Digital KnowHow

Helping businesses and charities improve their digital skills.

Building your website

Building a websiteOnly 53% of SMEs have a website. Yet the Lloyds Bank Business Digital Index has shown that the most digitally mature firms report a strong turnover. Setting up a website is an effective first step in developing the digital maturity of your business.*

This guide covers some of the essential areas you need to support your business.

  • The benefits
  • How to do it
  • Useful links

The benefits

Nearly 88%** of adults (45.9 million) in the UK have used the internet in the last 3 months. Within this group the figure rises to 99% for those aged between 18-24. The internet is a platform to reach a larger and more diverse group than any physical location could ever reach.

Help new customers or benefactors find you

Attract new people to your company and create another platform for selling your products or accepting donations online.

Global access

The internet can connect your business or charity with people across the globe. This gives you the opportunity to promote your products and services far beyond your existing customer base.

Access niche markets

Having a website means you can use keywords, embedded links and other techniques to guide your ideal customer to your website.

Cut costs and increase sales

Having a website can reduce many costs traditionally associated with running a business. A website allows you to provide more information about your business using fewer resources. This information is then available to prospective customers at any time, from any device.

Spreading the word

A website makes it easier for people to share information about your organisation, for example sharing a link over email or social media.

**Office for National Statistics – Intenet users in the UK: 2016

How to do it

Buy your domain

Purchase a domain name ( from a domain registrar, such as Easyspace, Godaddy or UK2*, or through the third-party website builder you use to create your website.

Get a website made or build your own

  • Hire a web designer to create a website that can be used for online money transactions, and one that you can edit and update yourself.
  • Build your own website using a third-party website builder. For example, sites like 1&1 , Moonfruit, Squarespace and Weebly allow you to build a website using simple, customisable templates.

Fill your site with useful, engaging content

Write copy and use images that help visitors learn about your company's unique brand. Make it easy for visitors to find the information they're looking for by including the following pages:

  • About us - Give visitors to your site an overview of your organisation, its history and your company mission statement.
  • Webshop/donation page - Include a shop that displays your various products, or, for nonprofits and charities, create a page where visitors can make donations.
  • Contact us - Provide your visitors with a way to get in touch with you by post, email, and phone or through social media.


Add shopping cart software

If you chose to build your own website, use shopping cart software, such as, Big Cartel, OpenCart and Zen Cart to display your products, as well as to track orders and manage inventory.

Use secure online payment software

Keep your customers' details secure by using trustworthy third-party payment software, such as Google Wallet and Paypal , to receive payments via your online store. Integrating this software may be possible via your third-party shopping cart software provider. Non-profit organisations may also use software specifically designed for fundraising, such as Blackbaud , DonorPerfect and thankQ .

Make security a priority

Protect your company data and keep your website secure by performing routine security checks on your office computers and developing an IT security policy for staff. This includes:

  • Installing antivirus software to protect you from malware or other viruses.
  • Using spam filters to reduce your chances of clicking on harmful links or downloading suspicious email attachments.
  • Changing your passwords regularly, ensuring they are always at least 8 characters long with a mixture of symbols, numbers and letters (both upper and lowercase).

Useful links

For further information about building a website, you can visit pages listed below.

Clicking on these links will take you to pages on other websites.

Setting up an eCommerce website:

Running a successful eCommerce website:


Understanding cyber crime:

For tools on digital support for charities:

Advice on keeping your organisation secure:

Get certified by Google at The Digital Garage with free online courses:

*Lloyds Bank Business Digital Index 2016.

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