I’ve noticed a trend – many entrepreneurs struggle with online visibility and sales due to outdated or non-existent websites. Building a website can be challenging, especially for small business owners. But I’m here to help!
In this episode of Shop Talk, “Build Your Online Presence: A Step-by-Step Guide To Creating A WordPress Website,” I’ll share with you everything you need to know about building a WordPress site that will help showcase your brand, attract more customers, and increase your sales!
A website is a must-have for small business owners. Don’t worry; building a website doesn’t have to be complicated. By following the tips in this article, you’ll be on your way to building a WordPress site that will help your business thrive!
Snapshot of this episode:
- 0:35 – An Unexpected Path to Becoming an Expert Website Builder
- 10:18 – Website Builders vs. WordPress: What’s the Difference?
- 14:41 – The Step-by-Step Process to Creating a WordPress Website
- 38:35 – Creating a Website That Works
Here’s a trend I’ve seen: many entrepreneurs struggle with their online visibility and sales because they are working with an outdated or (worse) non-existent website. Building a website can be challenging, but it’s crucial for businesses looking to make their mark online. The good news is that I’m here to help.
In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about building a WordPress site that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations. With this information, you’ll be able to create a website that will showcase your brand, attract more customers, and increase your sales!
An Unexpected Path to Becoming an Expert Website Builder
It’s hard to imagine, but I’ve been building websites for over 10 years now. This wasn’t the path I planned to go down – it just kinda happened.
As you may know, years ago, I started a business in 5 hours with a $20 Staples coupon and a free 30-day WIX trial. What was incredible was that we earned 5 figures in a few short weeks!
Fast forward a little after starting that business, I decided to start Your Marketing Coach to help entrepreneurs. Around that time, I had an opportunity to speak at a couple of local Chambers of Commerce to talk to their people about leveraging Facebook for marketing. (Keep in mind this was 10 years ago!) After giving the presentation, I mentioned that I was considering doing marketing coaching. From that event, I had 25 people sign up. It was such a blessing!
Before meeting with the clients, I would check out their websites and social profiles to understand what they do and who they serve. But, as I did, I realized that their websites needed a lot of work. They were outdated and ugly, and their messaging wasn’t clear and concise. So, my concern was, if potential customers look the business up online but can’t understand what they do, that’s a problem – and we needed to solve that.
At our first meeting with my new clients, I would do a website audit. Depending on what I found, I advised them on how they could improve. The client would walk away ecstatic about the new plan, but I noticed a trend… They would come back in about a month telling me, “Misty, I love your ideas, but I don’t know how to implement them. Can you help?”
At this point, I had already built a few websites, so I knew I had the skills to help them.
Building websites was never my plan, but I filled a need that other entrepreneurs had. Now, 10 years later, we have built hundreds and hundreds of sites that have helped business owners reach their audience in new ways.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s some talk about whether you even need a website today. I think this has been brought up in an attempt to stand out in a crowded marketplace by having a conflicting viewpoint. This argument is also being used to persuade entrepreneurs and business owners to purchase software that supposedly replaces the need for a website.
Before we dive in, let’s take a moment to discuss the two primary alternatives to having a website.
Leveraging social media
You could use social media platforms to share, sell, and serve your target audience.
The problem(s) with this is:
- The platform algorithms are set up for users – not marketers. Facebook needs users for the platform to survive. So, the algorithm is set up for the user to have the best experience, which isn’t necessarily seeing your business ads.
- The algorithm is constantly changing, which also poses challenges.
- You have limited reach and control of who sees your content – unless you are paying to be seen.
- And ultimately, you don’t own the platform(s); therefore, you are subject to their terms and conditions.
Leveraging online funnels
You could try to leverage online funnels to sell your programs, products, or services.
The problem(s) with this is:
- Online funnels can be effective for selling to a specific audience. Still, they may not be the best option for reaching a broad or diverse audience.
- To reach a diverse audience, most businesses would have to create multiple funnels to provide the same level of personalization you could offer with a more traditional sales process by leveraging your website.
- And setting up these funnels would be complex and hard to manage.
