By Angela Wills
So you’re ready to build your own website on the internet. Congratulations!
You’ve made a smart decision by researching just what you will need. You see, it would be a mistake to just take the advice of the first person who tells you how to build a website. You likely have a relative or friend who knows how to make a site but that doesn’t mean it’s going to suit your needs.
Let’s find out exactly what you need to design a website.
1. A Business Plan –
You might not think of a business plan as an essential website design tool but it absolutely is. The first thing you need to know before you do a domain name search is what you intend to do with your website. You see, websites can do a lot of different things.
A website is kind of like a puppet. It’s up to you to pull the right strings and make it do what you want it to.
Here are just some of the duties a website can perform:
Online Brochure – Maybe your business is pretty much offline and for now you want to keep it that way. Your website can be nothing more than an online brochure that directs people to pick up the phone and call you for your products or services.
Ecommerce – Maybe your business plan is to have a full blown ecommerce site selling physical products through an online shopping cart.
Information Products – Maybe you want to offer digital ‘information’ products through your website.
Services – Do you want to sell services online? This is another function a website can perform.
2. A Domain Name –
The next thing you need to do to design a website is get a domain name. It’s important to choose a domain name that fits your business and that is easy to remember. It’s almost always best to choose a .com domain name because that’s what people remember and type in most.
Before you buy a domain name, it’s also a good idea to do keyword research to find out what people are typing in to find your business in the search engines. Then you can create a domain name that closely matches what people are looking for.
3. Website Hosting –
Once you have a domain name you will need to host your website somewhere. It’s kind of like paying rent for the space your website occupies on the internet.
Find a host with a good control panel that offers you easy to install software programs and also good website statistics tracking.
4. Website Software or Coding From Scratch –
Now the final step is to actually build a website.
This can be done in a number of ways:
From Scratch – Unless you want to spend a lot of time studying, creating and editing coding forget this option!
Website Builder – A website builder is a piece of software that is included with some hosting companies and allows you to build your website online. These can be good but some have limited options.
Website Software – There are many different programs out there that will help you build a website without having to know the coding behind it. Programs like Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expressions and NVU are a few. My favorite is a blogging software called WordPress that allows you to create blogs and websites through your hosting control panel.
Finally, building a website is a process. Break it up into various steps if you have to but remember that it’s not going to be perfect from the start. Accept that, get going and give yourself permission to fix it as you go.
Here is a resource that shows you through online videos, webinars and an email coaching program just how easy it is to design your own business website.
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