Level Up Digital Marketing

How to Build a Small Business Website on WordPress in 2023

Starting a small business is a big undertaking, and one of the first steps you should take is building a website. A website allows you to showcase your products or services, share information about your business, and make it easy for customers to contact you. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of building a website, don’t worry! 

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the process of building a small business website on WordPress in just six easy steps. 

Whether you’re new to website building or you’re a seasoned pro, this guide will help you get your website up and running in no time!

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    What do I need to build a website?

    Website design checklist image

    You’ll need these 5 things to build your website with WordPress:

    • Domain – A domain name is the address of a website that people type in the browser’s URL bar to visit. WordPress hosting – this is where your website files are stored.
    • Hosting – Hosting is the place where all of the website files live. The residence of your website. A great way to think about this is, if the domain name was the address of a building, then the hosting is the actual building that the address points to.
    • Website Platform – Website platforms are the foundation of what your website is built on. It’s generally recommended to select a website platform with a content management system (CMS). A CMS allows you to create and update website pages without having to know website coding language.
    • Themes – Themes are a collection of designs and styles used to define the appearance and display of the website. Think of a theme as the exterior of a building.
      • Astra offers a FREE WordPress theme
    • Plugins – Plugins are a piece of software (application) that contains a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress website.
    • Time – You’ll definitely want to commit 45 minutes of your undivided attention towards this process for the BEST results.

    How much does a website cost?

    This isn’t really a black-and-white answer.

    There are many factors to consider when looking at the cost of a website.

    A typical small business website can cost as low as $100 and can go as high as $50K or MORE.

    It’s highly recommendation that you always start out small if going a DIY route, and gradually add more features to your website as your business grows.

    However, in this guide, I’m going to show you how to build a website for less than $100.

    Which is the best website platform?

    Various website platform options, including WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace

    There are plenty of website platforms available. We personally recommend using WordPress as your website platform.

    WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world, it powers 43% of all websites on the internet, including CNN and Best Buy.

    WordPress is FREE and comes with 1000’s of website themes and plugins. It’s flexible and adaptive to the needs of small businesses.

    We use WordPress to build all websites, including our own.

    Create Your Website in 6 Easy Steps

    Making the Most of this Guide

    In this step-by-step guide on how to create a website, we’ve divided this process into six steps and we’ll walk you through everything from start to finish.

    Just follow along with us, and the end result will be a very professional looking website.

    Let’s get started, shall we?

    Step 1: Domain & Hosting Setup

    First, head over to the SiteGround website in a new browser window and click on the ‘View Plans’ button.

    SiteGround homepage screenshot

    This will bring you to the pricing page where you’ll need to select a monthly pricing plan for your website. Startup and GrowBig plans are the most popular choices among our clients.

    SiteGround WordPress hosting plan options and pricing

    You’ll need select a plan that works best for your budget and goals.

    On the next screen, you’ll be asked to Register a new domain or if you already have one, add your existing domain.

    SiteGround domain setup process for hosting a website

    For most website builds, a .com is the best choice, since it’s what most internet users expect and is easiest to remember.

    Need help choosing a domain name for your website?

    The following tips and tools will help you in your website building journey for choosing the best domain name.

    For BEST results, you’ll want to pick a domain name that matches some simple criteria:

    • Concise and clear. A longer name may be easier to mistype in the address bar.
    • Creative and memorable. The more unique the name (while keeping concise and clear), the more impressionable for others to remember.
    • Easy on the eyes. You’ll want to avoid any numbers and special characters, which can add a layer of complexity to remember.

    TIME-SAVING TIP: Use Domain Wheel to simplify this process, it does the brainstorming for you and checks the domain name availability.

    After choosing a domain name, click on the ‘Next‘ button to continue.

    Now you’ll be asked to provide your account details such as name, address, email, etc.

    At this screen, you will also see optional add-ons that you can purchase.

    We generally don’t recommend purchasing these add-ons right away. You can always add any of these options to your plan later on.

    SiteGround checkout page for purchasing hosting and domain services

    Next, you will add your payment information to complete the transaction.

    Once complete, you will receive an email with the exact details on how to login to your new web hosting control panel.

    This is your Hosting dashboard, where you can manage everything like creating support tickets, add email accounts, etc.

    More importantly, this is where you’ll install the WordPress website platform.

    Checklist of items to consider when building a website, including content, design, and functionalit

    Step 2: Install WordPress Platform

    To install WordPress using the Website Setup Wizard access your Client Area in SiteGround and go to Websites > New Website button.
    Screenshot of the new WordPress installation dashboard

    A new section would appear where you will be prompted to select the domain name that you want to use with your new WordPress installation.

    Screenshot of the domain selection screen during the WordPress installation process

    Click the Continue button once you have the chosen the desired option to proceed to the next step.

