Your business needs a website even if you don’t sell online. 48% of internet users view web design as a crucial factor in determining the credibility of a business. However, website development can be expensive to outsource or time-intensive to code from scratch.
With WordPress.com, you wouldn’t have to deal with the cost of hiring a website developer, and you can easily create a business site with its website builder.
Read on to learn how to create a business website with WordPress.
In this article:
- Why Use WordPress for Your Business Website
- Understand the Purpose of Your Business Site
- Setting Up Your Site
- Add Pages and Navigation
- Customizing Your Business Website
- Connecting and Setting Up Analytics
- Unique Needs and Considerations for a Business Site
- Professional Design
- Clear Contact Information
- Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons
- Product/Service Information
- Testimonials & Reviews
- Trust Signals
- Responsive Design
- Search Functionality
- E-commerce Capabilities
- FAQ Section
- Newsletter Signup
- Legal Pages
- Live Chat/Chatbots
- Integrations with CRM/ERP
- Regularly Updated Blog/News Section
- Social Media Links/Widgets
- Downloadable Resources
- A Secure SSL Certificate
- Load Speed Optimization
- Backup and Recovery Solutions
- Promoting Your Business Site
Why Use WordPress for Your Business Website
The Benefits of WordPress for Business Websites
WordPress offers an intuitive dashboard that enables every user, tech-savvy or not, to create and update their website effortlessly. You can create visually stunning websites with an array of beautiful, customizable themes. In addition, there is a vast library of plugins to extend your website’s functionalities, such as e-commerce with WooCommerce or forums with bbPress.
When building a website, you must also consider marketing. WordPress provides excellent SEO features. It is also great for content marketing, social sharing, and creating a referral program.
WordPress.com or WordPress.org: Which is Right for Me?
WordPress.org isn’t a platform but a hub for information, downloads, resources, and the global WordPress community of users, developers, and enthusiasts. On WordPress.org, you can find plugins and the WordPress software, which you can install on your preferred hosting provider.
WordPress.com is a managed WordPress hosting service with 99.9% uptime and great speed. It comes with the WordPress software already installed and handles security and maintenance. It’s an ideal choice for those that want a hassle-free solution.
Although WordPress.com is more beginner-friendly, both options cater to the needs of developers. Your choice should depend on your web development abilities and need for managed WordPress hosting, security, and maintenance.
You can find out more about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org here.
Choosing Your WordPress.com Plan
WordPress.com offers various plans tailored to different needs.
- Free: the free plan is suitable for exploring WordPress.com without commitment, but you can’t use a custom domain. This isn’t great for a business because you want to show your target market that you are serious and credible with a custom domain name.
- WordPress Personal: this WordPress plan costs $4/month and comes with a custom domain and an SSL certificate. However, you get limited access to editing your website’s style. This plan works for a personal website with little traffic.
- WordPress Premium: The WordPress Premium plan costs only $8/month. This is good for a blogger who wants to earn ad revenue from their website. You get access to premium themes, control over every aspect of your site style, and more. However, you don’t get access to plugins.
- WordPress Business: WordPress Business is perfect for most businesses. With $25/month, you can access plugins, unrestricted traffic, global edge caching, a CDN, and top security features. There’s also centralized site management for multiple sites and access to developer tools.
- WordPress Commerce: If you own an e-commerce business, WordPress Commerce is the best plan for you. You get access to tools that you can use to build a referral program, custom order functionalities, product upsell, and e-commerce marketing automation. This plan costs $45/month.
- WordPress Enterprise: International businesses and local enterprises get custom features and prices on the WordPress Enterprise plan. Slack, Disney, Facebook, and Bloomberg are a few companies that have used this plan.
Understand the Purpose of Your Business Site
The purpose of your website will guide you when creating a business website.
Your purpose is your why. Do you want to create a website to increase sales or only to show that you are online? Does your target market prefer a business with a simple website or a website with dynamic elements?
To answer those questions, you need to understand your target audience, mission, and goals.
HubSpot recommends crafting buyer personas and using social media to understand your audience’s location, interests, and lifestyle.
Once you have an idea of your target audience, you must define your mission. A business mission concisely outlines your fundamental purpose and core values. It should include your company’s reason for existence, its primary objectives, and the principles that guide its decisions and actions.
Your mission will guide your marketing, internal operations, and employees’ interaction with customers. When it comes to creating a business website, your mission will help you:
- Align the visual aesthetics, messaging, and overall tone of content and design with your values.
- Ensure consistency in messaging across the website.
- Provide insight into the type of content that would be relevant to the audience.
- Create call-to-action texts that encourage visitors to take action that aligns with your mission.
- Decide what initiatives and partnerships to take on and showcase.
