The importance of creating a website for your business can never be overemphasized.
This is majorly because it allows you to easily share your products and services with the whole world and lets you grow your brand more quickly in the industry.
In addition to that, having a business website brings professionalism and lets you showcase your company and its offerings to a number of prospective customers on the internet.
Gone are the days when people learn coding or hire professional developers to create their websites, which could be expensive and time-consuming.
The great news is that you can now create your own attractive and functional business website without having to know any coding knowledge.
With That said…,
Are you willing to learn how to create a simple business website in Nigeria?
In this article, I’ll walk you through simple steps to set up a basic website, without having to pay any developer!
Let’s get started.
How To Create A Simple Business Website In Nigeria.
#1.Determine the Purpose Of The Website
Before launching your website at all, it is very crucial that you take enough time to define the exact reason you want to have one.
When you have a clearly stated purpose, it will be very easy for you to know the best tools, builder, host, etc. to use in the subsequent steps.
Below are some salient questions you need to ask and answer yourself before creating a website for your business:
What is the basic purpose of your site?
Do you intend driving foot traffic, sell your products online, churn out relevant articles regularly, or something else?
What functions does your site require?
Are you dealing in physical products or digital products? Do you want to be accepting payments on your website? Do you want to be uploading downloadable files on the website? Your ability to map out the exact features and functions your proposed website need will help you when it comes to choosing a web host or site builder.
#2. Choose your prefered CMS or Builder
A Content Management System (CMS) platform is a software application that allows you to create, manage, modify and delete content from a website without any coding knowledge.
In simpler word, a CMS lets you build a site without writing all the code from scratch.
Therefore, one of the basic steps for creating a business website is choosing the right platform you would build your site on.
Based on recent studies, there are more than 70 CMS platforms on the market, all of which varies a little in the pricing structure, technology integration, customization, technical support, optimization levels, security, and other key parameters.
More importantly, it will interest you to know that opting for the wrong CMS platform can ruin your business and cost you a lot on the long run, showing how important it is to choose the right website building platform.
The plain truth is that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution when talking about business website builder.
The nature of your business will determine the kind of website builder to be used.
Here are a few website builders you may consider for your business website:
WordPress is the most popular content management system on the internet and of course one of the best platforms for building a website.
According to a report recently released by Pingdom.com, WordPress powers more than 52% of the entire website on the internet, ranging from small to large scale business websites – which shows how valuable the platform is.
With the wide pool of pre-made website templates, add-ons and extensions featured on WordPress, you will be able to easily build your own business website even without knowing any codes whatsoever.
However, it is equally important to know that there are two types of WordPress; WordPress.org and WordPress.com, both of which differ in certain areas.
For instance, WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform i.e. You will be the one to host your website on a web server.
If you opt for WordPress.com, your website will be hosted by WordPress itself, and you will not pay a dime for the hosting.
These aside, below are a few other differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org:
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Now that you’ve discovered the basic differences between the two WordPress plans, the onus then lies on you to opt for the one that best suits your current needs. We recommend WordPress.org anyways…
Wix is yet another leading platform to build your business website.
The strong all-around web builder is great for beginners as it sports tons of creative control and cool features to make customization easier.
Wix is indeed a platform to try out, especially when you need a website but have no idea about coding or have access to an expert that can help you build it from scratch.
This is because the website builder comes with a number of pre-populated template designs that you can easily leverage on to showcase your own business images and content without necessarily having to come up with your own layouts.
Again, Wix supports drag-and-drop editor, which allows you to tweak your layouts, images, fonts, colours, copy, video backgrounds, etc. to your desired taste.
That’s not all; the platform also offers Wix ADI, an artificial intelligence design software that helps you build a custom website design on the go.
Another strong point of Wix is its excellent customer support; You can contact them via phone, email, forum, and again there’s a help centre where you can find relevant solutions to any difficulty you may be experiencing at one point or the other.
Squarespace could be a perfect solution for you if your business belongs to the graphic design-focused industry, such as photography, design, marketing, etc.
This is because the platform is a template-based site building tool that functions not only as a site builder but as a hosting company, domain registrar, as well as e-commerce platform.
With the aid of the award-winning templates and powerful tools that come with Squarespace, you will be able to create a visually stunning, minimalistic business website – that can grab the attention of your potential visitors in just a jiffy.
Some of the templates available on Squarespace, includes restaurants, portfolios, events, weddings, bands, e-commerce, to name but a few.
That said, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty with codes, you can easily hire a Squarespace designer to help you build the site from scratch, at a very affordable price.
