New Year, New Site: How to Build a Great Business Website

New Year, New Site: Why You Need One & How to Build (or Rebuild) a Great Business Website

by | Jan 26, 2021 | Website Content

Whether or not your business operates online, you need a website.

Let me repeat that, with one addition:

You need a GREAT business website.


It’s not just for looks. It’s not just for digital marketing, either.

This year, having a great website is no longer a want… it’s a must.

Last year, over March when the lockdown happened from the COVID-19 pandemic, Google search traffic went from 3.6 billion searches/day to 6 billion searches/day. The amount of people using Google to search answers to their questions has never been greater. (Worldometers)

That’s double the amount of search volume in one week – which has impacted 2020 in a heavy way, creating a wide pathway for 2021 and our next years to have heavy digital foot traffic. More than the world has ever experienced.

When you add to that these facts:

92.96% of global traffic comes from Google: Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps. (Sparktoro)

SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media. (BrightEdge)

And 60% of marketers say that inbound (SEO, blog content, etc.) is their highest quality source of leads. (HubSpot)

…You need that website.

Building your own great brand website is all about giving your prospects all the tools, information, and trust they need in order to connect with you and, ultimately, to become your customer.

You do want more customers, I’m guessing?

And you want to keep the ones you have, right?

If your answer to both questions is a big YES, you certainly should double-down on your business website this year.

In this guide, I’m laying it all on the table – everything you need to know on how to build a truly great business website, including:

  • All the deets on domain buying and hosting
  • Why you should use WordPress to build and manage your site
  • What and who you need to design and launch your site
  • When to expect results

Ready? Dive in with me.

New Year, New Site: Why You Need One & How to Build (or Rebuild) a Great Business Website

how to build a great business website

How to Build a Great Business Website: 5-Step List to Get Started

1. Choose a Domain Name

2. Purchase Your Domain

3. Find a Website Host

4. Understand Hosting Types & Costs

5. Connect Your Domain to Your Web Host

Why Should You Use WordPress?

1. You Don’t Need Tech or HTML Knowledge

2. WordPress Sites Do Well in Search

3. WordPress Has Great Documentation, Plugins, Support, & Themes

How to Design and Launch Your Business Website (What & Who You Need)

1. Case Study: Content Hacker Launch

2. Who You Need to Design and Launch Your Site

3. What You Need to Make It Successful

Get Rockin’ – When Will Those Results Roll In?

1. Case Study: Content Hacker Launch ROI

2. Looking at the Income Sources a Business Website Brings In

how to build a great business website

How to Build a Great Business Website: Start with Basic Domain Buying and Hosting

If by now you’ve said to yourself, “Yep, I want a website for my business,” you’re in the right place.

But, before you get too excited, we need to make sure some pesky tasks are out of the way. ☑

First things, first. You need to buy a domain name and determine where you’ll host your home on the web.

1. Choose a Domain Name

If you’re approaching building a business website with an already-established brand, this part is easy. Keep these basic tips in mind and quickly check it off your list:

Basic Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

1. Simply use your brand name (or an easily recognizable variation of it) as your domain name.

2. Your domain name will not make or break your website’s success, so don’t spend days or weeks agonizing over this part. (For example, sites like Buffer and Basecamp settled on variations of their brand names with no negative consequences.)

3. As a general rule, keep it as simple as possible. Great examples of simple, to-the-point domain names:


You don’t want to over-complicate your domain name, make it difficult to spell, and too long or too hard to type.

Not sure what it should be? Or if you have the right one?

Go back to your content strategy and the core of your message.

And just for you…

Here’s a quick mini-guide on picking the perfect brand name:

First, You should know YOUR area of expertise, and how to branch out into topics your audience wants to hear about. Finding your topic area is a fundamental first step here.

topic circles

Know your CDF – your Content Differentiation Factor. What makes you different — what makes YOU someone to trust and follow — rather than all the other content voices out there?

content differentiation factor or CDF

Hand-in-hand with this, you need to consider what your place of authority online should be.

Building your authority online can have a few different meanings.

It can mean:

  • Building your brand as a trusted source of information
  • Building your brand as an authority website by Google’s standards

Both are valuable to your content strategy, and you should do things that help boost your authority in both scenarios.

Just one way to build your domain as an authority in Google’s eyes is to focus on publishing content on YOUR platform, i.e. a domain that YOU own – not proprietary ones like Facebook, Instagram, or Huffington Post (which sadly discontinued their guest blogging platform a few years ago – I, along with many others, lost my content profile and log in). That’s why we’re here today with a guide on how to build your own website. ?

