Launching your own website can be a very exciting event. It could mean a new door opening that will take you on a whole new adventure, perhaps with the promise of exciting financial rewards. If a website is to be a success, however, it will need to be done right.
There are various factors that need to be taken into consideration before launching a website. These include essentials such as how you will build the website itself and how you attract visitors. Here we take a lot at some of the most important aspects you should consider when launching a website of your own.
Select a Domain Name
One of the first things you need to consider is the domain name or, in other words, your website address. It is very easy to buy a domain name and you can easily buy cheap domain names for just a few dollars. Some can cost thousands of dollars depending on how in-demand they are, and you will also likely need to pay more if a domain is already taken. Other than that, you should be able to find plenty of domain names that are suitable, available, and very affordable.
When choosing your domain name, try and choose something that is easy to remember, and has relevance to your website. If you can, find a domain name that includes your company name and/or your products or services. You will also need to choose the perfect top-level domain for your website. It makes no real difference which you choose, except well-known TLDs like .com and .net will look more professional.
Choose a Host
You will also need somewhere to keep your website and it needs to be kept in a place where people surfing the net have easy access to it. This means you need hosting and there are numerous hosting options available to you. You will often find that you will be offered hosting when you buy a domain name, but you are free to shop elsewhere if you wish.
You will find a variety of hosting options available to you, each with different features. The main options to consider include how much data you are able to store, and the bandwidth, which affects how quickly your website pages will load. Another feature that you should definitely insist on is security and the majority of hosts offer the best security available.
Which Platform Will You Use?
Having your own website is a lot easier than it used to be in the past. Website builders that allow people to build their own using pre-made templates that can be modified with ease are widely available.
Some web builders also use drag and drop software, which allows you to place features wherever you like on the page. This is especially handy for non-technical people as they can easily pick what they want to appear on their website, drag it to the desired place and drop it. This results in creating a website faster and being able to visualize it better.
How Will You Market Your Site?
There’s no point in having a website if people don’t know it even exists and this means you will need to consider how to market your site. There are two main ways of getting your site noticed, one of which is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which helps get your site listed high up in Google search results. You could consider doing SEO yourself if you have the time and inclination to learn how to do it. There is also a wide variety of SEO tools and plugins that can help you rank your website higher on the SERPs.
There are downsides of SEO, however, one of which is that it can take weeks before you start to see results. Another is that you will often be competing with big players in your field, making it difficult to grab those top spots. If you are successful in SEO, however, then it can direct a great deal of traffic to your site so it is certainly something worth considering.
Another option is pay-per-click marketing and it is popular for a number of reasons. One of these is that results can be seen quickly – even on the first day your campaigns are started in some cases. You are also able to compete on a more equal footing even with the biggest players in your field. Pay-per-click is also very affordable, even for small businesses, and it’s also very easy to manage your marketing budget.
Consider Your Content
To state the obvious: people don’t want to see blank pages. You need content and plenty of it. This includes your copy, which is the text of your website, and it needs to be created in a way that makes it interesting and compelling. You will also need images for aesthetic purposes and to help illustrate your products or services better.
It is imperative that your website’s written content is of high quality. For one thing, the search engines, like Google, insist on good quality content, and websites with poor content are unlikely to be found in search listings. Poor quality content can also be confusing to your visitors, and it may deter potential clients in some cases.
Don’t Forget to Test
When your website goes live – test it. Test every page and every function to help ensure everything works as it should. If you have shopping carts, test them to make sure they work, as well as any sign-up forms you might have. If you are selling items you can even try ordering something for yourself to be more confident that everything works.
If you can, also ask friends and family to test it and report back to you about any issues they might have no matter how small. Also, remember to keep testing whenever you make a change to the structure of your site. You might otherwise be losing a lot of business without even being aware that there’s a problem.
There are many different components to a website and each of them will need to be functioning properly if the website is to be a success. The good news is that it is not necessarily complicated to get everything right and following the checklist above will help keep you on the right track. If you have the budget available to you then you could consider recruiting the help of a professional, but there’s no reason why novices can’t launch a successful website if they do enough research.