If you own a business, or are thinking of starting one, a website is a great way to advertise and interact with your customers and potential customers. If you don’t have much experience with creating websites, you may not know where to start. The following steps will help you get your site up and running.
Get a Domain Name
Deciding on a domain name or web address is an important first step. Shorter names are generally desired, but including keywords (words that potential customers are likely to type into a search engine) can help your site get seen by more people. Try to find a balance between length and appropriate keywords.
Once you decide on a name, you will need to purchase it. This will be a recurring yearly cost. The cheapest domain names can be purchased for less than $10 per year. The cost can increase significantly if the domain name is in high demand.
Find a Hosting Provider
Your website needs to reside on a computer. Web hosting companies provide that place. They operate large, powerful computers, called servers that will host your website. A good web host will insure that customers can access your website at any time.
Choosing the right web host will depend on your needs and budget. The cheapest web hosting starts under $2 per month. You should go with a more expensive hosting package if one or more of the following applies to your site:
- You expect a lot of visitors to your site.
- Your site will have a large number of images or videos.
- You will be selling things directly from your site.
- Having your site up and running at all times is essential to your business.
If you start out with a basic hosting plan, it is usually not difficult to upgrade to a better plan as your business begins to grow.
Developing the look of a website is the job of a web designer. A good designer will be able to take your input and incorporate the look and feel of your brand into a visually appealing website. Depending on your budget, a designer may be able to create mock-ups of several different website design styles for you to choose from.
After the design is complete, a web developer turns the designer’s mock-up into a functioning website. The time and cost involved depends upon the complexity and size of the site. Sometimes things that look simple in the design could take hours to develop. Because of this, the price of each site can vary widely. Some very basic sites may cost under $1000.
Once the site is ready, you should take a thorough look before it is made available to the public. Once everything is ready, your web developer will put the site online. The launch of your site should be advertised both online using social networks and at your business. Keeping your site updated with new content will help keep your customers returning. Search engine optimization will help your site appear higher up in search engine rankings, resulting in more traffic to your website.
Comment below if you have any other helpful tips or questions about creating a website.