I call building authority online a content house. If you’re a real estate writer, you might want to own (your house, your position of authority, and your brand). If you’re a content marketing consultant for SaaS, you might want to own

So, your domain should be a blend of the interest of your audience and your position of authority to build over time.

content house

2. Purchase Your Domain

Once you’ve settled on a domain name, it’s time to purchase it and claim it as your own.

Yes, technically you can create a business website for free, but I don’t recommend it. You can’t own a free website – you’ll be subject to the whims of the provider in exchange for the service, and they’ll probably plaster their name all over your site, too. For the best ROI, you need complete control of your domain, your website, and your content. The focus needs to be on your business.

This is an investment, but it will pay off later if you launch strategically. (Pinky promise. ?)

How to Buy a Domain Name: 3 Steps

1. Find a reputable domain name registrar.

2. Make sure your chosen domain name isn’t taken.

  • Most services will have a feature to check this for you. If your name is taken, they’ll also provide a list of variations on that name that are available.

3. When you find an available, satisfactory domain name, purchase from your chosen service.

  • Some services will have special deals or coupons you can apply to save on your domain registration. Check for these before hitting that “purchase” button! (Just Google the name of the service + “coupon” or “promo code.”)

Namecheap will show you variations of your domain name if the one you want is taken. Most services have this feature.

Once your domain name is purchased, don’t be surprised if you feel excited and a bit giddy. You’re on your way to the big time.

3. Find a Website Host

Now that you own your domain name, you need a place to host your site.

Think of hosting as renting a piece of internet real estate. You need somewhere all your files, pictures, web pages, blog posts, etc. will live.

All the data that encompasses your website must be stored on a secure server where your visitors’ browsers can access it. Luckily, you can get hosting based on your business website needs.

Here’s how to determine the right hosting fit for your site:

The 3 Essentials of Hosting for Your Business Website

1. Determine the type of support you’ll need.

  • Will you need lots of hand-holding and customer service support? Or will basic customer service suffice?
  • The more functions your site carries out, the more specialized support you may need.

2. Determine how much traffic you expect monthly + the size of your site.

  • Most hosting services charge based on bandwidth (basically, the capacity of your server to transmit data to users) and storage. The bigger the site with more pages and features, the more storage you’ll need.
  • Consider scalability, which is the ability to size up your site as your brand name grows, your traffic increases, and your needs change.

3. Determine the basic security needs of your business website.

  • This depends on the type of site you’re building – online shop, member platform, blog, directory, etc.
  • Will you need secure payment processing? Will you store confidential data on your site (like customer information)?
  • Purely informational business sites with a blog won’t have the security needs of an online shop, for instance.

Verizon offers a clear, simple definition of bandwidth. This refers to mobile networks, but the same principles apply.

It’s a good idea to think about the potential of your business when considering hosting essentials, too. How big do you want to take your brand?

If you intend to stay pretty local, you can keep things smaller and cheaper. If, however, you want to be a recognizable brand with national or international customers, you may need more room and options for growth.

This brings us to the topic of hosting costs. What will you pay for different levels of hosting services?

4. Understand Hosting Types & Costs

Once you figure out what you need from hosting, it’s time to compare costs and settle on a service.

A wide variety of website hosts are available to choose from, all with prices ranging from cheap (a few dollars per month) to executive-level (hundreds of dollars per month). The differences are outlined in detail below.

3 Types of Website Hosting and Pricing

1. Shared Hosting – This is the cheapest option for beginner-level website owners. Generally, one server (and its resources) will be shared between you and multiple websites. However, that means slower load times in general.

  • Who should get it: Small websites; newly-built business websites that need to build brand awareness; businesses flexible enough to know when/how to upgrade
  • Cost: Anywhere from $2-15/month

2. VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting – One step up from shared hosting, VPS gives you slightly more resources and control over your website. You’re still sharing physical hardware with other sites, but you’ll have your own dedicated virtual space on that server. As a result, you’ll get much faster speeds and more storage.

  • Who should get it: Website owners needing more control; larger sites that need more storage space; website owners who want a dedicated server/faster speeds without the expense
  • Cost: Varies widely; anywhere from $15-90/month

3. Dedicated Hosting – You pay for the usage of your own physical server located at your provider’s data center. No one else shares the space with you – it’s all yours. Naturally, dedicated hosting is the highest-cost option out of the three hosting types. Some providers offer managed hosting along with your server, which costs more. You’ll also pay extra if you want an extra-powerful server.

  • Who should get it: Top-level businesses that need a robust website. Anyone who wants total control over their site and the fastest speeds.
  • Cost: $80-800/month, depending on what’s included

Image source: DreamHost

To choose your best website hosting type and plan, refer to the hosting essentials we discussed in section 3. Weigh your needs and options carefully, then choose the type that covers all your bases.

