Starting your own business is an impressive accomplishment. However, it can be disappointing to open your doors and see few or no customers walk through. That’s where having a restaurant website comes into play.
Your online presence can do wonders for your business, from drawing in new diners to creating opportunities for additional revenue. Fortunately, WordPress makes it easy to set up a restaurant website even if you don’t have a lot of technical experience.
In this post, we’ll explain the vital role a website plays in your restaurant’s business plan. Then we’ll walk you through how to create one with WordPress. Let’s get cooking!
Why It’s Important for Your Restaurant to Have a Website
Creating and optimizing a website for your restaurant is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to promote your business. Your online presence enables you to appear in local search results, such as ‘cafes near me’ or ‘Chinese food’.
Having a website also makes your business look more credible. You can share your hours of operation, phone number, and address to help potential diners find your restaurant. Customer reviews, your menu, and even information such as how you source your ingredients can generate interest in your food.
Plus, a website presents opportunities for you to make additional income. You might accept online orders for delivery, take out, or even catering. Selling gift cards and other products (e.g., frozen meals, clothing with your logo, or cookbooks) can also be effective.
How to Create a Restaurant Website With WordPress (In 5 Steps)
There are many platforms available for building a website. However, self-hosted WordPress provides the most control over your content at an affordable cost. It’s also user-friendly, and fairly easy to pick up. Getting started is as simple as following the five steps below.
Step 1: Choose a Hosting Provider and Domain Name
Every website is stored on a server. This enables internet users to view your content in their browsers. Hosting providers sell space on their servers so website owners like yourself can make their sites public.
Choosing a hosting provider is no small task. This will likely be a long-term relationship. You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for some key features, such as:
- 24/7 customer support
- Advanced security features
- A user-friendly control panel
- Managed WordPress packages
- Affordable pricing
Step 2: Install WordPress Core
Once you have your hosting plan, you’ll need to install WordPress on your server. Your provider may offer a ‘one-click install’ option, in which case you can simply follow their instructions for completing that process.
Otherwise, you’ll need to install WordPress manually. This starts with downloading the platform from WordPress.org:
Step 3: Select a WordPress Restaurant Theme
WordPress themes are kind of like wrapping paper for your website. They determine aspects such as your color scheme, fonts, layout, navigation, and more:
While there are many multipurpose themes you can adapt to meet your needs, it may be easier to choose a designated restaurant website theme. This will take care of many of the basics for you so you don’t have to create and reorganize a lot of pages.
There are many free themes available for download if you’re working with a small budget. However, premium (paid) themes often include advanced features for sprucing up your site.
Step 4: Enhance Your Site With Plugins
Plugins are mostly concerned with extending your site’s functionality. When it comes to your restaurant site, you’ll likely want to look into ways to display your menu, take orders, and perhaps even sell products.
Five Star Restaurant Menu is a popular and highly-rated plugin for easily sharing your dishes on your site:
Likewise, GloriaFood enables drag-and-drop menu creation in addition to taking online orders and reservations:
For your additional products or gift cards, WooCommerce is a comprehensive plugin that makes selling online easy:
There are many other plugins you might consider instead of or in addition to these. Like themes, you can find both free and premium options available to work within whatever budget you’ve set.
Step 5: Craft Key Pages for Your Site
In WordPress, posts are meant for blog-style content that is regularly updated, while pages highlight the most important details and are mostly static. There are several standard pages for restaurant sites you’ll want to make sure to include.
Firstly, you’ll need an About page. Here you can share the story of how your restaurant came to be and what values drive your business:
A Menu page is also a wise addition. This enables potential customers to get a sneak peek at the dishes you have to offer and determine if they want to stop in for a taste:
Finally, it’s vital that you make sure diners know where to find you. A Location page can share your address, a map, and contact information in case customers get lost on their way over:
Keep in mind that these are just the basics. You can incorporate other pages as well if you feel you have more key information to share with guests.
Opening your own restaurant is exciting, but you need patrons to stay in business. A restaurant website is a simple and low-cost marketing tactic, especially if you create yours with WordPress.
This post walked you through five steps for creating your own restaurant website:
- Choose a hosting provider and domain name.
- Install WordPress Core.
- Select a WordPress restaurant theme.
- Enhance your site with plugins.
- Craft key pages for your site.
Do you have any questions about how to create a restaurant website with WordPress? Ask away in the comments section below!
Featured Image Credit: Pexels.
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