So, you have a business or service that you want a website for, now what? There’s some basic information that can help you accomplish this. Most people don’t know the first thing about building a site and many advertisements make it seem super simple but in reality there are some key points you should know.

1. Domain name – a domain name is the actual url name of your site. Some people opt to use a free service and hence use a subdomain. For example, if you use a service like Wix, you can use their templates and your website url/name would be myname.wix.com. If you actually purchase your own domain name, your url/name would be myname.com. Obviously the more professional way is to have your own domain name. You can purchase a domain name for anywhere between about $13.00 up to $35.00 yearly.

2. Hosting service – in order to put your content on the internet you will need a hosting service. This is where your data, content, photos, etc. will be stored so it can be accessed on the internet. There are a variation of hosting services depending on how much content you have, the amount of visitors, etc. Hosting plans can really vary in cost. Most websites with just a few informational pages could easily get by on a shared hosting account, which run about $10.00 to $17.00 a month.

3. Email service – all hosting accounts provide email services. What this means is that you can have a specific number, usually between 100 to 250 email addresses that resolve to your domain name. For example, instead of using myname@gmail.com, you would have myname@yourbusiness.com You get the idea. Again, this also is much more professional than using other mail services. It also provides secure email, with less likelihood of being hacked into or compromised.

4. Content platform – once you have your domain name and hosting account, you need to choose a platform to use to post that content to the internet. The most popular platform is WordPress, although there are many others. There is a certainly a learning curve with any platform since each has different ways of providing functionality.

5. Social networks – in order to gain exposure for your business website using social networks is definitely key. Your website should have a page or group on Facebook, Google plus, Twitter, etc. This can be quite overwhelming but there are tools available to make this process easier.

6. Search engines – your website should be included in the search engines so people can find you. In recent years, this process has changed and is quite simple. The major search engines, like Google and Bing, will index your site without submission. There are some tools available within the platforms to help optimize your content for the search engines.

You may see advertisements for services for hosting which will offer you a free domain name when you sign up for hosting. If you go this route, you should be aware that each year following you will have to pay for that domain name in order to keep it. That always rings true. If you do not pay for the domain name, you will lose it and then it is available for others to purchase. It is important to stay on top of that. The same applies to hosting.

So, there’s some basics about setting up a website. It can seem confusing and overwhelming. Many people would rather just pay someone to do it. If you would like a website for your business, personal or any reason, contact me for extremely reasonable rates and quick response time.