In the Digital Age, businesses that don’t have websites are almost invisible. Still many entrepreneurs don’t realize website building has numerous benefits in online marketing. They see establishing a website as an unnecessary and costly investment. Simplicity of today’s CMSs and thousands of cheap domain and hosting plan options, put many web-designers out of work. That’s why every business needs to have its web space and why we provided you with this step-by-step guide that will simplify your website launching process.
Step 1: Choosing a domain name
For online businesses choosing a domain name is like choosing the name for your company and location of its offices. That’s why entrepreneurs need to approach this task with a lot of dedication. Domain name should be: short, catchy and easy to read, type and remember. ‘.Com’ domains are the most suitable for businesses, but sometimes it is hard to find the right ‘.com’ domain. If ‘.com’ domain is not available, it is not advisable for businesses to choose ‘.net’, ‘.co’ or ‘.org’ abbreviations with the same name, because that way they can increase the number of visits to rival ‘.com’ domain websites. Today with the long list of available domain abbreviations, entrepreneurs can build up interesting domain phrases and make their business stand out from the competition.
Step 2: Buying a hosting plan
There are many different hosting plans to choose from. There are three main categories of hosting plans.
- Shared hosting – website data is stored on a shared server. It is mainly used by small-business website, that require less storage;
- VPS hosting – website data is stored on a virtualized server;
- Dedicated hosting – website data is stored on fully private server. These hosting plans are mainly used by big corporate websites and networks;
For choosing right hosting plan,you also need check some other parameters:
- Storage space – size of storage space is very important. All photos, videos and text posted on the website need to be stored, and websites with lot of pages and those that host HD videos and other big files require hosting plans that offer bigger storage space.
- Number of websites to host – most hosting plans can be used for storing more than one website. This depends on the number of MySQL bases hosting plan comes with.
- Bandwidth – this is a level of traffic website can withstand. Companies that expect their websites to have many visitors should choose hosting plans with higher bandwidth figures.
Step 3: Choosing CMS
Website building can be done on several different platforms. Developers of these platforms are people we should be thankful to, for enabling any Average Joe with a modest knowledge in IT to build an outstanding web presentation. These are some of the most popular free platforms:
- WordPress – This is the most popular CMS platform that runs websites in pre-arranged and customizable themes. It also comes with very simple dashboard controls, plugins that increase website’s functionality and widgets that give superb design and structure abilities to the administrator.
- Joomla – Same as WordPress this platform offer basic content management as well as millions of paid commercial modules that can be used for adding better design solutions and more functionality to the website.
- Drupal – Drupal enables users to change website contents directly on the page and it can also be customized by thousands of free modules. It also comes with a large number of different themes that are easily customized with the knowledge of CSS.
Step 4: Building a website
For making simple web presentations, you don’t need extensive knowledge in web design. In most cases you just need to follow instructions from CMS tutorials and add a little bit of creativity to the mixture. These are some of the most important segments for website building.
- Header – Top part of web presentation that contains company’s name, logo and basic information. It can also contain branded images or special offers and promotions;
- Menus – Main navigation tools. In most small business websites menus contain links to these pages: About, Services, Prices, Blog, Contact, etc;
- Blog – part of website that is used for posting niche-specific content as part of the content marketing strategy;
- Sidebar – It is mostly used for navigation, listing recent blog posts or displaying AdSense commercials;
- Footer – this space can be used for disclaimers and Terms of Service links, branding, company information, etc.
Step 5: Optimizing a website
Only well optimized websites can find their way to first few pages of Google Search. Luckily website administrators can now use various SEO tools to improve their website’s optimization and Google Rank.
- Google Trends – very informative tool that provides statistical information about Google Searches and pushes it through various keyword and demographic filters;
- SEO Audit Tool – this tool inspects website’s optimization and provides advice and solutions for earning better search engine ranks;
- InRaMS Keywords Suggestion Tool – another InRaMS tool that makes lists of keywords for AdWords campaigns, but can also be very useful for finding out keyword statistics and choosing the right keywords for website optimization.
Soon enough only businesses that contain informative, well-designed and optimized web presentations will be able to stay competitive in their niches. That’s why entrepreneurs need to adapt to new markets and use advice we mentioned above for creating an innovative website and taking their piece of online business pie.