You’ve decided that you need a new website. If you are in business then having a website is a must, so this is a great idea. But problems arise when you rush into your site without knowing all of the options and the best way to go about getting your message out there.
So, I’ve listed the three first steps you should take after you’ve made the decision to get all creative…
Step 1 – Register Your Domain Name
Your domain name is simply the bit after the “www” and is an address for your website. It can be moved around, but it is important to choose the right domain name for your business. Once you have the perfect name, you need to register it. Depending on what you do it Step 2 and 3 below, there are many options for registering but a cheap and easy option here in the UK is to use 123-Reg. Do this first so you own it and no-one else can nab it, then
Step 2 – STOP!!!!
In my experience this is where people trip over. They are in such a hurry to create a new site that they leave their logical brain at home! You really need to stop and think at this point and I recommend turning your PC off and doing a bit of old fashioned planning on paper – yes, paper!
Here’s what you need to get clear on first…
- What is the purpose of your website? Think about who your customers are, what you’re trying to achieve with the website and what you intend to do once it is up and running. Are you going to blog? Be honest and build a site that fits YOU – not what some techie has decided is the ‘norm’.
- Do you want to/are you capable of designing it yourself?! It is important to realise that just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD!! If it doesn’t interest you, then paying someone to design it for you while you work on other elements of your business would be a better investment than doing it yourself. You can always take over once the initial build is complete!
Which brings me neatly on to
Step 3 – Get some advice!!
If you’ve taken some time to think about what you want, make sure you talk to a few designers who will give you honest feedback and costs associated with your site. You should ask them about accessibility once the site is built (the biggest complaint I hear from new clients is that they have had little or very limited access to their sites in the past), ongoing costs and what happens when the platform they are using needs to be upgraded. They should also be able to advise you about building it yourself – without making you feel like you are doing something wrong.
If your designer can explain all of this to you and be honest about any limitations of their service, you’re on to a winner!
So, that’s it. My first steps to creating a website. Of course there is far more to it and I will get to some of that in future posts.
And, before you go – if you need some advice, why not give me a call – I will tell it like it is, whether you want to build it yourself or not…
This blog post was taken from a recent presentation I gave at a Women in Rural Enterprise Network meeting. If you would like me to speak at a meeting you are organising in Staffordshire or Derbyshire then please get in touch.