How to create a corporate website

Who I am
Aina Martin
@ainamartin
Author and references

Preliminary analyzes

The first step to take in order to create a corporate website of success consists in its "theoretical" design: this phase, all too often underestimated, serves to give an at least abstract form to the portal that is about to be created, setting guidelines to be followed in the actual construction phase.


To get started, ask yourself first who you want me to visit your website e which information you want readers to draw from it: do you need a showcase to showcase your work? You need a E-commerce to devote to the purchase of certain products? Do you offer direct customer services (e.g. payroll / bookkeeping, graphic design, home cooking, etc.)?


In this regard, you have to keep two fundamental concepts in mind: the mission that your site must have (i.e. the type of interest it must arouse in visitors) and the vision to which it must respond (i.e. how to arouse this interest). These concepts will prove to be almost fundamental for the success of the portal you are about to create.

Once these two points have been defined, you can proceed with the definition of the main details of the site: its name, the domain name and the hosting service to which you can contact to host everything. In the following paragraphs of this section, it will be my care to indicate to you, precisely, what are the "choices" to be made right away.

Choose your name and domain

To date, the corporate website is a bit like the business card of the activity: there is a very good chance that potential customers, even before speaking to an "insider" or physically visiting the company headquarters, have taken a look at the website that represents it.



For this reason, I recommend that you give the site in question a name similar to that of the company, which is incisive and at the same time easy to remember. For example, for my company I have chosen to use my name, and it is no coincidence that my website is also called configurehow. So, if the business you manage is called, for example, Nice Products For You, it would be a good idea to create a website that has the same name.

Once the name has been decided, another very important step follows: that of choosing the domain to use, i.e. the main part of theURL where to reach it. Returning to my case, I chose to opt for a domain that is easy to remember and that leads back, also in a very direct way, to my person and my company: configurehow.com.

Ideally, you should follow a similar path, but keep in mind a couple of key details: the site's domain must be simple to remember it's enough brief, within the limits of the possibilities. For example, if your business is called Nice Products For You, you could use the domain beiprodottiperte.com (if your company mainly has your language customers) or beiprodottiperte.com (if, on the other hand, you plan to acquire customers on an international scale).

Another piece of advice I would like to give you, especially for companies with particularly long denominations, is to use theacronym of the name activity, or one of its understandable abbreviation: for example, where the name of the same was Nice Products For You For Home And Environment, you could consider using a domain such as beiprodotticasambiente.com. In general, however, try to follow the “simple rule of three” as far as possible: simple from remember, simple from to type, simple from to communicate.



Another suggestion: if the company for which you are preparing to create the site operates on an international scale, if it is a very competitive sector or if you risk running into companies that have names similar to yours, buy, in addition to the domain " main "of your interest (eg. nomesito.com), even alternative domains that have . Net (eg. nomesito.net) e .com (sitename.com): This will minimize the possibility that someone may use your company name to attract an audience that, in fact, should belong to you.

If you already have a Web space to dedicate to your site and you need to proceed with the purchase of the domain only, please consult the guide I have dedicated to registering a new domain. If, on the other hand, you are starting "from scratch", I recommend that you opt for a package hosting + domain: I'll tell you about it in the next section of this guide.

Choose hosting

THEhosting it is none other than it physical space on which a website is hosted. On the Net, there are numerous suppliers of this type, many of which allow you to purchase packages that include hostingdomaindedicated web services.

Hosting providers can provide both free and paid solutions: the former, in general, are minimally customizable and combine the web space with a third or, in some cases, fourth level domain (e.g. site name .hostingname.com); paid hosting solutions, on the other hand, provide highly customizable services, a dedicated support team and, in general, can be combined for purchase with second-level domains (eg. nomesito.com).


Some providers allow you to choose the type of server to rent: this choice varies greatly according to the performance to be obtained and must be analyzed very carefully, in order to avoid running into unnecessary expenses.


