The advent of the internet and the advances in technology has given business owners and go getters another portal in which to reach people. In addition to spreading messages on foot, you can now spread your messages and offer your products on the World Wide Web. You can invite people to listen, learn and interact with your online presence. And while starting a website may seem a lot more laid back than opening a brick and mortar, it can be just as daunting and stressful. One of the reasons why many websites fail to reach the superstar status that they were hoping for is because they jumped into the deep end without a lifejacket. It is important to create a plan before starting a website, because when you have an aim and a focus, then success will be assured. Check out these 6 things you should do before starting your website.
6 Things You Should Do Before Starting Your Website:
Define the aim of your Website: Before you jump in and start your website, you need to define your aim or you will just be wasting your time and your money. There are many reasons why you may choose to start a website; you may want your website to simply point locals to your brick and mortar store or you may want your website to be the online version of your brick and mortar store. You may want to build a website to start an e-store or offer virtual services or maybe you want your web space to serve as a quality resource in a particular niche. Whatever you aim, you need to define it. Once you establish the reason why you want to build a website, you can begin focusing on your goals and start implementing them.
Choose your Domain Name: Your domain name is a representation of your website and what it offers, so it is important to choose one that clearly defines your message. The name you choose should be short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce and completely relevant to your niche. Before you choose your name, you should experiment with a list of possible names that you think will best represents your space. You should write it out to see what your URL would look like and seek the opinions of your family and friends before you commit. Panabee.com can be a pretty fun tool to help you with this if you're really stuck.
Choose your Web host: The web host is essentially the landlord of your website; it is where your site will reside and where you will go to design and decorate it and also where you will go to add valuable content. Much like the landlord/tenant relationship in the human world, it is important to choose your web host wisely or you may well have a bad experience. You now know the aim of your website; you know that you need a host that will allow reliability, speed, security and space, so now you must search through the mass to find the right one. WhoIsHostingThis.com makes the process of finding the right hosting company easy – you can also read honest reviews so you won’t be choosing blindly.
Write a Surplus of Quality Content: One of the things that often slows down the progression of new websites is when they post inconsistently. It is important for the life of your website to always keep it updated with fresh content. When you launch your website, you should have content at the ready to go live while also having a healthy collection of content waiting in the back burner. Always having a surplus of quality content will insure that you will continuously be delivering fresh content. And having content scheduled and waiting will give you time in between to promote and invite others to visit your space while slowly building your collection of quality content.
Design: While the content is the lifeblood of your website, the design is the first impression. Statistics show that a website that is poorly designed gets less attention and interaction than one that is dressed beautifully and relevantly. So whether you choose to hire a web designer or design it yourself, it is important that your design remain fresh and uncluttered. For inspiration look at site such as SiteInspire.com and WebCreme.com that gather up the absolute best web site designs. The designs you choose needs to complement the subjects you convey and the products or services that you offer without overdoing it.
Set up your Social Media Profiles: Social networking will play a very important part in the growth of your website. They are wonderful sources of interacting and advertising. Setting up your profiles on popular platforms such as Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will allow you to network and invite your friends, family and fans to visit and intermingle with your new website. You can post fresh content on your social profiles, host giveaway and establish relationships. You should also integrate social share buttons on your website so that when people stop by to visit, they can choose to share or bookmark your site.
It is also a good idea to research highly trafficked and authoritative websites within your niche to get a feel of what makes them so successful.. Researching valued websites will allow you to see which direction you want to take your own website, so that it can be unique and fresh, yet just as appealing and user friendly as the dominating sites in your sector. Take inspiration from these sites and start thinking up some ideas off the back of that.
When you decide to start a website, you should do it with the aim and goal to succeed. While it may take some time for people to notice your space and start visiting, planning and assessing before you launch will create less stress and allow success to come easily.
This guest post is courtesy of Melanie Finnely-Obar.