Your goals are what you want to achieve with your website. Here are some ideas:
- Increase leads. This means you need the right CTAs and contact forms on the website.
- Improve the business reputation as an industry knowledge leader. This means you need a blog section to publish thought leadership and a section on your home page that showcases case studies and clients.
- Start selling online. This means you need e-commerce functionalities that WooCommerce can provide with WordPress.com.
- Build a personal brand and share my knowledge. This means you need to create a blog.
Setting Up Your Site
Choose a Domain Name
Start by searching for a domain name here.
Your domain name is the address your business lives, like wordpress.org. Choose a name that includes or is your business name. For example, if your business name is Jetpack, jetpack.com is appropriate.
If your name as it is isn’t available, you could add a hyphen like jet-pack.com or choose another top-level domain or Country code top-level domain such as .co, .io, and .net, .co.uk, .au, .africa, or .ie.
On the next page, select “new site,” choose the WordPress Business plan, and checkout.
Choose Your Theme
A theme controls the layout, colors, fonts, and various design elements to create a cohesive and visually appealing user experience.
To set up a business website, choose build and select from various business themes. Here are some recommendations:
What matters in theme selection is the layout. If you are in the fitness industry, a theme like StartFit or Iotix is great because it provides pre-designed sections relevant to fitness businesses.
Choose Your Plugins
Plugins enhance your website’s capabilities without requiring extensive coding expertise. Consider your goals and mission to pick the right ones. Here are some functionalities you may need:
- E-commerce – WooCommerce
- SEO – Site Kit by Google and Yoast SEO
- Speed and Backups – Jetpack
- Live chat, email marketing, and CRM – Hubspot, Tidio, and Jetpack CRM
- Appointment or reservation booking – WooCommerce Bookings
Add Pages and Navigation
The next step is to design the relevant pages and navigation.
Set up Pages
Most businesses need the following pages:
- Homepage – this should provide an overview of your business and your product/service benefits. Use your homepage to showcase why people should patronize you. Include testimonials, links to case studies, and an overview of your product/service.
- About page – this page should tell people about your story, mission, and vision. It’s also great for showcasing business partnerships and certifications.
- Contact page – your contact page should be simple – include your contact information and a contact form. Here’s a guide on creating a contact page with WordPress blocks.
- Blog / News – this is for publishing news updates and informational content.
You might also need a service overview page and single service pages for each service. For example, if you are a marketing firm, you might need a content writing page, a social media marketing page, and an SEO page. For e-commerce businesses, you’ll need the product archive and single product pages.
To create a page, navigate to Pages > Add New.
You’d find options to import a design. Most themes have already designed layouts that you can use for your pages. To access those, click the + button, select a group in the Patterns tab, and choose a section design.
In addition to page layouts, some themes have patterns. These are pre-designed sections you can add to any page. To unlock patterns, navigate to Appearance > Editor.
Within the editor, click on patterns and then select a group. You’d see already designed blocks that you can copy to your patterns and edit within the page editor. To copy a pattern, click on the three dots beneath the pattern and select “Copy to My patterns.”
You can add your saved pattern to any page from the patterns tab within the page editor.
Other layouts can be found and edited in the theme editor: the index (homepage), blog archive, single post, single page, search results layout, and 404 page. Those are within “Templates” in the theme editor.
You can edit any of them by clicking on Templates, selecting the template, and then editing using the WYSIWYG editor.
Add a Menu
A well-structured menu is vital to creating an intuitive and user-friendly business website. Your core pages and key offerings should be in the menu.
To edit your menu items, navigate to the theme options, select Navigation, and then select the pencil icon to add the links you want.
Your menu items can be links to your homepage, about page, service page(s), and contact page. You can also include a search icon and social profile icons.
Customize Header and Footer
Your header can showcase your logo and primary navigation. The footer can house contact details, social media links, legal pages, and copyright notices, reinforcing credibility.
To edit your header or footer, go to theme options, select Patterns, and then select your header or footer template part.
Like the other pages, most themes have pre-designed header and footer blocks within patterns. You can design yours from scratch or copy those blocks to your patterns for use when editing the Header or Footer template.
Customizing Your Business Website
Your font choices, layout, and color palette are pivotal to establishing a distinctive and memorable online presence. Select your font and colors based on your brand guidelines.
If you don’t have brand guidelines, select a font and color palette that aligns with your brand’s personality. Merriweather and Poppins are examples of good business fonts. Colors have different meanings to different audiences, so you should select a color based on what it means to your target audience.
To customize your font and colors, navigate to your theme options > select Styles > select a theme style > click the pencil icon.
Within that section, you can change your typography, color palette, layout, and the appearance of specific blocks on your site.
