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So you want a website? Questions to ask yourself

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So you want a website? Questions to ask yourself

If you are considering a website, there is some information you need to know. The following is taken as an excerpt from our Get Your Business Online course. If you wish to know more, please contact us.

A WEBSITE is a collection of information that is stored together on a server. This includes the web pages themselves, any images and other documents that you might have available such as tools and forms that you might have available as downloads.

Web Pages

A WEB PAGE is a single page of information that is written in a language that the browser can understand. The most simplest of web pages is written in HTML which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. There are other languages available, but these can be more complex.

Domain Name

The DOMAIN NAME is the name of your place on the Internet. Say you had a website on the Internet at http://www.mywebsite.com. The mywebsite part of it would be your domain name. You have to pay a registration fee to the International Registrar for your domain name to actually appear on the Internet. The .com part at the end tells your visitors what type of business it is and where it is located. Each country in the world has its own extension. A website with a .com at the end is typically a commercial business in the United States. A website with .co.uk is typically a company in the United Kingdom. What you choose as your extension such as .biz or .com or even .net will depend on the type of company you run. The extension .org is usually used for non-profit organisations, while .edu is reserved for registered educational institutions like a school or university.

Your domain name should resemble your business name and should be no more than 5 syllables to ensure it is easy for people to remember. Unlike business names, you can register your own name as a website domain. No two domains in the world can have the same name. This registration is WORLD WIDE.

So if Michelle in Australia wanted to set up her online cake shop, she would need to make sure that www.michelles-cakes.com.au is different from Michelle in New Yorks www.michellescakes.com.

Many website hosts include a free domain name as part of the hosting package.

Web Hosting

A WEB HOST is the company you pay to keep your website on a server. Web servers are special computers that are always on the Internet and have special programs that allow a browser to search the files and find the website or the information required.

There are many types of web hosting – you can even get your site hosted for free. Usually this would mean though that you would not have your own domain name, you may be restricted to the types of files and the size of files you can have on your site, and you may be forced to have advertisements on your website.

It is important to research your web host – what are they like to deal with, do they have support readily available? Are they recommended? Do a little digging on the Internet and see what their users really think of them. 

Remember cheap is not always good.

Some companies I have dealt with and recommend

  • BlueHost
  • Hosting Bay
  • Siteground

You need to consider what they include in thir package. Preferably you need to include

  • sufficient space for your website to grow
  • enough bandwidth for your expected monthly visitors
  • a control panel tor access the server settings
  • SSL certificate included
  • A mail server
  • FTP access

Another item to consider when looking at webhosts is the amount of subdomains. As your website grows would you need space set aside for training or staff only areas?

Important stuff to know

A WEB HOST is the company you pay to keep your website on a server. Web servers are special computers that are always on the Internet and have special programs that allow a browser to search the files and find the website or the information required.

There are many types of web hosting – you can even get your site hosted for free. Usually this would mean though that you would not have your own domain name, you may be restricted to the types of files and the size of files you can have on your site, and you may be forced to have advertisements on your website.

Designing your website yourself

YES. You can always design your website yourself to save time and money. But unless you know what you’re doing, this may take more time than you expect. 

Even sites like Wo4dPress are easy to use and manage, and if you are planning on going this way. I suggest signing up for a free account with wordpress.org and have a play with their templates to learn how to use the basics of the system.

Over 60% of all websites in the world are built on the WordPress system.

However, a free WordPress account will not give you your own domain, nor will it allow you to include your own custom themes or plugins, and you will be limited in functionality. But it is a good place to start.

WordPress is recommend over other systems as it can expand with your business, and unlike Wix or Squarespace you are limited to their systems and domains. And their prices for domain registration is much higher than other hosting and registration companies.

Need more information?

If you need more information on any of these topics, or wish to arrange a quote for a website design to suit your and your business, please contact us. We are too happy to help go over design ideas and plan out a budget as well as answer your questions.

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