How to create a business website

Who I am
Lluís Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
Author and references

Requirements analysis

To create a corporate website effective and successful, it is a good idea to pay particular attention to its "theoretical" design: although this phase is often underestimated, it is essential to establish guidelines to follow when creating the portal, defining, a priori, an abstract form.


First, you need to ask yourself a which audience its own site is intended e which information they are destined to draw from it: the goal is to create one showcase of your works? Or you have to make a E-commerce to devote to buying products? Is the company based on offering direct services to the customer (e.g. making accounting books, payrolls, graphics work, and so on)?


Having found the answer to these questions, you must then fix the concepts of mission (the type of interest that the site must arouse for its visitors) e vision (how to arouse this interest): these are two concepts that should never be taken for granted, as they strongly influence the final result.

Once this “abstract” definition phase is complete, you can proceed with the definition of the fundamental details of the website, such as its name, domain name and the hosting service to rely on to host everything. These details will be the subject of the following paragraphs of this section.

Choice of name and domain

As you can imagine, the company website is a bit like the business card of the activity: very often, even before speaking to an "insider" or physically going to the company, potential customers tend to study, carefully, the portal that represents them.


Therefore, it is imperative to pay attention to the nome of the site, which must be at least similar to that of the company, simple to remember and, at the same time, incisive. Just to give you an example, for my company I chose to use my name and, to give some consistency, I called my website, precisely, configurehow. Therefore, if your company is called We sell good things, it would be advisable to create a portal with the same name.


Having made the above choice, you have to choose the domain to use, i.e. the main part of theindirizzo web through which to reach the site. In my case, once again, I chose a domain that is easy to remember and that leads back to my person as well as to my company: configurehow.com.

In general, it is a good idea to choose a domain that is enough briefsimple to remember and that, clearly, you remember the name of the site (and the company) to which it belongs: returning to the previous example, you could opt for a domain like vendiamocosebuone.com (if your company has mainly your language customers) or vendiamocosebuone. com (if, on the other hand, you plan to acquire customers on an international scale).

Otherwise, if the name of your company is particularly long, you can use theacronym of the name or, alternatively, his own understandable abbreviation, which is simple from remember, from to type and to communicate. For example, if your business name was We sell good, natural and healthy things, you could abbreviate the domain with buonesano.com, or something similar.

One last point: if the company "at the base" of the website operates on an international scale, belongs to a very competitive sector or there is the risk of running into companies with a similar name, try to buy, in addition to the chosen reference domain (for eg. nomesito.com), even alternative domains that have .com (sitename.com) e . Net (nomesito.net). By doing so, you will limit the possibility that third parties can take advantage of the name of the company to grab an audience that, legitimately, should instead belong to you.



Now, if you already have a web space on which to host your site and you need only the domain, you can refer to my tutorial dedicated to registering a new domain. If you do not have any dedicated space, I suggest you opt for the purchase of a package hosting + domain: I will analyze this solution in the next chapter of this guide.

Choice of hosting

In practice, thehosting it is none other than it physical space responsible for hosting the files that make up a website and "animating" the related mechanisms. There are a number of such vendors, many of which allow you to purchase full packages, which include hosting, domaindedicated web services.

In principle, suppliers can provide both free and paid solutions: the former, as it is easy to guess, are not very customizable and combine a third-level domain with the Web space (e.g. site name.nomehosting.com) or, in some cases, fourth level; paid solutions, on the other hand, offer a very large margin of customization, a dedicated support team and, for the most part, can be associated with the purchase of second-level domains (eg. nomesito.com).

Another aspect to consider is the type of server to rent: this choice must be made on the basis of the necessary performances and must be studied carefully, in order to avoid unnecessary and / or unsatisfactory purchases.

  • Shared server - is the most common, economical and easy to manage solution. Service providers provide Web spaces complete with everything needed to build a site, even without prior technical knowledge. Resources reside on machines shared by multiple customers at the same time.
  • Semi-dedicated server - is the solution chosen by those who expect to generate extremely high Web traffic, or to have to perform complex calculation operations through the server. The resources are located on a complete operating system, in a virtual environment, completely customizable by the user (who must then take care of configuring the various aspects "manually"). As it is easy to suppose, semi-dedicated servers have a much higher cost than shared ones.
  • Dedicated server - it is the least economical solution, which provides that the resources are hosted on a complete operating system, installed on a physical machine at the complete disposal of the user. This category of servers is particularly suitable for those who need high computing power, or plan to generate large web traffic.

So, unless you have particular technical requests, my advice is to guide you in purchasing a package of shared server hosting.



Such platforms, as already mentioned, provide everything you need to easily create a website: a certain amount of physical space to be used for the files that make up the portal; a domain second level (or higher); the ability to create one or more subdomains (e.g. ecommerce.nomesito.com); server services (e.g. web environment, database, PHP environment, etc.) preconfigured and ready for use; CMS proprietary or preconfigured for simplified installation; a number of email boxes; optional services of backup (for automatic data saving); and optional service of staging (to carry out "test" functions on the site).

