Nowadays, consumers turn to the internet for everything. Having a web presence can give you an edge in your field. If you are new in this whole thing and you are not sure where to start, here is our step-by-step guide to help you in creating an effective website.
1. Determine the Purpose of Your Website
Setting your website goal is the first step of the process. You can create a simple website that tells people about your company and why people should contact you. Also, you can create a more complex e-commerce website where your goal is to get customers to add your products to a shopping cart and checkout. And if the idea is to have a blog to share certain content, the objective could be building an audience who enjoy your posts. Now that you have your goal set, the following steps will help you achieve it.
2. Decide a Domain Name
A domain name is basically what you type in your browser. This step could be one of the hardest ones for some people. It requires to make a creative decision and verify if your idea is available.
You can start searching for your domain name here. Remember that it’s not necessary to register the exact domain you want if it is not available, you can find other alternatives that match your objectives. Don’t take too long in choosing your name, sometimes it’s better to have a domain name that doesn’t match exactly what you want than ending up with no website. Just to let you know BlackSun includes a free-one-year domain name when you sign up!
3. Choose a Hosting Provider
Your site needs to be “hosted” in a server where all its data will be stored. There are different ways for hosting a website, the most common option is to get a shared hosting, which means that you will share a server with other sites, this is the least-expensive option. Another way would be a dedicated hosting which costs more, but you will get your own private server. Make sure that your web hosting provider includes an SSL certificate as part of its offer. It will ensure that your website moves from HTTP to HTTPS which is more secure and gives your website credibility. BlackSun offers an SSL Certificate for free with any shared web hosting plan.
4. Design – Choose a Website Building Software
A good website contains multiple pages that are dedicated to different aspects of your business. You want to make sure that each page has a clear purpose and includes a call to action, such as learn more, sign up, purchase or contact. If you use a shared web hosting, you will need to use some sort of content management system (CMS). As you may have heard, the most popular is WordPress. It is a free system perfect to get you started and very easy to use. With your shared web hosting plan, BlackSun’s provides a one-click WordPress installation. However, you must know that the free WordPress version is quite limited since many themes do not offer extra features like creating buttons, using shortcodes and creating landing pages, among others. While WordPress Premium provides much better features, customization options and quality support.
This step is probably the most time-consuming. You will need to add the content to your website. This includes all the elements on the home page and the other pages you will have on your site. You must start crafting all the words and looking for the images you want on your website. There are some websites that could give you tips to start creating the content Copyblogger.
Spend enough time designing and testing your website. This will be your visitors’ first impression of your business. And before publishing the site make sure it works on all major browsers, that the site is easy to navigate and to read the content.
6. Set Up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the most important tool every website owner need, it is free and necessary. It is easy to set up and one of the first things you must do once your website is ready. This tool tracks and reports website traffic such as what pages people visit, how much time they spend on your site and demographics. By measuring this information, you will be able to improve what is not working to better achieve your goal.
7. Market your Website on Search Engines and Social Media
In this step, you will do a Search Engine Optimization check (SEO). You will verify that your website is set up in the way that search engines such as Google can find you easily. You will have to define title tags, meta-descriptions, ensure that the site is accessible by search engines and that it is mobile-friendly, among others.
On the other hand, social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter can help you to increase your audience and alert customers about what is happening in your company. If you published a blog, if you have any type of discount or even if you updated your website, you must post and add a link about it. By doing so, you will drive organic traffic to your website.
8. Maintain your Website
It is important to stay relevant all the time. Update your website periodically, it could be with a blog post, new offers or/and news. This will help to address new people to the site. Also, it is vital to keep it up to date with the latest software and quick address technical issues.
Wrapping It Up
We hope to have provided you with the information that you need to kickstart your website. If you already have an idea of a business, start building it with a domain name and a web hosting plan.
If you decide to start your business with a friendly Canadian web hosting, do not doubt to contact BlackSun. Our team of experts will be happy to resolve your inquiries. BlackSun Web Hosting Made Easy!