When planning a website for your business, what is the first thing you must do? An appropriate domain name is the first step, followed by a hosting plan, a logo design for branding and then you are ready to start building.
You think to yourself, “but wait a minute, how do I register a domain and build a website?” Great question. It is possible to do it yourself if you can take the time out of your busy schedule to learn how. In this post, we will list the 5 steps to building a website for your business. This type of website is what is called ‘self-hosted’ website.
There are many free options for building a website which I will write an article on in the future. A free option is usually restricted in being able to sell products and design choices. If you are serious about your business, a self-hosted site is the way to go.
1. Register a domain name
Your website needs to have an address on the internet. This is what is called a domain name or URL which is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. Domain names are required to house the files of your website. This is the first step in establishing your online presence.
Generally, your domain name will be the name of your business however, unless your brand is a household name, you may choose a domain name which has your location in it alongside your business name. For example, if you are a hairdresser and there are 15 other hairdressers in your suburb, you might register www.greathairelwood.com.au.
We have found Crazy Domains to be reasonably priced for domain name registration. Simply head over to Crazy Domains to register your domain name now.
2. Buy hosting for your website
Like a domain name being the address, you need to rent some space on the internet so visitors can see the files you created when your website is built. This is known as website hosting.
When choosing your hosting, most companies will offer a variety of add-ons like the number of email addresses, SSL certificates, small or large hosting plans. If you only want one website, it’s a good idea to choose a small plan. If you intend to branch out and build more than one website or if you have a business in several locations, it might be a good idea to choose a bigger hosting plan.
When going through the process, only purchase the extra’s if you know what they are. You can always add them later if needed.
Like domain registration, we have found Crazy Domains to be suitable for small to medium business websites. When registering your domain (see point 1 above), purchase your hosting too. It is a good idea to have them in the one place so you have less login information to concern yourself with.
3. Designing your logo
When you think of your business logo, you usually have an idea in mind. Designing your business logo may begin with a sketch or symbols. You may even like using only words or initials. Whatever you like, it will set the tone of your whole website.
Depending on the type of business you have will also play a role in your logo design and branding . Whether you like a a certain colour or a sketch or images of real people is what will help determine the look of your site.
There are many free resources online to help you create a logo, or if you have Photoshop and know how to use it, you are well ahead of the game.
4. Plan your website mapping
Before you begin building your website, have a plan in mind as to how many pages you need. Think about when you visit a site. The main pages are:
This is a fairly basic site but one that contains all the main information about a particular business. If you have a business who sells products whether they are physical or digital, you will need an eCommerce site with a payment gateway. These sites become a little more complicated with many more pages.
Some companies also include a vision and mission statement. These are a few of the things to think about when planning for your website.
5. Build your website and publish
Now that you have your domain name, hosting and your logo and mapping sorted, you will have to choose the platform to build it on. It’s no secret around here that we love working with WordPress simply because there is so much you can do with it.
For a first time website builder, WordPress make it simple to follow with an easy user interface and content management system. I will be posting tutorials as well to help you if this is the way you choose to go.
Aside from WordPress, you may like Squarespace or Wix to name a couple of other options. Whichever way you wish to do this, I wish you luck and remember to have fun with these 5 steps to building a website for your business.