Small business website design for UK business

Share This Guide, Choose Your Platform!

Introduction -web design for small business (UK)

Should you have a business website when you run your own company or small business? This could be a consideration when you set up your own company or you have been running your company for a while. If you are looking to set up a site, you should investigate website design for small businesses in the UK. It could be a good move to set up your business website as it may help you find some new potential clients in the future. Therefore, let us consider web design for small businesses.

Many start-ups and small businesses will begin trading without a website in place. This will include contractors and freelancers. However, as a limited company contractor, this is something to investigate once your business is in place. As a UK contractor, a website can benefit you and your company in several ways. This could help generate new income in the future. The website will also give your business a professional look online.

Therefore, let us consider how you set up websites for small businesses (UK). There is a lot to think about here. Indeed, plenty of options are available when contemplating small business website design. We will learn how to create your website and what to consider for website hosting costs in the UK.

Small business web design UK -considerations   

Create your own website (UK)-the benefits

Nowadays, when you create your small business website (UK), there is a low cost of entry. Many websites help you build your website with a free plan or a free trial.

You could search for the best website builder for small business (UK). Initially, you will be looking for affordable website design for small businesses. Therefore, this is an excellent place to start for web design for small businesses in the UK if you can do this for free or at a low cost. Due to a low initial cost, there is also no excuse not to consider setting a website up for your business.

Once your new website for your business is in place, you could upgrade to a paid plan in the future. This will more than likely help you improve the website overall. An example of this is the site that you are reading now. Traffic to this website multiplied ten times after the site was professionally redesigned. 

Small business website design and creation -more benefits

When you have your personalised website, it is a great way to promote your business. There can be many other benefits of an online presence too:

  • You can showcase your professional services. As part of this, you can also give examples of your past work and completed projects.
  • You may receive direct enquiries for your services as a result of being visible on the world wide web. Please note that to increase the chance of this happening, you must ensure that your website is visible. Your new website should be easy to find. Therefore, you could promote your site on social media. Further down the line, you could also look into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO -see later in this article). It is also essential to ensure you write your pages and posts well with plenty of keywords.
  • If you show your CV on your website, recruiters may find you. They often search the web regularly for potential new candidates.
  • When you have your website for your business, you could use it as part of your defence should HMRC come up with their disguised employment argument. It is also a pointer toward being an actual business in terms of IR35.

When you create your own website in the UK, this is a task that you can do yourself. However, some of the work required may not fall within your remit. If this is so, there is help out there to make sure that you succeed. 

Small business websites (UK) -initial costs   

First, you must purchase a business domain for your new website. The cost of this is around £30 per year. The name of your website will probably be your company name, so you will want to protect this. As a result, you will need to ensure that no one else can use the same name. Therefore, for this reason, it would be advisable to purchase the .com and .co.uk and other variants.

You may also need to pay for annual hosting costs. Initially, this could cost you no more than £50 per year. However, if your traffic picks up in the future, you may need to pay more. 

Other things to think about when you have your business website 

Email address and paid plans 

As a limited company contractor, you might decide to set up an email address with the same website name. This will give a good look for you as a professional in your industry and your company. You will also have the option to do email marketing to help promote your business.

Once your website is in place, you should be able to access this immediately. If you plan to include a lot of content on your website, you may decide to use a Content Management System (CMS). The CMS will make the site quicker to load, and there are other benefits here too.

Small business website design -platform/theme

WordPress is one of the leading website software packages out there by far. However, there are many new entrants to the market now. Many contractors and freelancers choose WordPress for their business websites. This is because it has thousands of potential templates compared to many of its rivals. You could use WordPress hosting or choose another hosting provider.

This website was initially developed using the Divi theme. However, when it was professionally redeveloped, the design team used Avada. This is a much more lightweight theme with many great possibilities for future improvements.

Other factors

Many hosting and domain providers also offer WordPress as part of their service. Therefore, it is pretty simple to commence the website-building process once you have a domain and hosting.

As part of building your website, you will need to ensure that it is mobile-friendly. This is a key factor today as lots of traffic comes from mobile devices.

Once your site is up and running, you could also employ some SEO tools. Improving your site in terms of SEO will help you rank higher on the search engines. We are now using SEM Rush to help with this, as they are one of the leaders in this space. They have some terrific SEO tools that help make your site more visible on the internet. 

Initial steps -small business website design

There are three initial things to consider when setting up your website.

