The First Four Steps of Getting Your Business Online
So you’ve got this brilliant business idea and want to get it online and into the public eye. At this early stage, depending on the decisions you make, you’re poised to either build a highly engaging web presence that results in massive business growth and revenue, or to fail miserably. Make no mistake: Even if you have the greatest idea in the world, without a strategic web presence no one will know who your company is or how to find it. In order to get this process under way, four initial steps must be taken:
1. Selecting a domain name: First thing’s first. This is an important decision because your domain name essentially determines your place in the overly crowded universe of websites. Even if you’re not quite ready to launch your website, this is an important step. Snatch your company domain as quickly as possible before someone else does.
2. Researching domains: This is often a reality check for some companies. What you think is a brilliant domain name may not be available. Obviously, it’s best to use a top-level domain address with a .com or .org address, but these are not always open. If so, you’ll need to look into sublevel domain addresses such as .biz or .net. Alternately, you may want to consider purchasing all the domain levels if they’re available.
3. Registering a domain: Now that you’ve discovered your domains are available, it’s time to register them. Whom you register your domain with is completely up to you. Just be sure you’re not getting taken to the cleaners on your yearly, bi-yearly or five-year registrations. If this is all unchartered territory for you, reach out to a web designer or business colleague to point you in the direction of a reputable domain registrar.
4. Choosing a web host: For the unaware, web hosting is a service that allows you to deliver site content via the Internet. It’s actually the vehicle you’ll use to deliver blog posts, web pages, videos and all other types of web content. The first step in choosing a web host is by ensuring their reliability. Read reviews and ask around for opinions. Also, be clear as to your company’s needs and choose a hosting plan that makes sense cost-wise.
Next Step: Coding and Designing Your Site
After you’ve established your domain and chosen a host, it’s time to start building your website. Although it’s entirely possible to code and develop a website from scratch with next to no experience, it’s not advisable. Your website’s design is a crucial factor in connecting with potential customers and providing them with an informative and engaging site. Bad user experiences don’t stay isolated. Disgruntled users talk. The best way to prevent a negative reaction is with effective and user-friendly design, which is a healthy mix of design and functionality. It’s better to leave the coding and design to a seasoned professional who can produce the results you need to have a successful online presence.