How To Create A Website
If you've come to the stage where you realize it's time to establish or refresh your web presence but wondering where to start, you've come to the right place. This article on how to create a website will help you better understand the process, know how to filter the mountains of information you will find on the web, and help you decide which direction your project will take. In short, you'll hopefully know how to create a website. Happy reading!
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Understand how domain names work and how to choose your own
The importance of the domain name is pretty obvious. Therefore, it is important to understand how it works and to be able to ensure the smooth running of activities, especially for your domain name ownership rights. This section aims to shed light on all there is to know about the subject when creating a new website.
You will need to choose a domain name that impeccably represents the content of your future website. This name will probably be your company name. Simplicity is of the essence and keep the user in mind; no one likes typing a long address and proofread every character to make sure they haven't made any mistakes. Simplicity also goes into the spelling. Avoid numbers and symbols.
Make sure to check the availability of the domain name you want to use on a neutral website that does not trade domain name rights. Several checks of the same name could possibly create an artificial demand and the price could fluctuate.
Once your choice has been made, it is advisable to acquire the most common top-level domains (.com, .co, .io) in order to deter malicious people. Don't forget about geographic top-level domains like .ca if your business is located in Canada.
Before purchasing, be sure to check, on one hand, that your domain name does not conflict with any trademark, company or property and, on the other, that the merchant from whom you will acquire the rights is accredited to perform this transaction and is listed in ICANN.
The right to a domain name is unique and must be paid each year. You will be the only person who can renew the right to a domain name as long as you have the rights. Renewal fees can be paid in advance (up to 10 years). Make sure you have an automatic renewal to avoid (major) issues.
If the .com for the domain name you want to use is too expensive, .co, .io, and geographic top-level domains (.ca, .us, .au, etc.) are great options demonstrating the same level of credibility. These alternatives make it possible to bypass .coms that were acquired in the past for the simple purpose of reselling them at a higher price.
You can acquire your domain name from any provider and transfer it to another hosting provider later if necessary. Keep in mind that this process can take a week. It is also possible to have a linked website and domain name while keeping them with 2 different hosting companies.
Understand the pricing dynamics of websites
It is no coincidence that the subject is confusing for those evaluating their options. Prices vary wildly, and an avenue that seems inexpensive can easily become over-budget if you underestimate your needs. Here we take a look at what you need to consider to guide you on the right path to create a website.
Price of a Website
The real price of a website can be confusing, especially when it comes to a first-time website. It is important to do your homework and understand the expenses that will be incurred. Your needs are unique and once you get started with your project, it is very possible that going back on your choice of supplier will mean starting over from scratch.
Self-service platforms to build your own website (Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, etc.) are gaining enormously in popularity. This is hardly surprising with the current market; basic professional services can easily run into the thousands of dollars, while these platforms are priced for as low as $ 30/month.
Start by evaluating the duration of your project. Is your business planning a long-term web presence? Probably so. However, this attractive monthly rate is also there to stay for the same duration. So a $ 30/month website has an actual price tag of $ 1080 IF you stop using it completely after 3 years.
It is also important to understand that this $30/month is a display price. Read very carefully about the features that this package includes; it is very likely that your project requires more to meet your web marketing needs. A simple feature at $7/month over 3 years increases your total budget to $1332.
However, these platform services are turnkey. For most, you won't have to worry about the security and hosting of your website as they will be included. If you go with a traditional platform (WordPress, for example), you may have to manage these elements and incur the necessary expenses.
A crucial element to factor in is time. If you are thinking of getting started with building your own website, how much would you estimate an hour of your time is worth? Building a website is one thing, but creating a website that represents your business, that is not a waste of money but a real investment is another. If you think you can complete this project in a matter of a few hours, think again.
Updating your content shouldn't normally impact your initial budget. It will be necessary to assess whether it will be done by you or by an external service, but most platforms will give you the choice of one or the other and are fairly easy to use for this task.
If your website has more advanced features (like a transactional website, for example), it is possible that a maintenance budget will come into play. Platform services have the advantage of being turnkey and include maintenance in their initial price. Don't forget to validate this point.
