Whether you’re launching your first business website or your re-launching your existing site, there is a lot to keep in mind to get your site up and running. Here are the main stages to follow to go from nothing right up to a fully functioning business website.
Buy Your Domain
Unless you already own your domain and you are simply upgrading your website, you will need to invest in a domain name. Domains can be registered at a number of websites like Namecheap.com, and you can register yours for a year or longer.
Most companies choose a .com suffix, but you may prefer a .co.uk if you primarily serve the UK market. It could be a good idea to buy both of them, as well as other variations like .net, to prevent anyone from benefiting from your business name.
Sort Out Your Hosting
The next task is to sort out your web hosting. Again, there are many companies to choose from, and you can often get your hosting and domain registration together.
The key things to look for are the price, the level of customer support and the amount of traffic your site will be able to handle. Fire off some questions to a few hosts to find out how well they respond, and then make your decision.
Get Your New Site Designed
Once your domain and hosting are all sorted out, it’s time to start planning your actual site. Most web designers will want to work with some content while designing your site, so you should think about a rough design for your site and come up with the content that you want on each page.
Although you can launch a free website in a matter of minutes these days, for business websites it is always best to use a professional designer.
You can stick to a CMS like WordPress or Umbraco if you want, which both provide a great deal of flexibility, but just make sure a professional web designer comes up with the design.
Don’t use a free template that thousands of other businesses are using. This is your online hub and you want to make it unique to your business.
Launch Your Site
Once you have your design and content in place, all that’s left to do is launch your website. This can be done almost instantly, and your business site will be available for all to see.
What Comes Next?
The truth is, launching a new business website is the easy bit. Almost anyone can launch a professional website, but it won’t be much good unless your customers can find it. To do this, you will need to develop an online marketing strategy. This can include, but is not limited to:
- Publishing keyword-focused content on your blog
- Setting up your social media accounts
- Setting up a PPC campaign to drive targeted traffic
- Working on your conversation rate optimisation
- Publishing content on third-party websites to drive traffic and build links
Online marketing can involve all of this and more if you want to start attracting targeted traffic to your website.
Plan Your Marketing Strategy Early
So focus on getting your site up and running, but think about your marketing strategy as you do so. The best thing you can do is start marketing as soon as your site is launched, so start planning for the steps you will take once your site is launched long before it goes live.