Creating a functional website and everything that goes with it can be a daunting task for most individuals. There are many moving pieces that are regularly updating, and it is important for a business to stay up to date so they are not to fall behind competitors. A personal or corporate website is often the first thing a potential client will see, and in some cases a deciding factor in a consumer decision. It can be thought of as a way to educate people on your offerings, and your organization as a whole. It is important that a site be easily found, trustworthy, and overall professional. There are many things to consider before even beginning the process of building your website that will have an immense impact on its potential success and also save time down the road.
Domain names are of the utmost importance. These days they are easily acquired through many online providers at a fairly low price. While considering a domain name one should consider a few things:
- Keep it simple. Everyone has encountered a domain name that is just too long, and hard to remember. You want to keep your domain as simple as possible because after all, the key is to drive people to your site. Keep the character count low and make sure each part relates to your business. You should also avoid using acronyms and abbreviations that may not be relatable to the general public.
- Avoid Hyphens because often times users will forget about the hyphen and will be redirected to another site. The last thing you want an interested user to do is find someone else’s similar services on the web.
- Consider a keyword It is beneficial for a domain name to include a keyword from your offerings. Domain name keywords do not have the same pull in search ranking as they did in the past, however in many cases they still do rank quite well. It will also be easier for a user to remember a relatable keyword, in the case that a desired domain is already in use. For Example if a company is called “Blue Frog Rentals” and the domain bluefrogrentals.com is already in use, consider bluefrogpartyrentals.com as a great option for your domain.
Hosting has seen many changes in years past, and there are many options available. It is important to consider the operational aspects of your site, and how it will need to preform to be successful. If your site is simply informational it will require a less intense hosting plan than a business that runs an ecommerce site.
- Free Web hosting is widely available through many providers but due to limited space it is generally unsuitable for business sites. Free hosting is often setup as a sub directory (www.parentsite.com/mysite) rather then a dedicated domain name (mysite.com). Free web hosting rarely requires much maintenance, but it also contains many restrictions that can impact the benefits of such a site.
- Shared web hosting is the most common type of hosting. It is inexpensive and offers many capabilities. With shared hosting your content is hosted on a server with other peoples content, hence the term “shared.” The other content on this server will not effect your content in any way. It is basically an easier way for server managers to bundle content, and pass on the savings to the consumer. Shared hosting can still handle a good deal of traffic, and is a great choice for many.
- Dedicated Hosting is just as the name implies, one server is dedicated to your content and traffic. This is great for businesses that require that see large amounts of traffic, need high levels of security, and complete control over server operations.
- Cloud Hosting is the latest of all type of hosting and is becoming quite popular for many reasons. Cloud Customers share a server with the cloud hosting company, but that server is divided up into many virtual servers that are unique to each customer, and separate from each other. This setup offers unique IP addresses for each customer, a great deal of control, along with less downtime. Cloud hosting also has the ability to grow with your business, and space are no longer an issue as cloud hosting can easily expand to fit your needs.
The Purpose of your website should be at the forefront of your mind while developing. It should be apparent in every aspect of you design and functionality. It is easy to stray from your purpose in the developmental stages and that should be avoided. Layout a clear goal before you start designing, and then brainstorm ways to achieve this goal. If your purpose is to allow people to find more information about your offerings, then make that the main aspect of your homepage. If you want your website to bring users to contact you, consider ways to achieve this. If you prefer using the phone to speak with customers directly, have your phone number visible on all pages of your site. This could also apply to email correspondence or walk in customers. Anyone should be able to visit your site and immediately be immersed in its objective.
These Aspects may not be apparent to the common individual, but will play a huge role in your web presence, and the future of your expanding business. They need to be considered and reconsidered so they do not become a headache in the future. Do yourself a favor and become informed on how these parts of your web presence will impact you and your clients.