-drop elements to make your site. It’s fun if you want to explore different styles and easily change things around. Honestly, though, it looks less professional and could be more friendly to use when compared to Squarespace. It can take 2-3 weeks to get a basic 5-7 page website built and tested.
4. A SEO Tool
Listen, if you need a website that brings traffic to your business, you need to get it optimized for Google Search. You may know that S.E.O. stands for Search Engine Optimization and helps your website appear higher in search results when people look for something online. An S.E.O. tool gives tips and tricks to use the right keywords and make your website attractive to popular search engines like Google. It’s like having a secret mentor to make your website stand out in a crowd!
More often than not, I use a mix of tools to get my websites to become more popular and attract traffic, and my go-to ones are:
- Neil Patel’s tool to research keywords, run audits, and spy on competitors
- SquirrlySEO plugin for extensive audits and optimization on my website content
- NeuronWriter to improve your page’s copy and increase the chances of ranking higher in search results.
- Look for tools that have helpful features: research keywords traffic, estimate chances or ranking, perform pages audit, monitor your webpages, etc.
- Ensure the tool is easy to use.
- Read reviews from other people to see if they liked the tool and found it useful.
- Think about the price and if it fits your budget (I love the SquirrlySEO that you can also buy once and use it for life on Appsumo).
- Check if the tool offers good support if you need help or have questions.
5. A Skillful Web Designer
Web designers are not graphic designers. So you may want to hire a web designer that:
- understand your business, clients and website design needs.
- creates visually appealing, functional, friendly pages following design best practices.
- knows how to play with a great call-to-action button and converting copy.
- has the expertise to drive organic traffic to sites using the S.E.O. best technics.
- has real testimonials from clients satisfied with their finished projects.
Prices To Design A Website
How much does a website design cost for a small business?
In a nutshell, here’s an approximate range of prices for web design services, from both freelancers and agencies (considering the higher prices for high-converting websites):
- Basic Website (WordPress website 3-5 pages):
- Freelancer Rates: Price Range: $1,500 – $7,000
- Agency Rates: Price Range: $3,000 – $15,000
- Business Website with Additional Features (WordPress website with contact forms, newsletter signups, links to purchase ebooks, e-commerce, user registration, podcasts, blog):
- Freelancer Rates: Price Range: $4,000 – $15,000
- Agency Rates: Price Range: $8,000 – $35,000
EXTRA Design Tools
Lastly, here a few other useful small business tools that can help you design your website and craft the best web presence for your business. Let’s check them out:
- Design Tools: Canva is a great tool for graphic design and editing photos.
- Braindumping ideas: Trello is a visual tool to help you braindump ideas for your website.
- Logo Makers: Use Canva or Logo Maker to create your logo
- Photo Apps: Use photo apps such as Canva Pro, Depositphotos and Unsplash to find visually appealing images to go with your texts.
Ready to start?
If you’re looking for a professional website designer, don’t forget to book me for your project and discover the best website design solutions for you.