Building a website is an exciting time for a business. Whether it’s the first website or a refreshed version, a new website brings the potential for growth to your business. There is no arguing that a website is crucial for a company’s online presence. And, having an online presence is becoming more and more important as studies show that 88% of consumers research products and services online before making an online or instore purchase. Without a website that is easy to find and explore, you could be missing out on a substantial portion of customers.
However exciting the prospect of a new website may be, it’s still a daunting project to undertake. This is why we’ve created this guide to building a website in 4 steps. That way, you can be sure that you haven’t missed anything and you’re giving your business the best possible chance to make an impact online.
From start to finish, there are 4 steps to building a website:
- Registering your domain name
- Designing your website
- Securing your website with an SSL certificate
- Getting your site live with web hosting
Although domain names and website design are often talked about when building a website, web hosting and SSL certificates are often overlooked until the last minute. They are, however, essential elements for any website.
If you have any questions about these steps or would like to discuss which options are best for you, you can contact our team and we’d be more than happy to help.
Step 1: Register your domain name
The first step in building your website is to choose and register your domain name. If you’ve already got a domain name, or you’ve chosen which one you’d like, this step will be incredibly easy for you. However, if you’re starting from scratch, there are a few things to consider for your domain name.
Firstly, you need to consider what domain name will be best for your business. A good domain name will establish your brand identity, make your business easy to find online and give your website authority. There are a few tips and tricks to choosing a good domain name which you can find in our blog on choosing the best domain name for your business.
Once you’ve chosen your name, you need to consider what domain extension (.com, .net, etc) is right for your business. If you’re set on your domain name, it might be a good idea to have a couple of domain extensions that you like in case your domain name is already take on your preferred extension.
Finally, check if your domain name is available and register for it. If it is taken, you may want to select a slightly different domain name or a different domain extension.
How do I register for a domain name
Registering for a domain name is incredibly easy. Once you’ve chosen your domain name and checked that it’s available, all you need to do is add it to your cart and we’ll take care of the rest. When the domain registration is close to its expiry, we’ll notify you so that you can renew and ensure that your domain name is secure.
Step 2: Design your website
Having a well-designed website is crucial to its success. With so many customers researching products and services online before making a purchasing decision, your website is your chance to make a good impression.
Depending on your business, you may decide to have an e-commerce website, or you may need a simpler website that describes who you are, what you do and how customers can contact you. Either way, you’ll want an attractive website that reflects your visual branding and is easy for a visitor to navigate.
What makes a website attractive?
There are a few factors to designing an attractive website. These include making the site easy on the eye by avoiding clutter, having the elements that your audience expects and in a place they expect them to be, using professional graphic design, and using colours and fonts that your target audience responds well to.
If your website is easy to navigate, informative and pleasing to the eye, your visitor is more likely to feel positively about your business and it will reflect well for their decision to purchase.
How much does web design cost?
The cost of a website depends on what you require and what quality website you are looking for. If you’re looking for something basic, there are online website builders. Although they are the cheaper option, they don’t allow for much customisation and you have to do all the work yourself with little support.
For this reason, we partner with Dweebi, a digital marketing agency. They’re experienced in building websites that not only work for their client but are enticing for visitors as well. With Dweebi, prices range from $880 for single page websites to $10K+ for complex projects.
Step 3: Secure your website with an SSL certificate
This step is especially important if you’re creating an e-commerce site but is arguably essential for every website. An SSL certificate will ensure your visitor’s data is secure and give your website added credibility.
What is an SSL certificate and why are they important?
Have you ever noticed the little lock symbol to the left of the URL bar on your browser? That lock symbol means that the website you are visiting is secured with an SSL certificate. Basically, an SSL certificate creates a bond between the browser and the server the website sits on and it encrypts any data that passes in between.
This is crucial for websites that require logins, have forms or take card transactions as it will stop all this information given by the visitor being stolen by hackers. As well as being safer, SSL certificates give your web visitors peace of mind knowing that you have a secure website. It adds credibility and makes your business seem more professional. SSL certificates will even give your website an SEO ranking boost.
How do you get an SSL Certificate?
There are a few options to consider for SSL certificates which will suit different types of business websites. Once you have chosen which one is right for your needs, you can place an order and we’ll process that ASAP. You can expect your SSL certificate within 3 working days but usually we’re able to issue them within 1.
Step 4: Get your site live with web hosting
The last stage of creating a website for your business is to host it on the internet. In order to do this, you will need to choose a web host, or web hosting provider and a plan that will work for you. While you may wish to simply choose web hosting, managed hosting will mean that your website is monitored 24/7 for issues and the web host’s technicians will be able to tackle these if they arise.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is similar to renting a storefront on the street, except the street is the internet and the storefront is a server. Web hosting allows your website and files to be accessible to everyone that visits your website. When someone enters your domain name in their browser, or clicks on a link to your website, your webpage is sent as a data package to their computer. A web hosting provider will have servers dedicated for achieving this quickly and securely.
How do I choose a web hosting provider?
When considering web hosting providers, there are a few factors you should consider:
- Do they have a knowledge base for troubleshooting or offer a ticket system for issue resolution?
- Do they have an uptime guarantee of at least 99%?
- Are they keeping regular backups of your site?
Although you may be swayed towards a cost-based decision, you really should be choosing a host based on the service they provide you and whether they meet your requirements.
Having a good web host can make a huge difference to the success of your website. Having a good web host provider will mean:
- Better website load time
- Less website down time
- Better security
- Continual support
- Better SEO rankings
Sydney ICT offers a range of web hosting plans as well as managed hosting services to suit your needs. If you have any questions at all about choosing the right one for you, our team will be more than happy to help.
Building a website should be an exciting time and if you’re trying to take it all on yourself, you might find it rather overwhelming, especially with so many different choices to make. Hopefully, you’ll have more direction for how to start a website but if you need any more advice or support, our team of specialists will be able to take that weight off your shoulders.