There are many ways to create a website. There are 'do it yourself' websites(homestead.com,godaddy.com), free websites (with ads on subdomains) and custom websites built from scratch. I'm going to explain how to build a website in the most professional and affordable way possible.
- The first thing you need for a website is a domain name. A domain name is the name of your website. It's also the name that appears in the URL field of the browser when people browser your website. Think of a name that's easy to remember, easy to pronounce, easy to understand and easy to spell. If you have to explain your domain name after you say it then it's not a very good one.
Ideally you shouldn't have to say 'N as in nancy' to explain you domain name. Try not to use hyphens or numbers if possible. Use a handy domain name suggestion tool to quickly find available domain names similar to your original idea. A domain will run $9-$26/year. I charge ~$12/year for domain registration.
- Next you will need a web hosting account. Don't let someone fool you into purchasing your own server for your office. This is completely unnecessary and a huge cost to your business. There are no security advantages. Most web hosting accounts run $4-$5 a month. I offer unlimited web hosting at $4.90/month, but there are also many other popular web hosting companies like Godaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost, 1and1 etc. It's a good idea to make sure your hosting provider has tech support either via phone or chat. Call the hosting company to make sure their operators speak your language well sense many are overseas.
- Next we will prepare to hire a web developer to create our website. It's a good idea to find three sample websites online to show him i.e. three websites online that you like the look and feel of. These websites can be competitor website or websites similar in subject matter to your own. Keep a note of these sample websites in a notepad document.
- Most website have a slideshow on the home page. If you have money I recommend purchasing stock photos from gettyimages.com otherwise 123rf.com is the second best and much much more affordable. Keep a note of the links for the images you like in a notepad document, don't purchase them yet.
- Your website should consist of at least these standard web pages - "Home | Products | About Us | Blog | links | Contact Us". Many website owners name their 'Blog' page 'News' or 'Announcements'. Write some copy for each page, except the blog, and keep it in a notepad document.
- No we can hunt for a web developer. Google 'web developer' and make a note of all the developers with good rates and extensive portfolios of quality websites or images of websites. Search online classifieds websites for web developers also. Once you've narrowed down the choices, do a search on bbb.org to see if there are any reports of mal practice from these individuals or the companies they worked for.
Request a list of references to contact, call them and inquire about his service. Once you feel comfortable sign the contracts via fax and email him your notepad document(s) of information. I offer a website package called the Affordable Website Plan that includes a customized CMS website, custom logo, email list and image advertisements for $16/month.
- Your website will collect dust at first but a SEO service can help increase website traffic affordably. There are many many SEO strategies out there. They range from about $40-$1000/month. You can find a SEO 'specialist' the same way you found a web developer. I offer a SEO plan for $33.50/month.