(Remember: Cheaper isn’t always better. Consider your business’s potential for growth in a few months to a few years down the road. Factor that into which hosting type you choose.)

5. Connect Your Domain to Your Web Host

If your website host is also where you bought your domain, you can safely skip this step.

If, however, you purchased your domain name separately from your hosting service, you’ll need to physically link them.

This can get technical very quickly. The process looks different depending on which registrar you bought your domain from and which web host you signed up with.

Christopher Heng on wrote a great general guide you can use: How to Point a Domain Name to Your Website (Or What to Do After Buying Your Domain Name).

For more specific instructions, check customer support or the help guides on your web host’s site.

Once you’ve completed this step, that’s it.

You’re ready to get into the fun stuff: Setting up WordPress, choosing a website theme and/or hiring a WordPress designer, and creating the nuts and bolts of your website!

But first, why WordPress?

Why You Should Use WordPress to Build a Great Business Website

With your domain name and hosting service in hand, we’re inching closer to getting your website up and running.

For now, it’s time to consider how you’ll build out your website, including the design, pages, and other elements.

A content management system (CMS) will be a HUGE help here.

That’s why, no matter your niche, whether you need a small business website builder or something more powerful, I always recommend using WordPress. The possibilities are endless – it’s a free, open-source CMS, a blogging platform, and user-friendly website-building software.

According to W3Techs, approximately 39.8% of websites use WordPress.

wordpress usage and market share

Along with that, WP has a whopping 64.1% of the market share among all CMS providers. (The runner-up, Shopify, has only 5.2%!)

Some of the most well-known websites in the world run on WordPress, like The New York Times, eBay, Forbes, and Mashable.

Pretty impressive, right? But those aren’t the only reasons you should use WordPress to build a great business website. Here are a few more to consider:

1. You Don’t Need Tech or HTML Knowledge

Whether you use or, your entire website is manageable from the WordPress platform. That means you won’t have to mess with coding or FTP (file transfer protocol, a manual method of uploading files to your domain) if you don’t have the skills or knowledge. And, if you DO have those skills, WordPress is for you, too – the beauty is it caters to every type of user.

Most web hosting services include a one-click install feature for WordPress, too, so even setting it up is easy-breezy.

Once you’re in, the WP Dashboard is super-easy to navigate and use, even if you’re new to it. Clicking around, you’ll quickly get the gist of how to manage and create content.

The Content Hacker WordPress dashboard

2. WordPress Sites Do Well in Search

WordPress websites dominate search rankings. Among the top 1 million websites worldwide, 32.5% run on WordPress.

cms distribution among top 1 million sites

WP websites probably do well in search because SEO is built-in by default. Along with that, there are SEO plugins you can install that will help your pages and content rank well.

3. WordPress Has Great Documentation, Plugins, Support, and Themes

Finally, one of the best reasons to use WordPress as your CMS: The sheer number of plugins, themes, help guides, and support you’ll find for building a great website.

  • Support, documentation, and help guides – WP is so ubiquitous across the web, there are mountains of guides, tutorials, videos, and how-to’s out there if you need them. Even if you’re a newbie, you can learn everything you need to know with a quick search on the topic that’s stumping you.

  • Plugins – One of the major reasons WP has so many devotees is due to its massive plugin library. There are over 55,000 official WordPress plugins that do everything from managing your backups and security to helping you nail SEO to building contact forms, creating image libraries, monitoring spam in your comments, and even turning your website into an ecommerce machine.

  • Themes – WordPress comes packed with an extensive library of fully customizable, free and paid themes. These are site templates you can tweak and play with to create a unique site design without touching a line of HTML, CSS, or PHP code.

Convinced yet? Then it’s time to move on to the next steps: what to do after you install WordPress on your site.

How to Design and Launch Your Business Website (What & Who You Need)

A great website gives you a strong foundation for rankings, so it’s MEGA important to get it right.

That said, creating a website for your business for free just isn’t feasible. A successful website launch is going to require some investment up-front no matter how you slice it. However, if you launch the right way, you’ll more than earn back what you put into it.

1. Who You Need to Design and Launch Your Site

Can you learn how to build a business website and execute it, start to finish, by yourself?


Should you?

Well… No.

Think of it this way:

  • Do you have the professional skills to design a killer website that keeps people engaged?
  • Do you have the time to learn?

Probably not, unless you never sleep.

Outsourcing this aspect of building and launching your website will set you apart. Even if you simply hire someone to customize your WordPress theme, you’ll immediately look more professional than those who use stock images and the same theme as everyone else.

