There’s perhaps as many reasons why you might thinking about launching your own website as there are sites already making an impact across the world wide web.
Perhaps you’ve made the bold move to start your own business and now you need an online platform to sell your services or products. Maybe you’re a designer, photographer, writer or other creative type and hope to develop a new portfolio to showcase your talents, or maybe you’re looking to develop a website to inform people about your hobby, your favourite sports team or your local community group.
Whatever the reason, there’s a lot to think about before you start putting those pages together and setting out to claim your own corner of the web.
Though building a website has certainly become easier, not to mention more affordable, in recent years, to really ensure any kind of lasting success, here’s four things you’ll need.
1) A budget
Building a website is definitely more cost effective than it used to be, and in some cases, you can even use free website building tools to launch a brand new site without paying a penny, though for a more professional approach, it’s helpful to set aside a budget.
This is especially true if you’re hiring somebody else to do the work for you (we’re sure they’ll want paying at the end of it), though even if you’re going it alone, you’ll need to invest in things like web hosting and domain names.
Speaking of which…
2) A domain name
Your domain name is the principal tool you’ll be using when you tell people how to get to your new website. Rather than directing them to a long string of seemingly random numbers (your IP address), you’ll be asking them to head to the much more memorable myawesomewebsite.com, or perhaps mynewbusiness.co.uk.
The good news is that domain names are relatively inexpensive, and depending on the company you buy yours from, you could get yours from as little as just two or three pounds, or from around £9.99 upwards for more premium domains such as .coms.
The more sought after your domain name, the more expensive it’s going to cost, so its helpful to come up with something that is unique to you and not in too great a demand.
3) Web hosting
If your domain name is the address you give people to find your website, your hosting is the physical location on the web they’ll end up at when they type that address into their Internet browsers.
Speaking of domain names, many of the top cheap web hosting companies bundle one-year domain registration into their packages for free, which is a great way of saving money if you’re looking to launch on a tight budget.
When choosing your website hosting, take some time to shop around, compare offers, check out user reviews and go with one that not only meets all your requirements, but also offers the best value for money.
When we think about starting a new website, a lot of us get caught up on the design. We think about the colours and the layout and how the whole thing will look. Whilst all this is certainly important, it’s no more important than the actual content of your site.
After all, this is what your visitors are really coming for. They might like the look of your site, sure, but if that pretty design isn’t populated with useful information, quality products and the ability to get what they need from your site, there’s a good chance they’ll hit that back-button and never come back again.
To make sure they stick around and keep making repeat visits then, give plenty of thought to what you want to say, and how you’re going to say it.