Launch your small business website: a basic guide for SMBs
Not sure how to launch your first small business website? We're here to help you move forward with confidence as you take your initial steps! Start with these three basics and you'll be on the right track to getting your small business website up and running stress-free!
1. Register your domain name
Domain name registration tips
Your domain name identifies who you and what you do. It could even clarify where you are if you choose to go with a country code top level domain (ccTLD). Regardless of your domain extension - a .COM, a new generic top-level domain, or a ccTLD - be sure to:
- Match your brand. Include your brand name or an industry keyword that speaks to who you are and what kind of product or service your SMB provides.
- Keep it simple. Make it memorable, easy to type, and easy to say. Avoid special characters like hyphens and numbers, and unusual spellings.
- Avoid copyright infringement. Avoid domains with brand-related keywords. Remember: it’s your responsibility to investigate before registering your domains.
Secure your domain name
Protect your domain name, business reputation, and customers.
- Domain name protection: We offer numerous ways for you to manage your domain’s security. Two-step verification, DNS services, and a variety of domain name management tools give you everything you need to make sure your domain name remains safe and sound.
- Business reputation: An expired domain name can cause all kinds of trouble. If you accidentally forget to renew your domain, anyone can register it and do what whatever they want it, potentially harming your business’s reputation. Register your domain for the maximum ten-year period and hit the auto renew button so, if you miss your renewal date, your domain will remain yours and not someone else’s.
- Customers: SSL certificates are a must for small business websites. There’s no excuse for not having one: you receive a free Alpha SSL one when you register your domain with EuroDNS. If your business requires a higher level of protection, you can always upgrade. (Compare SSL certificates to see how they differ.)
2. Choose your web hosting provider
Once you’ve registered your domain name, you can get started created your website. You’ll want to choose a web hosting provider. Web hosting is what makes your website accessible to users. You have several web hosting options to choose from, but here's why we recommend shared hosting for SMBs.
Shared hosting recommended
- Affordability: Shared web hosting is more affordable than dedicated hosting. Our Advanced web hosting plan will only run you €7.49 a month.
- Sufficient resources: Unless your website will receive an enormous amount of traffic, shared hosting provides all the small business web hosting essentials you'll need. And most SMBs aren’t hosting large amounts of media files or streaming, so don’t require excessive amounts of bandwidth. 10 GB a month should be more than sufficient.
- Simple control panel: Make sure you're able to access your web hosting control panel without any trouble. Some control panels – like that offered through our Core Shared and Advanced Web Hosting plans – are more user-friendly than others: a clean user interface with features grouped by category so you aren’t wasting time and energy administering your website.
Secure web hosting
- Comprehensive security: Cybercriminals typically see small business websites as easy targets. Choose hosting with comprehensive security settings, tools, and features that will protect your servers from being compromised by bot networks, Denial of Service (DoS) attempts, and other kinds of attacks.
- SSL set up: You should be able to set up an SSL certificate which will encrypt connections between your web server and your users’ computers. Again, we encourage you to compare SSL certificates to find one which offers the right level of security for your website.
- Backups: If cybercriminals hack and take control of your website, you could end up losing all the data, files, and content associated with it. Hosting plans provide various ways for you to schedule backups. But choosing a plan with automatic backups means one less thing you need to worry about. Choose one that provides strong backup and restore options.
3. Choose your CMS
A content management system (CMS) will help you build and manage your website’s digital content. You'll have no problem finding a CMS that matches your specific needs and expertise level.
- WordPress: 30 percent of all websites run on WordPress, making it the most popular option, particularly with small businesses. It's fairly easy to use, though some basic knowledge of HTML is useful. WordPress is an incredibly versatile CMS, providing than 50K plugins which can use to customise your website.
- Joomla: Its e-commerce functionality makes Joomla another strong choice. From templates and extensions to security features, Joomla websites are easily customisable. Set up a professional-looking, fully-capable e-commerce website in no time.
- Drupal: Drupal has a reputation for being more complicated than WordPress or Joomla - and deservedly so. But if you are looking to set up a larger, more complex website, and you have good knowledge of website development, Drupal can be a powerful choice.
- HubSpot CMS: Hubspot CMS is a software as a service (SaaS). It provides powerful tools for content creation, distribution, and analytics, all in one place. It also allows you to create and edit blog posts, landing pages, and emails with ease. The software also has great A/B testing features, and is particularly powerful when it comes to offering personalized and smart content to your audience.
- Simple: A website builder like SitePad website builder requires even little investment in time or effort than a CMS. Just drag and drop elements into place, and point and click to edit your website in real time. If you don’t have a lot of design needs and are just looking to set up a simple web presence, a site builder delivers what you need.
- Functional: Though a builder does provide fewer options than a CMS, its a good choice if your requirements aren’t very complicated. SitePad, for example, give you all the themes and widgets you need for a small business website.
- Maintenance-free: SitePad require no maintenance. You can modify existing pages with new features as they become available. As your web hosting provider, EuroDNS will automatically back up data and installs security updates.
Launch your small business website today!
And you're good to go! From here you'll want to get started developing your website’s design and content. You should research SEO. And don't forget to get a personalised professional email address.
But, if you follow the initial steps above, you'll be off to a great start.
Launching a small business website doesn't have to stressful or complicated. Remember: if you have any questions about domain names, shared web hosting, or CMSs, we're always glad to offer assistance.
Get in touch! We want to help make your SMB's online presence as successful as possible.