2nd stage: Domains and Hosting.
So let’s assume that you’ve designed your website.
So now, how do you start a website? That is, how do you build the website?
To start a website begins with picking a good hosting company (I recommend Godaddy), purchasing your domain name, picking a platform, then physically building the site.
A Domain is the name that put on your business card for where visitors use to see your site and you “rent” for as long as you want (as long as you are in business). Google.com and godaddy.com are domains. Google rewards you for purchasing 5 years instead of 1 or 2 years because it then knows you are serious about your web presence and are not just “playing”.
You probably also have heard of “URL” which contains all the details about your domain that once you click on the url, your browser will take you to the website. Examples of urls are http://dev.avwebmaster.com and https://google.com.
In addition to the annual payment of renting your domain, you’ll also need a place to keep the files in which your website files were created. These file reside on a service, like Godaddy in which you also pay annually, called Hosting. The hosting cost can also vary greatly dependent on accessory services you want included, of which there are many: Backing up, Security, SSL, and so on.
Godaddy has excellent 24x7x365 American-based support; worth it’s weight in gold. if you’ve ever had to talk to support groups overseas or had to wait for Monday morning when your site went down on a Friday night–you know what I’m talking about.
For developing your website use an amazing development tool call WordPress. It’s free, secure, robust, open-source software now used in at least 25% of the websites on the planet. That should impress you. Best of all, you can make changes yourself without calling your webmaster. (That too, should impress you.)
Choose a “theme” that will work for you. You can change it later, but I generally don’t recommend doing that in the later stages of development because of all the tweaks and plugins you will have likely used and applied, which may or may not work in a new chosen theme.
For my development, I prefer using the WordPress Weaver II Pro. The functionality and features are seriously agile and powerful and the support on the forum is uncanny.
As you build your site always be thinking and working to incorporate your best keyword phrases. These will be important once you move into Stage 3 – Launch.
Also, you should design relevant to your business and style. Do you want a website that is cozy and comfortable or expansive and corporate?
Use Sliders as they are particularly engaging. However, the frame timing is important–If you are presenting a product that is “hot and exciting” to a younger market, then the frames should naturally proceed at a brisk pace and “spin out” with that “tah-dah” look. If your product caters to an older crowd then you certainly would want to present slides more slowly, more calmly, and simply fade in and out. Sliders these days are usually free to very cheap too (I prefer those in the latter category).
Lastly, I remember, on the back cartoon of E-week magazine when one character guy was really excited about Flash and asked our star, Spencer F. Katt, what he like best about it. Spencer cooly replied “the Skip Intro” button. I agree. Flash is dead. When people are Googling for something they won’t/don’t have the time to watch Flash, and 9 out 10 times will skip the intro to get to relevant material.
Always use clean navigation menus and widgets in the sidebars to help break up long-winded reading. You must make it exceedingly easy for your visitor to find exactly and quickly for what they are seeking on your website.
These are the tips and tricks that will help you build your website. By all means, if you need some help, or you simply want a webmaster to do the up-front work for you, then by all means feel free to contact me and let’s talk about it.
Now let’s move on to your 3rd Stage – Launch your Website.