Of course, who you can hire depends on your investment capabilities. Don’t worry, though – even if your budget is low, you can still find quality designers and developers.

Freelance WordPress Designer

Whether you’re on a budget or prefer to work closely with one person to develop your WordPress website, a freelancer is a good option.

Finding a solid freelance WordPress designer/web developer is as simple as checking out marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr.

Cost: A good freelancer will charge at least $50/hour for their services. The total amount you pay will depend on the depth and complexity of the design work needed.

Agencies or Established Website Builders

Maybe you need multiple aspects of your website taken care of, like design, social media marketing, SEO, or ecommerce design. In this case, it would make more sense to hire an agency or a professional who handles multiple services.


  • Bruce Thede is a small business website designer and developer. He is a great resource for your business.
  • For high-level websites, Jill Lynn is a web design professional who offers multiple packages for clients across industries, including WordPress development, design, maintenance, ecommerce design, and marketing tools.
  • Thrive is a full-service digital marketing agency, which means they can handle your website design as well as SEO and marketing.
  • Chiroplanet is a niche digital marketing agency for chiropractors and their practices. Finding an agency that specializes in your niche ensures your site is as effective as possible.

Cost: Services from an agency or professional with multiple hats usually runs upwards of $5,000.

Just some of Thrive’s services

2. What You Need to Make It Successful

Now that the “who” is out of the way, let’s move on to the “what.”

What do you specifically need to make building your business website successful?

Here’s my shortlist:

Domain Name + Web Hosting

Having your own domain is essential for success. You can’t rely on other platforms to have your best interests at heart, because their own gain will always be #1. (Think about Instagram and Facebook showing you ads and posts they think you want to see versus a chronological feed – it’s all about boosting their bottom line.)

Plus, when you own your domain, you have full control over the content that appears – when, where, and how. In contrast, proprietary platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and the like ultimately have the final say about your content, not you.


If you expect your website to do well in traffic and leads using the power of SEO, you need content. Not any content will do, though – you need user-focused, high-quality content targeting smart keywords.

A List-Building Strategy + Lead Magnet

Before you launch your website, you need to lay out how you’ll build your audience and reel in leads. List-building is a relatively simple way to accomplish both.

One of the most common list-building strategies includes offering a high-value lead magnet to prospects.

Social Media Accounts for Promotion

Finally, you need a platform to let the world know about your new website and the content you’re offering. Social media gives you a way to reach people, build an audience, and get the word out.

Create at least one social media account for your business that goes hand-in-hand with your website. Build relationships there, and your site will grow by extension.

Get Rockin’ – When Will Those Results Roll In?

If you launch your business website both strategically and intelligently, the results shouldn’t take long to roll in at all.

1. Possible Income Sources from a Business Website

For your website ROI, there are plenty of ways to make it happen. The most common are listed below:

Selling Your Services

This is one of the most obvious ways to make money on your business website. If you operate online, this will be your main way of making money. Your website serves as a hub for connecting you to leads and nurturing them to become customers.

A great example of this is Jessica Campos’ site, Marketing for Greatness. It’s a hub for everything she does and sells – agency services, coaching, consulting, courses, speaking engagements, and more!

marketing for greatness home page

Selling Digital/Physical Products

If you sell products as part of your business, a great website is essential to boost sales and keep them flowing in.

Products can be digital, like ebooks and courses, or physical items that must be shipped to the customer.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to share products you’re excited about with your audience while making a little extra money at the same time.

To keep it more genuine, focus on products that you personally use and love.

Selling Ad Space

Another way to monetize your business website is to sell ad space. The most common way to do this is through Google AdSense.

Once you sign up, you add a piece of code to your site. Google will use this to serve relevant ads to your site visitors, optimized for desktop or mobile. If they click the ad on your site, you get paid.

Here’s an example of such ads on Search Engine Journal:

I don’t personally sell ad space on my websites, but some people do in a way that flows with their content and is non-intrusive – the only way ads should ever appear is if you use them.

As you can see, the possibilities for making money on your business website are endless. The key, however, is making sure the website itself is as strong as possible. Only then will it be a solid jumping-off point for everything you sell.

How to Build a Great Business Website: Strategize!

To build a truly amazing business website – whether you’re starting fresh or rebuilding a lackluster site – you must strategize.

Take the time to brainstorm, plan, implement, and execute. After all, this is your business’s digital presence on the web. It’s like your headquarters, your storefront, your portfolio, and your publication center, all rolled into one.

Don’t cut corners. Invest what you can. Then, watch the ROI roll in.