Benefits of managing a website for your business
So, at this time, I personally believe you need a website. Here are some of the benefits:
- Your website is your virtual storefront: It’s the rented space you can use to tell people about you, your business, and your programs, products, and services.
- Establishing credibility: A well-designed website can help establish credibility and professionalism, making it easier to attract customers and partners.
- Building a brand: Your website can serve as the foundation for building a strong and recognizable brand with consistent messaging, visuals, and tone.
- Increased organic reach: A website can help you reach a wider audience, both locally and globally, and can serve as a hub for all your online and offline marketing efforts.
- Improved customer experience: A well-designed website can provide visitors a seamless and enjoyable experience, making it easier to convert them into customers and retain their loyalty over time.
- Data tracking and analysis: With a website, you can track and analyze data about your visitors, including their demographics, behavior, and preferences, which can inform your marketing and sales strategies.
- Greater control: With a website, you have complete control over your content, branding, and messaging without being subject to the restrictions of social media algorithms or third-party platforms.
Bottom line – you need a website.
Website Builders vs. WordPress: What’s the Difference?
The next question I get is, “Do I need a WordPress site, or will Wix or Squarespace do?” So, let’s tackle that as well…
Here’s what you need to know about website-building services
Wix and Squarespace are popular website builders offering a range of features and templates to help individuals and businesses create their own websites without extensive technical knowledge. While these platforms can be a great option for some, there are potential disadvantages to consider, including:
- Limited flexibility: While Wix and Squarespace offer a range of templates and design options, they may not be as flexible as a fully custom-designed website. Users may find it difficult or impossible to customize certain elements or add more complex functionality to their site.
- Cost: While both platforms offer free plans, users may need to upgrade to a paid plan to access all the features they need, which can be expensive. Additionally, users may need to pay for third-party integrations, such as email marketing or e-commerce tools.
- SEO limitations: While Wix and Squarespace have improved their SEO capabilities in recent years, some users may still find that their sites don’t rank as well as they would like on search engine results pages. This is because the platforms may offer less control over certain SEO elements than a custom-built website.
- Limited ownership: When using a website builder, users are essentially renting space on the platform’s servers, which means they may not have complete ownership or control over their website. Users may need to follow the platform’s terms of service. This means they may not be able to easily move their site to a different hosting provider if they choose to do so.
- Limited integrations: While both platforms offer a range of integrations with third-party tools, users may find that certain integrations they need are unavailable. This could limit their ability to integrate with the tools they need to run their business or website effectively.
Why WordPress websites are a step above the rest
Here’s why I recommend building a WordPress site:
- Affordability: WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of all websites on the internet.
- Flexibility: WordPress is highly customizable and flexible, allowing users to create a website that meets their unique needs and goals. Users can choose from thousands of themes and plugins to add functionality and customize their site’s design.
- SEO-friendly: WordPress is designed to be SEO-friendly, with features that make optimizing your site’s content for search engines easy. This includes customizable meta tags, sitemaps, and plugins that help with SEO tasks like keyword research and link building.
- E-commerce capabilities: With plugins like WooCommerce, WordPress can be used to create an online store, making it an excellent option for businesses looking to sell products or services online.
- Security: WordPress is regularly updated with security patches and features, making it a secure platform for building websites. Additionally, users can add security plugins to further enhance their site’s security.
- Ownership and control: With a self-hosted WordPress site, users have complete ownership and control over their website and its content. Users are not dependent on a third-party platform or service and can move their site to a different hosting provider if they choose to do so.
The Step-by-Step Process to Creating a WordPress Website
Now that we’re clear on how building a WordPress site benefits you by offering the freedom and flexibility to create a knock-out website, I’d like to guide you through the step-by-step process of getting up and running. And don’t worry! I will show you just how easy it is so that anyone can get started on it today!
- STEP 1 – Choose a Domain Name: The domain name is the web address visitors will use to access your website. You can purchase a domain name through a domain registrar like GoDaddy, Bluehost, or Namecheap. Typically your web address is the same as your company name. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s easy for visitors to remember.
