If you don’t think a business website is important, think again. In 2018, 92 percent of consumers looked up businesses online before patronizing them in person, according to a survey by Bright Local. That makes creating a website a critical — not optional — part of the entrepreneurial journey.
Take a few moments to launch your WordPress.com website to reach potential supporters who might not otherwise know your company exists. Then, work on your site in stages, as time allows. Here’s how.
Why a business website matters
What’s a business without a website? It’s a bit like owning a racehorse that never sees the track. But aren’t search listings or online directories, such as Yellow Pages, good enough? Well, signing up with one or two is a good start, but they typically lack personality and pertinent information. Really, listings and websites work hand in hand; linking your directories to your site bolsters exposure.
A website is more than somewhere to list your location, contact information, and hours of operation — but that’ll do at first. When you eventually pepper your site with helpful posts, informational videos, and suitable images — of your products, your storefront, yourself — you could become an authority in your field and viewed as a serious, modern-day contender.
How to launch your WordPress.com website
You have a few ways to get your WordPress.com business website rolling. You can do any of the following:
Visit WordPress.com to answer a few questions. Fill in the blanks about your site’s goals (to promote an organization, showcase a portfolio, or to sell products, for instance); what your site will be about (fashion, farming, photography, etc.); and what you plan to name it. WordPress.com can help you narrow down an ideal domain name and theme.
Scroll through WordPress.com business website themes to find one that speaks to your entrepreneurial style. When you find an ideal product, click Activate This Design, and then follow the prompts to create a domain name for your site and get started.
Watch the five-step approach video. In less than four minutes, you’ll learn how to choose a theme and create a menu, content, and pages for your site. Pause or rewind as needed.
Ideally, your website’s domain name — its online address — will include your business name. If the domain name you want is already taken, be prepared to make a slight change, or use a different top-level domain (TLD) than the most popular ones (like .com or .org). An alternative TLD — such as .gifts, .farm, or .coffee — will replace .com, creating all sorts of new domain-name opportunities.
Notably, every WordPress.com website is user-friendly, optimized for search engines, and mobile-ready, meaning it conforms to screens of all sizes by default.
After activating a WordPress.com website, you’ll arrive at your aptly named My Site menu. Sort of like a vehicle’s dashboard has gauges, knobs, and buttons, My Site includes Stats, which tracks the visits your site receives, and Manage, which directs you to add pages, posts, and images.
If you like, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with your site by exploring and clicking on its features. Or skip that for now, and simply add your most important pages, such as About, Contact, and Home, introducing your audience to your venture and telling them how to find it.
Keep at it
An active, regularly updated WordPress.com website is SEO-friendly, meaning it ranks better in online searches than stagnant ones do. To increase your website’s popularity over time, spend a few minutes each day or week learning about website traffic, checking your site’s stats, creating a post, adding images, and updating your products or services as needed.
Again, you can just focus on the basics for now, or if you’re on a roll, spend the day personalizing your site to fit your brand. A customized site that showcases your company’s style, mission, and goals throughout encourages visitors to become supporters.
Thousands of small businesses and online stores call WordPress.com home.
Whether you’re looking to promote your business or share your story, we have a plan that’s right for you.Create your own website