Connecting and Setting Up Analytics
Setting up analytics on your business website gives you valuable insights into visitor demographics, behavior, and engagement, enabling you to make informed decisions for optimization.
With the Jetpack plugin installed on your website, you can visualize traffic stats, the most popular content, and the best time for publishing.
You can also connect Google Analytics and Google Search Console to your website to get deeper insights.
To connect to Google Analytics, navigate to Tools > Marketing in WP Admin. Then scroll to Google Analytics, toggle the “Add Google” option, and paste your measurement ID in the provided box.
Use this guide to obtain your measurement ID from Google Analytics.
Options for Google Search Console are on the same Marketing page in WP Admin. You’ll need to get an HTML tag from Google Search Console, which you will paste in the provided box in WP Admin. Find out how to obtain that tag here.
Unique Needs and Considerations for a Business Site
Your business website’s aesthetics, branding, and usability are significant in capturing attention and inspiring trust and legitimacy.
In addition to choosing the right theme, here are some recommendations. Your header menu should have six or fewer items; if you have a lot of pages, utilize sub-menus. Use a cohesive color scheme and choose typography that reflects your business’s tone to ensure a polished appearance.
Clear Contact Information
Including your phone number(s), email address(es), and physical address (if relevant) reassures visitors of your existence and ensures that website visitors can contact you.
You can add your contact information or links to your footer, within the pages, and in your header.
Add a contact form block on your contact page and any other relevant page, such as the home and service pages. In addition, you can include a live chat feature using some Hubspot, Tidio, or other plugins available in WP Admin.
Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons
CTA buttons guide visitors on your website to take actions, such as submitting a contact form, booking an appointment, or ordering online. Include CTA buttons on the hero sections and beneath texts that sell features/benefits of your product/service. ‘Buy Now’, ‘Contact Us’, and ‘Book a Demo’ are examples of CTA button texts.
A business website must present comprehensive information about your products or services. Each product/service should have its dedicated page, showcasing high-quality images, videos, pricing (if relevant), and product/service copy.
Testimonials & Reviews
Customer reviews and testimonials bolster trust and demonstrate that your products or services have delivered value to others.
Service businesses can include customer testimonials on their homepage and service pages in text or video form. You can request testimonials from your customers or copy them from Google reviews if you have a Google Business Profile. If you own a product business, you can allow customers to leave reviews on product pages using WooCommerce.
Incorporating trust signals on your business website can significantly enhance credibility and instill confidence in your audience. Certificates, awards, affiliations, partnerships, Better Business Bureau ratings, industry-specific certifications, and secure checkout badges are a few examples.
Prominently feature trust signals in areas where users are likely to seek reassurance, such as the homepage, checkout process, or about page.
Your business website should adapt to all devices. Ensuring you have a responsive website on WordPress without coding knowledge is easy.
At the top right of the page editor is a desktop icon. If you click that, you can select tablet or mobile and then edit the page design for that screen size.
Implementing search functionality holds immense value, especially if you have a lot of pages or products. A robust search feature empowers users to locate specific content, products, or information swiftly, increasing the likelihood of conversions.
WordPress provides a search block to add to any page section, header, or footer. However, that has limitations. Jetpack Search is a good alternative that offers instant search and advanced filtering.
If you sell products or services directly from your website, you’ll need a secure shopping cart, payment gateways, and inventory management tools. WooCommerce is an all-in-one solution for e-commerce on WordPress. Also, you can extend its default functionalities with add-ons and plugins.
If potential customers repeatedly ask certain questions, having an FAQ section on your website can save time for visitors and your team. This can be a dedicated page or a section on a page to answer those common questions.
Newsletter signup enables you to collect email addresses for marketing campaigns. Since visitors willingly subscribe, they are more likely to be interested in your products or services and engage with your brand.
You can easily enable users to subscribe to your new posts with the WordPress.com Newsletter feature.
If you wish to send separate, more complex newsletters then the MailPoet plugin makes it easy.
Users must be assured that their information is safe and know how you process it. You can use plugins like Legal Pages by wpWax to generate legal pages, but it’s always best to check with a lawyer.
Live chat or chatbots enable businesses to cater to diverse customer needs, increase user satisfaction, and drive conversions. Furthermore, they are cheaper to operate than phone support. Most of the popular live chat/chatbot solutions have plugins on WP.com.
Integrations with CRM/ERP
Integrating a CRM/ERP will help automatically capture and organize leads from your website so you can nurture them effectively and tailor sales/marketing efforts. Additionally, it allows you to provide a personalized experience to returning customers, enhancing customer satisfaction and retention. Hubspot, Jetpack CRM, and Zoho are some of the top CRM/ERP solutions you can integrate with your WP.com website.