- STEP 2 – Choose a Web Hosting Provider: Web hosting is the service that stores your website files and makes them accessible on the internet. There are many web hosting providers to choose from, such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, or SiteGround.
A good web hosting provider is an essential component of a successful website. It can impact your website’s performance, reliability, and security in several ways:
- Website speed and performance: A good web hosting provider can offer fast and reliable servers, significantly impacting your website’s speed and performance. Slow loading times and website downtime can result in a poor user experience and negatively impact your search engine rankings.
- Website security: Your web hosting provider should help protect your website from security threats and vulnerabilities, such as malware or hacking attempts. They can offer security features such as SSL certificates, firewalls, and malware scans to keep your website secure.
- Customer support: Web hosting providers should also offer responsive and knowledgeable customer support, which can be essential in resolving technical issues or troubleshooting website problems.
- Scalability: As your website grows and attracts more traffic, a good web hosting provider should be able to scale up your resources to accommodate increased demand without negatively impacting your website’s performance.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): A good web hosting provider can impact how your website ranks in the search engines by offering features such as fast loading times and reliable uptime, which are important factors in SEO algorithms.
- STEP 3 – Install WordPress: Many web hosts offer one-click WordPress installation, which makes it easy to set up your website quickly. It couldn’t be any easier than that!
- STEP 4 – Choose a theme: A theme is a pre-designed template that determines the look and layout of your website. WordPress offers thousands of free and premium themes to choose from, and you can also purchase themes from third-party developers.
- STEP 5 – Customize your theme: Once you’ve installed your theme, you can customize it to fit your brand and content. This may involve changing the colors, fonts, and layout of your website, as well as adding your own content.
- STEP 6 – Install plugins (Optional): Plugins are small pieces of software that add functionality to your website. WordPress offers thousands of free and premium plugins, which can help with everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to social media integration.
- STEP 7 – Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress plugin that provides tools to optimize website content for search engines.
- STEP 8 – Pre-Launch: Now your site is (almost) ready to be shared with the world! Before your site goes live, I recommend you spend some time making sure everything functions as it should and that it provides visitors the experience you are striving for.
You also want to make sure that you install an SSL certificate to secure your website and protect sensitive information that users may share on your site.
- STEP 9 – Create content: With your website set up and available online, you can start creating and publishing content consistently to attract and engage your target audience. This can include blog articles, videos, infographics, social media updates, and more. By creating high-quality, valuable content, you can establish your brand as an authority in your industry and drive more traffic to your website over time.
- This is the step that most entrepreneurs skip. They work so hard getting their site up and running that they overlook the value of their ongoing content strategy to drive visitors.
Here’s how I like to put this into perspective…
General website statistics:
- There are currently 1.13 billion (that’s BILLION – with a ‘B’) websites on the internet today.
- A new website is built every 3 seconds
Launching a new website without SEO and a content strategy to drive visitors is the equivalent of asking your audience to find a specific piece of sand on Daytona’s beach.
Here’s the good news…
- 93% of traffic comes from Google
- Google wants to serve up websites to their users that are current, relevant, high-quality, and user-friendly.
And here’s where the good news comes in…
82% of the websites on the internet are inactive. That means that roughly (only) 200 million sites are actively maintained and visited.
I have some AMAZING news for you. Two final things I want to share…
Leveraging technology for content creation
AI tools (like ChatGPT) have made creating content faster, easier, and more efficient than ever before – and most people are ignoring it, afraid of it, or don’t know how to leverage it.
So, mark your calendar for next week’s podcast, where I will share the emerging trends and opportunities available today!
Creating a Website that Works
I’m excited to share that we have opened enrollment into our Websites That Work™ program again! This program is perfect for you if…
- Your website is outdated, misaligned with your brand, ineffective, or ugly.
- Your website doesn’t consistently capture leads.
- Your website doesn’t produce sales.
A website that works:
- Gets found online
- Captures leads
- Converts qualified prospects into buyers
- And builds your trust and authority
You deserve to have a stunning website. Websites That Work™ provides you with a beautifully designed site that perfectly captures your brand and ensures it is optimized for search engines and user experience. This program allows you to create your personalized website as you bring your vision to life!