Creating a website for your small business in Nigeria is not a matter of luxury but of necessity because about 50 percent of Nigerians are active on the internet.
That’s about 100 million people online that you can reach. All the people will not be interested in what you are offering, however, your business will reach more people than when you are running only a brick-and-mortar shop.
With the help of the internet, you can be in Nasarawa state ( North Central, Nigeria) and do business with people in Lagos ( South West, Nigeria). Your business can be without walls if you take advantage of the internet.
This blog post will show you the steps you need to set up your business websites in Nigeria.
Related: 7 Reasons Why You Need A Website for Your Small Business Now
1. Have a blueprint of the business website you desire
What type of business website do you have in mind? Is it an online store? Do you want to receive payment online? What payment gateways do you want to use?
You are to ask these questions to help determine the design, features, and type of business website you will design. The types of business websites will be explained briefly below.
Related: Top 7 Payment Gateways for Shopify in Nigeria.
Types of small business websites in Nigeria
1. Business information website
A business information website showcases what a business does. When you visit the homepage of this type of website, you will immediately discover what the business is all about within seconds.
This type of website has an “about us” page that gives information about the business, and the “contact us” page shows how customers can contact the business.
2. Online store
An online store is a website that displays products and services for customers to buy. The website provides a way for customers to buy products online with their credit cards or bank transfer.
This type of website has features for shipping, inventory, payment and the like. It takes the limitations off your business because you can stay in Lagos and sell your products to customers in Kano or Kaduna.
That means someone can be in his or her sitting room and make a purchase of your products online 24/7 throughout the year. The online store works all through the year without interruption and people can buy your products at any time of the day.
Some examples of these types of websites in Nigeria are Konga, Olist and Jumia. The above list is online marketplaces that sell products for many merchants. However, you can design an online store that sells your products to customers.
3. Portfolio website
A portfolio website is a type of business website designed to display work samples of a creative or a business. Website designers, interior decorators, and writers are people that can use a portfolio website for their business.
4. Landing page website
A landing page is a website that aims to get leads ( potential customers) and converts them in the long run. For you to create your website you need copywriters to write good copies that can convert.
5. Event website
An event website will help you to register people for an upcoming event or webinar. Your audience will be able to register for the event and you could use it to get leads.
6. Blog website
Your small business can be focused on publishing blog posts to attract the right audience to your business. From your blog, you can create an email list that you will use to send your prospective customers newsletters and adverts of your products over time.
2. Ways to set up your business website in Nigeria
After deciding the type of business website you want to go into, the next thing you are to do is decide the best way you intend to design your website based on your income and the type of website you intend to design.
1. Use the services of a website designer
There are website designers and website design agencies that can help you to design your business website. They will take care of the design from scratch to the end and also manage your website.
Outsourcing the website design work is the easiest but most expensive of all the ways you can use to design your website. Experts will charge you a fee based on their expertise and the features you intend to use on your website.
This way of website design is capital intensive, so you need to have enough capital to be able to use it, however, if you don’t have much money, keep reading to discover how you can achieve the same purpose at a cheaper rate.
2. Use a Website Builder
A website builder is software that allows you to design a website without the use of codes. That means you can design your website with ease and without much technical knowledge.
Website builders have templates you can pick from to design your websites within a few hours you can select the templates and customise the fonts, colours and other features of your website.
Some examples of website builders are Wix, Squarespace and OLITT. The one we recommend is OLITT, because of its price, features and flexibility. This method is cheaper than using the services of a website designer.
3. Use WordPress
The use of WordPress to design a website is the most popular way of website design because over 43% of the website on the internet are powered by it.
WordPress is free to download and use but you will need to buy hosting and a domain name to get started.
Hosting is the space allocated for you on the internet to host your website files, while the domain is the unique address of your website on the internet. We will discuss more on this in this post.
3. Choose a domain name for your business
Choosing a domain may seem like a small task, but if you look deep, you will discover that it is small with a big effect on your business. Your
How to choose a domain name for your business in Nigeria
- Include keywords
- Make it easy to type
- Keep it short
- Make it unique
- Use a domain generator
- Make it easy to pronounce
- Avoid dashes and numbers
- Avoid copyright infringement
- Choose the right domain extension
- Avoid double letters
- Consider the future of your business
You must check to see if your chosen domain name is still available after making your selection. Therefore, it is advised that you select more than one domain name so that, if the first one is not accessible, you may fall back on the second one.
Related: How to Register NG Domain Names for Your Business
4. How to set up your business website in Nigeria
1. Buy hosting
There are many local and international web hosting companies you can utilize to register your domain name and host your small business website, but we’ll concentrate on Truehost, a Nigerian hosting company.
Compared to other web hosting companies, Truehost is the most affordable. Their plan starts for N600 per month with 30 GB space, unlimited bandwidth, 3 websites and Free Let’s encrypt. You can’t find these features at this price anywhere.
When you purchase hosting and a domain from Truehost, you will receive Cpanel login information.
2. Install WordPress
The Cpanel is the admin dashboard of your website where you can control the affairs of your website. Immediately you buy hosting from Truehost, they will send the details of your Cpanel account and other information.
You will then use the password and username sent to you to access the account, where you will be able to install WordPress and perform other activities.
For you to install WordPress on your website, you have to scroll down to the software in your Cpanel dashboard, and then click on WordPress Manager by Softaculous. When you click on it, you will be directed to the WordPress installation section.
The image below shows how you will install WordPress on your website by filling in your information like Username, password, and the like.
It takes less than one minute for WordPress to be installed on your website. You will be given a link to your WordPress admin when you have successfully installed WordPress.
You will then fill in the username and password you chose while installing WordPress.