Best web hosting for small business (UK)

A web hosting service is a type of internet hosting service which hosts websites for their clients. When you look at UK website hosting costs, picking a good web host is a good idea. This is key and will stand you in good stead in the future. It is notable that many comparison charts on the internet, including on many UK sites that show website hosting costs in the UK, tend to rank some providers who do not necessarily provide the best service.

There are many types of plans available. Siteground offers a good web hosting plan if you are starting your website. Shared hosting plans are a popular choice for your type of hosting when you first create a website. Other advanced plans exist if your site becomes more popular, such as a dedicated server or VPS hosting. When you choose your web hosting service, you will need to compare pricing plans that are currently available.

As part of running your website, you will also have access to the web hosting control panel. This is a graphical user or, in some cases, a web-based interface. It is accessible online, and this provides tools for managing your website.

Depending on how busy your website is, you will need to consider your hosting type. The choices for web hosting services that are available are:

  • Shared hosting.
  • Cloud hosting.
  • VPS hosting.
  • Managed WordPress hosting.
  • Colocation Hosting.

Most contractors and small businesses will start their websites on a shared hosting plan.

Many web hosting providers, including Siteground, also offer live chat facilities. This is useful if any technical queries arise as you run your website.

Platform

Pick a platform to build your website on. WordPress is very in-depth and has many choices for themes and plugins compared to its rivals. If you are to run your website yourself, WordPress takes some getting used to due to all the available options.

There are also now lots of free website templates and builders out there. Many of these offer a free website builder. This makes it easier to design your site without hiring an actual web designer.

Caching

Choose an excellent caching plugin/option. Siteground’s caching plugin (SG Optimiser) is good. Please note that caching options should also be available via your web host. 

Further steps 

Some other things to consider, as part of your new website, will include: 

  • If you are not using a developer, use quality plugins that the developers update regularly.
  • Consider a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for your website.
  • Ensure that you have a backup service (Siteground is free).
  • Use the latest PHP version and get an excellent lightweight theme. We also use Yoast for help with writing and have also used Grammarly in the past for checking articles.
  • Test your site on GTMetrix.com to check for loading issues. This can help a great deal as well. There is also lots of excellent advice from Onlinemediamasters.com if you design your new site yourself.

Employing a developer 

Initially, when you choose to set up a business website, you could employ a developer from the start.  The developer could work solo or may be part of a website design company for small businesses in the UK. Alternatively, you could bring a developer in further down the line. You may decide to do this if you would like your site to look more professional.

A professional developer will offer design services to help your site stand out. As part of your site’s journey, design and development will be key. It will also help your site climb the search engine pages.

You could search for a developer who could work directly for you. There are many out there on Upwork and Fiverr. Alternatively, you could choose a design agency. However, please ensure you get a quote from them upfront for the work involved. An important area to consider is the colour palettes and what to show on your main landing page. You can also consider what design work will need to be completed and advise your developer accordingly.

A professional look website that is of high quality will add to the user experience. You can also think about adding some call to actions buttons. These will help steer your audience to the parts of your website that you would like them to read.

Small business website design -further considerations

Some further considerations are:

  • If you will be selling any goods to your visitors, you could also look to create an online store. Many online applications will help you set this up if you will sell any products in the future.
  • Online security -your website needs adequate protection, and your hosting provider will guide you here. Regular backups are essential; HTTPS (not HTTP) is the norm today. There are also attackers out there, and one thing to do is ensure you do not have inactive plugins on your site. SSL digital certificates enable a website to move from HTTP to HTTPS, which is more secure. Many platforms out there now include a free SSL certificate.
  • Look into marketing. You can market your new website for your business on social media. It will include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more. The online search engines will index your site. Once this is up and running, you can submit your site map to Google, Bing, and others.

Other tips

Please read our article which covers tax tips for contractors. This includes many handy tips and advice that you should know when you have your own business.

As mentioned, WordPress is one of the leading website providers out there. There are so many choices for themes and modules that it is hard to know where to start.

Final thoughts

As a small business or contractor, there is a lot to consider when you look at web design for a small business in the UK. Many will start off by themselves and see how they go. If the website starts to improve you may then consider bringing in a developer.

Finally, many small businesses or contractors may not choose to employ a developer from the outset. However, sometimes this may be the better option or alternatively, you can bring one on board later perhaps.

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on

LinkedIn    https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4660081/

Published On: August 1st, 2022 / Categories: Expenses Guides, First timer guide, Running Your Own Company /

Share This Guide, Choose Your Platform!

Leave A Comment