You’ve decided to set up a website but where do you start?
What do I need to do first?
First you need to choose a domain name, try to make it short and simple so it’s easy for your customers to remember it then access a Domain Registrar such as GoDaddy (as seen in the video below) or Fasthosts to see if the domain name is accessible. When choosing a Domain Registrar talk to other businesses you know about the one they use and ask if they would recommend them. Have a look online for reviews and on social media for mentions of them to get a clear picture of their reliability and service.
Will you build your own website or get a professional company to build it for you? This decision will depend on the skills and time available within your business.
What is a domain name & how do I choose one?
A domain name if simply the name of your website so, for example, the domain name of Cumbria Growth Hub is www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk. You’ll need to choose the ending for your domain name, common ones are .co.uk or .com but there are many more options. Ask yourself where your business sits in the market and who your customers are when making this decision. If the domain name you’ve chosen is expensive it may be worth looking at other options but make sure it still reflects your business appropriately.
Web Hosting-renting your space online.
Most Domain Registrars will also offer web hosting, this is effectively your rental of a space online. You don’t have to purchase both from one supplier but most businesses do for convenience. Once you’ve purchased a domain name and web hosting you’re ready to start thinking about your actual website.
The content of your website is important so take time to think about exactly what you are going to put on there. Your home page needs to give customers the essential information they need without becoming cluttered. Make sure your contact details are easily accessible and that your website is optimised for all devices, many customers now access on mobile phones or tablets and your website needs to be set up to react to that.
A website needs to be continually updated and refreshed if it is going to attract customers so make sure you’ve accounted for the time to provide content, regardless of who is putting that content online.
You need to be clear about what you want your customers to do when they access your website. Do you want them to buy from your shop, whether that’s on your website or on a partner site such as ebay, amazon or etsy? Do you want them to contact you? Whatever it is make sure you make it easy for them to do that. Think about your website as a shop window, it needs to tell your customers what they need to know about your company and your product or service without overloading them with information they don’t need or want.
Like every other part of your business your website needs to adapt and change. Don’t worry about starting simple then developing more aspects to the website once you’re online.
Contact us to access specialist advice, events, training and more-all designed to help you get online.