Google Screenshot

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and get a website for your restaurant and don’t know where to start. Or you had a web designer create one for you and it’s hard to update and he/she never responds to your requests? Here’s how to make those problems go away.

We are going to go through four steps to do this. You don’t have to these in one go. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend doing it in one sitting.

One tiny bit of technical of info before we get started. We are going to be using WordPress. (That’s the name of the software package). WordPress originated as a blogging platform, but now can be used to create an entire website without having to be a website designer. It’s the #1 blogging software in the world with millions of users and it’s free. There are companies that specialize in just hosting WordPress sites, designers that sell WordPress templates to use, and others that provide plugins for extra functionality. You don’t have to remember all that, just that we are using WordPress, it doesn’t require vast technical skills, and there’s an ecosystem around it that we will leverage.

Let’s get started.

1. Pick a WordPress Theme
Theme doesn’t mean an artistic theme. Rather it’s a term for a template that your website will use. There are a number of restaurant themes available, so you don’t have to be designer. All you have to do is pick one that you would like to use. They have a one time cost of around $14 – $75.

Quick tip: Look for a theme that is “responsive”. This is techy word meaning that it works on mobile phone, tablets, and desktops. A lot of your visitors will come from mobile phones, so you want a site that is usable for them.

Here’s a list of places to find themes:

(Disclaimer: I don’t have a reseller or affiliate relationship with any of these sites.)

If you don’t like these, just Google “premium restaurant wordpress themes” or “restaurant wordpress themes” for more options.

2. Pick a WordPress Hosting Company
Next we pick a WordPress hosting company. This company is where your website will live or in techy speak where it is hosted.

Below are companies that specialize in WordPress hosting. Generally, it’s the only thing they do, so they are really good at it and they can help you with using WordPress. They do the heavy lifting of installing WordPress and the other software needed for it. (Database & Web Server).

(Disclaimer: I don’t have a reseller or affiliate relationship with any of these sites.)

Follow the steps given by the hosting company to create your initial empty WordPress site.

Now upload the theme you picked in step 1. The WordPress hosting company will help you walk through this. Also the WordPress Documentation can help if you get stuck.

At first your site might be http://www.CompanyThatHostsYourSite.com/YourRestaurantName. Don’t worry, we will fix this in step 4. (CompanyThatHostsYourSite isn’t literal. It’s one of the wordpress hosting companies from above. YourRestaurantName isn’t literal either. It’s the name of your restaurant.)

3. Fill in Your Info
Now we put in the information for your restaurant.

Login to your WordPress site (Your WordPress hosting company will have a tutorial on this & the WordPress Documentation can help too.) and fill out the information for your restaurant.

The most important pieces are hours, address with a link to google maps, specials, menu, parking information, and phone number.

The cool thing about this is that don’t need a web designer to update or change the info.

4. Pick Your Domain
So your domain is the name for your web address. e.g. “yourrestaurant.com” without the quotes.

If you already have a domain, the WordPress hosting company can help walk you through how to transfer it to them.

If you don’t have a domain, first you need to find one that is available and then purchase it. They cost $5-$15 annually. I recommend using a .com address since it’s what most people expect.

Quick tip, all the companies below will try to sell you more than just domains. Resist the urge and just get the domain and not the hosting or email or rust undercoating or anything else they try to get you to buy. If there is something you need, you can always go back and buy it later.

Second quick tip. Most of the companies below have discounts. Just google “coupon code” plus the name of the company to find them. Usually you will enter these into the shopping card when buying.

All of the following sites provide tools to see if the domain is available and the ability to purchase the domain.

(Disclaimer: I use GoDaddy for domains. I don’t have a reseller or affiliate relationship with any of these sites.)

After purchasing the domain, the WordPress hosting company you picked in step 2 will help you set it up to work with their hosting service.

One last bit, make sure that all the review and local listing sites have your new web address. ie. Login to Yelp, UrbanSpoon, YellowPages, etc… and update them.

Hopefully that will help you setup your own restaurant website. Feel free to put any questions or feedback in the comments. Don’t forget about the WordPress Documentation if you get stuck. Thanks!

Thaddeus

 

Photo credits: Google website screenshot by Spencer E Holtaway Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

required

CAPTCHA: Please do the following math problem to show you\'re human. Thanks. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.