How to Start a Website for Your Small Business

Today, you will learn how to easily create a WordPress.org website for your small business. And it will cost less than $100. One important difference between a side hustle and a small business is a professional website. Businesses that have a professional and user friendly website attract more business. It is that simple. Your business website is like a virtual business card for your products and services. Consumers do not take businesses seriously anymore unless they have a website.

As an added BONUS, everyone who starts their website using this free tutorial will receive a FREE Business Brainstorming appointment (Value $75). I am offering this bonus to encourage you to start your website and solidify your business plans and goals. After you complete the tutorial, schedule your Business Brainstorming appointment here:

Schedule My FREE Business Brainstorming Appointment

 

PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER ABOUT AFFILIATE LINKS.

How to Start a Small Business Website: A Tutorial

My first online business changed my life and allowed me to make tens of thousands of dollars a month, all by doing something that I love. Plus, you can start a money-making website  for just a few dollars a month! Below, I have shared Bluehost’s discounted pricing with you so that you can start your small business website within your budget. When you use my Bluehost link, you will also receive a free website domain. Act quickly though because I’m not sure how long these low prices will last! 

 

Click here to start your WordPress website, then use the “Start a Website” tutorial below for step by step directions.

If you’re looking to start a WordPress business website within your budget, then choosing Bluehost for your hosting needs may be the answer for you. Bluehost is the hosting service used by Pat Flynn, Joshua Becker, and Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, just to name a few. I use Bluehost for all of my niche sites and have personally had a great experience with them.

There are free options out there for building websites like Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress.com. I don’t recommend using the “free” options for a few important reasons:

  1. Free services do not allow you to use your domain name. There will almost always be an extension to the service provider’s own domain. For example, if you created MyNewBusiness on Tumblr, the url will be http://mynewbusiness.tumblr.com instead of https://www.mynewbusiness.com.
  2. You will have limited customization options for design, functionality, and revenue. Free WordPress.com sites are not permitted to include advertising. Plus, they do not offer as many plug ins and style options as WordPress.org.
  3. Owning your own website has more long term security. For example, if  Blogger went out of business tomorrow, you would lose your entire website.

There are many more reasons to go with a self-hosted website using a service like Bluehost. These three reasons alone should be enough to convince you. When you need control over your business website, self-hosted WordPress.org websites are the way to go and have made me a substantial income for many years.

Becoming self-employed by starting online businesses has been the best choice for me and my family. Having the ability to develop online businesses has allowed me to spend more time with my children, take more vacations, and raise my children in a home where they are comfortable. As you may have already learned, I have started and grown five different online businesses from my home office over the past 12 years.

I have a flexible schedule and my children (2 of them are now teens) don’t remember the years that we struggled in low income housing. Because I took control of my life and started my businesses, they remember their Mama sitting in her home office, cooking dinner every night, and attending every school performance and sporting event. These are the memories that every child deserves and the first step to making that happen is to start your website.

Anyone can make money with a website and the small cost (less than $100) to start your small business website will pay for itself very quickly once you are up and running. I was able to make the money back that I paid for blog hosting for this website within the first three days and I’m sure you will be able to make your money back quickly as well.

Bluehost has been ranked one of the top web hosting companies in 2017 and you can start your own small business website for as low as $3.95 a month. If you sign up using my link, your domain will be free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan (a $15 value). Signing up for the 12 month hosting plan through Bluehost is smart because you will save money and avoid the hassle of monthly billing. It’s affordable and you can get an even better deal by purchasing the 36 month plan.

Quick Money Saving Tip: Sign up for EBates here and you will receive $10 cash back for signing up for Bluehost. It is free to sign up for EBates, so you will be putting $10 back in your pocket instantly.

If your small business website will provide a service, like freelancing or consulting, then paying for your hosting, such as through Bluehost, is an absolute MUST. With Bluehost hosting, you can run your own advertisements, use affiliate links, promote direct advertising, etc. All of your small business website hosting needs are addressed with Bluehost. Bluehost also integrates with WooCommerce, if you decide to add ecommerce to your business model.

 

There are numerous reasons why I encourage your small business to choose Bluehost for your WordPress.org website. I have tried a few different hosting companies and have stuck with Bluehost for several years now.

