12-Pack of Steps to Build a Better Small Business Website.

Do you need to build/rebuild your small business website?

Here is a straightforward guide for designing and developing a modern Responsive website powered by a content management system (CMS). 

I have NO interest in convincing a SMB-O that they must build/rebuild their website. If you lead a horse to water and the horse won't drink, you shoot the horse and move on. 

Mark Derho

CAN YOUR BUSINESS BE TRUSTED?

Build a Better Website with this 12-Pack of Steps... featuring Pro Tips & Links too.

For goodness sakes, "don't shoot yourself" before you even get the project started".

I DO NOT Recommend:

  • GoDaddy Website Builder
  • Wix
  • SquareSpace
  • Weebly
  • Shopify
  • etc.

Hell no, you cannot build a professional website in 15-minutes, and neither can I. 

Think about that before considering supporting  a company that that starts the relationship with BS commercials that plainly and boldly lie to you while assuming you are too ignorant or stupid or lazy to now better.  If you do not have an actual business, or do not have any money to invest into your business, then maybe – and only temporarily. But from a professsional perspective, these platforms are straight trash and only made for amatuers. 

The following small business website design and development process outline is freely provided by Mark Derho. Build your website yourself, or effectively manage the building a modern search-optimized Responsive WordPress website and save money and time.

I personally use recommend free WordPress.org for building your website; an Open-GPL License, PHP-based, CMS Blog and Website Builder. WordPress.org does not offer web hosting.

WordPress is the top CMS and powers 25% of all sites across the web; a free website content management system (CMS) which is versatile, powerful and the most popular small business website design and development platform in the world. 

“WordPress is open-source and free to use and modify and is supported by a robust online community.”

I also do not recommend WordPress.com for site hosting or building your website. True, it’s powered by WordPress.org but it’s a limited version of the CMS, and more similar to Wix and SquareSpace.

DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME

12 Steps to Build a Better (BLD BTR) Website.

  1. Business Research – Small Business Owner (SBO)
  2. Specialty SEO and Keyword Research – Tools
  3. Domain and Hosting
  4. Server Security
  5. Source Images and Content
  6. Plan and Mock-up
  7. Design Webpages
  8. Write Content
  9. Organic (on-page) Search Engine Optimization
  10. Analytics and Site Reporting
  11. Website Documentation
  12. Quality Assurance Testing

FORBES

8 GREAT Reasons why Facebook Cannot Replace a Small Business Website

.01

Business Research - Small Business Owner (SMB-O)

  1. Business knowledge
  2. Industry knowledge
  3. Ideas and goals
  4. Participate in website building process

SBO’s are well served to participate in the website building process to integrate business goals and leverage unique industry and business knowledge.

The more involved the SMB-O in building the website, the more ownership they are apt and able to take for the final result.

 The client will be happiest when the result reflect what they want and expect to see.

– Mark Derho

One-to-one time invested with the SMB-owner and client is ideal to discuss the individual business directly with the business owner, and set the direction.

The SMB-O has unique insight and information regarding their own business. It is also important to work with the SMB-O to establish time and financial expectations.

SMB-O’s know about their competitors and have industry knowledge about what differentiates their products or service. SBO special insight earned though financial investment and actual experience is unparalleled. This experience usually extends to the industry in which they compete and often the local community in which they operate.

SMB-O’s may also wish to take this opportunity to discuss business and marketing goals and ideas, plot a tiered-strategy, and determine specific courses of action. More doors can open after proving technology capability.

One of the most clear benefits of working directly with the SBO is having them participate in the website building process. Suggesting WordPress themes and design styles for review, and asking the SBO to show you examples of websites they like gives you an idea of what they want and like… which expedites the mock-up process.

Finally, the more involved the SBO in building the website, the more ownership they are apt and able to take for the final result. The client will be happiest when the result reflect what they want and expect to see.

.02

Specialty SEO and Keyword Research / Tools

  1. Competitor source code
  2. Google Ads Keyword Planner, etc.
  3. MOZ Open Data Explorer
  4. SEO Site Checkup
  5. UberSuggets
  6. Similar Web
  7. Spyfu

SEO Research is a large-part of what makes-up being an SEO professional. The subject cannot nearly be covered in it’s entirety.

