Chances are if you are looking at this, you are thinking of getting a website for yourself, a hobby or a business. There are a lot of ways to get a website done, each way depends on your situation and specific goals. I will lay out a few goals and suggestions to get a successful website online so your fans/customers can find you.
Things you will need for your site:
A Solid Vision
Do you have an idea of what you want the final product to look like? Flash? Conservative? Blue? Purple? These are questions you must know before you go into your design process. While the web developer/friend/plugin will help you with the final look, it's good to go in with an initial idea but still be open to changes, reducing the burden on the person doing the work and increasing your chances of ending with a product you like
Hosting and Domain Name
You site needs to be somewhere on the internet the same way you have a physical address in the real world. Your domain name is the web address people type in to get to your website for example "www.example.com". Like a physical address, it needs to be different than anyone else's so you can enjoy the peace of your own online space. Domain names are usually $10/year but will vary based on the provider. Exotic domains will cost more than the average like ".xyz",".global" or ".elvis".
Hosting is where the information of your website is stored. Your host will have all the pictures, video, text and music needed to display your website to visitors. Pick your host carefully and think long term, price is an issue for new website owners consider spending between $8-20 on a basic website for hosting a month. As traffic goes up and needs increase you may have to expand your hosting limits, make sure your host can handle your future growth. I recommend Bluehost for hosting small to medium sites.
Doing it Yourself
One way to get your site up is to do it yourself or get someone you know to do it. You save a ton of money in development and you really have a hand in creating your own vision. There's software out the like Adobe Dreamweaver that will allow you to drag, drop and create your own site, save it to your computer and then upload it to your server. You can install Wordpress on your hosting server or get a managed website hosting that does the basic set up for you while you just focus on editing your site. There are solutions like Wix that allow you to pick from predefined templates and customize a site your needs with a plain drag and drop setup.
Each method has its pros and cons. It is an option to consider before you try anything else at least to get a handle on the basics for later.
Good Web Developer
I typed a good web developer as the alternative to doing it yourself. There are many people with the title of web designer/developer, just look at your local Craigslist listing as an example. Finding someone with the intent to care about your long term success is key, someone looking for a quick payday might ruin your site and leave you on the hook for more than you spent.
Before you start creating your site, you should have an idea of the text and visuals your clients will see on your site. Not the fancy after effects, what pictures, videos and written ideas you will have such as:
* What do you offer? * When do you offer it? * How can the customer get it? * Why should they get it? * Extra information needed to learn more about what you are offering?
It is essential to get this before you start. If you do the DIY route, your site may look or work differently than you though because you built it without the content in place. For placeholder text, you can use my Yardi Ipsum Tool to generate random paragraphs so you can get a feel for how the site will look.
If you rely on the web designer/developer the may charge you a premium to outsource write the copy of the marketing material for the page.
Having your own site is an awesome marketing tool. Possibly a sales one as well, I will go on more topics of designing a site later. Having a solid good looking responsive website will do wonders for your business, but it is just the first step in your digital marketing strategy.
Hope you enjoyed the article. Send me a message if you have any questions