After which you will be given access to your WordPress admin, where you can install themes, and plugins and also design your website pages.
Themes are software that has templates that you can use on your website, while plugins on the other hand are software that adds functionalities to your website.
3. Install plugins
As you can see from the image above, the plugin icon is where you can install plugins on your website. When you click on the plugin button, you will be directed to a directory where you can search for the plugins you desire to use on your website.
Some examples of plugins you will need on your website are AIOSEO or Yoast for SEO, Google analytics, MailChimp etc.
When you start designing your website and you want to add functionality or feature to your website, you search for plugins that can perform what you desire on Google and they will appear.
There are thousands of free WordPress plugins on the internet, but most of the free themes have limitations, therefore, you will have to buy the premium theme to be able to enjoy the full package.
4. Install your WordPress theme
As I mentioned above, themes are templates that determine the look and feel of a website. That means you need to choose your theme carefully since it greatly affects your website.
There are thousands of free WordPress themes that you can use on your website, but if you want more customization, you will have to buy the premium theme.
Just like the plugins, themes also have a directory where you can search for your desired themes to install on your website.
There are themes for different purposes on the internet, but since we are talking about small website businesses, you are to search for small business themes.
5. Design your website pages
For you to design your website homepage, about us page, contact us page and others, you will need a page builder.
Page builders give you templates to drag and drop on a page you want to design. Some popular WordPress page builders are Seedprod, Elementor, Divi and UX builder.
They give you templates that you can play around with to make beautiful designs. As the custom is, they will only give you limited features until you buy the premium version.
The home page is the first place people see when they visit your website, so you need to make it beautiful, concise and simple. When you do so people will be able to know the purpose of your website immediately after they visit it and they will know what action to take.
About Us Page
You will use this page to tell people about your business, how you started, what you are doing, your staff etc.
Contact Us Page
Your potential clients need to be able to reach you anytime they want to with ease, therefore, it is your responsibility to provide them with different channels of communication.
6. Install analytics
You will need to know how your website visitors are engaging with your content and products. Factors like the time spent on a page, the products people are more interested in, the click-through rate, impressions and likes are important.
This information can help you to make pre-informed decisions that can go a long way in helping you grow your business. Google has two important tools that you can integrate into your website. They are Google analytics and Google search console.
These tools are a must-have for all small business websites in Nigeria because they will help you get relevant data from your website.
6. Optimize your website
When you have successfully designed your website, you will need to optimise your website. How do you do that?
1. Make your website mobile friendly
Research has shown that many people surf the internet using mobile devices. This means you will need to make your website mobile-friendly to fit with the devices people are searching for.
Many WordPress themes are mobile optimized, so you don’t need to do anything extra.
2. Perform keyword research
To attract the right customers to your small business website in Nigeria, you will need to perform keyword research to discover topics that interest them.
3. Perform content marketing
Content marketing is the use of content such as a podcast, blog posts, videos and text to generate leads that could be converted into customers.
When you create blog posts on your website to write content that could interest your target audience, you are more likely to bring in more customers than when you don’t have a blog.
4. Use keywords
You need to use specific industry keywords that describe your website perfectly, this type of words should be in your meta descriptions, blog posts, title tags, alt tags and the likes.
When you use these keywords well, you will be able to rank for searches that are relevant to your industry.
5. Perform SEO practice
Doing every white hat SEO practice will increase organic traffic to your business website because it will help you to position your website perfectly so that Google will understand the content of your website and it will also resonate with people too.
You need to take note of on-page, off-page and technical SEO to be able to gain organic traffic effectively.
Related: 30+ Online Marketing Tips for Maximizing Your Website Traffic
How to set up an online store for your small business in Nigeria
We talked about online stores as one of the types of small business websites you can start in Nigeria, we now want to go deeper to explain to you how you can design yours in a matter of hours.
An online store allows you to sell your products and services online to customers through different payment methods.
Remember how we talked about plugins in the previous session on how to design a website using WordPress? You can also design an online store using WordPress with a plugin called
WooCommerce allows you to add products, images and payment on your website. The image above shows how you can install WooCommerce by searching for it under the plugin section in your WordPress admin.
After you have Installed and activated WooCommerce, you will be required to fill in your business information like address, email and postcode.
Next, you will be required to select the industry of your business.
Finally, you will be required to fill in the range of the number of products you want to upload on your website.
After completing the above registration, you can start selling products on your website by uploading the products you want to sell.
How to add products to your small business website in Nigeria
For you to add products to your website, you are to click on the product session under WooCommerce.
When you do so, you can add the products you want to sell and their description. The image of the product, description, colours, images and other varieties are what you can use on your website.
Just the way you see online marketplaces like Jumia and Konga display products on their websites, you can also do the same thing.
Online store themes
The storefront theme below is one of the themes you can use on your business website to design an online store easily.
How to set up a small business website in Nigeria using the OLITT website builder
Olitt store also allows you to start your online store with a few touches, you will have to customise your website and also have access to advanced features that will help you manage your business.
You will be able to upload thousands of products and also market your website easily. The features that will be provided to you by the OLITT store are:
- Free hosting
- Unlimited Storage
- 1 Free Domain (when paid yearly)
- 1 Shop Template
- Connect Multiple Custom Domains
- Ticket & Live Chat support
- SEO & Marketing tools
- Additional Free Websites (10)
- Remove OLITT branding ads
- Social Media Integrations
- Accept online payments
- Sell unlimited products
In this age, a website is necessary for your business to grow. If you want your business to reach its potential, you must utilize every tool the online world offers.
Combine social media and your small business website in Nigeria to build a business without walls that operate 24/7 throughout the year.
If you are ready to set up your website, check out our hosting plans now.