Depending on the site you intend to get, you have to opt for a hosting solution rather than another. If you still do not have completely clear ideas and you need help in the choice phase, I refer you to reading my guide to the best hosting and my in-depth analysis on how to choose a hosting for your website: you will be satisfied.

Choice of the CMS

Another very important aspect to consider, especially if you are not familiar with Web programming, is the choice of CMS (o Content Management System) more suited to your needs: if you had never heard of it, it is a tool capable of creating, updating and managing entire web portals with extreme simplicity and without the need to have previous technical knowledge.

On the Net there are many ready-to-use CMSs, with different characteristics and peculiarities, based on the website that you are about to create. For this reason, in order to choose the one that best suits your needs, it would be advisable to define a list of priorityneed: below I will list some of them.

  • THEgraphic appearance of the portal to be obtained.
  • La mode of content creation.
  • The presence or absence of E-commerce and / or showcase pages.
  • The need or not of code-level manual development.
  • La monetization, that is the possibility of earning from the site by adding advertisements.

In other words, you will have to rely on a different CMS, depending on the site you intend to create: if, for example, you want to create something that looks like a blog, a portfolio or an information showcase, you should opt for a system, such as WordPress, able to create content easily and to act in detail on the graphics of the site; if you need to create an e-commerce, a CMS like Joomla, able to easily create product sheets, specify payment and shipping methods and create a landing page to sponsor your business.

Also, to improve site performance and indexing, make sure your chosen CMS has a clean and light code, which allows you to create sites responsive (suitable for PCs, smartphones and tablets, with automatic display change based on the screen size in use) optimized for search engines, which has adequate support and documentation and, especially if you are a neophyte, that is it simple to use.

In this regard, I have made an in-depth study dedicated to the best CMS, in which I have described, in great detail, some of the most used solutions in this category.

Fundamental pages

A successful business website should, ideally, have the information you intend to pass on to your readers and potential customers right there, right at your fingertips. In other words, we should think of it by putting ourselves, literally, in the shoes of the audience for which it is developed! Therefore, below you will list a number of pages which, in my opinion, should be present in the company portals.

  • La home page: since it is the first page that a user sees when visiting the site, it should be in line with the style of the company, neat, tidy and able to capture attention, but not excessive.
  • Page About us: it must contain the history of the company, the values ​​it embodies and the mission of its work.
  • Page Contacts: on this page it is necessary to indicate the contact information of the company, such as the address (with any indications to reach it by public transport and its own), the opening hours, the telephone / fax number, the email address and, if present, the addresses of the social pages.
  • Page Portfolio: this page is designed to provide the reader with a list of the works carried out.
  • The pages TestimonialsSuccessful cases: in them should appear, respectively, the positive experiences of those who contacted the company and the best solution projects completed.
  • Page Store: this section must be created if you intend to give your potential customers the opportunity to buy online.
  • The (or the) Landing Page: this is the page that users reach on advertisements on the Net, in which discounts, promotions or particularly incisive content should be inserted. The landing page is indicated where you intend to advertise your company through social media or other types of advertisements (eg Google Ads).
  • The page for the Privacy management & Cookie Policy: it is essential if the site in question can be visited by users belonging to the European Community. It must contain information relating to the use of cookies, personal data and any other detail that is attributable to the user's privacy. Fortunately, many CMSs include a wizard to easily create pages of this type.

How to create a business website for free

Once you have defined the characteristics relating to the website that should represent your company, it is time to explain, in practice, how to make it happen. My advice is to opt for a paid solution, as the services offered are much more in line with the result you should get.

If, however, you want to do some practical experiments before _opening your wallet_, let me show you how to create a business website for free making use of Aruba SuperSite, a hosting service (with proprietary CMS), which provides a free trial period of 30 days.

Aruba SuperSite

As mentioned above, Aruba SuperSite is a complete hosting solution, designed for the creation of moderately complex websites based on HTML5 and CSS3 technologies. The portals thus created can be extensively customized in design, are optimized for mobile and search engines, and compatible with the integration of blogs and e-commerce sections. At the time of writing this guide, Aruba SuperSite can be activated with 3 different plans.

  • SuperSite Trial - This is the free 30-day trial of the SuperSite Professional plan. A third level domain is included (e.g. sitename.mysupersite.com) with 24/7 assistance. With this plan it is possible to create sites optimized for mobile devices and equipped with a blog component, e-commerce, SEO options and Cookie Policy, even multilingual. After the 30-day trial has expired, the site is no longer accessible and there are 10 days to proceed with the purchase of the SuperSite Professional plan, with replacement of the third-level domain with a second-level one. After 10 days, if no upgrade is performed, the site is deleted.
  • SuperSite Professional - as already mentioned, it is the full version of the previous plan. It includes a second level domain (nomesito.com), free assistance 24/7, 5 mailboxes and SSL DV certificate. With this plan it is possible to create websites, even multilingual, optimized for viewing from mobile devices, with SEO options, Cookie Policy, blog component and e-commerce section. Currently, the service costs € 39 + VAT for the first year, in promotion for new activations until July 30, 2020, then € 99 + VAT / year.
  • SuperSite Easy - this is the cheapest plan from Aruba SuperSite. It includes a second level domain, free 24/7 support, 5 mailboxes and SSL DV certificate. It allows you to create sites optimized for mobile devices and with blog functions, Cookie Policy and SEO options. It costs € 39 + VAT / year.

