Website Development: How to Build a Business Website
Gone are the days when you could rely on in-store sales and offline marketing only. In today’s digital world, it has become more important than ever to build an online presence, which starts with a business website.
Are you new to website development and unsure about how to start?
Then, you’re in the right place!
In this post, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about website development, why it is important, and how to go about it.
- How to pick a relevant domain name and register it.
- How to build a website using website builders like WordPress.
- How to boost your website traffic, sales, and authority.
In other words, you’ll be able to build a fully functional website and monetize it. It will be your first step towards digital marketing.
The article also includes the link to a super awesome FREE course on how to set up and launch your business website. 😉 So, keep reading!
Table of Contents
What is Website Development?
Website development is the process of building websites, varying from a one-page online portfolio website or blog to a full-fledged business website with service/product pages.
Typically, website development requires coding and other development-related tasks, which include:
- Front-end development
- Back-end development
- Client-side coding
- Server-side coding
- Network security configuration
- Content management system (CMS) development
- Ecommerce development
- And more.
However, there are many website builders in the market that allow you to build your own website with easy-to-use drag-and-drop editors. These work really well for freelancers, startups, and small businesses with minimal funds.
Some of my favorite website builders include WordPress, Elementor, WooCommerce, Wix, Leadpages, and Shopify.
Types of Website Development
Whether you want to hire a web developer or do it on your own, you should understand web development basics and the types of web development.
I’ll quickly brief you about the most common types of web development.
- Front-end web development: This refers to the design and development of the user-facing side of your website (what users see). Front-end developers work on website layout, graphics, navigation, drop-down menus, and other visual aspects of your web design.
- Back-end development: This refers to the development part that ensures everything works properly. Backend developers work on areas that users don’t see, including database technology, content management, site structure, security, etc.
- Full stack development: Full stack developers take care of both the front-end and back-end sides of your website. However, most companies hire specialized developers for front-end and back-end related development tasks.
- Mobile development: Most users browse websites through mobile devices, which makes it important to ensure that your site looks good on small screens. You can hire mobile developers to create web apps or ask your developer to use responsive themes or AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages).
- Security development: This refers to developing systems that can discover and eliminate security risks of your website.
Do these different types of web development seem overwhelming?
Don’t worry. Building websites is way easier now than it used to be. You can build your website without any experience with programming languages or design.
All thanks to the handful of popular website builders.
I personally use WordPress, which gives you full control over your website and has the best content management system.
I’ll tell you more about why I love WordPress and how to use it in the later sections. Let’s first discover the benefits of building a business website.
Why Do You Need a Business Website?
Whether you’re a freelancer or you run a small product/service-based business, having a website is a must.
Building a business website can help you:
- Establish an online presence for your business.
- Attract customers and make them aware of your products and services.
- Make it easier for customers to connect with you.
- Boost the credibility of your business.
- Outrank your competitors in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
- Increase sales opportunities.
Also read: What is website personalization? And why do you need it?
How to Build Your Business Website From Scratch
While I’m going to show you the step-by-step process to build your website, getting additional knowledge never hurts.
So, here is an online course by Jason Falls, an award-winning digital strategist and agency owner, that you must enroll in. The course includes:
- 5 lessons
- 8 supporting resources
- 1 bonus activity + rewards
All of this absolutely FREE!
Enroll in the course on “Building a Website” to set up and launch a business website that attracts customers.
And be sure to follow the website development process below to ensure that you’re doing it right.
Step #1: Pick a Domain Name and Register It
First things first, you’ll need a domain name (the web address of your business) to build your website.
You should pick a domain name that is:
- Relevant to your business
- Easy to spell, pronounce, and remember
- Short and brandable
- Unique (not at all similar to any of your competitors’ domain names)
A majority of businesses use their company name as the domain name. However, you can also choose one that is different from your registered business name.
Also read: How to name your startup business
You may or may not choose to include a keyword in your domain name.
I believe that you already know that “.com” is the most widely used domain extension. However, you can also opt for other top-level domains (TLDs) such as “.net,” “.org,” “.online,” “.co,” or “.io.”
Once you’ve selected a domain name, you can buy it from domain registrars like GoDaddy.
If someday, I decide to start a travel website, I might register a domain like “travelwithshane.com.”
The next step in the web development process is to buy a web hosting plan to host your business website and store all of your data.
Step #2: Buy a Web Hosting Plan
Hosting your website on a server is essential to make your website accessible on the world wide web (www). You can either host it on your own server or buy a hosting service plan.
Some of the most popular hosting providers are:
Are you finding it difficult to choose a web hosting provider?
Consider the factors below while picking one.
- Are you building a static or dynamic website? Static websites will need less server space than dynamic websites.
- How much traffic do you expect to get? When hosting a site that gets heavy traffic like mine, it will be best to buy cloud hosting or dedicated server hosting. However, for a simple website with less traffic, even a shared hosting plan will do.
Obviously, cloud hosting and dedicated server hosting will cost you more than shared hosting.
- Make sure that the web hosting provider offers chat and/or phone support.
- Keep server security in mind. Ensure that the web hosting provider allows one or two-click methods to install SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.
I recommend that you buy hosting from Bluehost because it offers:
- FREE domain for the first year (save $12)
- FREE SSL certificate and SEO tools
- FREE Premium Cloudflare CDN
- 24/7 support
And the coolest part?
Bluehost offers one-click WordPress installation, which makes it an ideal choice for those who want to build their site with WordPress.
Step #3: Choose Your Website Builder
Wondering why you should choose WordPress?
