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Small Business Website – 12 Step Process

Use these 12 Steps to Build a Better Website – professional process.

The following is a #techsavvy small business website design and development process outline, provided by Mark Derho. Effectively manage building a modern search-optimized Responsive WordPress website that adapts optimally to every screen size and every device.

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WordPress website content management system (CMS) is versatile, powerful and the most popular small business website design and development platform in the world. WordPress is also: open-source and free to use and modify, supported by an online community.  WordPress is the top content management system (CMS) in use online and powers 25 percent of all sites across the web (*a).

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12 Steps to Build a Better Website

  1. Business Research – Small Business Owner (SBO) Consult
  2. Specialty SEO and Keyword Research – Tools
  3. Domain and Hosting
  4. Server Security
  5. Source Images and Content
  6. Plan and Mock-up
  7. Design Webpages
  8. Write Content
  9. Organic (on-page) Search Engine Optimization
  10. Analytics and Site Reporting
  11. Website Documentation
  12. Quality Assurance Testing

1) Business Research – Small Business Owner (SBO) Consult

  1. Special business owner knowledge
  2. Industry knowledge
  3. Owners ideas and goals
  4. Owner participate in building website process

Small business owners have unique insight and information regarding their own business, and what differentiates them from competitors. Meeting in-person is ideal (if possible) to discuss the individual business directly with the business owner, providing a first-person opportunity to discuss and determine marketing and online goals, listen to ideas, plot a tiered-strategy, and determine specific courses of action. SBO special insight earned though financial investment and actual experience is unparalleled, and usually extends to the industry in which they compete and often the local community in which they operate. It is also important to work with the SBO to establish time and financial expectations.


SBO’s are well served to participate in the website building process to integrate business goals and leverage unique industry and business knowledge.

– Mark Derho

2) Specialty SEO and Keyword Research / Tools

  1. Competitor source code
  2. Google AdWords Keyword Planner
  3. MOZ Open Data Explorer
  4. SEO Site Checkup
  5. Similar Web
  6. Spyfu

3) Domain and Hosting

  1. Establish or transfer domain
  2. Establish or transfer hosting account
  3. Setup staging server for development
  4. Install WordPress CMS
  5. Install preferred WordPress Responsive Theme
  6. Install all Plugins
  7. Website Migration

4) Server Security

  1. Purchase SSL Certificate and manage process
  2. Install SSL Certificate
  3. Website security measures

5) Source Images and Content

  1. Original photography
  2. Stock photos or video
  3. Articles

6) Plan and Mock-up

  1. Define page structure (navigation menu)
  2. Document individual page functionality
  3. Design mock-up of website pages
    1. Balsamiq

7) Design Webpages

  1. (1) H1 and (1) H2 headers
  2. Keywords
  3. Insert images and media
  4. Integrate API’s and Plugins
  5. Add FPO text

8) Write Content

  1. Write original keyword-optimized text content based on research
  2. Place content in pages replacing FPO text
  3. Organically search-optimize content, while maintaining readability

9) Organic (on-page) Search Engine Optimization

  1. Optimize pages per Yoast SEO
  2. Manually optimize all content, titles, headers, tags, images, links, etc.
  3. XML Sitemap

10) Analytics and Website Reporting

  1. Install Google Analytics
  2. Install Google Search Console

11) Website Documentation

  1. User Guides
  2. Disclaimers
  3. Waivers
  4. FAQ’s

12) Quality Assurance Testing

  1. Functionality
  2. Spelling
  3. Browsers
  4. Devices
  5. Operating Systems

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