Every business or organization needs a web site. It is the year 2016 – your web site is truly your business card (and more) for the digital age we live in.
This article is geared mainly toward those of you that do not have 10- or 20-person marketing and/or technology teams. Let’s face it – you could be a startup or small business, are on a shoestring budget, and furthermore – web design or web programming isn’t your primary occupation. And you need a web site – fast.
Our goal is to make this easy for you.
There are four crucial ingredients to successfully launch a web site:
These are the four most basic ingredients. When we’re done, you will NOT be ready to go head-to-head with Google – but people around the WORLD will be able to read about you or your organization.
What is a domain name? A domain name is a word, phrase, or combination of each that is used by all of us to access your web site. For example – when someone wants to go to Google.com – they type in http://google.com into the address of their web browser. When they click “Go”… the web browser loads the Google.com web site.
The computer(s) where your web site is published to has a unique publicly accesible address, called an IP address. It is a unique number that is used to find that computer. Try to think of it as a phone number. The domain name is the listing in the phone book, that is alphabetized in the white pages. For example “JohnSmith.com” would be the white pages listing, and the “phone number” would be a number like 220.127.116.11.
The computer(s) where your web site is published is called your web host. Everyone needs a web host to enable their web site to be seen by the entire world, via the Internet.
Visit BriefNames.com to search for and purchase a domain name! Registering a domain is DIRT CHEAP.
A Web Host
You need to have a place where you can point your domain to, by changing your nameservers where you purchased your domains from.
In our example, we’ll use Dreamhost. Dreamhost provides web hosting for web sites of all types and sizes, ranging from 1-page first-timers, to professional, industry-strength, multiple-server farms that run entire INDUSTRIES. So, you are in good hands!
During the setup process at DreamHost.com, you will be able to set up what is called an FTP account. FTP, and what it is all about, deserves it’s own special article unto itself… but for now, just know that it is a means with which to transfer files from one place, to another. In our example, it will be how we transfer from your development “environment”, to your hosting account at DreamHost.com.
Hosting, is… a little more expensive than registering a domain… but is still a relatively small expense.
A Web Site with Pertinent Content
What does this even MEAN?!?!
As a business, you should have web site that, at a MINIMUM, tells your visitors:
- Who – Who are you?
- What – What does your company do? What tools do you use? What have you done, insofar as past clients are concerned?
- When – When are you available to do this work? What are your hours? When should the visitor call on you?
- Where – Where are you located? Do you support that visitor’s neck of the woods? If I live in Alaska, looking at the web site of a plumber in Pennsylvania is not going to accomplish anything. Save the visitor some time.
- Why – Tell the visitor why you are in business. Why do you do this? What is your company’s calling? Your mission statement.
- How do they contact you? Email address (or corresponding contact form), phone number, fax number, mailing address – they all should be there. It allows the visitor to contact you for business purposes…. AND, helps validate you as a real entity.
“I don’t have a large budget”, you say. “I don’t have any web development or programming skills”, you say. Each of those are reasonable statements to make. How can you get by without spending a fortune on a webmaster or web developer?
Do it yourself… visit DESIGN.CODANGO.COM….. It’s free!
It is designed with the novice in mind.
Any questions on ANY of this…. CALL US. We’re here to help.
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