Building a website and developing your businesses online presence can appear to be a highly complex and daunting task for the non-technical minds out there. Most businesses that are looking to launch websites are either afraid of the costs, don’t have IT departments to rely on or don’t really know where to start.
Instead of getting caught up in all of the technical specs or Internet jargon, follow these three simple steps to get your business website up and running for minimal costs in less than 24 hours.
#1 - Domain and Hosting
It’s time to brand your website by finding a name and a place for it.
First, you will need to purchase a domain name. The average cost of a domain name is around $12 a year but can be more if you try to purchase a premium domain. The best way to ensure you keep your domain costs down is to match your registered business name as close as possible. For example, www.google.com or www.walmart.com would be examples of domains that use their business names. To find out if a domain name is available or to purchase your domain name visit GoDaddy. When you’re ready to purchase a domain, simply follow the purchasing steps and you’re on your way.
Second, you now need a place to host your website. While there are many domain-hosting companies available, one of the best and most affordable is Bluehost. They charge between $12 - $25 per month for hosting which is all-inclusive for your website.
#2 - Building the Site
There are a multitude of platforms you can build your website on but the one that is most widely used from beginners to gurus is WordPress. WordPress is a one-stop-shop for everything you could need for your website. It offers great themes so you don’t need a designer and allows you to install certain plugins for any feature you can think to add. The best part about WordPress is that it’s free to use and does include certain plugins or add-ons that are available for a minimal cost.
The trick to having a great website is having great content. When you look to design your website, don’t get caught up in the glitz and glamour. Focus on the essentials such as your products, services, contact information and anything else that sets you apart from your competition. Once you have the need-to-know information in place, you can then add in more design elements.
Steps 1 and 2 may appear to be tricky. However this video, A Beginners Guide to Starting a Self Hosted WordPress Website, will walk you through the entire process of purchasing a domain, setting up a Bluehost account, and installing your WordPress website.
#3 - Socialize Your Website
It’s easy to get lost in the depths of social media. To begin your journey, a business truly only needs one account; that’s through Google Business. It allows your business to be found through Google’s different social products, all via a free Gmail account. They have a simple step by step process to follow that also includes “how-to” guides just in case you get lost along the way. To begin your Google journey, check out How to get your business on Google for free.
Does this all still seem too complicated? Perhaps you can recruit a local high-school student to help you or the tech savvy kid that lives next door who is looking to make a few extra bucks. For any business owner in this technological age, it’s crucial to carve out a space on the internet to showcase your product or service. Rome wasn’t built in a day but your website can be. What are you waiting for?
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