Regularly Updated Blog/News Section
A regularly updated blog or news section on your business website keeps visitors in the loop and can improve SEO traffic and conversions. To include a dedicated blog archive page on your business website, you must set the page as your posts page in Appearance > Customize > Homepage Settings in WP Admin.
Social Media Links/Widgets
Incorporating social media links or widgets on your business website can provide visitors with an additional way to connect with your brand across various platforms. You can place the social icons block on your top menu, footer menu, or within pages.
If your business thrives on informative content or you want to position yourself as an industry thought leader, having downloadable resources, such as whitepapers, case studies, or product brochures, can be a smart move. They can also be lead magnets to get people into your email list.
A Secure SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate ensures that data exchanged between the site and visitors is encrypted, safeguarding sensitive information like passwords and credit card details. Beyond security, it instills trust in website visitors and is a ranking signal for Google search results. WordPress.com provides a free SSL certificate on every plan saving you $12-$200 a year.
Load Speed Optimization
A slow website can cost businesses customers and sales, so optimization for fast loading is essential.
Optimizing your site speed starts with your host. There’s only so much you can do to increase your website speed if you don’t have sufficient memory or CPU to handle processes.
WordPress.com provides several performance features; sites run on highly performant CPUs to process queries at high speeds, the system automatically scales to over 100 PHP workers if there’s a traffic spike, it handles images compression and auto-generates the necessary thumbnails for fast loading, and provides a global CDN that is available across six continents ensuring your pages are served from servers closer to each visitor.
Backup and Recovery Solutions
Technical glitches occur, and they can be a real headache. Also, Cyberattacks happen to business websites of every size. You must be prepared for the worst-case scenario with a backup and recovery solution on your server.
With WordPress.com, you get real-time backup to restore in a single click. In case of data center failure, your website is replicated in real-time to another data center to stay online. For security, you get DDoS protection, web application firewalls, and malware scanning and removal.
Promoting Your Business Site
You need to promote your business website to increase sales. I have explained a few ways you can market your site below.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Great SEO ensures your site is listed on the first organic search result page when your target market searches using terms related to your product or service. There are a few parts to it.
- Technical SEO – this concerns website speed, mobile responsiveness, security, and indexability. WordPress.com helps with the first three and largely with the fourth and fifth. Nevertheless, you must make the right decision when creating your website, such as these things you can do to improve speed. Furthermore, you must create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console for indexability.
- Keyword Research and On-Page SEO – this covers finding the relevant topics/keywords to target and ensuring you write the best content for each keyword. It also includes meta title creation and internal linking.
- Off-Page SEO – this is obtaining quality backlinks from other websites. You can get backlinks by publishing quality content on your site and contacting other websites to publish guest posts.
- Local SEO and Listings: If you have a local business, ensure you’re listed on Google Business Profile and optimize your site for local searches. Participate in local events or sponsorships, and try to get listed in local directories or websites.
Regularly produce high-quality, relevant content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. This can be blog posts, videos, infographics, or case studies. Content drives traffic and can establish your brand as an authority in your niche.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Use platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads to drive targeted traffic to your site. Your ads appear when your target audience’s search matches your bid, and you’ll pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
Social Media Marketing
Establish and maintain active profiles on relevant social media platforms, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Choose platforms where your potential customers and competitors are most active. Each one has its strengths and demographics. For instance, Facebook offers a broad reach, while LinkedIn caters to a professional audience.
In addition to choosing the right platforms, consider engaging with followers and other accounts, sharing content with links to your website, running ads, and participating in relevant groups or discussions. Such activities can foster meaningful connections that contribute to your business’s growth.
Build an email list by offering something valuable in exchange for visitors’ email addresses, like a free ebook or a discount. Send regular newsletters, updates, and promotions to engage your audience and drive traffic to your site.
Affiliate and Influencer Marketing
Collaborate with influencers or bloggers in your industry to reach a broader audience that trusts their recommendations. Set up an affiliate program to encourage others to promote your products or services for a commission.
Encourage satisfied customers to refer others to your website by offering incentives or discounts for successful referrals. You can use any of these plugins to set up a referral/loyalty program on your WordPress.com website.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Partner with complementary businesses to co-promote each other. This can include joint webinars, guest blog posting, or bundle deals. Participating in small business associations also helps with networking and generating leads.
Now you know how to create and market your business website to your target market. WordPress.com remains the best cost-saving and beginner-friendly solution to website development, plus it’s great if you want to launch sooner rather than later. As you create your site, remember that the best business website will:
- Deliver an appealing user experience.
- Provide visitors with easy-to-use contact options.
- Sell your products or services.
- Provide valuable resources to your visitors.
- Establish trust and reflect your professionalism.
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