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An Entrepreneur's Guide To Creating Your First Website

An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Creating Your Best Website Yet

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Last week I revealed how to avoid the five common pitfalls entrepreneurs fall into when launching a new or improved website. Now that you know what NOT to do, let’s break down what you want to do to begin building your online empire.

From choosing the perfect host to fleshing out your content, follow this specific checklist and you’ll be well on your way to creating your most successful and attractive website yet:

1. Getting Started!
The most valuable thing you need to remember about creating a website is the importance of getting started. I cannot stress this enough. We are not physical storefronts with brick and mortar—we are online business owners. Our websites are our real estate, our virtual ‘storefront’, and beginning to build yours as soon as possible is VITAL. Not only will your website enable prospective customers to find you through search engines, but it will also be one of the most valuable tools you have for building your credibility and developing relationships with prospective clients.

I always recommend that entrepreneurs use WordPress to create their websites. WordPress is the standard for the most potent websites in the international marketplace, and it is also our special online-marketing optimization focus here at The Big Factor. In addition to being completely customizable, we believe using WordPress also improves your rankings in search engines (which means more potential clients and more potential profit).

WordPress can seem overwhelming and like a lot to learn in the beginning, so if you must utilize resources like SquareSpace or Strikingly for a temporary, one-page site. Get something up! Remember, we’re looking for that instant credibility and an online space to represent our business with your offerings. Don’t get hung up on the details when you’re getting started. Just do it.

2. Choose/Buy Your URL
There are a few different resources you can use to purchase your website domain name. I love using Namecheap.com—they often offer a monthly coupon with awesome domain discounts, which is convenient if you are a dot-com horder like me. If it’s in your budget, I also recommend purchasing some or all the extensions of the domain name available, including .com, .org, .biz, .net, etc. This ensures no one else can later make off with your hard work by copying your brand or website.

3. Select Your Website Host
The next step in creating your website is to choose the host that will keep the site up and running. There are tons and tons of website hosts out there; some providers may include the cost of a domain name in the annual hosting package.

Personally I love Blue Host and Host Gator. Both companies have phenomenal customer service, which is always appreciated when there’s an issue with your website AND you’re on the verge of a total meltdown. GoDaddy is another popular choice, but their servers are much bigger (which typically means much more likely to crash) and I don’t recommend them.

While slightly more expensive, there are smaller ‘boutique’ hosts that provide additional services such as updating WordPress, backing up your site, preventing hacking and more. Our friend and fellow nomad Jill Sessa runs the awesome WordPress help and service site Ultimate WP Help. Check it out if you’re looking for a full-service, supportive experience.

4. Find An Ideal Theme
Now it’s time to choose your website theme (design template). Before you select your theme, pick three sites you absolutely LOVE. Then have a closer look at the design elements of these websites. What makes them so eye-catching? What do you adore? What do you not love? What elements of these sites are important for you to convey your brand and offerings? Use this insight as inspiration to pick which theme has the elements you’re attracted to and want, as well as later when it may be time to customize your site.

Themeforest and Woothemes offer gorgeous, pre-made theme templates that make putting together a stunning site easy. I recommend hiring someone to assist you in installing your affordable theme and adding any customization to make it look just the way you want it and properly capture leads. Elance and your personal networks are great places to go for this support. Comment below if you need support in finding website help.

5. Build Your List
If you’re serious about becoming a successful, trailblazing entrepreneur in the online marketplace, then make sure you are building your e-mail list from the very beginning. This means capturing new leads that visit your site via a name and e-mail opt-in box. Email marketing mastery 101 has now begun!

Get creative with what you are offering your readers. NO ONE wants to be on another weekly newsletter list. What people DO want is valuable insider tips, special offers, and irresistible freebies.  Go above and beyond to provide real value here so that new visitors WANT to give you their precious info! Remember the opt-in box should go above the fold, before the visitor needs to scroll down to read more.

6. Flesh Out The Content
Just as you can’t have a book without words, you simply cannot have a website without content. But as you’re fleshing out your copy (the words you choose to explain your business), one of the most important things to keep in mind is that your homepage copy is NOT about you!

ALWAYS come back to the reader—to their fears, their needs, their desires and their wants. What results and benefits are they searching for/that you’re offering? How can you demonstrate that you know their struggles intimately and perhaps even more deeply than they do? Pull prospective clients in by asking questions and having them think, “Yes, that’s me!” when they read your homepage. Content is always king, so make sure yours is juicy and really expressing the essence of you and your brand.

I’ve written an entire post on how to get clients NOW by removing one thing from your website’s homepage. It’s required reading if you’re creating your first website or if you’re not sure why your preexisting content isn’t already converting.

7. Protect Your Site
Your website is one of the most valuable components of your business—make sure you protect it as such! I use BackUpBuddy plugin, which includes backup server space through Stash. The small annual price is always worth the piece of mind it brings. Do not skip this step or you may live to regret it.

8. Optimize With Plug-Ins
While you don’t want to install too many add-ons because it will only slow down your site, a few helpful plug-ins will go a long way. Akismet is the best one to cut down on spam comments on your blog (the monthly charge of $5 is worth every penny). Yoast for SEO will help you optimize each and every post for search engine optimization, bringing more target traffic to your new website (AND ITS FREE!). While they aren’t necessary, these plugins will make for the best website possible while also ensuring ongoing management is a bit more enjoyable. We will keep you updated as more essential plug-ins are created to make your WordPress website the very best it can be!


Though it might seem like there are a lot of steps to follow, remember that it’s more important to have SOMETHING UP than NOTHING. Don’t get hung up on the details. Focus on one task at a time. Your offerings are going to change as your business continues to GROW and THRIVE – so is your website, and that’s okay!


What else do entrepreneurs need to remember when creating their best website? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


If you liked this article, then you’ll LOVE:

Launching A Website? 5 Common Pitfalls And How To Avoid Them

4 Things Every Website Must Have To Convert Visitors Into Customers


Lynan Saperstein

2 responses to “An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Creating Your Best Website Yet”

  1. Jill Sessa says:

    Was just reading through the article for your always spot-on tips and thrilled to see the shout-out for our services! Thanks, Lynan. Supporting smaller businesses in their website needs is my passion, repeating my mantra endlessly: You focus on your genius, let us focus on ours.
    A tip I have: don’t need to re-invent the wheel. If a site captures your attention for any reason, make note of it, keep a “swipe file” of site inspiration. Will make putting your site up more efficient.
    I love what you note about email marketing- an area I set up for clients all the time, but fail to effectively do myself. Will put my mind to that.
    Thanks, again, Lynan and TBF team- jill

  2. […] I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the number one thing your website needs to start making more money TODAY is an irresistible e-mail opt-in. You want to capture new leads and begin building relationships as soon as possible. This is how you nurture your web traffic into becoming your ideal clients. […]

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