The internet has existed for over 20 years. If you work for yourself and you really want to earn money, you need to have a website. Period. This is not an option any more. It’s a necessity.
This is true no matter how small your business. Even if your business is so small you don’t think of it as a business. Even if you’re just earning income on the side. Websites are one of the most important things in the world, and you need to have one.
(This post contains affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)
I’ve begun creating websites a few times for my own small businesses over the years, and I’ve always ended up turning them over to a pro because I found the process to be too involved and time consuming. But a couple months ago I tried using a free website builder called Yahoo Small Business Websites. It was surprisingly easy. I actually enjoyed the process of making a website and was able to design the site myself quickly from start to finish.
Yahoo is a big name that’s been around since 1994. The company was recently acquired by Verizon and is revitalizing its Small Business division, a platform for website design, hosting, domains, email and more. They now offer new 24/7 phone, chat and online support.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEBSITE WITH YAHOO SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITES
Here are step by step instructions about how I made my website, and how you can also create your own website with Yahoo Small Business Websites.
Setting Up Your Yahoo Small Business Website
1. Go to the Yahoo Small Business Websites homepage to begin.
2. Click Get a Free Website.
3. Choose a Theme. A theme gives your website barebones appearance and functionality. You will customize the theme you choose to transform it into a professional website. Many website builders offer thousands and thousands of different themes from which to choose. Choices are great, but so many can be too much.
Yahoo offers about 100 different themes in several different categories. I chose the Pen and Paper theme.
All Yahoo themes are responsive, which means your website will look right and function correctly on all types of devices. Responsive websites are not only important but almost mandatory nowadays, since mobile device usage is so common.
4. When you’ve chosen a theme, click Edit on top of the theme.
5. Now sign up. This takes about 10 seconds. Then check your email to activate your account.
6. Give your website a name. You can name it anything you want. This name will not be seen by the public; it is only for you to see.
7. Now it’s time to design your website!
Designing Your Yahoo Small Business Website
To begin the design process, click the round icon in the upper right of your screen, then click on My Services. On the next page click Edit Site. You’ll see your homepage template. Now you begin the fun part!
Yahoo says it designs all of its tools with beginners in mind. Based on my own previous experience with websites, if you want a site that looks professional, it really should be designed by a professional – unless you already know what you’re doing or have all the time in the world to figure it out. I’ve started but then quickly stopped designing my own sites before, turning them over to a pro. But this time I carried through and actually easily designed my Yahoo site from start to finish, which you can check out here.
Designing most websites usually requires at least a little technical skill. But if you’re not a techie, no worries, because designing a website using Yahoo Small Business Websites you need no techie skills at all. This is a creative process. You can play around with it and see what works. Click here to begin.
Creating a Header
The header is the top section of your website. Choose a photo or photos that are relevant, aesthetically appealing, and professional looking. Use your own high-quality photos or choose from thousands of free photos available on sites such as Pixabay and Unsplash. Left click on the header photo to upload an image or images.
TIP – You might need to crop or resize photos in order for them to look just right.
Now type in a title. Left click on the header photo you’ve just uploaded, then click on the settings icon to type in your title. You’ll probably want the title to be the name of your website, but it can be anything you want. Also type in a subtitle, if you’d like.
All Yahoo website themes have several different sections. You can customize the existing sections of the theme you’ve chosen, delete the ones you don’t want and add new ones which you do want.
To do this, cursor over the center top of any existing section and click on the blue plus that pops up.
This will show you a list of about 20 different section templates. Click on each template to see what it looks like. Select one you like and click the green plus sign to add it to your website. When it asks whether or not you want to use the original website style, it doesn’t matter whether you click yes or no.
If you need help at any time, click Help on the top bar to access the Knowledge Center, get tips, or contact tech support.
Using Design Tools for Your Yahoo Small Business Website
There are three different areas on each section where you can locate tools to help in designing your Yahoo website.
Gear Icon on Right Side of Each Section
Click the gear icon on the right side of each section to work with the settings for that specific section, such as layout, background and text. (You can also left click anywhere on the section to find its settings.)
Tip – Experiment with different photos, backgrounds, fonts and layouts. It’s fun.
Gear Icon on Left Side of Each Section
Click the gear icon on the left side of any section to work with the settings for the whole website, such as style, widgets and menu.
TIP – When inserting text, don’t type it directly into the text boxes. Type what you want to say elsewhere first, making note of the style and size of font you use. Then copy what you’ve written and paste it into the text boxes.
Why? I clicked on the above text box a while after I had inserted some text. The text then disappeared. I hadn’t typed up that text and saved it somewhere else first. I also didn’t remember exactly what I wrote and I certainly didn’t remember the font. So I had to recreate it all. This, of course, took some extra time.
Plus Sign on Left Side of Each Section
Hover over the left side of any section and look for a tiny plus sign. Left click and you will see several different elements you can add to that section. For example, you can upload a video, add a link or add a map of your business’s location.
You can switch the order of sections around by using the small up or down arrow on the right side of each section.
If you don’t like how a section is looking as you’re designing it and you wish you could just start all over again, good news! You can. Simply click on the small X on the right side of the screen and hit Delete Section.
Settings on Top Bar
Click Settings – Page Settings on the top bar to access settings such as menus layout, widgets and page background. These settings are the same no matter which section you’re working on.