If you are interested in taking advantage of the trial version of Aruba SuperSite, click here to connect to the main page of the service, press the button Try free for 30 days and, if you have an Aruba account, enter your credentials in the appropriate fields and click on the button Login per effettuare l'accesso.

If you don't have an account, use the section New user and answer the questions that are asked: indicate if you are natural person, company / sole proprietorshipother subjectclick on your button Subscribe and fill in the forms displayed on the screen with the requested information.

Once logged in, check the boxes relating to the acceptance of the Terms of service provision and Clauses of the conditions of supply of the service and click on the button Continue.

After this step, you can finally start the creation of your site: connect to the SuperSite editor, indicate what kind of website are you creating by typing an indicative term in the appropriate field, choose the most similar suggestion among those proposed, click on the button Continue and then specifies the website name and press again Continue.

At this point, choose it style of the site, selecting one of the available templates and identifying the template pagina iniziale that suits you best: through the live preview, you can immediately see the performance (to view the mobile mode, click on the smartphone located at the top left) and, when you are satisfied, click on the button Build your website, to create the initial prospectus and start filling it with content.

The SuperSite editor, as you can see, doesn't need much explanation: use the ☰ button to access the various sections of the portal (Editor of the site, management of the Shop or the Blog, page of Help / TutorialSite settings and management ofAccount), while through the central drop-down menu you can choose the page to edit.

The central part of the SuperSite editor shows the contents of the page to edit, along with all the tools you need to add testiimages, slideshows, maps, contact buttons, product listspurchase buttons and numerous other types of elements, modules and widgets.

At the bottom, however, there are buttons for add new sections to the page (the icon capacitor positive (+) lead) and for add new pages / items to the site (the icon of four squares); finally, the right sidebar allows you to change the on the fly design of the site, change the way it is displayed (desktop versionmobile devices), Or publish it (then choosing the domain to use).

As you can easily guess, the methods of use of the SuperSite management software vary according to the type of site you are preparing to create, as well as the content you intend to insert within it. If you are interested in further exploring the topic, read carefully my guide dedicated to the creation of a website with Aruba, in which I have dealt with the topic in depth.

Shopify

If what you intend to create is a company website that focuses on e-commerce, I can only advise you Shopify: an extremely simple to use service that allows you to create online stores with unlimited products, unlimited secure hosting, free unlimited bandwidth, free shopify.com domain name (with the possibility of replacing it with a custom one) and everything you need to manage with ease products, customers, orders, payments, shipments, inventory, etc. It also allows you to carry out marketing campaigns via social networks, email or SMS, to use the Facebook sales channel to synchronize their products with a catalog on the social network, create marketing activities on the latter and take advantage of the purchase function Instagram Shopping.

You can try Shopify for free for a trial period (with no obligations), after which the service offers various plans starting at $ 29 / month. To start the trial, connected to the official Shopify website, type yours email address in the appropriate field and click on the button Start your free trial. Then enter Password e name of the store in the appropriate fields, press the button Create your shop and fill out the additional form that is proposed to you indicating if you have already started selling, what your current income is, in which sector you want to operate e if you are creating a store for a customer.

At this point, award your bottone NEXT, enter the data relating to theaddress to receive payments and press pulsating Enter the shop to start setting up your store. you find everything in the left sidebar, where there are options to manage orders, products e customers visualize analysis on sales data, manage the marketing, the discounts and so on.

Finally, I would like to point out the availability ofShopify app to Android (available on Play Store and alternative stores) e iPhone / iPad (available on the App Store) to manage your store even on the move. If you want to know more, read my guide on how to create an e-commerce with Shopify.

Other solutions to create a corporate website

Have you had the opportunity to thoroughly test the previous solution and do you think it is not for you? If this is the case, I recommend that you consider one of the hosting platforms + CMS that I list below.

  • Wix - is a famous portal that allows you to create professional sites with the help of artificial intelligence. In its free version, Wix provides 500MB of storage, 500MB of bandwidth, a domain like username.wixsite.com/sitename, and advertisements. These limitations can be removed by purchasing a paid plan, with prices starting at € 4,50 / month.
  • Webs - another famous service for the creation "from scratch", and without specific skills, of professional Web sites. The free version allows you to create a site with a third level domain (www.nomesito.webs.com); By opting for a paid plan (with starting prices of $ 5,99 / month), you can get second-level domains instead.
  • Blomming - is a portal that allows you to create e-commerce sites, with personal spaces dedicated to sales. For businesses, subscription plans are available, with prices starting at € 29 / month + VAT and withholding of 2% of commissions (billed on a monthly basis).

To learn more about these and other useful solutions for the creation of corporate websites, take a look at my guides on how to create an Internet site, how to create a professional site and how to create an e-commerce site: I am sure that you they will help!

How to create a business website

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