No company these days should be without a website. Consumers across the web and around the world expect companies to have some form of online presence. Not only does this allow those brands to reach a wider audience and thereby promote themselves, but it also provides a way for consumers to get in touch, to find out more information and to check facts all before they go ahead and decide to do business with said organization. But there is one thing worse than not having a website: having a website that is badly out-of-date. If your potential customers visit your site and they find that your page is filled with old-fashioned Geocities-style layouts, bad writing, low quality images and outmoded navigation, then this will make your company look as though it is out of touch. This in turn can be enough to ensure that your potential buyers lose all faith in your ability to deliver a high quality service or product and it can prevent them from buying from you at all! So, if you find yourself lagging behind, then it’s time for an update and an overhaul. But if it were that easy, well then you probably wouldn’t be in this position to begin with! Likely, it has gotten to this point because you’re unsure of how to go ahead and/or you just don’t want to have to dive in and get your hands dirty. Often, this is because business owners don’t know where to begin or even what is involved in building a website. And if you don’t know what’s involved in building a website, how can you be expected to go ahead and get started? Well don’t worry, you’re in the right place! In this post, we’re going to break down precisely what is involved in building a website. You’ll learn each step of the process and what it involves and that way, you can simply go through those points and check them off your list.
The first thing you will need is a domain. This is your web address or your URL. In other words, this is the address that your visitors will need to type into the address bar in their browsers if they want to get taken to your site. It will start with ‘www’ but it can end with a variety of extensions. Note that a domain name doesn’t give you web space but you will often get the two together. This is simply like a reference that you can own and later use to point to your website. You can often get a domain name from the same place that you buy your hosting (we’ll be getting to that in a moment!) but in other cases, you might get it from a separate domain name provider. Either way, you will need to choose your domain name carefully. Of course, the more relevant your domain is to the topic of your site the better. If you get this just right, then you can improve your chances of showing up in Google searches. And if you get it even more right, then people might just think to type it into the address bar on a whim. At the very least, you want a domain name that will be short, catchy and memorable. This way, if you tell it to someone once or if you use it in an advert, then the viewers will actually remember to visit your page!
Next up you need hosting. Remember, a domain name is just an address or a pointer and it doesn’t actually help you to build your website. What you need for that, is ‘web space’. This means you’re buying space on a server, which is a kind of big computer that is primarily concerned with offering space for people like you to store your files. Then, when someone types in the specific domain, their browser will be directed to that web space and they’ll see the files that website creator/owner has uploaded. Servers stay constantly connected to the web and this means they’re always ready to ‘serve’ up your files when a visitor needs them. When buying hosting, you need to make sure you are getting the best deal and the best service to provide a reliable and pleasant experience for your viewers. That means you’ll need a hosting account that has enough bandwidth so your site doesn’t go down, it means you’ll need an account with enough storage space to keep all your files and it means you’ll need an account with minimal downtime for maintenance. Beyond that though, most smaller businesses won’t need to spend over the odds on virtual private servers or cloud hosting. The software that comes preloaded on your server can also make a big difference to your experience and that of your visitors. In particular, the right software will make it easier for you and your web developer to transfer files and to install other useful tools like WordPress.
With all this in place, you’re ready to start building your website. But rather than going it alone, it is highly recommended that you instead invest in the skills of a web developer. You might believe that you have the necessary abilities to create a website yourself and indeed that might be true. But it’s always worth hiring a web developer for any serious business venture. The simple reason? This is their job. A web design company or a professional with have a range of different skills, access to professional tools and the help of other suppliers and professionals to ensure that the end product is the absolute best it can be. Unless you are a professional web designer, your skills will not match up to a company that specializes in that precise job, has been doing it for years and has invested heavily in all the tools necessary to do just that. So, don’t try and cut corners. If you want to have a real online presence, then your website needs to be able to compete with the top creators in your niche. For that, you need a web developer.
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