Again, Squarespace offers live chat, 24/7 email, help centre and some other channels you can go through in case you need help with their services at any point in time.
Weebly is one of the most affordable website builders on the market and of course a near-perfect solution for those working with a very low budget.
There are numerous reasons you may want to consider this template-based site builder platform.
To start with, Weebly is super easy to use, offers custom domain name, sports top SEO features, comes with attractive templates, supports easy to use drag-and-drop editor, includes easy-to-install apps (like social share buttons, forms, and analytics), and has a responsive and helpful support system (24/7 support tickets, live chat, phone, forum, and support centre).
#3. Buy a Hosting & Domain Plan
In addition to a site builder, you need two additional components to create your own business website, which includes a Domain name and a Host.
A domain name simply refers to your website’s unique address. This is the URL or link that your potential clients will visit to access your website.
Your domain name is one of the most crucial features of your business website.
This is majorly because it:
- Defines your business brand
- Adds credibility to your business
- Attracts more visitors and potential clients
If you indeed want to build a website that will improve your business’s visibility and profitability, then it is imperative you choose your domain name wisely.
Below are some expert tips for choosing a domain name for your business website:
- Make sure the name is descriptive and easy to remember and pronounce.
- Keep it short, and avoid using abbreviations, acronyms and numbers if possible.
- Opt for only a top-level domain, or TLD such as .com, .net or .biz.
- Be sure that your domain name is related to your business (For example, accuratedigitals.com)
Talking about the cost, a .com domain name typically costs around $10 to $15, depending on the domain registrar you choose.
Here are a few leading domain name registrars you can purchase your domain from Namecheap.com, HostGator com, GoDaddy com, Bluehost com, Hover com, Domain.com, Register.com, etc.
Once you are done choosing a domain name, the next thing is to decide the hosting site to host your website.
Hosting is a dedicated online platform where all your website files will be stored.
Your web host is of great importance because you can’t have a website without it, even if you already have a domain name.
For clarity sake, there are two major hosting type – Shared Hosting & Dedicated Hosting.
The key difference between the two hosting types is the kind of server your website files and content is stored.
With Shared Hosting, you will be sharing the same server with many other clients online.
That is, your website will be hosted alongside some other websites on a single web server.
This hosting type is ideal for beginners with no technical knowhow or those on a budget.
It offers the most cost-effective and convenient way to host a website online since the server maintenance cost is shared among all the users.
Part of the major downsides of shared hosting is that:
- It has limited disk space
- It Offers slower response time
- It is less secure, compared to dedicated hosting
- The users have Minimal control over server resources
- Bandwidth is shared with other people.
A Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, provides you with your own private server and costs significantly more since you will be the only one to pay the maintenance cost.
Part of the values you will get for using a dedicated hosting include:
- Faster response time
- Higher security and reliability
- Absolute control over server resources
- Higher disk space and bandwidth
Having known some of the major hosting types, it is important to guide you on how to choose the right web host for your website.
Here are a few tips for you:
How To Choose The Best Hosting Platform
- Decide what type of hosting you need – Shared hosting could be ideal if your business is still at the infant stage or has low traffic. You could go for Dedicated or VPS hosting if your business is large enough or you sense it may attract legions of visitors.
- Assess the uptime: The more your site is unavailable, the more visitors will leave your site for other competitors. Therefore, be sure to choose a web host that offers at least 99.9% uptime and is ready to refund a portion of your money should in case they fail to deliver.
- Consider security: Choose a more secure web host over a less secure one. This will help prevent data loss, malware infection, online hacking, etc. A secure web host offers SSL certificate, firewall, malware protection, and other related security features.
- Key features: Choose only a web host that offers all the features you need to keep your website up and running.
- Check the pricing structure: Be sure you understand the pricing structure of that web host company before committing your funds. For instance, some hosts offer great discounts in the first year but charge higher prices when it is time to renew the following year. Beware of this, please!
- Read online reviews: check relevant online sites, forums, groups, etc. and see what some recent users of that web host are saying regarding its offerings. Is it positive or negative?
There are some web platforms where you can get the trio of Domain name registration, Website builder and Web Hosting all-in-one place.
This includes GoDaddy, BlueHost, Namecheap, SiteGround, etc. You can visit each of the aforementioned web hosts for detailed information.
#4.Install Your Website
Immediately you purchase your hosting plan, your hosting details [including your account information] will be sent to the email address you registered with.
Log into that particular email, create a new password, and log in to your control panel.
