I hear this question a lot: How do I get a website? If you’re not familiar with how things work on the internet, it can be confusing to know where to start and what you need to get your website online.
- Domain name. You’ll want to brand your website with an easy-to-remember web address. Before you settle on a domain name for your site, consider these guidelines when choosing the right domain name. Domains are not expensive and can be purchased from any number of domain registrars.
- Website hosting. Website hosting is where the files for your website will ‘live’. It’s basically a computer hard drive that is connected to the internet. When your site is published and launched, the domain name you’ve selected will point to this computer, serving up the pages and images that make up your website to the visitor. This can be purchased together with your domain name or from a separate website host. Some web designers (like me!) offer website hosting bundled together with their design contracts, which is helpful if you’d like to simplify things and keep it all in one place.
- A site plan. This is a whole other post all on its own, but you should start brainstorming about what you’d like to include on your website. What goals would you like your site to help you achieve? Do you want to sell products through your site? Do you need a photo gallery of recent projects? Would you like a blog? What is your budget? Are there sites you’ve found that you’d like to use as inspiration? I have a project questionnaire I provide to my prospective clients that really helps with the planning stages.
- A website designer. Don’t go it alone. TRUST ME. There are dozens of free website builder tools out there, and they are fine if you’d like to get something up quickly. But if you are looking to have a website built that will make a difference in your business and become an asset to you, hire a professional designer to help you bring your ideas to life. A professional designer or design team will assist you with brainstorming and planning, making sure that your new site is technically sound and functions as it should for all of your visitors. An experienced, reliable website designer can make a world of difference in your website project.