  • It’s simple to use. Yes, ANYONE can create a WordPress website easily with my tutorial below. Bluehost integrates with WordPress, making it simple to start your small business website.
  • Bluehost web hosting offers technical support through chat or phone. When I contact them with questions, they are patient and talk me through.
  • Bluehost is extremely affordable and they offer cheap web hosting packages for any budget. There is no excuse not to start your small business website.
  • They give you a FREE website domain.
  • WordPress.org through Bluehost is FREE.
  • Bluehost offers a 30 day money back guarantee. If you decide that it is not for you, cancel and get your money back.
  • Your website will be self-hosted. You will have complete control over your small business website at all times.
  • Your business will give a more professional impression to leads, customers, and other companies if you are self-hosted on Bluehost.

First, you will head on over to Bluehost to get started. There are many web hosting companies out there, but Bluehost is one of the best and my personal choice.

If you plan on starting a small business website with Bluehost and you want to learn step-by-step  how to start a website for your business on WordPress, continue to the tutorial below.

Click here to start the process.

 

How to Start a WordPress Website for Your Small Business with Bluehost

Best Web Hosting Bluehost

 

1. Select and purchase your domain name.

You can click here to select a domain name and create your website, then continue to follow the steps below.

The first step, when starting your WordPress small business website on Bluehost is to decide what your domain name will be. Take some time to think about this because once you commit to it, you will not want to change it.

I decided that my long term goal was to build a brand that could include several niche sites that inform “all about” different things. This one is “all about” how to work for yourself, so the domain name seemed logical. It is a bit long, though, so keep in mind that your domain should be something that people can easily remember. It is also helpful if it includes one of your main keywords.

You can get your domain directly through Bluehost and make the whole process very easy. If you decide to do this, you will get a FREE domain for the first year with a 12 month hosting subscription. The free domain is another reasons to sign up for at least 12 months of hosting. The savings makes it worth signing up for the 12 month subscription. Purchasing at least 12 months of Bluehost hosting also guarantees a lower monthly rate.

The Basic package is the perfect package to get your small business website started. And it includes 5 free emails accounts.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to start a WordPress small business website on Bluehost. It's easy and takes just around 15 minutes! I recommend Bluehost for business websites. This image will show you Bluehost basic vs plus plans.

 

 

2. Buy hosting for your small business website.

Setting up a WordPress.org website is very easy with Bluehost. Bluehost is the number one recommended web hosting by WordPress.

But, I know that you are likely on a budget and concerned about costs, so lets talk about the costs of a small business website.

  • Choose the Basic plan at $3.95/month to get your business website up and running. You can always upgrade down the road if needed. Remember that signing up and paying for 36 months will save you the most money. But, if your budget only allows you to sign up for 12 months, you will still receive the free domain name.
  • When you sign up, you will have the option to select Domain Privacy Protection, which is only $0.99/month. If you do not want your personal information published as the website owner, choosing this will protect your information. This is entirely your choice.
  • You will always want to select an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate ensures that your website is secure. Recently, Google began penalizing websites without an SSL certificate, so it is important to check this box.
  • At this point, you do not need any other items that Bluehost sells. Be sure to uncheck any of the extras that are listed. Again, you can always add more features and services in the future.
  • Remember to click here to sign up for EBates (to get the $10 cash back) and the use this Bluehost link for the best pricing and the free domain.

To add the SSL, follow these instructions directly from Bluehost:

Purchasing or Renewing SSL certificates with Bluehost

SSL Certificates can be purchased and renewed directly from your cPanel.How to Purchase a New SSL Certificate:Please follow these steps to purchase a new SSL Certificate

  1. Login to your Bluehost Control Panel
  2. Click Addons, in the main header.
  3. Search for SSL in the “Search for addon” search box.
  4. Under SSL certificates, click the “learn more” button.
  5. Click the “add to cart” button for the SSL certificate that fits your needs.

On the following page you will need to choose the renewal option as well as the email address used to verify your SSL Certificate.

For added security measures we will send an email to the address chosen from the drop-down menu. In that e-mail, there will be a validation link to click on and a code to type in at that link

The SSL certificate will not be installed until this process is completed.

 

REVIEW: When you are ready to create your small business website, follow the steps below to buy hosting for your blog.

  1. Go to Bluehost and click the “Get Started Now” button.
  2. Select the package you are interested in. (I recommend Basic)
  3. Enter the domain name you already registered or select a new domain name.
  4. Enter your personal and payment information.
  5. Next you will be asked to enter a secure password. Be sure to write it down or remember it.

