Setting up a website can be quite a complex task if you don’t have any prior experience. The process involves a number of steps and you will have a number of decisions to make along the way. Here is a guide to assist you through the process of setting up a business website.
Choose a Domain Name
First of all, you cannot setup a website without a domain name. Although technically, you can setup a free website using a service like WordPress.com, if you want to setup a website for your business, you will probably want your own domain name. A custom domain name like “BusinessName.com” or “ProductName.com” looks much more professional than “BusinessName.Wordpress.com”.
Think carefully about the domain name. you may want to use your company’s name but don’t have to. Whatever you choose, keep it short, understandable, preferably easy to pronounce and remember. Avoid using numbers and hyphens if you can.
You will also have to decide on the Top Level Domain (TLD). Most businesses worldwide will choose “.com”, however, if yours is more a local business, do give some consideration for your country’s TLD. In Pakistan’s case, that would be “.pk”. Since the “.com” name space is pretty crowded, choosing a country specific TLD can mean that the domain name which is unavailable as a “.com” might be available as a “.pk”!
While there are many companies where you can buy a domain name and prices vary, it is advisable to buy the domain from the web hosting provider you will choose next. Reason being that most web hosting companies offer free domain names with the purchase of a web hosting plan. For example, here at Inspedium, we offer a free domain name (most TLDs) when you signup for any one of our web hosting plans.
Finding a Good Web Hosting Service
To get your website up and running on the Internet, you will first have to find a good web hosting service. The company you choose will be hosting your website on their servers so that it is accessible online 24×7.
There are many web hosting companies to choose from, both large and small. Research a number of web hosts and find the one that is right for you. It is always advisable to choose a web host that operates in your own country if they offer the same level of service any large international company does.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a web host. Most give quite a lot of consideration to the price and discounts offered for signing up for an extended period of time. One very important consideration when choosing a web host, which is quite often overlooked, is Search Engine Optimization. The two might seem unrelated but here is an article explaining the connection between SEO and web hosting.
Plan your Content
Once you have both the web hosting and domain name sorted, you are ready to move forward.
At this point, it is very important to research the websites of similar businesses and come up with some idea of what you want on your own website.
starting with the basics – Home page, an about page and a contact page – come up with more pages you might need to showcase your products/services, and highlight your company’s strengths. Try to come up with content for every single product/service you provide as this will prove very helpful when you hire a web designer for your website.
Once it is planned, you can then proceed to writing the content yourself or hire a professional to write it for you. Either way, make sure you have some content to use before you start looking for a designer as that helps speed up the designing process by giving the designer a very good idea of what you expect.
Hire a Designer
While you can easily launch a website yourself by using a Content Management System such as WordPress and then buying a premium theme to use with it, it is always advisable to leave the design part to a professional.
A professional web designer will help with establishing an online presence for your business which stands apart from the competition and will more often than not be knowledgeable enough to help you with the more technical aspects of Search Engine Optimization, maintenance and regular updates to your website so that it’s always a step ahead from your competition.
It is always advisable to opt for a content management system (example WordPress) and look for a designer who is sufficiently experienced with it.
Once the designer is done with the website, you can give them access to the web hosting account you purchased earlier to host your new website.
All of this does not take too long specially if you choose to hire professionals to write your content and design your website. So start planning your online presence today for a business that does not exist online in this day and age, is loosing out!