Website For Your Home Business
Do you need a website for your home business? This question gets asked a lot when people are trying to start a home business. The short answer is definitely. However, there are a lot of considerations when you decide you need a website for your home business.
It is possible to make money online running your business from home. But to be able to do this, you have to have a website. Most people starting up a home-based business will try and build their own website. That’s fine if you know what you are doing. It can reflect badly on your business if you don’t. Home based business websites need to be professional looking and not overly flashy.
There are many services out there that promise to let you set up a website cheaply. Unfortunately, there are trade-offs in choosing this option that might not work for your business. For example, some services run ads on your site to allow the service to make revenue because they aren’t charging you as much. Other services have templates, and you are limited to using what is available to build your site. The old adage “You get what you pay for” certainly applies to your website hosting company.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars setting up a website for your home business. In this article, I’ll cover the considerations you need to decide on when you are ready to set up a website. Some of these decisions need to be made before you contact a service or web designer. Others can be made as you develop your website.
Some work from home opportunities include a website when you sign up but if you are starting a new business, consider either one of these two options:
1) Pay someone to build your website for you. Websites can be purchased at reasonably low cost.
2) Use a free or paid for template. Website designers work from home too and are happy to work for you to get their own home business of the ground.
Let’s look at each of these:
- If you decide to pay someone to build your website you have many options. My favorite is to use WordPress to build sites as a base platform. WordPress has come a long way from the early days, and it’s not just for bloggers anymore. There are many professional templates and plug-ins that your designer can use to tailor your website to your exact business type and your needs. I offer this service for my clients at very reasonable rates. As a matter of fact, this is one of the sites I designed using the WordPress platform. For further information please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you decide to use a free or paid template there are hundreds of options for you to choose from. A search on Google will reveal loads of options.
The first decision you will have to make is choosing a domain name. This may be the one thing that takes the most time. Your domain name should be easy to remember, easy to spell and tell people immediately what your business is about. Use a service such as GoDaddy to register your domain name. Please make sure you register your domain name yourself, so you have total control over it. It can get complicated when you have your web designer register your domain name. Take my word for it. It is much better if you own your domain name, and it is under your control.
The next decision you will have to make is which web hosting provider to use. Paid host or free host? Don’t make me laugh! A years’ internet hosting with your own domain name costs less than taking someone out to dinner. If you don’t make this one investment, then why bother starting a business at home? Owning a domain adds professionalism to your business. How many www. mysite.myinternetserviceprovidername.com websites have you seen, that are successful online businesses?
In this case, you can go with your web designer’s recommendations. Some designers like myself even offer web hosting themselves because we run our own servers on the web host’s network. This allows us to add and run multiple websites while having the support of the web hosts backups and huge data centers.
Make sure your website is consistent. Your customers will want to see a consistent website layout. They don’t need to know that you are working from home. A professional, well laid out and easy to navigate website is essential. Most users will form an impression of your website in seconds. The difference between a good-looking site and a bad looking site is a potential lost sale. The bottom line is your website for your home business must look and feel professional.
If you run an e-commerce business from home don’t try and build the shopping cart yourself. Use a third party product like PayPal or WooCommerce. These are particularly good for selling a few products, and they are well respected. Payment processors like PayPal take care of your Data Protection requirements. With data breaches being a huge problem even for even large companies, you want to make sure you are using a payment processing company that protects customer data. You can use a third-party shopping cart or set up PayPal buttons for each of your products. The shopping carts are better for many products. The PayPal buttons are fine if you are only selling a few items. These buttons can even be set up for the services you perform.
How much does it all cost? The design of your website can be minimal if you decide to do it yourself. If you hire someone like me, you can have your website set up for you from as little as $500 for a blog with the ability to make money from affiliate marketing. For full-service e-commerce websites the cost can run into the thousands due to the complexity involved. The cost truly depends on the number of items you have to sell and the time it takes for setting up and testing. Hosting your new website might cost you less than a hundred dollars per year. This depends on how much of the work you are prepared to do your self. But be realistic, know your limitations and know when to ask for help.