small business website controlIf you are going to hire someone to build or update your small business website you need to control it.  There are a lot of issues you might get into down the road if you don’t follow the following tips.  Or learn to build your own WordPress Website:

  1. Control Your Domain: Don’t let anyone buy your domain.  Buy your own domain name.
  2. Control Your Webhosting: Don’t let anyone host your website.  Host your own website
  3. Control Your Infrastructure: Make sure they use Open Source solutions like WordPress or Drupal.
  4. Control Your Content:  Make sure it’s a website that YOU can update your content!

Now I am not talking about design here.  These tips will help you take control of your website.  Why?  Your website is your Store Front on the Internet.  It is also your small businesses voice on the Internet.  This means you are telling the world about what you do.  If someone else controls that too much, then it isn’t yours. You are the expert behind your small business and your industry.  Tell the world what you know.

1 & 2 Control your Domain & WebHosting

This is important!  Don’t work with anyone who hosts your website themselves.  If someone hosts your website then they control your website.  This means that you buy a house and give the reale state broker your keys. Pay the web hosting company directly not your web designer.  Many developers will do this so they have you locked in. It’s a scam.  Don’t fall for it.

What do you do? Buy your own webhost. I recommend Bluehost. They start at $3.95 a month (Billed yearly).   I have used them for years.

More importantly never let anyone buy your domain name.  If someone buys your domain name and puts it under there name, then you do not own that domain.  That would be like buying a house and paying your Real Estate broker.  They sign there name on all the papers.  Your broker owns the house, not you.  You can buy a domain name with Bluehost or GoDaddy.

3. Control Your Small Business Website Infrastructure

Many companies have custom website building tools.  You call up your web designer and tell them what you need.  If they build the site with there own software, then you may never be able to update the site without paying them more. This is another scam.  Never trust anyone to build your small business website who doesn’t use open source software.  The top ones are:

There are many more then these three.  You should ask them what FrameWork they use?  I have used all three of these.  I build most of my websites today with WordPress because it’s easier for my clients. I recommend WordPress.  If you use Bluehost as I recommended above, they have an easy one click install. Small business websites work great on WordPress because it’s easy to add content.

4. Control Your Content

Today your small business need content to gain a large following online.  Lots of content.  This takes time.  You have to take time and write or dictate your ideas.  Talk to your customers.  Trust me, they want to hear from you.  If you post a small piece of content weekly, in a year you will have 52 blog posts.  Over three years 150 posts.  Each of these posts would be about your expertise and what you know.  Do not make them all self promotional.  Most should be educational.  They will be in Google.  The posts will be equivalent to 150 entrances to your business.  150 ways for people to find you.  The more relevant content, the more customers.

You will need some structure to be successful. Building your own content creates you as an expert. Just follow these quick tips:

  • Choose four main topics to talk about.
  • Keep to your main topics.
  • Repeat topic keywords or subjects all the time Ex. if you have a bakery, use bakery, cookies, cake all the time
  • If you are location based keep talking about the town or area.
  • Link to other sites that will help your customers, ex. if you have a bakery link to your local flower shop.

Your Small Business Website Now!

In the end you, the small business owner, needs to be in control.  You know you need a small business website to spread the word. Make sure you know all the online tools you are singed up for.  If you don’t, read how you can organize your logins. It’s not easy to run a small business website that actually makes you money.  Most small business website’s just sit there and collect dust.  It’s time for yours to get clients and sell your services or products.  Good luck and let me know how your doing.

Back to Business Website Essentials section.

To your Tech Success.  Let me know what you think by commenting below!