    On this next step you should select to Start a New Website or to Migrate an existing one. Click on Select under Start New Website.

    Screenshot of the option to start a new website or use an existing website during the WordPress installation process

    Choose WordPress and enter the preferred login details for your new WordPress application. Once you are ready, click on Continue.

    Screenshot of the options for installing WordPress on a new domain or subdomain

    Next, choose what enhancements you wish to add to your website – if you want to add any. When you are ready with this step – click on Finish.

    That’s it! Wasn’t that simple?

    Now let’s move on to the next step and choose a design for your website.

    Screenshot of the completion screen after a successful WordPress installation

    Step 3: Install Your Website Theme

    The visual appearance of your WordPress website is controlled by a theme.

    WordPress themes are professionally designed templates that you can install on your website to change its appearance.

    By default, each WordPress website comes with a basic theme. If you visit your website, the default theme that is installed is Twenty Twenty-Three.

    In order to fully customize the appearance of your website, you will need to install a theme.

    At Level Up, we have over 100+ Website Themes for clients to choose from.

    Install a Theme

    Download the Free Astra Theme by Brainstorm Force.

    Astra is a fast and attractive WordPress theme with an elegant and stylish design. This lighting fast theme is built with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. It’s also compatible with all popular web page builders and makes building a website even easier. It’s what we use for client websites.

    Once you’ve downloaded Astra, head back in your WordPress Admin dashboard

    To do that, type in  ‘/wp-admin’ after your domain name. This will direct you to your default WordPress login page.

    • yourdomain.com/wp-admin

    Type in the username and password you’ve previously entered during the WordPress installation process.

    Next, go to Appearance » Themes.

    Click on ‘Add New‘ theme.

    Screenshot of the process of adding a new WordPress theme through the dashboard

    Click on ‘Upload Theme

    Then click on ‘Choose File’ and upload the Astra zip file you downloaded in the previous steps.

    Click ‘Install Now‘ to complete the theme installation process.

    Screenshot of the process of installing the Astra WordPress theme through the dashboard
    Once installation is complete, you’ll activate the Astra theme. Click ‘Activate Now‘.
    Screenshot of the process of activating the Astra WordPress theme through the dashboard

    Step 4: Install Your WebPage Builder (Plugin)

    In order to fully customize the pages of your website, you will need to install a web page builder (plugin).

    Elementor is a powerful FREE drag-and-drop webpage builder for WordPress.

    Elementor doesn’t require any special knowledge or “coding skills.” Everything can be done through a true, but simple What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. This Webpage Builder opens up endless possibilities — especially if you’re on a budget but still want your company website to look attractive.

    Go to ‘Plugins‘ in the WordPress dashboard.

    Click on ‘Add new.

    A screenshot of the WordPress plugin dashboard with the 'Add New' button highlighted, inviting the user to add a new plugin to their WordPress site.

    Type in the keywords ‘Elementor’ in the search bar.

    Then click the ‘Install’ button.

    A screenshot of the WordPress plugin dashboard with the 'Install Now' button for the Elementor page builder plugin highlighted, inviting the user to install the plugin on their WordPress site.

    Once installation is complete, you’ll activate the Elementor plugin.

    Click ‘Activate

    Step 5: Add Your WebPage Template

    Elementor lets you add a complete professional page design template in one-click, using the template library.

    Click on ‘Page’ > ‘Add New

    A screenshot of the WordPress dashboard with the 'Add New' button for creating a new page highlighted, inviting the user to create a new page on their WordPress site.

    Provide a ‘Title‘ of your Home page, and click the ‘Edit with Elementor‘ button.

    A screenshot of the WordPress editor with the title field highlighted, inviting the user to add a title to their webpage on the WordPress site

    Here, you can see the Elementor Editor panel, where you can design and preview your website in real-time.

    Click: ‘Add Template’ icon.

    A screenshot of the Elementor page builder plugin, showing a button labeled 'Add Template' in the Templates tab.

    Now, you can choose from the 100+ pre-designed webpage templates available in the Elementor.

    Then click ‘Insert‘ button.

    A screenshot of the Elementor page builder plugin, showing a button labeled 'Insert Template' in the Templates tab.

    You can review/edit all of the typical sections you get with an Elementor template:

    • Hero (Slider) section
    • About section
    • Products or Services section
    • Social Proof (Testimonials) section
    • Contact Me section
    • And Much More

    From here you can customize each and every section of this page, to make it truly unique to your brand.

    Checklist of items to consider before launching a website, including testing, security, and promotion

    Step 6: Customizing and Tweaking Your Website

    Now that you have created some content on your website, lets customize a few things.

    Start by setting your static front page.

    Setting Up a Static Front Page

    A screenshot of the WordPress dashboard, showing the 'Reading' settings page with the 'Your homepage displays' option set to 'A static page.