- It’s an easy, user-friendly, reliable platform.
- It gives you a plethora of fully customizable themes to get started.
- There are a lot of useful WordPress plugins that can help you add more functionalities to your website.
- You’ll also get full control over your database and files.
- It offers the best content management system (CMS) options.
What if you don’t want to build a WordPress website?
You can choose from other website builders such as Wix, Weebly, and Zyro. If you want to build an ecommerce website, you can use platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify.
In this post, I’ll show you how to build your business website with WordPress.
After one-click installation, the WordPress dashboard will be almost empty.
The next step in the web development process is to start adding themes, pages, posts, plugins, forms, etc. to your site.
Step #4: Design the Look and Feel of Your Website
Let’s start with the visual aspects of your website.
Choose an SEO-friendly, responsive theme. I suggest that you start building your website with a free theme like Astra, Divi, and Hueman. No need to invest too much too early!
Once you’ve installed a theme, customize it by visiting Appearance > Customize. You’ll be able to add your brand’s logo, select color palette and font types, set menu options, link your social profiles, etc.
There are a lot of options to explore. You can have fun customizing your website to your liking.
Don’t try to make your web design perfect in one go. You can always come back to customize your site further. Right now, your goal should be to make your site ready to publish at the earliest.
Install important WordPress plugins that every business website needs:
- Yoast SEO or All in One SEO for optimizing title tag, meta description, URL slug, XML sitemap, etc.
- Akismet Anti-Spam to prevent spammy comments
- UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore to automatically create a backup of your data
- WPForms to create drag-and-drop forms
- WP-Optimize to optimize your images for faster loading speed
You can view installed plugins and add new plugins by visiting the Plugins option on the left side of your WordPress dashboard.
Start by adding the basic plugins I’ve mentioned above. When you feel like adding more functionality to your website, you can look for other suitable plugins.
Step #5: Start Publishing Content
This is the most important step in the web development process. You need to create important pages and set up a blog section to get started.
What are some of the web pages that every business website needs?
- About Us page
- Product or service pages
- Contact page
- Blog page
You should create these important pages by visiting Pages > Add New in your WordPress dashboard.
Keep the copy short and crisp. Help users and search engines understand what your business is all about, which products or services you offer, and how people can get in touch with you.
Your blog page is where all of your latest posts will be displayed. For this, you need to come up with a detailed plan to address topics that your ideal customers want to learn about.
Wondering where to start?
Here’s a quick checklist for you:
- Conduct keyword research using tools such as Semrush, Serpstat, or other SEO tools.
- Identify the keywords others are targeting by doing competitor keyword analysis.
- Turn keywords into topic ideas and create a list.
- Come up with 2-3 broad categories related to the topics you choose to write about.
- Start writing insightful posts on each topic on the list. Use tools such as Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and Copyscape to improve your content quality and optimization.
- Add animations, infographics, screenshots, illustrations, and other visuals to add more value to your content. You can use design tools like Canva, Visme, and PixTeller to do it more efficiently.
WordPress also allows you to schedule your posts for publishing on specific days and times. You can plan your entire month of content in one go.
Be sure to syndicate and promote your blog posts on Medium, social media platforms, Quora, and other third-party sites. This will help you get more exposure for your content and drive traffic to your website.
After all, your website development efforts will only bring results when the right audience visits the site and engages with your content.
Step #6: Optimize Your Site for Users and SERPs
To make sure that your content ranks well in the SERPs and helps you attract, engage, and convert site visitors, you should:
- Write great quality content – well researched, unique, insightful, actionable tips, useful tools, etc.
- Optimize your content with the right keywords and their variations. One great tool for content optimization is Surfer.
- Add compelling CTAs (calls-to-action) to help users take the desired actions.
- Monitor how your content is performing and update/optimize it regularly to improve search rankings and conversions.
- Be sure to include these 30 website design elements.
Step #7: Start Making Money
That’s all about web development.
You can now launch your site and start making money through your business website.
- Sell products.
- Offer services.
- Earn commissions for selling affiliate products.
- Publish sponsored content and reviews on your site.
- Run inline ads and banner ads on your site.
For more money-making ideas, you can consult with me on a one-to-one basis.
1. What is website development?
Website development is the process of planning, designing, developing, and launching a website. It can be a one-page online portfolio or a full-fledged ecommerce website with hundreds of listed products.
2. What are the basics of web development?
The basics of web development include knowledge of:
- Front-end and back-end web development
- CMS options
- Cybersecurity measures
3. What are the 3 types of web development?
The three types of web development include:
- Front-end web development (what users see such as themes, menus)
- Back-end web development (what users don’t see such as databases)
- Full stack web development (both front-end and back-end web development combined)
4. How long does it take to build a business website using WordPress?
You can create a basic business website using WordPress in a week. However, adding more pages and posts, and optimizing your site for SEO and conversions will require regular effort.
5. How can I develop a website?
You can develop a website by following the steps below.
- Pick a domain name and register it.
- Buy a web hosting plan.
- Choose a website builder.
- Design the look and feel of your website.
- Start publishing content.
- Optimize your website for users and SERPs.
- Launch your website and start making money.
Ready to Start Building Your Business Website?
Creating a small business website doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can start small with a domain, web hosting plan, and a website builder like WordPress.
Add pages and content to get your site up and running. Promote your content to generate more website traffic and have more people see your products and services.
As you gradually make money, keep adding new features and content to your website to grow your business further.
Want to learn more about setting up a business website?
Enroll in This FREE Course!
Do you have questions about website development best practices? Leave them in the comments below.