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So, you’re setting up your first business. You’ve got the idea, the name, the logo, the premises if necessary and the capital behind it all sorted. Next up – the website.
Building and launching your first business website might seem like a daunting task, but it can actually be relatively simple. While some may want to go for a full bells and whistle website costing thousands of dollars, if money is tight then you can get a basic online presence that works for you and is relatively cheap and easy to run.
Here are 5 tips for launching your first business website.
Define what your website is about
Before you start anything, you need to define what your website is for. Is it purely for selling goods and services or do you want to show a little of the human side of your business with blogs offering expert advice in your field and a history of your company? How you want to portray yourself will have a big bearing on what comes next.
Pick the right domain and hosting company
The domain name is crucial – it needs to be short, sharp and to the point. It needs to be close to matching your business name and what you do and easily memorable while abbreviations, acronyms and numbers can all be a nightmare to deal with. You’ll also need to make sure it doesn’t inadvertently spell out something rude or stupid like these 30 unintentionally inappropriate domain names. As for hosting, there are many different companies offering many different services. Ultimately, you’ll want to find something quick with great technical support should something go wrong and that fits within your budget – Hosting Kingdom can help you find the perfect host for your needs.
Designing your site
There are plenty of options when it comes to the design of your website. If you’ve got knowledge of HTML, CSS, Java, PHP or Perl, chances are you could put together an effective website yourself. If you don’t, a DIY website builder can offer ready made layouts that only require customization. If you’ve got the money, outsourcing the task to a web designer will give you’re a professionally designed site and probably save you time as well.
Test out your website
Before you begin promoting your website, you’ll need to test it out for bugs. Get trusted friends and family to look it over before it launches and report back on any problems. Launching too early without thorough checks is one of the major issues that plague new websites and although it’s unlikely a dodgy site will cost you something like the $840 million the botched Obamacare website lost, a poor launch can still lose you money and trade. You’ll also need to check the site looks consistent across various browsers and, most importantly of all, when viewed on a mobile or tablet device.
Once your website is launched, the process doesn’t stop there. Getting it to the top of search engine rankings will provide a real boost to business by increasing traffic. To impress Google, Bing and the like, use the right keywords for your business and make sure the site is optimized for SEO to attract more visitors and with it, more trade.