  • Shared server - the resources are hosted on machines shared by several customers at the same time. The managers provide ready-to-use Web spaces, complete with everything necessary to create a site, even with little or no previous technical skills. This is the most common, simple and economical solution.
  • Semi-dedicated server - the resources are hosted on a complete operating system, in a virtual environment, at the complete disposal of the user (who will be left with the task of configuring the various aspects). This solution, not exactly cheap, is usually chosen by those who expect to generate high traffic or have to perform complex parallel operations through the Web server.
  • Dedicated server - the resources are hosted on a complete operating system, installed on a physical machine, which is made available to the user. This is the least economical and most complex solution to manage, suitable for those who need high computing power and to manage significantly large amounts of traffic.

Unless you have specific requests of a strictly technical nature, I recommend that you opt for the purchase of shared server hosting: platforms of this kind usually provide numerous services, such as the following.

  • A certain amount of web space to be used for the files that make up the site.
  • Un domain second level (or higher).
  • The ability to create one or more subdomains (e.g. blog.nomesito.com or ecommerce.nomesito.com).
  • A number of email boxes dedicated.
  • Pre-configured server services (e.g. web environment, database environment, PHP environment, ASP environment, etc.) and ready for use.
  • CMS preconfigured for simplified installation or proprietary CMS (more on that later).
  • Optional services of backup for automatic data saving.
  • Optional service of staging for the implementation of "test" functions of the site.

Clearly, the choice of hosting can vary based on the type of website you intend to get. If you need help in this regard, feel free to read my tutorial on how to choose a hosting for your website and my guide to the best hosting: I'm sure they will be able to clarify your ideas further.

Choose a CMS

You have every intention of create a corporate website on your own but alas, have you never dealt with the subject of web programming before? Do not worry: there are tools that can create, customize, manage and update entire websites, with ease, also suitable for those who do not have specific skills in the field: these systems are called CMSthe Content Management System.

There are a large number of ready-to-use CMSs, each featuring specific functions for the site you are about to create. Therefore, you must first identify the one that best suits your project, taking into account its main aspects and defining a list of need and priority, what they could be: thegraphic appearance of the portal to be obtained; the modalities of content creation; the presence or absence of E-commerce and / or showcase pages; the code-level development; The monetization (i.e. the ability to earn from the site by adding advertisements) or other similar factors.

What I mean is that, depending on the site you have in mind, you will have to use a different CMS: if, for example, the website has to resemble a blog, an information showcase or a portfolio, it is essential to rely on a CMS able to create content with ease and to manage in detail the graphics of the site (eg. WordPress); if, on the other hand, you are more oriented to the creation of an e-commerce, you need a CMS that allows you to create product sheets, to define payment and shipping methods and, if you intend to sponsor your page, also to create a landing page (eg. Joomla).

Finally, you should make sure that the CMS of your choice has a clean and light code, be it optimized for search engines, which allows you to easily create sites responsive (suitable for both PCs and smartphones and tablets, with automatic modification of the display based on the device used by the user), which has adequate support and documentation but, especially if you don't have much experience on the subject, let it be simple to use.

To clarify your ideas further, I have created a specific guide dedicated to the best CMS, in which I have told you, in detail, about the most known and used solutions of this type.

Fundamental pages

One of the keys to the success of a corporate website is to think of it by putting yourself, literally, in the shoes of the audience it is addressed to: for this reason, you must ensure that the information you intend to transfer to your readers is always there, at handy. Here, then, is a series of pages which, in my opinion, should be present in all corporate Internet sites.

  • La home page that it is neat, tidy, captivating and not excessive but, above all, in line with the style of your company: it is the first page that a user views when visiting the site, do not forget it.
  • Page About us, containing the history of the company, together with the mission and values ​​it embodies.
  • Page Contacts, in which to indicate information such as the address of the company (and, if necessary, how to reach it by own and public means), the opening hours, the telephone / fax number, the email address and, if applicable, the addresses social profiles.
  • Page Portfolio, if you intend to give the reader a list of your works.
  • Page Testimonials, in which to group the positive experiences of those who have contacted the company, making them easily accessible.
  • Page Successful cases which, in a similar way to what has been seen previously, should list the most important solution projects completed by the company itself.
  • Page Store, if you intend to give your readers the opportunity to shop online.
  • One or more Landing Page, to be created if you intend to advertise your company through social media or through other types of advertisements (eg Google Ads). The landing page is the Web page that users reach by clicking on advertisements on the Net, in which to insert incisive content, discounts or promotions valid for a specific time.
  • The page dedicated to Privacy management & Cookie Policy, essential if the website is available for users belonging to the European Community, in which to enter information relating to the use of cookies, personal data and any other information that is attributable to the user's privacy. Most CMSs allow you to create pages of this type using a guided procedure.

