These days, most individuals go online to research about a company or a product before making a purchase. If your company doesn’t have a website, you are missing out on this big opportunity. Even if they don’t buy your services or products, your site can be a platform that can help build your brand as visitors learn more about your company’s vision.
The Internet is a level playing field for all kinds of businesses. It doesn’t care about your size, office address, number of employees and so on. As long as you can get your site listed and ranked on search engines like Google, you can go head-to-head with large multinational companies and redirect customers to your website.
If you are going online but don’t know where to start, here is an overview of everything you need to know about starting up a website.
Buy a domain name
Every website creation project starts with getting your desired domain name. This is the name you want to have for your website. In order to get a domain name, you will need to pay a monthly or annual fee. If you want to change your website’s name, you're going to have to buy another domain.
To check if your desired website name is available, you can go to domain registrars such as Freemarket. In case it isn’t available, these registrars can recommend other domain names.
Get a Web host
The next step is to get a Web host for your chosen domain. A Web host makes your website visible to everyone on the Internet. Your Web hosting account is similar to your office space or building. Domain registrars also offer Web host services. If you are looking for other providers, check Host Gator or Dream Host. They offer a variety of hosting packages to suit different budgets.
If you don’t have experience with Web design, you can hire a freelance Web designer to do the hard work for you. But, if you want to learn and have some time to kill, you should at least learn basic HTML and programming.
You can also use a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. Using these systems to design websites will be easier compared to building a website from scratch.
Test your website
The next step is to test your website. Do the buttons work? Are there any 404 pages? Is it optimized for mobile phones and other gadgets? Will it have the same resolution on Chrome, Firefox, or Safari? These are important considerations for today's online landscape. Make sure your site can address these questions favorably.
Optimize it for search engines
When your website looks good and runs smoothly, you should submit it to Google, Bing and other search engines. Never use black hat SEO or your website will get penalized. Businesses that use black hat link building techniques have lower rankings compared to those who apply white hat SEO methods.
The last step in creating your website is to launch it. You can promote it through traditional marketing efforts like flyers, billboards, and even word-of-mouth. If you have a strong social media presence, you can also leverage it to attract more traffic.