Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult – but it is important that you understand a lot of things that will ultimately influence the price you pay and how well your website works for you. Keep in mind: the best looking websites do not always equal sales and profits!
Here is a breakdown of How to Create a Website for Your Business:
Step 1: Identify What Features and Functionality You Need
Depending on what type of craft or handmade item you create, your needs may be different. However at the bare minimum most websites will need the following:
- A Call to Action – What do you want visitors to do when they visit your website? Buy something? Sign up for a mailing list?
- A Blog – This is where you post news, updates, tips, etc.
- An About Page
- A Contact Form – How Customers Can contact you about their orders
- eCommerce Functionality* – The ability to sell your own products on your website if applicable.
- A Newsletter Sign Up Form
*Note: Running your own online store is NOT for everyone. It can be difficult to setup if not working with a pro, and of course you also will need to learn how to upload and showcase your products, manage your inventory, process orders and payment, and calculate your own shipping and taxes. The rewards can be HUGE but keep in mind there is a steep learning curve!
Step 2: Determine Your Budget
Having a budget setup for your website is important – it’s the best way for you to be able to know what features you can afford and to determine which route to take for setting up a small business website. There are thousands of services and online website builders out there – and it’s important that you pick the right solution for you from the very beginning.
Here’s a cost break down of what you might pay for a website:
Domain Registration – This is the website address – $10/year
Web Hosting – Between $10 – $22 year depending on which company you choose
eCommerce Fees: eCommerce fees can slowly add up. For example, your payment processor will charge a fee for each transaction. Depending on what functionality your online shop needs, you may also need to purchase add-ons for your website – which may have a yearly fee as well.
A Content Management System: Chances are you will want to update your website often with new content and to manage products. For this you will need web software that allows you to add new posts and pages and products right from your web browser without having to worry about all the technical stuff of writing and editing HTML code. For this, we love and use WordPress almost exclusively. It’s 100% free to download their software and install on your server, so you can’t beat that!
Website Design: You will likely want to think about how you want your website to look and feel. There is a lot to go into the design of your website, such as creating a logo if you do not already have one, how to display your photos and products, choosing colors, choosing a layout, etc. etc. The price will greatly depend on whether you go with a free pre-made design, the DIY approach, hire a professional developer, or a hybrid between all of these things. If your budget is low, you can probably do it all yourself for about $300 – if you have it in the budget though, a professional web developer can actually save you money in the long run if you hire someone who is trustworthy and knows the ins and outs of building successful websites.
Step 3: Plan Out & Create Your Content
Before you can actually build out a website, it helps to have all of your content ready to go from the beginning. Some of the things you will want to work on creating is your “About Page” text, as well as product descriptions, your first 5-10 blog post articles, and any other relevant pages/content you want to include on your site.
Step 4: Build a Website for Your Business!
This is either going to be the super fun part, the expensive part, or the stressful end up in tears part.
This is when you actually build your website and make it go live!
If you are hiring someone, all you need to do is check in to see how things are going to make sure they are working on your project. Expect most designers and developers to create your site within 2-4 weeks, though if you need more complicated functionality, this may take longer.
Step 5: Learn to maintain and update your website.
There are some very important things you need to do when you own a website:
~ Stay on top of updates to the software so the site stays secure and does not get hacked into
~ Make regular backups so you can restore the site if anything goes awry
Learning how to create a website for your business will give you the online presence you need to start selling your handmade products online.
Have any questions about this whole process? We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments section below!