I need a website for my business, where do I start?

I have been working in the digital marketing field for over four years now along the way I have learned many things from work colleagues from all different backgrounds. This has helped me to understand a bit about how websites work and how to build a business online but I must admit when I first started out I didn’t know the difference between hosting and a domain name.

So, I thought I would pass on my expertise on what you need to know to start to build your business online.

Domain Name

Your Domain Name makes up part of your web address or URL. For example my Domain Name is metachick.co.uk. You will need to choose a domain name that is your business name, if this isn’t available then choose an alternative that is as close as possible to your business name. For example, if your business name is Yummy Cakes and yummycakes.co.uk is not available you could perhaps try yummy-cakes.co.uk or yummycakesbaking.co.uk. Make sure that your domain name isn’t too long and something that people can remember. There are many websites that are available where you can buy your domains from; personally I prefer to buy mine from Heart Internet – www.heartinternet.co.uk as I have used these before.

Hosting

In order for your website to be seen on the World Wide Web you will need to store it on a server somewhere which is called Hosting. There are many types of hosting available from Shared Hosting, Dedicated Hosting and also Cloud Hosting. The one you choose will depend on the specifications of your website. If your website is for informational purposes only, like my blog for an example then Shared Hosting is more than adequate. If you have a website that sells products online and generates a lot of traffic to your website then you will probably need to look at Dedicated Hosting. Again I would recommend Heart Internet for shared hosting, but it is important to speak to a few hosting providers to make your final decision. Ask them what you get for your money and if the server will be compatible with your website (check with whoever will be building your website).

Choosing your Website Designer/Developer

How do you choose the right designer/developer? Keep these in mind when choosing the website designer/developer for your project.

What is your budget?
Do you want to work with a freelancer or agency?
Ask for examples of their work
Can they advise you on hosting, digital marketing, SEO, social media and content marketing?
Ask them to send over a detailed quote of timescales and costs etc.

I would recommend getting a few quotes from different agencies and compare them. Write out a plan of exactly what you want on your website and how you would like it to work. Do you want people to purchase your products online? Or is your website just for informational purposes only? Also think about if you want a blog and/or news feed and any other special features.

Once your website is online, speak to your designer on how best to market this. If they are a reputable agency they will be able to give you advice on SEO, content marketing and social media.

If you would like help with creating your website, please visit our website services page.