If you want to create your own business or side-gig, you will need a website. It is far down the road considering all the things you need to do, to get your business up & running, but it is an essential step. Not having a proper online presence is almost suicidal (professionally) in our present time. The good news is that it has never been easier! Here is part 1 of a guide on how to create a website with all my very special recommendations!
Here is a hint:
But I want to start a blog, not a website?
All websites may not be blogs but all blogs are websites!
A website can be pretty much anything that is published on the web. Website is just a general term.
Most people consider websites as something mostly static as compared to blogs, when blogs are considered as just successions of blog-posts. But truly, this distinction is becoming more and more outdated.
So let’s get this out the way: for your new business you will need a website, compose of a mostly static home page, with links to your various static pages like products/services, FAQ, about, contact… and probably a blog page roll with blog posts, at the very least to keep your customers entertained but most likely to inform them!
We’ll get into all this at a later stage but let’s first address the topic of the day: The first steps of how to create a website!
How to create a Website
A lot of the guides out there, are giving similar type of advise, split generally into the 3 to 5 main steps, to transform a regular Joe into the King of the web:
- Choose a domain name
- Get your site registered
- Set up your site
- Get traffic and make money
It is that easy…. It kind of is… and yet … it really isn’t.
First, not enough emphasis is made on how crucial step one is. Or maybe the info is out there and I haven’t found it.
In this article, I’m going to solely focus on the first 2 steps. Read on to understand why.
1- Choose your Domain Name
Choosing a name for your business is one of the most important think you will do. Take all the time you need to find what really is best for YOU.
Wait, are you talking about the Business Name or the Domain Name? The answer is both! They really should be the same, or at least very similar, if you don’t want to confuse your potential customers. So choosing you Business Name and the Domain Name of your website goes hand in hand.
Since choosing your business name is something you will do at an early stage when creating your business, making sure the corresponding domain name is available is something you should do early too. I’m not implying you should publish your website, I’m saying you need to reserve your domain name as early as possible.
1- Brain storm ideas for your business name. 2- Simultaneously google them to see what’s out there. 3 – Check the corresponding domain name availability. Repeat until you find the appropriate one.
Do not rush these steps. It might take you a while to find something that works. You might feel despair at some point, like everything has been done. Yet do not compromise!
When testing potential business names / domain names, keep the below things in mind:
- Try to keep it short. People remember short words. Plus if you have a long website name, your permalink will systematically be too long.
- Don’t use signs like – or _. It’s confusing.
- Search & try to use key word in your niche, words that are relevant to your business, but don’t force it.
- Do not copy someone else business / domain name and just change a little thing, like choosing a different extension. if the .com is already taken don’t just take the .co.uk for example. You want your business name to be truly unique, don’t you? Plus, you will end up competing unnecessarily for high-ranking with search engines.
- Find the business / domain name that works best for YOU. That you will feel comfortable with along the way. That you really really like. The name that you can have on your business card without feeling awkward. Speak it out loud, test it on your friends…
If you are considering using your personal name, pause and consider to make sure you will be comfortable with this in one year or in 10 years time. The web doesn’t forget anything!
2- Get your site registered
Once you have decided on your business name / domain name, register it asap! You really don’t want to lose it, by realizing in a few weeks that it has been taken by someone else.
Registration of your domain name can be done on a specialized website but I would recommend to do it with your future web host. It will be cheaper and they will most likely offer the first extension for free.
There are countless platforms available online which will enable you to publish your site. No need to code, no need to be an html or CSS wizard. There are so many that it is actually hard to choose.
My recommendation? Bluehost + WordPress.org
Bluehost + WordPress is what I chose after countless hours of research. You can do your research too and you might end up selecting another combo, but if you ask me, this is what I recommend, and I’m not the only one!
Yes, the Bluehost link above is an affiliated link. If you click on it and decide to use Bluehost, I will get a commission.
Bluehost will host your site while WordPress.org will be your working platform, where all the fun is happening.
But the fun (or hard work depending on how you want to see it!) is for later!
With this post, I hope you are one step closer to making a firm decision about your business name and to becoming the proud owner of the corresponding domain name. Again do not rush this step. It is so important for your business to choose right.
Wondering why I wrote this post? Check out this section of RTatW to understand a bit better.
Stay tuned for part 2!