To start a website you obviously must have an idea first. Given that if you are reading this you probably do have an idea or a business that you want to get online. If you are a business then having a website is a given! Without a website, you won’t look very professional and will surely miss out on many opportunities for your business to succeed and grow.
Simple steps to start a website
- Think of a name to call your website
- This is called the domain name
- A domain name is simply the name of your website for e.g. www.yourname.com
- You can buy domain names from any domain name reseller on the Internet
- It doesn’t really matter which website you buy the domain from
- You should only pay around $25 for 2 years for a .com.au domain name
- Even cheaper for a .com
- If you are an Australian business then you should buy a .com.au domain name
- Firstly it states you are uniquely Australian and helps Google rank you locally
- Using a keyword in your domain name may help rank for that keyword
- A keyword that describes what your website is about
- A keyword is a word that someone may type in Google to find you
- Keep your name simple and short, don’t over complicate tasks for your visitors
- Or you could just have a brandable name – for e.g. like Facebook.
The next step…
- Hosting is where all the files and content of your website are stored
- Don’t worry about trying to understand this – just think of this as storage!!
- You pay the hosting company for storing your website files
- Your hosting company should provide security to protect your website from hackers
- It should provide 24/7 support by either email, phone or live chat
- It should have enough bandwidth to support all the visitors that come to your website
- And enough storage space to hold all files, images, video etc..
- Perform regular backups
- All these options can be increased is necessary, so always start off with a basic package
- Another important factor to consider when choosing a hosting company is where the server up (the servers store all files)
- Always check the servers are located in the country where your website is
- It’s better because your website will load quicker from your country rather than some other country across the globe.
The next step…
Finding a web developer or website designer
- You could do one of our courses and learn how to make your own website
- Or choose us to make your website with our small business packages
- Or venture off on your own and find a website designer
- If you are looking for a web designer – there are many out there!!
- Try to always get a web designer in your own country
- Obviously so you can communicate with your website designer – this will make your life easier!!
- Use the 3 quote rule – (my Dad taught me that!)
- In other words, shop around
- Always trust your gut instinct and what feels right for you!
- Give the website designer a brief of what you need – be very clear upfront to save going back and forth wasting time (for everyone)
- Send some links to other websites you like as a guide for what you want
- Getting a website that you can update your self can be a fantastic option
- As we all know some website designers take forever to get simple updates done and may charge you a lot to do so!
- So if you can – get a website built that you can do simple updates yourself this will SAVE you valuable time and money!
So you have the website built. What’s next??
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO
SEO is a big task!! Without it, your website may never be found, depending on how much competition you have. You will need to make sure your website has and gets ongoing SEO.
- You can learn to do basic SEO your self and we have an SEO course for this
- If not there are many tutorials online to help you if you DARE do it yourself!!
- Or you can start the search for an SEO expert
- There are many SEO experts out there, so to test their skills ask them for some websites that they have got the first page of Google
- This is always a great way to check their skills
- You could also do some campaigns with Google Adwords
- This will give you an ad either at the top or bottom of Google for your chosen keywords
- But this can be costly depending on how much competition you have
- You can get your website on the first page in Google for any keyword but it will take time, persistence and hard work!!
An SEO tip!
- Write lots of well-written content that is relevant to what you are presenting on your website; that gives value to your visitors
- Make sure you research the right keywords to add to this content
- Writing great content will attract the right backlinks thus give your website more authority and value
- Keep working on it – like any business online or offline – it takes dedication and lots of HARD WORK!!
- Trust me I know!! I have done it and I am still doing the hard work!!
By Jodi Allbon
Original content 2013
Web Designer/Trainer – Adv Dip, Dip, TAE
Jodi is a qualified WordPress Trainer and Designer with an Advanced Diploma in Digital Media (2D And 3D Animation, Web Development) and a Diploma in Web Development. She has been a Website Trainer at the Northern Beaches Community College since 2008 and a WordPress Tutor for NSW TAFE since 2016.
Jodi has developed several web design courses including, a WordPress Beginners Course and Build your own WordPress Website for small businesses. These courses will teach you how to update and manage your website ongoing. Giving website owners more control over their website, thus helping to keep costs down.
View Jodi’s credentials here.