    You need to visit the Settings » Reading page in your WordPress dashboard.

    Under the ‘Your homepage displays’ option, click on the ‘A static page‘ and then select a page that you created in the previous step for your ‘Homepage.’

    Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button at the bottom of the page.

    Change Site Title and Tagline

    Let’s add a ‘Site Title’ and ‘Tagline’ to the website website in the Settings » General page of your WordPress dashboard.

    A screenshot of the WordPress dashboard, showing the 'General' settings page with the 'Site Title' and 'Tagline' fields.

    Your ‘Site Title‘ will be the name of your website. The ‘Tagline‘ is usually a single line that briefly describes what your website is about. You can also leave Tagline field blank.

    Click on the ‘Save Changes‘ button.

    Set up Comments Settings

    WordPress comes with a built-in commenting system to allow your website visitors to leave comments on your Blog posts. This is great for user engagement, and useful for spammers as well.

    To police this, you’ll want to enable comment moderation on your website.

    Visit Settings » Discussions page in your WordPress dashboard and scroll down to ‘Before a comment appears’ section. Check the box next to ‘Comment must be manually approved’ option.

    A screenshot of the WordPress dashboard, showing the 'Discussion' settings page. This page allows the user to customize the commenting settings for their WordPress website, such as whether to allow comments, how to handle comment moderation, and which fields to display in the comment form.

    Click on the ‘Save Changes‘ button.

    Create Navigation Menus

    A navigation menu allows your users to browse different webpages or sections on your website. WordPress comes with a built-in navigational menu system, and your WordPress theme (Astra) utilizes this system to display the menus you create.

    Let’s add a navigation menu to your website.

    First, you need to visit Appearance » Menus page in your WordPress dashboard. Enter a name for your navigation menu and click on the ‘Create Menu‘ button.

    A screenshot of the WordPress dashboard, showing the 'Menus' page with a button labeled 'Create a new menu.

    WordPress will now create your navigation menu. But it will be empty at the moment.

    Next, you want to choose the pages to display in your menu and then click on ‘Add to Menu‘ button.

    After adding your pages to your navigation menu, you can easily rearrange the page positions up or down in the menu.

    Now you need to select a Display Location. These locations are defined by your WordPress theme. Most WordPress themes have the Primary Menu appear at the top.

    Click the ‘Save Menu‘ button to set your navigation menu to Active.

    Bonus Step: Add website Functionality by Installing Plugins

    WordPress Plugins are applications for your WordPress website. They allow the capability to add new features to your website. Think of these as analytics dashboards, contact forms, portfolio galleries, etc.

    There are more than 50,000+ plugins available for a WordPress website. Most plugins are FREE and others are Premium ($$$) versions.

    With so many plugins available, which one do you choose? Thankfully, we put together a must-have list of WordPress plugins below that will help you in your journey online.

    Here are the essential plugins to get you started. 

    Page Builders:

    • Elementor – A powerful and user-friendly page builder that helps business owners to create professional and visually appealing websites quickly and easily, saving them time and effort while improving their online presence.
    • Beaver Builder – Effortlessly create stunning websites and landing pages with the drag-and-drop page builder plugin for WordPress. With this powerful tool, you can design beautiful pages without the need for any coding knowledge.
    • Brizy – A fast and easy-to-use page builder that allows anyone to create a stunning website without any design or development skills. Its intuitive interface makes building a website feel effortless, and once you start using Brizy, you’ll never want to go back to any other website builder.
    • Oxygen Builder – Looking for a way to visually design your WordPress site from top to bottom without needing to know any code? Oxygen is the plugin you’ve been searching for. With Oxygen, you can take complete control of the appearance and style of your site with ease.
    • Divi Builder – A comprehensive design platform that gives you the ability to fully customize every aspect of your website. From the ground up, you can fine-tune every detail to create the perfect website for your small business. With Divi, you have complete control over the design process.


    • Gravity Forms – A powerful WordPress plugin that enables you to easily create and add forms to your website. Whether you need a contact form, quiz, or survey, this plugin makes it easy to add these features to your site with minimal effort.
    • Formidable Forms – Designed to help you work more efficiently and get more done in less time. With its easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, you can quickly build simple contact forms or more complex multi-page forms with file uploads, conditional logic, and calculations. Start taking on bigger projects and complete them faster with the help of Formidable Forms.
    • WPForm – A user-friendly form builder plugin for WordPress that allows you to create smart forms quickly and easily. With no coding required, even beginners can create professional-grade forms in minutes. Whether you need a simple contact form or a more complex multi-page form with file uploads, WPForms has you covered.