How to create a business website for free

After having drawn up a project relating to the type of website you intend to create, the time has come to explain to you how to proceed, in practice. Personally, I advise you to consider the use of paid solutions, as the services offered (eg a second level domain) are more consonant with the result you should get.

However, if you want to experiment before investing any money, let me explain how to create a business website for free us Aruba SuperSite, hosting service (with attached proprietary CMS) which provides a free trial period of 30 days, generally sufficient to evaluate the effectiveness of the Internet site created.

Aruba SuperSite

Aruba SuperSite, as I explained earlier, it is a complete solution aimed at creating websites of medium complexity, which allows you to create websites based on HTML5 and CSS3 technologies, with a customizable design and optimized for mobile and search engines. There is also no shortage of options aimed at integrating blogs and selling products online. Aruba SuperSite can be activated, at the time of writing this guide, with 3 possible plans.

  • SuperSite Trial - allows you to try the SuperSite Professional plan for free for 30 days. It includes a third level domain (e.g. sitename.mysupersite.com) with free 24/7 assistance. It allows you to create sites optimized for mobile devices and equipped with an e-commerce component, blogs, SEO options and Cookie Policy, even multilingual. At the end of the 30 days, the site is no longer accessible and there are 10 days to purchase the Professional version of the service, replacing the third level domain with a second level one (e.g. site name.com). If, after 10 days, no upgrade is made, the site will be automatically deleted.
  • SuperSite Professional - is the complete version of the plan seen above. It includes a second level domain (e.g. sitename.com), 5 mailboxes, DV SSL certificate and free 24/7 assistance. It is suitable for creating sites optimized for mobile devices, with blog functions, e-commerce, SEO options and Cookie Policy, even multilingual. As things currently stand, the service costs € 39 + VAT for the first year, in promotion for new activations until July 30, 2020, then € 99 + VAT / year.
  • SuperSite Easy - it is the cheapest plan of Aruba SuperSite, which includes a second level domain (e.g. sitename.com), 5 mailboxes, SSL DV certificate and free 24/7 assistance. It allows you to create sites optimized for mobile devices and with blog functions, SEO options and Cookie Policy. It costs € 39 + VAT / year.

To activate the trial version of Aruba SuperSite, connect to this website and click on the button Try free for 30 days to move on to the next step, which consists in accessing the service with your Aruba account: if you have one, fill in the appropriate fields with your data and click on the button Login.

If not, you can proceed with creating a new account using the section New user: specify if you are physical personfreelancecompany / sole proprietorship o other subject, presses the button Subscribe and enter the information relating to your person / company in the forms that are subsequently proposed to you. Once completed, you will need to verify your account by clicking on the confirmation button in the email you will receive from Aruba.

Once logged in, accept the Terms of service provision and Clauses of the conditions of supply of the service, by checking the appropriate boxes; click on the button Continue and connect to the SuperSite editor by logging in with your account and follow the guided procedure to proceed with the creation of your website: specify what kind of website are you creating, by typing an indicative term in the appropriate field and selecting the suggestion most similar to the content you intend to create, click on the button Continue, indicates the name of your website in the next field and press again on Continue, to move forward.

Now, select it style of your site, by choosing one of the templates that are proposed to you and, subsequently, select the model of pagina iniziale that suits you best: take a look at the live preview (if you want to see the performance also in mobile mode, click on the smartphone on the left) to choose the template that most convinces you and, when you have found it, click on the button Build your website to create the "skeleton" of your site and immediately start creating content.

