5 Steps to Building a Website
Posted in Business on Apr 13, 2019
Creating a website and building an online presence can be very overwhelming. To help you out, I have created a quick list of items to help you get your business online quickly and easily.
Step 1 - Find a great Domain Name
The first thing that you need to do is choose a domain name. The domain name is the online address for your business. It is one of the most important decisions you have to make. One of the main problems in choosing a domain name is that many names are no longer available. I recommend using a service like www.hover.com to search for your preferred name’s availability. Once you have found your domain name, you can register it through them or any other online services. One of my favourite reasons for using Hover is by default, they keep your contact information private. Other providers, I have used charge extra for that service. Hover.com also has excellent customer support. If you need help, they have phone support with a “no hold” policy.
Step 2 - Hosting
Once you have a domain name, you will then need a hosting account. The hosting provider stores the files that make up your website and then makes them accessible to the public. The hosting provider may provide email services for the domain name as well.
One problem with some hosting suppliers is overselling. Overselling is the practice of overcrowding a server with too many websites. While overselling is less of an issue with a simple HTML website, it is a huge problem with modern websites that use content management systems. If the server is oversold (too many sites running on one server), then web pages will load slowly.
I offer hosting accounts to my customers. My dedicated servers ensure my client’s websites run smoothly, and their files are backed-up regularly. If you do want to use another shared hosting account, I have had terrific success with companies such as www.site5.com and www.blacksun.ca.
Websites primarily come in two varieties; HTML websites & Content Management Systems.
Step 3 - The Website
An HTML website is excellent for getting a few pages online quickly. The downside to them is you will need to contact your web designer each time you want to make a change.
I am a huge fan of Content Management Systems. They are software tools that run on a web server and enable people to manage their text, photos and videos on their website. I use two specific Content Management Systems, ExpressionEngine, and Wordpress. ExpressionEngine is an excellent fit for larger budget projects, where flexibility and customization are a necessity, but it is best left for a web developer to set up for you. Wordpress is a great tool for any budget range. It can be set up and installed yourself if you have a small amount of computer savvy.
If you build it, they will come. That’s not necessarily true. You have to let people know you have an online presence. A great place to start is by registering your website with Search Engines like Google, DMOZ and Bing. These search engines like current, fresh and useful content. Do not forget to stay on top of this. The ability to quickly add content and make changes is where a content management system’s usefulness shines. You can maintain the content without any ongoing out-of-pocket expense. Please bear in mind that any changes you make to your website to improve its place in search results can take weeks in some cases. It is a slow and patient process.
Step 4 - Search Engines
There is too much information on this topic to cover thoroughly in a short blog post. I will cover this more in the future.
Now that you have a website with some content, it is time to get the word out in any way possible. But don’t do so in a way that will annoy your customers.
Step 5 - Spread the word
Include links to your website in any email signatures, forum signatures, and any other online presence you have. Add your URL to any print material you produce, such as business cards, advertisements, brochures, billboards.
Social Media tools like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, are great tools, not only to draw interest to your website but also to interact with your customers. Just be sure to remember these are public places, and always respond to people in a positive light.
I am here to help you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. I would be happy to help you with any part of this process. I also provide turnkey website solutions where you can take control of as much or as little of the process as you like.