This checklist will help guide you through the process of building a website.
Determine the purpose of your website (e.g. blog, ecommerce site, online brochure)
Choose and register a domain name for your Web address.
Determine what is critical for your website today (can you start with simple site and add more bells & whistles later?)
Develop a list of your website requirements. For example:
- Number of website pages
- Amount of website storage (images and videos mean more storage space)
- Tools such as online forms, blogs, customer reviews, maps, slideshows
- Links to/integration with social media
- Video and/or audio players
- Shopping cart
- Tech support
- Mobile device optimization (so your website looks ok on mobile devices)
- Easy way to make content updates
Decide if you want to do-it-yourself (most DIY website building tools are now made with small business owners in mind) or if you want to outsource it to an expert.
Choose a website builder. Do an Internet search or ask colleagues for recommendations.
Choose a hosting company (the company that will store your website on the Internet to make it accessible). Some website builders will include hosting. Inversely, some hosting companies will build your website and/or provide a DIY website building tool.
If you choose to use free hosting that places your website on the hosting company’s domain name instead of yours, redirect your domain name to where your website is located so that you have a memorable Web address you can build a brand with and market.
Determine what website content is essential and create it. What information will your visitors find valuable? At a minimum, make sure your website shows your business’ contact information such as your company branded email and phone number, as well as any required information your line of business may require such as a state license number. Note: Your domain name can be used to create a company branded email. Check with your hosting company or the company you bought your domain name from.
Promote your website! Think about how your visitors will find your website and put your Web address everywhere possible including business cards, social media, advertising, and free online directories. Experiment with paid search.
Understand how your website is performing and who is coming to your site
Continually optimize your site and develop useful content to your visitors based on what’s working.
Verisign and SCORE support the success of small businesses by providing business mentorship through free webinars and tools.