In this article I will be showing you how to build your business website using WordPress, after a brief introduction on why you should use WordPress.
WordPress is free, open source and easy to grow with. A WordPress website will provide you with an affordable, professional small business website. Website builders and closed platforms like Wix and Squarespace may seem attractive initially, but they are limited in design, functionality and in most cases they own your website and its content.
In this guide I will show you how to build your business website using WordPress.
Start With A Domain Name
The first thing you need to sort out is a domain name for your WordPress business website. Think of a domain name as your digital address on the internet. yourbusinesswebsite.com, for example. Your website will be accessed by visiting your domain name.
You can buy a domain name from any major hosting provider.
We recommend that you purchase your domain name from either GoDaddy or Siteground. GoDaddy are the best option if you are not technical. If you already have a developer you trust, discuss with them purchasing your domain name over at Siteground.
Alongside a domain name, your will require hosting to build your WordPress business website on. Your website will be a collection of files that have to be stored somewhere. This is where hosting comes in.
There are three primary types of hosting you can purchase:
- Shared hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Dedicated hosting
Shared hosting is the best option for a small business just getting started with a WordPress business website, or if you don’t deal with a lot of traffic online. If you are an established business looking to take things to the next level online, I would recommend looking at a cloud hosting package, or one of Sitegrounds more expensive shared packages.
I would also recommend if possible you look for a dedicated WordPress hosting service, as the server will have been optimised and setup to run WordPress specifically, which results in better performance for you.
I’ve provided some more detail on hosting in my Ultimate Small Business Website guide.
You can purchase hosting from the same people you purchase your domain from.
We would recommend hosting your website with GoDaddy or Siteground, for the same reasons we discussed above. GoDaddy for simple, easy to use hosting plans and Siteground to prioritise technical performance.
After purchasing a hosting plan for your business, you are cooking with gas! The next thing to sort is out is which WordPress Theme or framework you are going to build your WordPress business website on.
A WordPress Theme is a bundle of code, styles and interactive actions that you can use to build your website, using the WordPress CMS. WordPress Themes use drag and drop page builders, the most popular of these being Visual Composer.
Think of your WordPress Theme as your toolbox. If it doesn’t have many tools in it, there’s not much you can build. If it has the wrong tools, you’ll be able to do things you don’t necessarily need to do for your particular website but that might be useful for another project, so it’s important you pick the right tools (or Theme).
You can think of a WordPress framework like a builders tool belt, rather than all purpose tool box. A framework typically contains minimal styling and ready to use blocks of code. Frameworks are designed to be used by WordPress developers. They deliberately small and simple, to avoid making a website that is slowed down by unnecessary bloat and functionality.
For example, we like to use Beans WordPress framework to build many of our WordPress websites from scratch on. Beans provides us with the tools to quickly and easily wireframe WordPress websites with 0 bloat, we then style and develop the website on top of the framework, the end result being a lightning quick WordPress website with a unique look to it, that our customers can still use the WordPress CMS with.
If you’re looking to build your own business website on WordPress, we recommend you head over to Themeforest and pick a Theme that works for you.
As mentioned earlier in this article, WordPress themes use drag and drop page builders. The most popular of these page builders are:
- Visual Composer
The design of your website is super important. In today’s digital landscape, everyone has a website, so it’s more important than ever that your website is well designed and ideally you have a unique visual style.
Typography refers to the fonts you use on your website. Which fonts you use and how you use them. Look for a WordPress theme that integrates well with Google Fonts and your life will be a lot easier than trying to implement a solution using code.
Google Fonts is a collection of 854 web friendly fonts that can be easily setup and used on your website. You can browse the font library, filter by font style, size, weight and more to find a look that works well for your website.
If you’re new to web design, don’t underestimate how important typography is. Generally the difference between a well designed website and a badly designed one is the use of typography (or use of background colours and white space).
Sans Serif fonts are friendlier looking and Serif fonts look more corporate.
Decide on the tone and look you’d like for your website then pick a font.
The next thing to decide on is the colour scheme of your website. This should match the colour scheme used in your logo and rest of marketing material. I would recommend you use a maximum of 3 colours on your website. A primary colour, a secondary colour and a supporting colour like grey.
Your primary colour should be the colour that visitors associate with your brand, the colour used the most in your logo for example.
Your secondary colour could be a different shade of this colour, an adjacent colour or a contrasting colour. If your logo uses a deep red for example, you could try using a lighter shade of red, or deep purple if you want to use an adjacent colour.
If you’re stuck when it comes to colour schemes, check out Paletton which will generate colour palettes for you and provide you with the hex codes you need to use them on your website.
Lots of WordPress business websites are built without using headings correctly to break up their content and drive visitors through their website. Your website should make use of:
These are the most commonly used web design elements for letting your visitors know which action to take and what they are looking at.
Make sure you use H1 tags on your page titles and you could contrast these H1 titles by accompanying them with a H3 or H4 in the form of a supporting piece of information.
An easy way to structure a page content is to use this format:
- H1 (page title)
- H3/H4 (supporting information if you provide it)
- Paragraph (page content)
- H2 (sub headings to break up the text and introduce new sections)
- Paragraph (page content)
The next step on how to build your business website using WordPress is developing your website. This will be done using the page builder provided by your WordPress theme.
We recommend using Visual Composer when it comes to page builders. It’s an easy to use page builder and there’s lots of documentation and support provided if you ever get stuck.
In terms of creating your website content, if you’re not sure where to start, we created a free Website Sitemap which you can download and use here.
Your WordPress business website should contain at the least following basic structure and content:
- Home page
- About us
- Contact Page
We recently published a simple WordPress tutorial on creating a simple menu for your WordPress website which you might find helpful below.
When it comes to developing pages on your website, make sure you take advantage of the Preview functionality to view your content and output in real time, so that visitors don’t come across any pages half built or being edited in real time.
I would also recommend you activate some sort of coming soon page if your domain name has been publicised, so that visitors are presented with a professional holding page rather than just a blank domain.