If you want to build a website for a small business, here is everything you need to do it all in a weekend. Using these resources it is possible to build your own website including domain name, hosting, email addresses, newsletter, blog, website, contact forms, maps, videos, social networking, social bookmarking and much more for under £20.00.
Then, for just a few pounds more, you can add a premium theme, a shopping cart, your own affiliate programme and even a members’ only section too.
Here’s what to do…
Domain Name and Hosting
The best hosting company I have ever dealt with by far are Birch Hosting. Buy your domain name from them (usually cheaper than all the market leaders) and buy your web hosting from them too. Unlike most of the big players they don’t charge extra for email addresses. This can save you a lot of money each year.
(Use Discount Code: BRILLIANT UK HOSTING for 10% off)
WordPress is powerful. For a small business website it beats Dreamweaver hands down. WordPress is free, open-source software for writing websites and blogs. It is the blogging platform of choice for professional bloggers. You can also create an entire website with it. It is utterly brilliant and will allow you to build just about anything you want into your new website. You can either use Birch Hosting’s one-click install, or download it from wordpress.org (both free).
Choose a Theme
A theme dictates the look, feel and layout of your site. There are literally thousands of free WordPress themes available, some very good, some not so good. There are also Premium (or paid) themes too. Many premium themes offer amazing features and functionality at incredibly low prices.
Here are some of my favourite Premium WordPress Themes:
Add Some Plugins
Plugins add functionality to your site. There are thousands to choose from. Here are the ‘must have’ ones I feel every WordPress site should have (mostly free):
- CBNet Ping Optimizer – Stops WordPress from pinging other sites until you want it to
- All in One SEO Pack – The number one SEO tool for WordPress
- SEO Slugs – Removes common stop words (and, if but, etc.) from your pages’ URLs
- W3 Total Cache – Speeds up page load times
- Better Delete Revision – Deletes old versions of your pages from your WP database
- cforms – Hugely configurable web forms for your site
- FD Feedburner Plugin – Redirect your WordPress RSS feed to Feedburner
- Feed Stats for WordPress – Feedburner Stats on your WordPress dashboard
- Google XML Sitemaps – Create a sitemap for your site
- Plugins Garbage Collector – Cleans up your WordPress database
- Redirection – 301 Redirects the easy way from within WordPress
- Related Websites – A completely brilliant way to generate good inbound links to your site
- Revision Control – Stop WordPress from keeping old versions of your pages in the database
- Robots Meta – Create a robots.txt file for WordPress and much more
- MapPress – Effortlessly embed fully interactive Google Maps in your pages
- Youtuber – Easily embed YouTube videos in your pages
Choose The Right Keywords
The most important part of writing any website is that you choose the right keywords (which simply cannot be done without keyword research software.) The best keyword research software by far is Market Samurai. Get a free trial of Market Samurai.
Write Your Content
Writing content is not as hard as you may think. Here a a few resources from our blog to help you:
- Perpetual Organic Link Generator
- 7 Tips for Writing Great Content Quickly
- How to Write Headlines that Sell
- Good English is Good for Business
- Brilliant Copywriting
Use Photo Editing Software
If you are going to add pictures to your site, you will need some photo editing software. Here are the best ones I have found:
Get Video Software
If you are going to create and upload videos to YouTube and embed them on you web pages you will need to use either a video camera and video editing software, or video capture software to enable you to make screenshot ‘how to’ videos straight from your computer monitor. You can buy a pocket video camera from about £30 and to make videos direct from your monitor use Camtasia.
Share Your Content
Using the power of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter YouTube and LinkedIn it is possible to share your content with a huge audience and even have them do that sharing for you. This builds inbound links, increases visitors and spreads your message. To do this add follow and share buttons to your site. My top four providers of following and sharing buttons are:
Add a newsletter sign up form to your pages and start building your email list. Then you can email your subscribers regularly to keep them up-to-date with your latest offers and promotions. My top two newsletter providers are:
If you want to earn money from your website or blog you can add advertisements to it. To do this use these two plugins (both free): WP125 and Smart Ads. Then join Google AdSense (pays you per click) and AffiliateFuture (pays you per sale).
Top Tip: If you want to link your shopping cart to your accounts software, (saving you hours of work inputting online sales) use KashFlow, which is the only accounting software to offer full PayPal integration.
Just visit www.kashflow.com
(Use discount code: STEVEBUNYAN to save £12 a year.)
Your Own Affiliate Programme
To add an affiliate programme of your own to your site, install WP Affiliate Platform (paid).
A Membership Site
To add a membership section to your site, install WordPress eMember (paid).