Creating your small business’ first website

Dec 7, 2018 by
Creating your small business’ first website

Although social networking behemoths like LinkedIn and Facebook appear to have monopolised the Internet, (and it is important that your business has a defined presence on both platforms) there is simply no replacement for a bespoke site of your own.

On a purely aesthetic level, the heavy customisation options available when building your own site will allow you to design a site that directly reflects the style and personality of your business and your brand, something just not possible with most social media platforms. It will also be hard for consumers to take your business seriously (no matter its size) if you don’t have your own site.

When setting up your small business, a decent web site should definitely be one of the first things to consider putting together before pulling the trigger and going public. It doesn’t just need to be a promotional tool either, it can be so much more.

Free Hosting Platforms

Hiring a web site designer well versed in specific coding languages and design software can result in a site that’s completely unique and built to your exacting standards, it can be a long and expensive process. For this reason, it might be worth first using a placeholder ‘free’ web site to promote your business, while your ‘final’ site is being built.

A multitude of hosting platforms such as WordPress and Tumblr exist for just this purpose. If you fancy a more long-term, customisable option, however, there are also sites as Squarespace that offer slick, easy-to-use interfaces and a raft of eclectic design options.


When designing your web site, the primary factors that need to be taken into consideration are its initial impact and its functionality. Functionality is particularly important as you could have the most impressive site in the world, but if nobody can understand how to navigate it, then it’s essentially nothing more than an expensive screensaver.

Web browseStanding out from the herd is difficult considering that as a small business, you’ll lack the funds and resources of your more popular competitors. Yet, sometimes elegant and simple web site design wins out over flash, bang, and wallop. Using high definition videos and audio on your site might make it inaccessible for those with slower connections and there is no reason why your site has to dazzle your consumers anyway. If they’re too entertained by the site itself, they will surely be less inclined to read the information it contains.

It’s far more important that your site offers an immediate emotional connection between your business and the consumer, and this can be done with some attractive fonts, well written promotional and introductory prose, and a bold, striking identity. The ratio of image to text will depend very much on your field. A holiday company, for example, should focus more on attractive images of the locations on offer, whereas a computer company will want to focus more on spec sheets and promotional text.

Whichever design avenue you decide upon, remember that a comfortable majority of first-time users will most likely be accessing your site from a mobile device. A mobile-first design is always recommended as it’s far easier to make a site designed for mobile work on a desktop than vice-versa.

Domain Name

Finding the right domain name can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. However, small businesses and startups shouldn’t struggle to claim their ‘.com’ or ‘’ domain names, unless their name is incredibly generic. Still, if your name has been claimed, you might want to consider swallowing your pride and buying out the name from whoever owns it.

The majority of users will discover your site through a search engine (such as Google) and your ranking on these engines can be boosted with the help of an SEO campaign. There is, however, still a kind of ‘authority’ associated with owning your own ‘.com’ site domain and it is admittedly, far easier for the web illiterate to remember.