Create, build, and make the most of your business website
Getting your business online
Time to complete:
A website is a great place for customers to find, learn about, and engage with your business on the internet. It serves as an online home for your business that you can update to fit your needs.
Whether you want to share videos and company stories, sell physical and digital products with ecommerce, provide customer reviews and discussion boards, or capture new customer leads with online forms, there’s plenty you can do to make your website work for you.
This lesson covers best practices for choosing a domain and building your business website.
Step 1: Select a domain name
What’s in a name? When it comes to your website strategy, lots. Your “domain name” or “website address” is what someone will type into their web browser to reach your website. It is your business’s identity online.
Your domain name is what someone will type in their web browser to reach your website.
How to pick a good domain name
Your website’s domain name should be memorable, concise, and easy to share. It should be easy for customers to type, and also something you can quickly share in conversation and in written promotional materials. Try saying “Visit us at…” with your website’s name aloud. If it sounds awkward or takes too long, consider another option for your domain.
Here are some helpful tips to consider when naming your website.
- Keep it short. Do not exceed 2-3 words.
- Keep it simple. Shorter, uncomplicated names are easier to remember.
- Include keywords. Adding words about what you do or where you’re located, like “Bakery” or “Seattle,” can help customers find you at a glance.
- Avoid misspellings. Non-conventional spellings may be popular, but they can make your website difficult to find or seem suspicious.
- Letters only. Including numbers and dashes in your domain increases the odds of typos and can lower your perceived credibility.
Step 2: Purchase Your Domain
Once you’ve brainstormed a list of possible site names, it’s time to check what’s available. And remember: If your favorite domain is already taken, don’t get discouraged.
Search for available domain names
You can quickly and easily search for available domain names using this helpful Google tool. It can also suggest tweaks and alternatives if your domain is already taken.
If the domain name you want is already in use, here are a few steps you can take:
- Change the domain ending. The most common TLD (top-level-domain) is .com, but Google Domains has more than 300 TLDs available, including endings like “.photography”, “.coffee”, and “.store.”
- Tweak the name. For example, “JoesCoffee.com” may be taken, but “JoesCoffeeSeattle.com” and “DrinkJoesCoffee.com” could be available. Get creative with your tweaks, but keep it simple.
- Try to buy it. If you’re really set on your first choice, you can always offer to purchase the name you want from the current owner.
Purchase your domain
Once you’ve decided on your domain, it’s time to purchase it! Domain names from Google Domains start at $12 per year, and the transparent pricing is always no-hassle, no-surprises.
Step 3: Build and launch your website
Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of some real estate on the web! Now it’s time to build your website.
Using a website building platform
If you want to build your website yourself, try a website building platform. They make it easy for people with no coding or design experience to build beautiful, engaging websites with loads of functionality.
Website building platforms make it simple to build a website.
Many platforms offer pre-made website templates, and provide a full suite of features you can include with drag-and-drop simplicity, including adding images and videos, listing products, offering e-commerce capabilities, collecting reviews, responding to customer questions, and more. When choosing a website building platform, be sure to consider what you need your website to do, especially if you’re building an e-commerce site.
Here are some popular website building platforms to consider:
Bring your business online. Shopify is an all-in-one commerce platform to start, run, and grow your business. With Shopify, your business is always open.Learn more
Build the store you want to start selling online. WooCommerce makes it simple to sell online through their customizable, open-source eCommerce platform built on Wordpress.Learn more
Get up to 15 days free to sell on BigCommerce. Build, run, and grow a better online business with all the tools you need to drive more traffic and convert more sales.Learn more
Create a free professional website from 100s of industry-specific templates. Build a custom website, set up your domain, sell online, manage social media, and get 24/7 support.Learn more
Or, if you only need a simple website, consider:
Google Sites Create a free custom website that works on desktop and mobile with easy drag-and-drop templates. A great choice for a business that doesn’t need e-commerce functionalityLearn More
Pro-tip! Google Domains integrates with "Domains Connect," which makes it super easy to connect your domain with website builders that use that open standard (these include Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and Google Sites).
Hiring someone to build your website
Another popular option for creating your website is hiring a developer to design and build it for you.
This is a good choice if you don’t have the time to focus on building your website yourself. It’s also popular if you have very specific, customized functions that you want your website to perform.
Your website is the home of your business on the internet. Making sure it has a name that is easy to find, features the functionality you need (especially for e-commerce), and reflects the values of your business will help it represent your business well online.
By choosing the right web professional or the website building platform, you’ll be helping your business achieve as much or even more success online as it does offline.
3 steps to create your business website
A website serves as your business’ home online. Follow these 3 steps to start building yours.