Let’s start from the nitty gritty, the absolute beginning of how to create a website for your soap making business. If you are already have your domain name and hosting, you can go straight to Part 2 of this blog post, please click HERE.
How to create a website for your soap making business
The first thing we are starting with is what to name your business.
This can be one of the hardest parts of starting a business to finalize. For some people (ahem…ME), we start of with one name and then decide to change it. You may already have a business name, if you are currently making soaps.
To make sure that no-one else is using your chosen name, go to a domain name registrar to see if your domain name is available. I use and recommend either SiteGround, Name Cheap or InMotion Hosting. They both have great customer service if any problems come up. As a precaution, before purchasing a domain name, you should do a search on Google to see if anything pops up.
While you are registering your domain name, you will need to get hosting for it. This allows you to put (host) content (website or blog) on your domain name. There are different options – you can pay monthly or for the year. You will need hosting for as long as you want to have a website or blog.
I choose to pay for my hosting annually for two (2) reasons;
- you save more by paying for the year instead of paying monthly (every little cent helps)
- it is one less task for me to think about each month.
Some of you may have already tried to create your own website and just got discouraged by the whole process and overwhelmed by all the options out there.
USING WORDPRESS? OR ANOTHER PLATFORM?
Setting up your website using WordPress will give you two (2) options;
1. you can self host it which means you will be responsible for the maintenance and security of your domain. This is not difficult, you just have to stay on top of it.
2. you can sign up for “Managed Hosting” where your host will handle the security and upkeep of your domain. Something to think about going this route is that this mean you will not have access to your WordPress files (which is pictured).
The “wp-content” folder contains your theme files.
Here is an example of the files that are contained in your Themes folder.
You will need access to these files such as the style.css and other files in the CSS folder if you want to do more customizations than the standard available with WordPress, such as page builders or the WordPress customizer. Access to these folders are important if you hire a developer to work on your site.
WordPress is popular but it is not the only platform to create a website for your soap making business.
There are e-commerce platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify and Squarespace that you could use to build your online store. These platforms were built specifically for selling products online so there are services and options that come built-in to the software. Whereas if you are using WordPress, you would have to install plugins (plugins perform various actions such as WooCommerce, which creates a store function on your WordPress website, in order to sell your products).
One example is when using an e-commerce platform such as Squarespace, these are Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms and you are paying to use the software, you do not have to worry about security or updates because Squarespace takes care of this.
To use one of these platforms – you will need your domain name so your URL (website address) is www.yourdomain.com instead of www.randomtext.squarespace.com.
Buying your own domain name will give your business a professional look. It also helps in developing trust in your potential audience because it shows that you have a “stable” online presence.
The processes for creating your website on BigCommerce, Squarespace and Shopify are different from using WordPress. I have broken this post into several sections to cover each platform in detail. In Part 2, I start with how to install WordPress on your domain and getting familiar with the dashboard.
Interested in another platform besides WordPress – skip ahead to these posts by scrolling down and clicking on your choice;
Check out the other posts in the Create A Website for your Soap Making Business series by clicking below:
• Create A Website for your Soap Making Business using BigCommerce (Part 3) – Coming Soon
• Create A Website for your Soap Making Business using Squarespace (Part 4) – Coming Soon
• Create A Website for your Soap Making Business using Shopify (Part 5) – Coming Soon