I can help design a basic website for your blog, or a business website with special requirements, the choice is yours. Contact me today for a free quote.
If you don’t yet have a website, and are wondering what else you might need, here’s a list to get you started:
To get started, you will need a domain name, and a hosting company.
The domain name is the address of your website, ie your_site_name.com
I usually recommend using GoDaddy.com, due to the fact that after using several other domain registrars in the past, this lot have been the most reliable and had the best support.
The domain name of your website should be memorable, not too long, and describe what your page is about. One problem you may face, is that your preferred domain name is already taken. Domain names have to be unique, and as a result there are many websites that have very similar names out there.
For instance if you were planning on making a website about pets, you might want to call it pets.com, but since that name is already taken you could try petreviews.com, pet-reviews.com or dogtips.com, the list goes on.
You generally have to think up a list of several suitable names, and try each one until you find one you can get. When you visit GoDaddy.com, at the top of the page is a big box, which says “Enter a domain name”. This is where you can type in your preferred domain name, and then click search.
If the domain is already taken it will say so. In some cases it may be listed for sale, and if the price is reasonable and you really want that name then by all means grab it, but in most cases I find that the best domain names are listed for absurdly high prices, and so it is simply easier to think of an alternative name.
The next step, is to choose a web hosting company. The web hosting company or web host is the place where all the website’s files are kept. The relationship between domain names and their hosting company is a bit like the index in a book.
The domain name is an entry listed in the index, while the web host is the page of content the index refers to. The domain registrar and web hosting company can be the same company, or it can be completely different.
For web hosting, I generally use Hostgator.com
Once you have your domain name and your hosting sorted out, you need to link them together, so that your domain name points to your hosting. If you forget to do this, or set it up incorrectly, then when someone types in your domain name into their browser, they will see a “404 error” displayed, stating that the requested page cannot be found.
Linking the two together isn’t hard for a web savvy person to do, but it is usually a bit too technical for the average person to bother trying to understand. I help people like yourself, when it all becomes too hard, and they just want to pay someone to do it for them instead.
Once you have the two linked together, then comes the fun part – creating the content.
A website doesn’t have to be complicated to begin with, usually it is best to start with a simple blog, and work up from there. I recommend using WordPress as the framework for your website, as it will allow you to easily edit your content in the future, without needing to hire a web designer or programmer.
Once you have your website up and running, there are a few extra tasks you can do to spruce things up a little. If your website is a new blog, it will almost always start off being buried a few pages deep in the Google search results.
There is a process known as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, which basically means tweaking your content so that your page is more easily discovered by visitors.
Realistic SEO is a slow process, and it will take some time for your page to be listed on the first page of Google. It could be weeks, months, or half a year in some cases. There are some tricks you can do to make your page rank higher, but unless you plan on making money from your website, you may not have the budget to use these methods.
The most common forms of driving visitors to your website is to use online advertising. The two most popular companies are Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.
Both have advantages, Adwords has wide coverage, but can be expensive. Facebook Ads allow for highly targeted advertising, and are often around a third of the cost of Adwords.
Google owns Youtube however, and so if you have a Youtube site promoting your business, you can use Google Adwords to display your ads on videos too. By linking your website to a Youtube video it can help your search engine rankings as well.
One often overlooked aspect of any website, is the quality of the graphics. If you are selling products on your website, the quality of the graphics are quite important. While you could save a few dollars by taking your own photos, you may not have the time, skill or patience to do so.
Also, by the time you stuff around trying to get your setup working as intended, it often works out cheaper to outsource the whole affair to a professional.
Copy Writing & Sales Letters
Did you realize that there are people who you can hire to write your web content too ?
If you are selling a product online, it often pays to hire a Copy Writer to create a professional Sales Letter for you. By professional, I mean an online marketing professional, as a sales letter is what is used to capture your reader’s attention, and lead them to buy your product.
It is almost always cheaper to outsource the aspects of your business that you don’t enjoy doing, than learning to do them yourself. If you are a web designer then you already have a head start, but even so, there are times when you need a fancy graphic or chart created, that a graphics designer could whip up for you very easily, versus the amount of time it would take to create a lackluster version yourself, after faffing about in Photoshop for half a day.
I can help you get your website together, choose the best theme, and even provide you with an annual hosting plan at Hostgator. I can manage the entire web project for you from start to finish, and help market your site once it is ready to be released into the wild.
To see some of the websites I have created, click on each of the links below: