Now more than ever, having a website for your business is essential for attracting new customers. With the Covid 19 pandemic limiting access to shops and non-essential businesses, many companies have seen a drop in their income and have been forced to adapt to the new normal in order to survive.
With many people switching to online shopping and arranging new services by telephone or over the internet, setting up a new website is the perfect way to gain new enquiries and sales. If you’ve never set up a website before, it can be a little overwhelming trying to understand how to get started. Here we’ve listed the 5 most important things to consider before setting up your website.
The first thing you should decide on is which platform your website will use. The platform your website is built in can affect many of the choices that are available to you in terms of hosting requirements and web design.
Some popular pay monthly site builder platforms include Wix, Web.com, and Squarespace. These can be limiting in terms of online marketing capabilities, product limits, and design options. Your website will also only be available for as long as you continue to pay the monthly subscription. These platforms tend to be fully-hosted as part of your monthly subscription.
Platforms such as WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce give you more control over design, integrations with third-party tools, product capacity, and marketing options. Although some are hosted as part of the subscription, most require third-party hosting packages. The site size and requirements can affect the type of hosting required and the cost. For example, WordPress hosting can cost as little as £4.99 per month. A Magento website requires much larger capacities, so would be better on a cloud hosting package.
Weebly comes in between the two groups providing an easy to use site builder that is hosted by a third-party. NetNerd offers access to Weebly website builder’s starter package for free as part of our hosting packages.
The next thing you should decide on is which domain name you will register. The domain name is the address people type into the url bar to reach your website.
There are a few different options you can choose between when deciding on your domain name.
- Brand specific – this represents your company or brand. Our url is an example of a branded domain name; our business name is NetNerd, so our domain name is netnerd.com.
- Keyword specific – this is an address that includes keywords that relate to the products or services you offer, it may also include the location of your business. An example of a keyword specific domain name is cloud-web-hosting-leicester.co.uk.
You should also consider which extension is best for your domain e.g. .co.uk, .uk, .com, etc. In most countries, .com and the countries’ domain extension are the most popular. If you are targeting countries outside of the UK, it may be possible to register domain extensions specific to those countries although many of these do require a postal address based in that country. Once you have decided on which option you’re going to use, you can use our domain registration tool to check availability and register your choice.
Now you have decided on your website platform and chosen your domain name, you can decide on your hosting package.
The hosting package you choose with depend on your website’s requirements. If you are building a small information site that’s targeting a local audience, you can opt for a smaller, cheaper hosting package with lower disk space and bandwidth allowances. If you are building a large ecommerce website with lots of products and images or targeting a national audience, you’re best with a hosting package that includes unlimited allowances and essentials such as free domain name registration and SSL certificates for each site in the package.
If you require assistance determining which NetNerd package is right for your requirements, call us on 0333 222 4080 and our hosting experts will be happy to advise you.
Another important thing to consider is whether you require branded emails. Email addresses that end with your domain name can build a more professional image, so it’s definitely something to look at.
Most of our hosting packages include an allowance for creating email addresses and mailboxes, so you can set this up at the same time.
Once you have set up your hosting and domain name registration, you can start installing your chosen website platform and begin the web design.
Our hosting packages include one-click installation of all common PHP based web applications, so you can get the foundations in place quickly and easily without any coding knowledge.
One-click installation is available for a vast number of platforms including:
If you are using a site builder, you can now begin using the templates and drag and drop editors to design your site. If you are using WordPress, Magento, or one of the other platforms that allow you to create custom designs, you can begin working with your web designer to create a template, layout, and content.