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So you need a business website and you’re ready to make the next step in developing your professional online presence, here are the basics of what you should know to begin:
But what is a domain name?
Very simply put, a domain name a human readable address to find you on the internet. For example buzzolution.com is our domain name. A domain name and a website is not the same thing. A domain name tells the browser where to find a website, so if you type buzzolution.com into a browser’s address bar, it would carry you to our website.
That’s not the only way a domain name is used to find things, let’s say you setup professional email addresses for your business. Whenever you send an email to [email protected], it tells the email app where to find acme marketing tt’s mailbox and more specifically, to send it to Jessica at acme marketing tt.
Quick note, you have to be renew a domain once purchased, this is typically done annually but most registrars will give you a discount if you choose a longer renewal period.
The basic rule of thumb in choosing a good domain name is choosing one that is short, easy to remember and is similar to your business name. Say you’re the owner of Caribbean pepper sauce limited** a great name may be caribbeanpepper.com. If the domain name you want is taken or is out of your budget, you should opt to find the next best option. Most registrars will provide recommendations for you. For example, the alternative caribbeanpepper.shop is available from GoDaddy for only 10USD.
Other well-known registrars to get a domain name are: Hover, Bluehost and Network Solutions.
At this junction you have two broad options: hire a developer/designer or use a website builder. We will outline what each entails and the pros and cons of each.
Hire a developer/designer
Developers are responsible for programming the core functions of the website that run in the background. Designers are responsible for creating the layout, design and flow of the website. It not uncommon however for someone to do both.
Going this route is usually more suited for companies that want specific functionality and have specific objectives to meet. Generally, a reputable developer/designer is capable of taking what you have envisioned and bring it to life. Also, most developers would handle the domain registration process and provide advice throughout the development of the site.
Not only do big companies hire designers and developers. In fact, many small companies that have invested in tailored business websites have achieved massive success over their competitors, whose sites were largely generic.
Pros: Customization – The site can be tailored to meet the exact business needs of the company. Not only can this provide a competitive edge it can provide specific functionality that generic “out-of-box” websites do not.
Cons: Cost – Depending on the scale of customization, this option can become expensive.
Use a website builder
Website builders are basically websites that allow you to create your website by using visual tools (typically drag and drop). This option does not require you to have any programming knowledge nor any experience with design and design tools. Website builders usually charge a subscription fee to host your website afterwards so your initial start-up cost is lower than hiring a developer.
This route is well suited for persons that are on a budget and/or short on time. Website builders offer a basic amount of customization visually but little by way of functionality.
Ok now your website needs a place to live on the internet. If you’ve used a website builder, more than likely, part of the package includes website hosting on their servers. If you’ve hired someone to develop your site you’re going to need a hosting provider for website. A good developer would usually handle this portion for you as well, here are some providers we have worked with: GoDaddy, Bluehost and Network Solutions.
We hope this info helped you in making some informative decisions in creating your business website. If you would like to consult with us to develop or advise on the best solution for your business, please send us an email at [email protected]