If you want to increase your online presence, a website is a must-have asset. Think of your website as your virtual store or office that gives users a place to know more about your brand and products on a 24/7 basis.
Aside from filling it with relevant information, you have to make it easy for users to navigate through your website. In another post, we talk about how user experience can get you more conversions.
For most business owners, setting up a website could get overwhelming and confusing. You’ve probably had questions like:
- Where do I start?
- Should I learn how to code?
- What CMS should I use?
All of these questions are perfectly normal, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. A lot of our clients have had these same questions as well. So we put together this short guide to answer all the questions you might have. Sit tight and read on, because we’ve got you covered.
To start building your website, you need these five things:
Before we go into the technical details of building the actual website, it’s important to know why you’re creating one in the first place.
Why? This is because the platform, plugins, and other tools you will be using will depend on your purpose.
Choosing your weapon of choice depends on what goals you’re trying to achieve. Some web developers think it might be helpful to think of building a website to building a house.
Hardcoding is like cutting down trees from the woods and fabricating all the materials for building the house. Meanwhile, website building platforms are similar to buying materials from the hardware store, and all you need to do is put them together.
If your main goal is to promote your business or share your content with users, maybe the GoDaddy website builder or Squarespace is already a great choice. Especially if you’re going to update content from time to time, you don’t have to depend on a master web developer to do it for you.
Meanwhile, if you’re going to let users register on your website, maybe it’s a better idea to hardcode it.
Domain Name and Web Hosting Service
Domain names and web hosting services go hand-in-hand, and it’s easy to get these two things confused. Most companies offer both services for a bundled price, but you can always get these services from two separate companies.
So how do you differentiate the domain name from web hosting? To make things more relatable, let’s think of them as the address and a house.
In this comparison, your domain name serves as your address. That’s why if you want people to find you on the Internet, you give out your address or your domain name.
Meanwhile, your web host is the house itself. A web host is the physical storage of your website that contains all your files so that it’s live 24/7.
How should I choose my domain name?
If you’re on a free plan with website building platforms like WordPress or Wix, you might have noticed that your web address is on their subdomain which looks something like this: www.yournamehere.wordpress.com.
While it’s okay to do this for personal websites, it’s better to register for a paid domain name so that it solely reflects your brand.
Haven’t decided on a domain name yet? Here are some things to consider when you’re deciding on one:
It should be unique and cohesive with your branding
Even as something as simple as a website address, always go for branding consistency. Keep your domain name as close to your brand name as possible. This also helps users remember your domain name easily.
But wait, what if another business or person has the same name as yours?
You can check if the availability of a domain name with the help of apps like Namechk or namecheck.
If the domain name is already taken, you can play around with additional words that are related to your field like “shop” for ecommerce sites or “travel” for travel agencies.
It should reflect your credibility
Ever wondered what those .com, .net, or .gov at the end domain names mean? These are what you call top-level domains.
Whenever we see these at the end website addresses, we immediately know that .com is for commercial sites, .gov is for government websites, .net is for networking and so on.
There are all sorts of top-level domain names like .io, .tv and so on. While nothing’s stopping you from getting these for your website address, it doesn’t mean that you can, you should.
Your domain name should also reflect your credibility. For example, most businesses choose .com instead of .xyz because it sounds more credible.
Keep it short and memorable
The shorter, the better. Don’t make it hard for users to remember your domain name.
Avoid numbers if possible
If it’s not part of your brand name, avoid putting numbers in your domain name to make it easy for users.
How should I choose my web host?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, a web host keeps your site live on the Internet at all times. When you pay a web hosting company, you are paying for the disk space, bandwidth, and the physical security of the server.
Aside from checking on the prices of the monthly plans, you have to make sure your web host company offers enough bandwidth for your site to load fast.
If it takes more than three to five seconds for your site to load, users are often discouraged from exploring it further.
While it might seem that design is only about choosing colors, font types, and other elements, it plays an important role in the overall function of your website.
Besides thinking about how your design could stay consistent with your branding, you should also think about your website’s ease of use for users. As we’ve mentioned earlier, user experience and user interface can help you get conversions for your business.
And you don’t have to use all the fancy tools to make it happen. Even if you’re using WordPress or the Wix website builder, you can build a great website if your design is on point.
Aside from giving them something to read, your content should be valuable and engaging to your users. When paired with great design, users will be convinced to stay on your site longer.
But how do you create good content? Here are some questions to help you come up with great topics:
- What are my customers’ pain points or problems?
- How can I help them through my products or services?
With everything we covered in this guide, the most important thing to take away here is to make your site easy to use. Because all that effort you’ve put on that site will be meaningless if it doesn’t give users a great experience.
If you want to build a site or revamp an existing one, our web development services can surely help you out. Book a consultation today, and get a great website.