Now you are ready for step 3.

3. Connect your domain and your hosting.

When you purchase a domain directly through Bluehost, the domain will connect automatically.

But, if you purchase your domain through GoDaddy, Namecheap, or another service, you will follow steps to connect your domain to your hosting account. GoDaddy and Namecheap both have support pages that explain how to change the nameservers to allow for Bluehost hosting with a domain purchased elsewhere.

Bluehost’s nameservers are:

ns1.bluehost.com

ns2.bluehost.com

Here are the steps to modify your DNS Nameservers for a GoDaddy domain and Bluehost web hosting:

  1. Log into the GoDaddy.com Account Manager.
  2. Select Manage Domains from the Domain Names drop-down menu or the Manage Your Accountlist.
  3. Select the domain name you wish to modify using the checkboxes and then click Set Name Servers.
  4. Enter your updated name server information in the spaces provided under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom. Your entries should look like this: ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com.

Here are the steps to modify your DNS Nameservers for a Namecheap domain and Bluehost web hosting:

  1. Log into your Namecheap account and update the nameservers by clicking on “Domain List” on the left sidebar.
  2. Select “Manage” in front of the domain name which you want to be hosted by Bluehost.
  3. Scroll down until you see “NAMESERVERS” & select the “Custom DNS” option from the dropdown menu.
  4. Add the Bluehost custom nameservers. (ns1.bluehost.com, ns2.bluehost.com)
  5. Your Namecheap domain will now direct to the Bluehost servers.
  6. Add the domain as an add-on domain to your Bluehost web hosting by clicking on “Domains” when logged into your Bluehost account and then selecting “assign.”

4. Install WordPress on Bluehost.

Now comes the most fun part. To start a WordPress.org website hosted by Bluehost, keep reading.

Because Bluehost and WordPress are partners and integrate so well, it very easy to create a WordPress small business website and this part is absolutely FREE.

  • Once you create your Bluehost account, you will be guided through the WordPress website process.
  • Bluehost will prompt you to pick a theme. There are many themes to choose from, but there is no need to purchase a theme. Many free themes are available that look amazing and professional. Select one to get you started, but remember that you can change your theme at any time. (If you feel that you need the customer support that comes with a paid theme, I recommend AlienWP themes. They offer 20 clean, professional themes for only $59.)
  • Click on “Start Building.”
  • You will have the option to choose whether your website is business or personal. I recommend selecting “Business.”

AND THAT’S ALL! Congrats! You have officially started your small business website.

Your next job is to create the design of the website and play around with WordPress plugins and add-ons. WordPress.org is very user friendly and you will be able to create the look and feel you need to represent your business and brand.

If your business requires appointment setting or consultations, check out Acuity scheduling for simple and inexpensive scheduling calendars. Acuity helps me to stay organized and their scheduling calendar presents a more professional appearance.

Here are some helpful WordPress plugins that I recommend adding as you grow:

Social Warfare. This amazing plugin is simple to add to WordPress and increases social shares without slowing down your website. It is only $29/year and they offer a 45 day money back guarantee if you don’t love it, like I do. Social Warfare is a no-brainer traffic driver and I installed it on all of my websites.

KingSumo Giveaways. If you are struggling to drive traffic, I recommend using giveaways to drive traffic and build your email list. I have grown several email lists by the thousands with this plugin, which comes with a lifetime license. KingSumo Giveaways is one of my favorite WordPress plugins, without a doubt.

PageBuilder. If you are looking to create stylized pages with columns, boxes, etc and do not know how to code, search for PageBuilder plugins to add to your theme. It is amazing what you can create with a little plugin.

Don’t forget your added BONUS! Schedule your FREE Business Brainstorming appointment (Value $75):

Schedule My FREE Business Brainstorming Appointment

Once you have your small business website up and running, check out these articles to help you drive traffic to your WordPress website:

You Must Identify Your Target Audience to Succeed

Increase Referral Traffic By 10% Using Existing Referral Links

How to Drive Ecommerce Website Traffic with Blog Posts

The Case for Giveaways: How Every Business Can Grow an Email List Overnight

 

My hope is that starting your small business WordPress website with Bluehost was easier than you imagined. Please share your experience in the comments and ask any questions you may have. To reach out to me directly with questions, please email me at Julie@allaboutselfemployment.com. I am here to help. 

 

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