If everything went well, you should now find yourself face to face with the SuperSite editor, on which you can act, in all its aspects, using the menu bar at the top: by pressing the button you can quickly reach the various sections of the portal (Editor of the site, management of the Shop, management of Blog, Help / Tutorial, Site settings and management ofAccount); using the central drop-down menu you can choose the page to edit; using the right sidebar, instead, you can change the design of the site, view it in desktop / mobile version or publish it.

The central part of the SuperSite editor screen contains the page to edit, to which elements such as images, testi, headers, image galleries, slideshow, maps, buttons of direct contact, various types of modules and widgets (e.g. PDF documents, YouTube videos, content incorporated from external sources and social widgets), product lists e purchase buttons, where I was building a site E-commerce.

Each of the elements can be customized thanks to the special tools of the visual editor, which allow you to define graphics and functions without directly intervening on the code. As needed, it is possible to change the background of each section of the page individually, as well as to create header and footer (header and footer) to be applied only to the page currently being edited, or to all the other pages of the site.

Finally, at the bottom of the screen 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).

Clearly, the methods of use of the SuperSite editor vary profoundly according to the type of site that is being created and the contents that you intend to insert within it: for a more in-depth overview of this service, I recommend that you read my guide dedicated to building a website with Aruba, in which I illustrated, in great detail, the use of the various functions of the proprietary CMS included in the service.

Shopify

If your intention is to create a business website complete with blogging and e-commerce to sell your products, I recommend that you consider Shopify: a service with already active over 1.000.000 stores around the world, which allows you to create professional e-commerce in just a few clicks. It is accessible directly from a browser or from apps for Android and iOS / iPadOS and can be used without problems even by those who have no knowledge of programming or Web design, in fact it allows you to choose ready-to-use (customizable) themes on which to build. your own store.

Shopify offers unlimited hosting and bandwidth, free SSL certificate, a free shopify.com domain name (with the possibility of buying a custom one or using an existing one) and allows you to manage everything with extreme ease: products (unlimited), payments, shipments, orders, customer lists, etc. It also allows you to launch marketing campaigns via Google, Facebook, email or SMS and to analyze sales data in detail.

You can use it for free for a trial period (without entering any payment details or renewal obligation), after which you can choose one of the paid plans, starting at $ 29 / month. To get started, just go to the official website of the service, type your own email address in the field provided and click on the button Start your free trial.

Then you need to enter Password e name to assign to the store, press the button Create your shop and specify, through the appropriate menus, if you have already started selling, what your current income is e if you are creating a store for a customer. Finally, you have to provide the rest of the requested information, click on the button NEXT (or your Salta) and provide theaddress to receive payments.

Once the shop has been created, you can access the management page of the latter with, on the left, all the useful links: Home, to access the main dashboard; Order Process, to manage orders; Products, to manage the products; Clients, to manage the customer list; Analysis, to view sales data; Marketing, to set up marketing campaigns; discounts, to set discount codes; App, to expand the functions of e-commerce, e Online shop, to customize the appearance and pages of the store. More info here.

Other solutions to create a corporate website

If you feel that the solution I have given you above is not for you, you can consider using other hosting platforms + CMS that allow, within a few clicks, to create a corporate website very respectable. Here are some of them.

  • Wix - it is a very famous service used for the creation of professional sites complete with blogs, ecommerce and photo galleries, thanks to the help of an artificial intelligence. Basically, Wix is ​​a free service, which includes a domain like username.wixsite.com/sitename, 500MB of storage, 500MB of bandwidth, and advertisements. To remove these limitations, you need to subscribe to one of the paid plans, with prices starting at € 4,50 / month.
  • Webs - another site building platform that allows you to create professional looking websites in just a few clicks. The free version of Webs allows you to create a site with a third-level domain such as www.nomesito.webs.com but, by opting for a paid plan (with prices starting at $ 5,99 / month), you can get domains second level.
  • Blooming - it is a portal dedicated to the creation of e-commerce sites with a personal space dedicated to sales. As for corporate sites, subscription plans are available, with starting prices equal to € 29 / month + VAT (with deduction of 2% of commissions, on a monthly basis).

For more information about these and other useful services, please consult my guides on how to create an Internet site, how to create a professional site and how to create an e-commerce site: I'm sure you will find what you are looking for!

How to create a corporate website

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