You have a great idea or product, you're ready to put it out on the internet for the world to see, but what's next?
By the way, this blog is not about setting up a blog page, that is a whole category on it's own. This is about setting up a basic website for business or product.
If you're one of the do it yourself types, there is a wealth of information out there on how to build a website, but if you don't know what anchor elements and H1 tags are, how are you ever going to understand all this talk of S.E.O. and hrefs and all the other complicated jargon that this information contains?
Don't worry, there are many easy ways out there to create a website and if you're trying to build your own website, chances are you're not really looking for all the specialist work that goes into things like S.E.O. and if you don't even have a website yet, why would search rankings even matter.
The first step is to figure out what's involved in launching a website, it's really simple if you know what steps to take. Read more and we'll break it down for you without getting technical and confusing.
When planning a website, there are 2 things to take into consideration.
We're going to start with the simplest explanations and then get deeper into each topic as we go but don't worry, at Saftech.net, we're all about keeping it simple. After all, this post is for the average business joe on the street trying to get a website launched to get their brand out there.
1. Domain & Email Registraion
It sounds technical but it's actually really simple, a domain is the space on the internet which is allocated to you. For example, our domain is saftech.net, so anything on the internet that is in this domain, should be ours (should be).
The domain is relatively inexpensive, as of July 12 2019 a domain through Google Domains starts at just $12 a year, that's a dollar a month to have your own little space on the massive interwebs, not bad. Some domain registrars (people who you register your domain with) are godaddy, weebly and amazon web services. There are many more out there and a simple google search for "register a domain" will give you more options than you could ever need.
A word of advice from the pro's, figure out what domain you want then search on the registrars to see if it's available and before you make the purchase, figure out what you plan to do for your email (more on that in the next section) and who you want to host your website (more on that in the next chapter) because sometimes they have package deals and you can score loads of savings if you bundle your domain, email and web-hosting. You may even get the whole package for a year for just the price of the web-hosting, that's a great help when you are trying to keep your business expenses down.
The second part of this topic is the email registration, your domain is important to know first because your next decision you need to make is whether or not you want to have email customized with your domain name or can you use a free email like gmail, yahoo, etc.
The reason you need to decide this is because when you send an email to a client, they will be presented with your email address and you need to ask yourself whether you prefer to have it show your_email@gmail (or yahoo,etc) or do you prefer to have it show your_name@your_business?
It's entirely a matter of preference and either will work, your decision should be based on what the needs are for your contact with your clients. We are a tech company and for our market, it wouldn't work to have our email as firstname.lastname@example.org, hence, we registered email@example.com while several of our clients are more flexible in that regard and use the free email platforms (Google, Yahoo, Etc).
The difference here is either your email will be free or it will cost you upwards from $72 per year for google's gsuite, or $6 per month (That's for their basic plan at the time of this writing.) That covers one user (Saftech.net) and 100 aliases (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc).
Just to note here, most pricing is advertised as a "per month" price but you either have to pay for the year upfront or it costs you more than the advertised price to signup on a month to month basis depending on what the provider's policies are.
2. Web Hosting, Site Building & Maintenance
So now you know what your website domain and email are going to be, the next step is to "host" your website. The domain you purchase is to keep a space for you on the internet and to make it possible for it to be accessed by your clients.
"Web hosting" refers to the physical computers that your website is stored on. Who you choose for this purpose is important because they will have the information of everybody who visits your site, make sure you use a reputable company for this. We prefer to use bigger companies for our clients' web hosting because bigger companies have bigger security teams making sure that our clients' sites are kept as secure as possible.
There are many platforms out there who advertise free websites like square (The payment app), weebly, wix, godaddy, namecheap, etc.
Before you commit to signing up for a "free" website, check what the terms are, some are free to design but then you have to pay to launch it, some are free but you have to meet certain sales criteria.
The important thing here is that this journey of building your own website is fun and you don't want to feel disappointed because something that was meant to be free is starting to cost money that you may not have budgeted for.
Site building and site maintenance will be carried out by you if you're building your own website, what that means is that you're going to be building the site and you're also going to keep updating it as you add new products, diversify or change business strategy, etc.
Don't panic (as always with technology) it sounds more complicated than it is.
Once you choose a platform to host your site, you'll begin building it, the beauty of using these types of site building platforms is that you don't have to know a single bit of code, all you have to do is choose a theme of what you want your site to look like and you drag and drop things onto your site, as easy as that.
Whenever you need to make updates to your site, you can just change what you need to (it wont publish the changes you make to the website until you click the publish button) so when you're designing your site or you need to make updates, you don't have to do everything at once, you can work one page or section at a time and when you're ready, publish the fully updated website or publish as you complete a section or set of changes.
For a first timer, you can expect to take about a week to build a basic site. If you start building one and you get to point where you feel stuck, just drop us an email and we can take over for you if you feel you're in over your head.