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How to Build Your Own Small Business Website in a Weekend

by on 20th May 2011  •  In Tips & Tricks, Web Design

How to Build Your Own Small Business Website in a Weekend

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.

Visit www.birchhosting.co.uk

(Use Discount Code: BRILLIANT UK HOSTING for 10% off)

Install WordPress

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):

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:

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:

  1. Share and Follow (free)
  2. Wibiya (free or paid)
  3. AddThis (free)
  4. Sociable (free)

Newsletter

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:

  1. Satollo (free or paid)
  2. AWeber (monthly subscription options)

Monetising

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).

Shopping Carts

First get a PayPal for Business account (free). Then install a shopping cart plugin.
The best WordPress shopping cart plugin I have ever found is WordPress eStore (paid).

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).

And Finally

Finally, read our blog regularly to stay updated with lots of ways to market your website and blog online. Alternatively you can subscribe to our  RSS feed too.

Tags: Birch Hosting, Content, Google, PayPal, SEO, Shopping Cart, WordPress

About

Steve is the owner of Small Business Marketing, which is based in North Norfolk in the UK. He is passionate about helping small business owners to improve their web presence and their understanding of how the Internet works. He believes that by doing so, they will improve their businesses.

http://www.small-businessmarketing.co.uk/


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