Get online 1-2-3

What do you need to know?

Getting a website can be a daunting undertaking, but getting your business online shouldn’t be difficult. There are some basic information you should know BEFORE you talk to a designer.

1. Domain Name

The first item you should look at in your plan to get online is your business domain name. Much like you have registered your business name, you need to also register the domain name.

When choosing a domain name, by law in Australia, it needs to reflect either the name of your current business, or indicate the type of industry that you are involved with. It also needs to be unique as only one business can register the domain name world wide.

kathyscakes.com.au is not the same as kathyscakes.biz

Domain registration types and costs can vary on your decision as you will also need to consider

  • Extension type
  • Country code
  • The length of time for the registration

The cheapest initial outlay is to register your business for 12 months, this can cost between $8 and $20 depending on other factors you choose. Some hosting companies include the registration as part of their hosting fees. 
Where do you need to register your business? If you are conducting business in other countries, it is a good idea to register your domain name for all countries where you will have an office. For most small business this will not be an issue. Generally speaking, a company that has the .com.au extension at the end of their domain name is a business in Australia. Other country codes include .nz for New Zealand and .co.uk for the United Kingdom. A company that does not have a country code at the end of their name is most likely based in the United States.

Plus there are other types of codes such as the Extension Code. A business registered with a .com extension is seen as a commercial enterprise, while a home based business or a  not for profit organisation may have .net and a community based organisation may have .org. There are also other extensions such as .tv .biz.

It’s a good idea to do your research and consider what you like, what sounds good and what will fit your needs. and sometimes your first choice for a domain name may already be taken (mine was 🙁 )

2. Hosting

Hosting space for your website should be your next consideration. Just like if you looked at the location for a physical store for your business, space on the Internet also needs to be examined.

How much space do you need for your business to run effectively?

Consider

  • Will you have products to sell
  • Will you have items for your customers to download
  • Will you be issuing a regular newsletter
  • Will you be using video or music files on your website or have them available for others to use
  • Will you have training for your staff on the website? If so, will they need to download policy documents and forms
  • Will your customers need to upload any documents to your site?

You also need to look at what options are included in the fee

  • is the fee payable monthly or do you have to pay the full term (12 months or 3 years)
  • do they include the SSL security in the package or is this an add on extra – and how much for the add on?
  • do they include page builder software allowing you to create your website yourself, or can they arrange for a designer for you?
  • do they include FTP or a Control Panel and what about an email server?
  • what other services or products do they offer?

Look around at the different Hosting companies and compare their services. I can recommend Blue Host and HostingBay. While I have also heard good things about SiteGround.

Also check to make sure you are comparing their prices in Australian Dollars, so you know EXACTLY what you are paying for.

3. Website Design

And finally for step 3 for you to consider BEFORE talking to a designer or agency is your website itself. Take some to THINK about what it is you want the website to achieve for you and for your business.

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Get new sales & customers
  • Run promotions
  • Get new leads
  • Showcase your products & services
  • Make bookings or appointments

You probably want to do most of these. If you are wanting to sell products and services, yu might want to consider a shop such as Woo Commerce. Options like these can require technical skills such as installing a database  and PHP, MYSQL – Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about these, your designer should and be able to guide you through the best options for your business. And these features should be included with your hosting package. This is why you need to know what it is you want to be able to get the design and functionality you want.

Other things for you to consider in the design are your brand colours and logo as this can have an impact on the final design.

  • Where do you want your menu?
  • Do you need to make regular posts such as a blog?
  • Do you want to be able to update the site yourself or will you continue to use the services of your designer?
 

Want to know more?

We will be holding workshops again soon at the Horsham Community House. Dates and times will be posted as soon as a timeframe becomes available. In the meantime, give us a call and we can help – and we can also help you to design your website.

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