SBX 11: Traps To Avoid When Creating Your Website

The Small Business Express

Creating a website for your business can be a nerve racking experience.  You know little about how everything works and have to rely on designers, developers and others to help guide you down the path.  Pricing is eradicate and there are so many choices, from free DIY platforms to really (really) expensive solutions from design firms.

While you don’t need to spend 5K+ for a basic website, you also can’t try and cheap out and do it yourself.  There are too many areas to creating a website that require some level of expertise, you need to find people to help you at a reasonable cost.

What do you do?

Listen to this episode of The Small Business Express podcast!  In this episode we’ll cover some of the basics you need to know when you set out to build a website for your business as well as common traps to avoid along the way.

In this episode of The Small Biz Express podcast we discuss:

  • What things you need to understand before you start the process as well as common traps you can fall into if you’re not careful

  • Should I DIY my website or hire someone.  Hint, hire someone!

  • Why you should think of your website as a second virtual storefront, one that can drive more business than your physical one

  • Why you shouldn’t hire a single person to design, build and market your website

  • Mike shares his experience with getting his website hacked and how not to let hackers turn it into a porn site

  • Different Content Management Systems (CMS) explained and which one’s you should consider, plus the difference between and

  • The most important pages on your website and what to do with them


Action Steps from this episode:

  1. Make sure you own your domain name.  When you first start out and choose a domain name for your business, make sure you are in fact the person who owns it, not your web developer or designer.  Through your domain name, you have control of what’s called your DNS (Domain Name Server).  Through your DNS you can control your website, where it’s hosted, email and a bunch of other features.  Basically, if you control the DNS, you have control over everything.  When starting out in the process, make sure all elements of the website are in your name and you have full login access and control.  This means your domain name, the hosting solution where your website is located, the CMS being used and the email exchange your using for your business.  If you don’t, you may get hit with some unpleasant surprises down the road.
  2. Things to consider when building your website.  Take your time and do your research when building your website.  We recommend that you do not try and do it yourself.  Unless you have experience in design, marketing and copywriting, most likely it will look and act terribly and you’ll be losing a lot of money further down the line in terms of lost opportunities.  Be wary if one person says they can design, develop and market your website, it’s very (very) rare to find a single person who excels at all three, maybe two, but not all three.  Think of which CMS you’ll want to use, we recommend WordPress .org for a traditional website, for ecommerce, you have quality platforms like Shopify, Big Commerce or Magento (for bigger ecommerce initiates).
  3. Important pages on your business website.  Besides your homepage, there are several pages that are very important to your business website.  Your “About” page is your credibility and trust booster and should be personalized and authentic.  Your “Contact” page should make it really easy to contact you as well as have a good call to action and value proposition to encourage people to take action.  “Landing” pages should be created to target specific products/services you offer or to engage with specific audiences that come to the site.  All of these pages have a role and help to contribute to the overall trust and conversion of your website.


Links and Resources Discussed in this Episode

  1.  Our recommended choice for most websites.  If ecommerce, consider Shopify, Big Commerce or Magento for larger stores.
  2. – Good place to purchase a domain name and fairly easy to use.  Be careful of all the upsells they offer you, but also note how good they are at it!
  3. Hosting.  If you host your own website , you will need to get hosting for it.  Hostgator and Blue Host are two low cost options that are reliable.
  4. An article from The Small Business Playbook that discusses the 5 most important pages on a business website and on on avoiding common website traps.                                                                 
  5. Copyblogger, how to write a great About Me page.
  6. Great article of FAQ’s and answering unasked questions on your website.
  7. Some great examples of Contact Us pages.


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