Building a website can be a quick job or a major undertaking – it all depends on what kind of business you own and how sharp you want your online presence to look. The good news is that once you have your Facebook profile ready, you can lean on that as your “microsite” and take your time creating a great central website.
Whether you work with a developer or create your own site using a design program, there are a few things you should know before getting started. In Chapter Four, answer questions like:
- Should I buy my own domain?
- What is hosting?
- The 4 most important things to consider when creating a website today
Should I buy my own domain?
A domain is your web address – for example, ours is www.needls.com.
Some website builders, like Wix or Squarespace, will offer a “free domain” through their packages.The same is true of some marketing companies. Here are a few reasons you should think twice before taking them up on their offer:
Domains are extremely affordable and easy to purchase on your own. This will give you full ownership of that domain – you don’t lose it if you decide to change your website, and you don’t have to pay marked up costs in the future. If you’re planning to create a website in the future, it may be a good idea to purchase your domain as soon as possible – you don’t want someone else buying it before you get a chance!
What is hosting?
If a domain is your website’s “address,” then setting up hosting is buying the “land” on which your website can sit. Without hosting, your website will not have space on the world wide web.
Hosting is also fairly affordable and worth setting up yourself. To save money, you can put multiple domains on the same hosting account. However, each hosting plan can only handle a certain number of visitors, so keep an eye out as your traffic grows.
The four most important things to consider when creating a website today
Websites have changed a LOT in the past few years, and your considerations when building a site should keep pace with the changing times. Here are some must-have elements of a website today.
- Is the site mobile-friendly? Mobile-friendliness is a big deal for any website, but local businesses should be particularly concerned with this. Here are just a few stats from Google showing why you want a website that works with mobile search:
- Is the site user-friendly? Visitors will give your website about 10-20 seconds to capture their attention and point them in the right direction. A clear navigation, compelling copy, and quick loading speed should all be considered as you create your website.
- Do I have a system to measure performance? Tying your website to Google Analytics will help you monitor key stats, including how people find your site, which pages they visit, and how long they stick around. A/B testing small changes and looking at how outside advertising affects traffic is also a smart idea!
- Do I have a way to add and edit content? Every business owner should have access to a content management system (or CMS) behind their site. This gives you two advantages: it allows you to update key information and it gives you an opportunity to build up the content on your website. Posting blogs, creating landing pages, and other content marketing activities can help you with your social media marketing, your SEO, and your sales cycle in the future.