If you have to set up a website, I’m betting that your heart has started to beat rather rapidly, right? You probably know that you need some pages, some words, and something called SEO. You may also be aware that you have to select a domain name and a hosting company – in addition to a bunch of other things – yikes! Where do you begin?
Here’s your ‘how to start a website’ guide – so you can relax!
First: choose a domain name
Your domain name will be your mark on the Internet. It will be the words are the ‘www’ in your URL. It is, by all means, one of the most important aspects of setting up your own site (if not the most important part!).
Think about what you’d like your name to be, and then check to see if that name has already been taken. Most major hosting companies are where you’ll want to head to see if your domain name is available. Plus, you can buy a domain through any major hosting company (or you can purchase it elsewhere).
What happens if your name is already taken? This does happen a lot when it comes to popular names like ‘Mary’s Cookies.’ So, you have two choices: rename your company or play around with that name a little bit. If you run a cookie company and your name is Mary, you could try these versions of that same name:
You get the idea, right? Because so many domain names are already taken, it’s a really good thing if you can choose your domain name before your name your company. If you’ve already named your company, there’s always room for creativity. You’ll probably want to choose .com as a suffix, but that’s up to you.
Set Up Your Site
Now, you’ll have to actually build your website. If you have any design skills, you can put a site together pretty simply with WordPress – it’s so basic it’s practically plug and play. No design skills? Cough up the money for a professional site. Sure, it will cost you thousands at the start (or maybe a few hundred), but that’s the cost of doing business.
Choose Your Hosting Company and Plan
Here’s where you should pay really close attention. Most site owners tend to opt for shared hosting out of the gate because it’s the cheaper option. However, a shared server means sharing speeds, and that might not be a good or wise thing. If you plan to generate a lot of traffic, choose a dedicated hosting company instead.
You will have to spend more money at the start, but that investment will pay off when your site is attracting thousands of visitors and you are enjoying fast speeds. Also, seek out managed shared hosting if you aren’t skilled when it comes to technical stuff (this way, you can ask someone else to help you if you run into a snag).
It may also be tempting to go for a free hosting space, but it’s better to choose a straight domain name (not usually part of a free hosting plan) and pay for a reliable space. Free hosting plans are typically unreliable. If you aren’t sure about a dedicated hosting plan, ask about upgrading options. When the time is right (and you have tons of site visitors), you can simply upgrade.
Get Traffic to Your Site
Here’s the tough part – getting traffic to your site. This is where a content consultant and SEO team will come in handy. Work with people that understand how to market a website, have a proven track record, and can get your site some recognition. It all starts with content and basic SEO, and it moves on from there to back linking and other strategies that are well worth reading about.
A well developed website consists of many different parts, not just one or two parts. It’s not enough to put up a site with some blog posts and hope for the best. It takes time, lots of strategies, and someone that can help your business grown online. But, it all begins with the right hosting company and hosting plan.
Hopefully, you are feeling more confident about building your own website now. To find the best hosting company out there, visit SiteGeek.com for ratings and reviews of all the major players. And if you have any questions, just ask. We are here to help you out!