However, my strong recommendation is to grow your small business with measurable SEO optimization goals, and realize value from your website.

An SEO and website audit includes a competitive review and keyword research.

With a project plan with a clear outline plus modern talent and strategies, local businesses can often rank on the first page of Google and generate quality leads quickly.

Realize the enormous potential of SEO with modern strategies and the services of a small business digital marketing agency.

.03

Domains and Hosting

Domain and Hosting
  1. Establish or transfer domain
  2. Establish or transfer hosting account
  3. Setup staging server for development
  4. Install WordPress CMS
  5. Install preferred WordPress
  6. Responsive Theme
  7. Install all Plugins
  8. Website Migration

.04

Server Security Process & Website Security Measures

Pay Attention to updates

We can install your SSL Certificate and validate it for up 10 years, and automatically update your website URL/URI’s to “https://yourdomian.com”. 

Get the “Green Padlock Trust Indicator” for you small business website and make sure you have prioritized website security.

  1. Purchase SSL Certificate
  2. Install SSL Certificate

Recommended WP Plugins

  1. WordFence
  2. SG Site Scanner

.05

Source Images & Videos (Media) and Original Content

Original, creative and relevant. We discourage the use of stock photography unless no better options exist due to budget or time constraints. 

  1. Original copy
  2. Original photography
  3. Stock photos or video
  4. Articles

No thanks, I just wanted to get information or buy something.  

.06

Website Planning and Mock-up

  1. Define page structure (navigation menu)
  2. Document individual page functionality
  3. Design mock-up of website pages

Consider using Balsamiq for page mock-ups. 

.07

Design the Webpages as Templates

  1. Determine color pallette
  2. Create coordinated icons/logos, etc.
  3. Insert FPO text and image/video (media)
  4. Integrate API’s and Plugins

.08

Write the Creative, Technical & Marketing Content (copywriting)

Its now that your investment in research will really pay-off! Create relevant SERP-optiized content (words) based on professional keyword reserach. local and national competitive research, and SMB-O experience.  

Did you know that “readibility” is an organic SEO (SERP) measurement that Google uses to rate websites?

  1. Write original text content – based on keyword and competitive research
  2. Place content in pages replacing FPO text
  3. Organically search-optimize content, while maintaining readability
We approve the use of Grammerly to reduse typos and increase readibility!  Grammarly is a US-based technology company that develops a digital writing tool using artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

.09

Google Analytics and Google Search Console for Websites

We are Google Partners and Google Webmasters and the website analytics and reporting tools we use are premium, and made available for free use by Google.

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Google Search Console

.10

Write the Creative, Technical & Marketing Content (copywriting)

Its now that your investment in research will really pay-off! Create relevant SERP-optiized content (words) based on professional keyword reserach. local and national competitive research, and SMB-O experience.  

Did you know that “readibility” is an organic SEO (SERP) measurement that Google uses to rate websites?

  1. Write original text content – based on keyword and competitive research
  2. Place content in pages replacing FPO text
  3. Organically search-optimize content, while maintaining readability
We approve the use of Grammerly to reduse typos and increase readibility!  Grammarly is a US-based technology company that develops a digital writing tool using artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

.11

Create the Required Website Documentation for Your Business

No job is over until the paperwork is done.

  1. User Guides
  2. Disclaimers
  3. Waivers
  4. FAQ’s

.12

Quality Assurance Testing (QA)

Test rigerously to confirm that everything works on every device and platform. 

Quality Assurance Testing (QA) is critical to the overall quality of the website and the presentation devlivered to viewers and users. 

This is where we privately catch any mistakes before the launch of the public website. 

  1. Site & Plugin Functionality
  2. Spelling & Spacing
  3. Browser Compability
  4. Muti-Device Compatibility
  5. Operating Systems
Mark Derho reccomendation aran darling vitek cctv ivp

Mark built us a quality WordPress site, and delivered vitekcctv.com on time and ready-to-go. He provided ample instruction for us to get started as first time WordPress users, with the objective of managing and updating the site in-house. Mark is a fun and light hearted person to work with, takes projects seriously, and demonstrated a great deal of patience during some of the delays that were coming from our previous hosting company. So far he has been always available for questions and follow-ups when needed, and I would recommend him without hesitation.

Aran Darling

director, VITEK IVP

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