Don't skip steps in assessing your needs. Choosing a platform is not a temporary decision. It is strongly advised not to take the most affordable option "at this time". If your needs exceed what platform services can provide and your immediate budget does not seem to allow you to access professional services, 2 tips are available to you; get more quotes and ask for the possibility of a multi-installment payment plan. It will always be better to find solutions than to compromise.
Learn about CMS platforms
It's with a CMS that you and the key people in your business can keep your business web image up-to-date and competitive, all without needing to understand the world of coding. It is therefore important that you choose your CMS with the future in mind when creating a website. This section will try to help you create a website with the right CMS.
Website platforms (CMS)
Your website is not just a contact page. It is a tool at your disposal to grow your business and it is important to use it as such. It is vital to choose a platform that will have the capacity to follow throughout your future projects. Creation platforms are generally called CMS (Content Management System).
One element to consider will be the features you want to offer your users. Your future projects might include a marketing survey, advertising campaign, blog, or online store. Do you want to display video content without having to submit it to Youtube? Do you want to have a list of users who have added a product to their cart but have not purchased? These functions can represent an increase in budget, but also be downright impossible on some CMS.
The compatibility of your CMS with hosting services in general is an important factor. You will technically be the owner of your website at all times, but the feeling will be different with some CMS. Affordable platform services are in most cases incompatible or complex to migrate. You will likely find yourself having to continue paying the monthly price charged to you or start over from scratch.
The complexity of the CMS obviously comes into play if you plan to make your website yourself. If your present and future needs can be met with a platform service focused on ease of use while respecting your budget and time, this option may be better than going for a more complex CMS like WordPress.
Your present and future needs are crucial in your choice of CMS that will be used for your website. In terms of power, the WordPress platform is generally preferable for the confidence it offers in choosing it. It has few limitations and is free. It is the most used platform in the world. This does not take away the raison d'être of other platforms. To each their own features and learning curve.
Never take anything for granted in choosing your CMS. Learn about EVERYTHING your website could possibly include in its lifespan. Assume that, unless there is a major turnaround in your business operations, the ideal lifespan of your website is the same as that of your business. If your vision is for less than 5 years, you probably need to think further.
Consider professional services
It's no surprise if you don't have the time to make the website your business deserves. Learning how to create a website that is to your business image takes many hours (days) of learning and building. This section aims to guide you in your choice to use services or not, and if so which ones.
Professional services for website creation are manifold and vary greatly in price. Price is obviously an important factor in your selection, but you have to take the time to understand what it includes. Maintenance, hosting, security and support will be constant needs for your site. Design, adding content, adapting presentation for search engines and social media are also part of it. Are you completely taken care of? How much will you have to do on your own or require other professional services for?
A website is not static. It must be constantly in flux with your business and its activities in your market. Plus, it's a powerful tool in your business processes, from generating leads and collecting marketing research data to closing a sale. It is somewhat of a low-paid employee that works for you 24 hours a day without a break. On the other hand, it must be taken care of.
The person or agency who will take care of your website therefore has a crucial role and must match your criteria. Ideally, you start a business relationship for years to come. It is important to reflect and ask questions that may not immediately come to mind: Will my website be handed over to someone who understands my marketing goals? Does this person understand my market and keep my conversion rates a priority?
Either way, your website is probably for the medium to long term. In addition, handing over the management of a website to someone else down the road can often be complex and expensive. Make sure that the responsibility for your website goes to someone you are comfortable with and see as a business partner. Building a website is rarely a simple and short-termed transaction in nature.
The scope of the agreement you have with the professional (s) you hire must be well defined. This means that what is included or not must be clearly understood by both parties. The world of websites is large and complex and what is a lot or less work for a professional is not always what you might expect. Clearly establish all of your needs, large and small, to avoid unforeseen budget fluctuations.
Your content marketing - the posts you make to attract your customers - is invaluable in all of your marketing activities. This content has to be added to your site, but must also be integrated so that it is understood by the search engines that will redirect potential new customers to your site when they search on the subject. Make sure your new resource is able to not only integrate your content, but optimize it for SEO. This step is crucial; the fruit of your efforts must generate new customers and cannot afford to be forgotten in the back of the tenth page of Google results.
Finally, remember that the availability of the services you hire will be important throughout the relationship. Your publications, your marketing strategies and the evolution of your services must be reflected on your website within a reasonable time. Make sure you have access to services that are by your side and support you for when it really counts.