Building a great website doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. On the contrary, you can start on the road to a new career, a change of pace or maybe on the road to stardom.
Here are the 3 key steps:
1. Get a domain name.
2. Use a free Content Management System as your website template.
3. Write great content with great headlines.
1. The first step on your journey to a new life on your website is to get a domain name. Getting a domain name is easy – there are 1000’s of resellers on the internet but you need to make some decisions on the way.
a. What is the name for the domain? You need a name that will stick in the minds of the reader. A lot of the names you want maybe already be taken but you can change the domain suffix to suit. Make sure to consider the overall domain name. Let me give you an example. jewellryonline.com is probably taken but maybe jewellryonline.tv might be available. The question to ask is will the combination of jewellryonline and .tv will be a better option than bestjewellryonline.com because .com is so easily remembered. Maybe having a localised domain .com.au (for Australia for example) suits you better or bring the local traffic you need and be more available than a .com.
b. One you find a name that is available, choose a domain name registrar. Remember, cheapest is not always a the best. Can I contact the registrar is I have issues. What sort of support do thay offer? Email, phone, help desk support. What is the turn around time for support? Is support 24/7? Do you get a login and access to a control panel to make chnages yoiurself. Does this cost more? Is that important. At the same time, don’t spend millions. You should be looking at $20-30 (AUD or USD) per year is enough to get a domain name with a control panel.
2. Use a CMS to build your website.
a. The most popular of these are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Mambo to name a few. These are free and there is a plethora (a lot) of information on the internet to get up and running.
b. Add a theme or buy custom theme from a design site. Search for your CMS template plus theme in a search engine (Google, Bing) and yiu will see 100s of sites with themes. Alternatively, you can design a brief and you use a site like 99designs to commission a design auction. The themes look amazing for a fraction of the cost of commissioning a web designer. I have seen themes for $20 but really search around for one that suits your needs.
c. Get a domain hosting company to keep your up and running. Go cheap (but not too cheap). If it’s too cheap, it might be a garage company and the last thing you want is for your website to be down! (There’s no sucess in that). Look at about $80 (AUD or USD) for hosting that includes good support and access to a control panel. There are cheaper options. Check online and read reviews.
d. SEO. Search Engine optimisation. The key to achieving a high ranking in search engines is a major topic in itself. The rules for Google and Bing do change over time but, in a nutshell, your ability to custimise your text and your website headings, especially on the homepage, is a start. Cross links (links from other sites to your site) will aid enormously to drive traffic to your site, ensuring a higher rank. Again, the internet will be your best friend to keep you up to date with the latest techniques.
3. Once your site is up, the content is key.
a. Images. Depends on what your site will do or target, try and keep the content great. Get the best quality images you can. Save millions using Stock photos rather thsan using a professional photographer. If you think you can take good photos with your smart phone, it’s not that easy and you will spend a lot f time taking the shot, getting it right and making the software adjustments once the image is taken. This can be a learning curve and serious time imposition. Search online for Stock Photos. iStockPhoto is one I have used.
b. Copy. Spelling and grammar can let down any article. Check it before posting and make sure you show it to someone with a critical eye before you hot the Publish button. Look at what other sites do for layout and parapgrahing. There’s a reason that great sites get people to read to the end of the article – not just the first line.
So, there it is. Just an overiew of what you can do to get started on building a website without sending a fortune in 3 easy steps. There are many more details that I could have covered but to get you thinking, I wanted to keep it simple.
Good Luck and refer people to my post of sign up for my newsletter.
G’Day from Down Under.