After logging in to your control panel, navigate to the WordPress script installer and install it. Create a new username and password, fill in your tagline, input your site name, choose a theme, and supply other related details about your website.
Next, log in to your WordPress admin dashboard to start customizing your website. You can do that by visiting either “www.yourbusinessdomain.com/wp-admin or “www. yourbusinessdomain.com/login”.
Upon logging in to your WordPress admin dashboard, you will see some Menu, including media, Appearance, Pages, Posts, Settings, etc. – you can tweak them all until you get your desired taste.
#5.pick Your Website Theme
A web theme is the overall look, feel and style of your website – Color, font types/sizes, scheme, layout, style elements, etc.
The importance of a theme can never be overemphasized as it has a direct impact [psychological] on your users.
This is why you shouldn’t just upload any random on your business website. It could cost you a fortune!
A theme is considered perfect if it is:
- Blends with your business
- SEO Optimized
- Easy to navigate and user-friendly
- Mobile friendly
- Compatible with multiple browsers
- Ads friendly
- Loads very fast
Fortunately, WordPress comes with thousands of free and paid website themes you can pick from for your business website.
All you need do is to visit the WordPress Theme library, select the one that best suits your business needs, and install it.
After installing, you can then start customizing it, until you’re satisfied with the design.
To customize your website theme, go to your WordPress admin area and navigate to Appearance >> Customize. Publish and Save all changes once you’re done with the customization.
#6. Add Necessary Pages
Installing or customizing your WordPress website isn’t enough.
You need to create some key pages to enhance the website and make it more valuable to your visitors.
Below are some of the most common pages you can add to your business website:
- Homepage – the “Homepage” is the centre of attraction of your website. This is the first page each and every of your visitor will see immediately they visit your site – your first impression! On this page, you can add your Business name, Business value, Brief description of your business and its offerings, Why the potential visitors should patronize you, etc. You can also include a call-to-action to other pages – including your Contact us, Products, Services, and other related pages.
- Contact Us – This is a standalone page where your potential customers can easily get your contact details should in case they need to reach or contact you. On this page, do well to add your official email address, physical address, telephone number, social media handles, contact form, and other means through which your potential customers can reach you.
- About Us – this is a page that tells your potential customers who you are, your core values, historical background, the people behind your company, your relevant experience in the industry, etc. Please, hit the nail on the head while drafting this as many people do not like reading a very bulky content.
- Products/Services – On this page, you are to list out your products and services along with a brief description and pricing [if possible] to each item.
- Privacy Statement/Policy: On this page, let your site visitors understand the kind of information you garner from them, as well as what you do with such information after collecting it. This helps in building trust.
#7. Add The Necessary Plugins And Features For More Functionality
To improve the functionality of your website, it is recommended you install and activate some plugins and features.
On the plus side, there are thousands of free and premium plugins to add several features to your website without having to touch or know a single code.
All you need do is to simply install and activate anyone you feel will be beneficial to your website and sit back.
Some of the recommended plugins you might need to install on your new business website include:
- WPForms – allows you to integrate powerful contact forms into your website for users to easily connect with you.
- Yoast SEO – helpful for improving your website for search engine optimization and boosting organic traffic.
- UpdraftPlus – for backing up your website content in case of data loss.
- MonsterInsights – for tracking web visitors, getting real-time information and identifying all traffic sources.
- WP Super Cache – for speeding up website load time and performance.
- Cookie alerts – for notifying the visitors about the data collected from them while they visit the website.
- Live chat – allow your customers to quickly connect with you in real-time.
- Google Maps – allows your customers to easily find your physical location.
#8. Test And Publish Your Website
This is the concluding Phase of your business website.
Don’t just click on the publish button and start sharing your website URL across the internet.
You need to cross-check whether the website is accessible to all and sundry.
That is, you need to give your new business website one last preview by checking it using the major all major browsers, devices, laptops, and operation systems.
You can also urge your friends, partners, family and relatives to help test run the website from their end to check for any error that may not be glaring to you.
Although this will require additional time and efforts, but rest assured the effort you put in now will save future lamentations from potential visitors.
Once you are done with the testing and that everything [the pages, features, images, links, etc.] is working fine, you can then begin to share the URL or address to whosoever you wish.
With the emergence of WordPress and other content management systems, building websites has been easy and many have taken advantage of helping another design their websites with this content management systems for a pay.
If you face any difficulties in building your business website or you want me to design one for you, Do not hesitate to contact me.
Kindly share your experience below as you journey in building your business website in Nigeria