The 4 critical steps when it comes to getting your business online, the 1 mistake most businesses make and how to avoid it.
I get lots of questions about setting up websites and domains and many people feel confused over what they are buying and how much it should cost and how it all works. The easiest way I find to explain this especially to business owners is to draw parallels to running a real shop or office.
- Making a name for yourself.
When setting up a shop, you first need to get the legals sorted out including a business trading name. You need to register this name with the local authorities.
Same deal with your domain name. It needs to be lodged with a registrar to make sure it is unique and complies with regulations.
Once registered, congrats! You have a domain name.
- Finding your space.
Now you need somewhere to set up shop. A place to hang that business name and get productive. You will need to find an office or storefront. Your newly registered domain will also need somewhere to live. So you will need to select a hosting service that will be a home for your domain. Most registrars also offer hosting with domain registrations so you only have one account to worry about. Check usage however because this is where most people get caught out. Some hosts have pretty restrictive limits on how much space your website and email can take up and I have seen some clients run out of space and experience issues where emails simply stop flowing until some space is freed up. If you are not sure, I am willing to help you work out what will suit you best.
- Making it yours.
Great, you have a name and a place to hang it. But what about the stuff that makes that empty space a business or shop? You would need plant and equipment.
Again, this is the same with your new domain and hosting service. On it’s own it is not much so we need to install a website. This is where most of the cost comes in and the price will vary. You can DIY if you like or you can hire a developer. Building a website is a very time-consuming process as a good deal of work goes into making something look just right. It does not matter if you do it yourself or if someone else does it for you. This part of the process is like any other subjective exercise. What looks great to one person would be kind of OK to another. This is why it is important to find a designer that you can relate to as this person will be interpreting your business into an electronic version of itself.
- Making a noise.
Getting found is the last part of the puzzle. We have different ways to get this done from spending on advertising campaigns to relying on word of mouth. This again is no different when it comes to promoting your new website. There is the usual channels like print and mainstream media advertising as well as online advertising campaigns with the likes of Facebook and Google. I am personally a big fan of creating relationships with clients and leveraging social media to spread the word. You will have your own preferences and I am happy to direct you to people that can help you manage your campaign.
- Looking to the future – the one mistake almost all new websites make.
If you rely heavily on your website you might need to consider the need for future expansion when your website is getting so many visitors you need to upgrade your hosting. Most hosts can help by simply upgrading the hosting which can be equated to moving your real shop or business to larger premises with larger doors etc. It is important to ensure that the hosting provider you select will grow with you as traffic to your website grows.
Again, talk to your technology guy about this as they may have already solved this problem many times before. If you do not have a technology guy, I am always available to meet that need.
Further reading : I have collected a few providers of these services that you might find useful. Head on over to my page of domain registrars and hosts. All checked out by myself and trusted to look after my clients.
For more information on these and many other services contact me.