October 12, 2016
So you’ve finally decided to take your business online. Good for you! With more and more people relying on the internet for just about everything they need under the sun, creating a website for your business is the smartest move you will make. As easy as it may sound though, getting a working website online and getting your customers to be able to do their business easily on it takes quite a bit of doing.
How do you create a website that effectively reaches your customers and works the way that you want it to? First of all, don’t try to do it by yourself. As tempting as it may be to go the cheap route (creating a website using an online entity that lets you use existing templates, etc.), if you are serious about people taking your business seriously when it goes online, then you need to make your site as professional as possible. This means that you will need to follow a few key steps.
Determine the purpose of the site – are you building a site to sell to your customers online? Is it a site that offers only information and updates to your customers? Is your site a self-help one or will you be offering online chat services for customers to use when they need help? If your site is one where people can make purchases, then you will need to do a lot of other things on it, like setting up a secure payment system. Once you know what your website is supposed to be for and what it is supposed to do, putting it together will be a lot easier.
Determine your domain name – a domain name is what people will use to get to you, and is a very important part of your site. Aside from getting a domain name that people can easily associate with your company, you also need to ensure that it is easy to remember, but does not use abbreviations, numbers, or acronyms. You will also need to decide on whether your site will be a .com, .net, .biz, or any other suffix. Most of the .coms have already been taken, so you might need to choose an alternative TLD (top-level-domain name). After deciding on your domain name, you have to check for availability, check for copyright infringement possibilities, and to purchase the domain name from domain registrars like Name.com and GoDaddy.com.
Find the right web host – no, getting a domain name does not mean that you already have a website. You still need a webhost that will store your data and allow you to add more data as time goes by. There are a few options for you to choose from, with the most expensive one being a dedicated server. There are number of choices that may be ideal for you and these include different kinds of shared servers.
Prepare and put together your pages – this is where designing and content creation comes in. This is probably the most tedious of all the tasks that you will have to undertake when putting up a website. While writing and adding content may seem like an easy job, what you may not be considering is that your content actually has an impact on whether or not your website will rank well on search engines when certain keywords are used. This is why a lot of businesses rely on professionals to put together their sites, both in the design and content aspects.
These are just a few of the things that you need to do before your site is ready to go live. Other things you should consider doing before launching your website include testing, setting up a secure payment system (this is for e-commerce sites), advertising and promoting your site, and optimizing it for search engines.
You can study up on how to do these things yourself, or you can hire professionals who can get your site up and running for you. You will also need to maintain your site, so having professionals help you with this will allow you to focus more on your business rather than on running and maintaining your online portal.