Creating New Pages with Your Yahoo Small Business Website
You probably won’t want your website to be just a homepage. You can add more pages by hovering over Pages – Home in the upper left, then choosing Add a New Page. A variety of different page templates will appear.
You’ll then design all additional pages you create using the same tools you’ve used to design the homepage.
You will see that in the upper right-hand corner that your work is being auto saved.
For extra security, you can make a copy of your home page or any page as you work on it. In the upper left corner hover over Pages – Home and click Duplicate. Then name the duplicate page and click Add Page. This will add the copy of this page to your account. You can only copy one page at a time.
Making Your Yahoo Website Responsive
All websites nowadays have to be fully responsive on all devices. This means everything on a website has to look just right in both portrait and landscape mode on computers, phones and tablets. This is very important for your success because if your website doesn’t look right, people will probably click off right away. Fortunately, Yahoo websites are responsive.
You’ve no doubt designed your Yahoo site on a computer, so you know exactly what it will look like on computers. When you’re finished – or even as you go along – check and see how your website will look on tablets and phones. This is very easy.
Hover over the upper right corner and choose either tablet or mobile. Scroll through and make sure your website looks right on those devices.
When I was building my website, I saw that the fourth section did not look right when viewed on a tablet. This section consisted of only three words. They were centered on computer and phone views. But they were aligned to the left in tablet mode. This did not look good.
The way I fixed this is by left clicking on that section, while still viewing it in tablet mode.
Then I played around with it for a few minutes and discovered that I needed to change the spacing between the three words from 24 to 17. Now on tablet view, as well as computer and phone, the three words are centered.
Yahoo Small Business Website SEO
When you have a website, you want people to be able to find it! So you need to make this as easy as possible. One of the ways you do this is by setting up your website with search engine optimization (SEO) tools. Fortunately Yahoo Small Business Website SEO is totally easy to implement.
Hover over Pages – Home. Click on SEO/Analytics Setup. Fill out your website title, keywords you’d like to use, and a description that you want to appear when people see your website in search engine results.
Publishing Your Yahoo Small Business Website
When you’ve finished your website design and are ready to show the world, click the blue Publish button at the top right.
You’ll see that now you have the opportunity to choose your domain name and your plan.
Choosing a Yahoo Domain Name
Every website has a hosting company who hosts your website on its servers. As far as hosting plans, with Yahoo you’ve got two options: a custom domain for $4.99 a month when you sign up for a year, or a subdomain of Yahoo.com for free. You can check out the Yahoo Small Business hosting plans here.
Really, a custom domain is the only way to go. If you choose the free option, your website name will have yahoosites.com attached to the end of it. You can see if the domain name you want is available right here.
For example, having a custom domain means that you’re free to choose any extension you wish for the end of your domain name. You might want your website to have the most popular .com extension like I chose – www.thisisagreatdomainname.com, or other extensions like .net. .co, .biz, .co.uk, .club, and so on.
With the free option, your site would have to have .yahoosites.com at the end of the name. If I had chosen the free option, my website would be www.thisisagreatdomainname.yahoosite.com. You can see it’s not quite as catchy, or as professional. Do what you want, but I recommend laying out the $4.99 per month on the custom domain name.
Choosing a Yahoo Web Hosting Plan
The next page tells you exactly what all you will get for your $4.99 a month Basic plan. It also gives you the option to get even more for $9.49 a month with the Professional plan. All plans have a 30-day money back guarantee.
Now type in the domain name you’ve chosen and make sure it’s definitely available. Since basically every domain name in the world has already been taken during the past 20 years of the internet, this could be quite a task. Persevere. Try for a .com, but .com is not really necessary anymore, because it’s not always possible anymore. Don’t be too shy about using .net, .co., .biz or another extension.
Once you check the availability of the domain name you like and are able to nab it, in the right-hand column you’ll see that this domain name is free, and your email address is too. With the Basic plan, optional Private Domain Registration is an additional $11.88. It’s not necessary to buy this, but it does protect your identity and your contact information.
What is Private Domain Registration? According to the Yahoo Small Business website, “Private Domain Registration allows interested parties to contact you about your domain without making your contact information public. If you choose not to purchase Private Domain Registration, your contact information will show Data Protected, Not Disclosed.”
Decide whether or not you want this, then click Continue.
It may take up to 24 hours for your new website to become active. Once it does, when you type the domain name you bought into your browser, the website you designed will appear. So congratulations! Now you own a website.
Finishing Up Your Yahoo Small Business Website
Next, check your email, because you’re going to receive a few confirmation emails. One will tell you that you need to verify your contact information for your domain name for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names). Another email will ask you to set your data consent preferences for TUCOW, a domain name registrar.
The next time you return to your dashboard, you’ll see you now have more options to work with and more information about your site.
Under SSL Manager you can install your free SSL certificate with a simple toggle of a button. The SSL certificate turns the http in your url into https, giving your site necessary security.
Click Business Email to set up your Yahoo business email. You have the option to design your email account or leave it as is. Any time you want to log into this email, type mail. into the url before your domain name, like mail.thisisagreatdomainname.com.
Both Dashboard and Insights will give you information about your website traffic.
Site Design gives you the ability to publish blog posts, add extra pages, tweak your design and really do just about anything you want with your Yahoo website.
And that is it. Now people can find your small business!
You can get started with Yahoo Small Business websites here.
You can set up Yahoo Small Business hosting here.
You can set up Yahoo Small Business email here.