    • Wordfence Security –  A powerful tool that protects WordPress websites from malicious traffic by identifying and blocking it. Its integrated security scanner can scan WordPress files, themes, and plugins for malware, SEO spam, harmful URLs, malicious redirects, and code injections, helping to keep your site safe and secure.
    • Sucuri Security – This plugin can be easily installed for free from the WordPress repository. This security plugin offers a range of features, including hardening, malware scanning, core integrity checks, post-hack protection, and email alerts, to help keep your website safe and secure.
    • iThemes Security – Formerly known as Better WP Security, iThemes helps to improve the security and protection of your WordPress website. It can detect and block suspicious activity while also enhancing the security of passwords and site data. With this plugin, you can have peace of mind knowing that your website is secure.


    • Yoast SEO – A powerful WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your website’s content and keywords in order to improve its search engine rankings. While much of the plugin’s functionality is automated, it does require some input and planning from you in order to achieve the best results. With Yoast SEO, you can take control of your website’s search engine optimization and drive more traffic to your site.
    • All in One SEO (AIOSEO) – A widely-used WordPress plugin that helps website owners improve their search engine optimization. With over 3 million users, AIOSEO is a trusted tool for optimizing websites and improving search rankings. Whether you’re new to SEO or a seasoned pro, AIOSEO can help you take your website’s performance to the next level.
    • Rank Math – Rank Math is a user-friendly SEO plugin for WordPress that helps users optimize their content for better search engine rankings. Its built-in suggestions are based on best practices and make it easy for anyone to improve their website’s performance. With Rank Math, you can take your website to the next level and drive more traffic and leads to your site.


    • Nitro Pack – A lightweight website speed booster that is designed to improve your website’s performance and optimize it for Google PageSpeed V5 (Lighthouse). It analyzes Google PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse results to identify areas for improvement and provide recommendations for optimizing your website’s speed. With NitroPack, you can boost your website’s speed and improve its overall performance.
    • W3 Total Cache – designed to improve a website’s loading speed and user experience. It does this by using caching techniques and integrating with a content delivery network (CDN). This helps to boost the performance of the hosting server and provide a smoother experience for visitors to the site.
    • WP Rocket – WP Rocket is a powerful caching plugin that can help you improve your website’s loading speed and SEO ranking. With a variety of automated features, including file optimization, lazy loading images, and more, WP Rocket makes it easy to optimize your website’s performance.

    Site Backup:

    • UpdraftPlus – A full-service tool that allows you to manually or automatically backup all or part of your website. It also provides an easy way to restore any of the backups with just a few clicks.
    • VaultPress – A real-time backup and security scanning service developed by Automattic, the company behind the hosting of over 25 million WordPress.com sites. It helps to protect your website by creating backups in real-time and scanning for potential security threats.
    • BackupBuddy – A plugin that provides backup solutions to help protect against “hacks, malware, user error, deleted files, and running bad commands.” It is designed to help keep your website safe and secure by creating backups in case of any potential problems.

    Bonus Plugins


    • WooCommerce – Allows you to easily create and manage an online store through WordPress. It offers a range of features including inventory and tax management, secure payment options, and integration with shipping services. With WooCommerce, setting up and running an ecommerce store becomes straightforward and convenient.


    • MemberPress – A user-friendly WordPress plugin that enables you to easily create and manage membership subscriptions, as well as sell digital products. It is a powerful tool that helps you confidently establish and track your membership program.

    Booking Calendar:

    • Bookly – Accept online bookings on your website and automate your reservation system. It helps you manage your booking calendar, services, and client base, saving you time and money. The plugin is free to use and provides a convenient all-in-one solution for managing bookings on your website.

    Data & Analytics:

    • MonsterInsights – Easily connect your website to Google Analytics. With just a few clicks, you can start tracking and understanding how visitors find and use your site, helping you to retain and engage them. It is the most widely used Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.


    • Zapier – Connect WordPress with thousands of popular apps, enabling you to automate your workflows without the need for coding. It allows you to connect to over 5,000 apps, giving you the flexibility to integrate your WordPress site with a wide range of tools and services.
    Final Thoughts

    Building a small business website on WordPress is a simple and straightforward process that can be completed in just six easy steps. By following these steps, you can create a professional and functional website that will help you to grow and promote your business online. 

    Whether you are a beginner or an experienced web developer, WordPress provides all the tools and resources you need to create a successful website that meets your business needs. 

    By taking the time to carefully plan and design your site, you can create a website that will help you to attract and engage customers, and ultimately drive business growth.

    If you should get stuck in the process, we can help! Schedule your risk-free strategy call now.

    Your Partners in Success
    Level Up Digital Marketing

    Level Up is a leading edge digital marketing company in Rockwood, Michigan. We deliver revenue-generating results for clients with our customized marketing solutions. Our team of web designers, SEO specialists, content writers and social media experts want to help you create a Next Level marketing strategy to help GROW your local business online. Give us a call today at (888) 754-5164 to speak with a marketing strategist.

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