A website could be the best thing you can do for you business or personal brand. There are over two billion people worldwide who use the internet which opens up endless possibilities. But where do you get started with your website? There are so many options. How do you know which option is the best for you?
Before we get started there are just two terms that you need to know about websites. They might seem a little bit hard to get your head around at the beginning but I’ll try to put them in context. They are essential in any website.
1. Domain Name
A domain name for a website is just an online term for a websites address. Just like a home address a domain is what someone uses to find your website. Every website has to have a domain name. One domain name that pretty much everyone knows is Google.com. My website’s domain name is corribdigital.com.
Hosting is a little more difficult to explain so I’m going to use an example here. Anyone who has built their own house knows that before you start building you need a site to build on. The same applies for a website. On the web you need some place to store your website. This is known as hosting. Hosting is space on a computer connected to the internet that is configured in a particular way. The technical term for one of these computers is a server but you don’t need to worry about this for the moment.
So now that we have the website jargon out of the way we can talk about the steps needed to get started with your website.
The first thing you need to do before you even start thinking about the actual creation process of your website is what you want to achieve from your website.
Ask yourself the question ‘What do I want to achieve from creating this website?’. Write down everything that comes to mind on a sheet of paper. Write down the main goals for your website and keep them for reference. You should always refer to these goals to make sure that your website is achieving them for you.
The next thing is what you are going to call your website. This is the domain name of the site such as my site name corribdigital.com. A domain name is extremely important. This is going to be the primary way that people get to your site. Here are some quick tips for picking a domain name:
1. Keep it short and sweet
2. Make sure it is relevant to the content on your site
3. A memorable domain name sticks in peoples minds for longer. Keep that in mind.
The next thing to think about is the content for your site. Content is probably the most important part of your website. You could have the most beautiful looking website but without great content it is useless to anybody who views it. I have all too often seen a website for a business that consists of a homepage with a paragraph about the business and a contact page. That has almost no valuable content that a potential viewer can take from the website. In todays world it’s simply not enough.
You have figured out what you want your website to do for you, written out a list of goals for your site, come up with a name for your site and you have written content for your site. Now it’s down to actually creating your website.
The DIY Master
If you’re the kind of person who likes to tackle something themselves then this option is for you. This option is for someone who may not know much about creating websites but who is eager to learn something new.
There are many free services out there for beginners that allow you to set up a website with a domain name for free. It’s a very easy thing to do. Here is a list of some of the most popular services out there.
There are a few issues with these services though. The first is that the domain name that they give you is branded with their name as well as your name. An example of this is with WordPress.com. The domain name they give you would be something like this: corribdigital.wordpress.com. You have to pay a significant amount of money to get that branding taken off your domain name.
Another issue is that these services provide very few features if you are using the free option. You have to pay quite a lot of money per month to get some features which may be necessary for what you want to do.
For Irish Businesses
The Irish Government have set up a new initiative to try to get small Irish businesses online. The website is gettingirishbusinessonline.ie and they claim to give you a free domain name and website with no ads or branding free of charge.
I have had quite a bit of experience with this service. The first thing I can tell you is that this service is not free. What they give you is one year for free but after that you must pay an annual fee. Another issue with this service is the fact that the websites that you can create are extremely limited. They do not look in any way shape or form like a professional website.
For The Rest Of Us
If you don’t really know what to do to get your website set up and you don’t want the hassle of having to set up a website yourself you could always hire a web developer. Web designers have years of experience in creating websites for people and they could create a very professional looking website for you. Web developers have all of the tricks of the trade.
There are downsides to web developers too though. If you don’t know how much is too much for your website you could easily get ripped off. You have to be very careful with that. I can honestly say that if you are getting charged thousands of euro for a simple website then you are getting ripped off. That said, hiring a web developer is a great thing to do if you want your business to look professional online and it doesn’t cost all that much either.
For The Pros
If you feel confident with your computer skills and skills online I will be posting another blog post in the near future with a guide on how to set up a website from scratch just like the pros. Stay tuned for that! It will be coming soon.
I hope you enjoyed this quick article about getting started creating your website. I hope this article helped you to get started on your online journey. Let me know in the comments to this post if you have any questions or just let me know that you liked the post. Thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate it.
If you want to hire me to develop your website for you or you have any questions about creating a website please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.