Are you ready to take your site to the next level, as in, into existence? You have an idea for a site or a business that needs an online component.
Great, but how do you get started? Do you need to know how to buy a website? There isn’t a website store, at least, not in the traditional sense.
You need to buy the domain and get a web host who fits your needs. Still need some further instruction? We’ve got your starting steps below.
In-person business owners don’t start a business without looking into the market and the competition. And neither should you as an online business. How crowded is the market you’re trying to join?
Even if it’s a rather saturated market, that doesn’t mean you can’t enter it. You just have to figure out how you’re going to be better, cheaper, or faster than your competitors. That involves knowing their weaknesses.
And how do you do that? You can’t ring them and ask how their business is struggling – that’s a little suspicious. Instead, read customer reviews of their services. Where do their customers point out weaknesses?
Then ask yourself this very important question – can you deliver what your competition isn’t? If you can, great – move on to step two.
If you can’t, it might be time to go back to the drawing board or at least spend some time researching unique solutions.
After you find the idea that will get you more customers than your competition, you need to figure out how people will find you. And on the internet, people find others with keywords.
Keywords are things you search like “web host provider”. That would be a keyword we target for. Do you see how our domain name has one of those keywords in the name?
That’s not by accident. Using a keyword (organically) in your domain gives you a little boost in search results. It’ll make people find you easier and people will stay on your site longer.
To prove this, let’s say you were searching for a hair salon. Are you going to click a link on Google that says Great Hair Salon and shows a link to wedonails.com? Or would you be more willing to click on the same Ad text that linked to haircutsandmore.com?
Probably the hair one, right?
Now that you have your idea and your keyword, you have to figure out a domain name. What’s it going to be? How can you use even part of your keyword organically?
The shorter the domain name, the better, as long as it gets the idea across. You wouldn’t want to abbreviate too much like – “hrcut” instead of “haircut”. That makes us think more of an HR marketing firm than a salon. But you don’t want to make your name wedothebesthaircuts.com either.
Something like “harryshair” would be better. Try to stick to three words, or two if you can.
Now, you may have to get creative. There are a lot of domains already bought on the internet and you can’t get exactly the one you want a lot of the time. For example, cars.com is not only taken, but it would also cost millions of dollars.
You can check with your web host provider by putting in different combinations of your dream domain. They may have different suggestions for you, depending on the kind of rejections you’re getting.
It’s a good idea to stay away from punctuation like hyphens, even though those domain names might not be taken. People won’t think to hyphenate something on their own.
Many web hosts have different plans for different needs (which a professional can walk you through). If you’re starting a personal blog, you probably don’t need the same type of broadband that CNN.com has.
But you do want to look for things like advertising capabilities. Does your host allow you to run ads with the plan you have in mind? Look at the comparisons between plans and decide which is for you.
One of the great things about the internet now is that you don’t have to be a graphic designer to get your website up. Many hosting sites have some sort of walk-through to building the aesthetics of your page.
If they don’t walk you through it, then they’ll have template themes. Picking a theme is the easiest way to get a nice looking site on the web, quickly.
Do some research on what kind of colours you should use based on your audience and colour psychology. For example, red makes people feel excited while blue creates a feeling of trust.
The fonts you choose also contribute to your theme or aesthetic. Most people look for the general readability of fonts. “Fun” fonts look pretty for titles and headers, but they make reading body content difficult.
Stay away from fun fonts and opt for something basic.
Something a lot of people don’t think about is how many images they’ll need for their site. There’s the header photo, any logos, the body pictures, photos to go along with blog posts, and whatever you use for the about page.
If you don’t have real photos yet, there are online sources you can use. Just make sure you either pay for the rights to use the photo (like on Adobe stock photos) or use a free resource, like Unsplash.
You can always replace images later with ones more relevant to your site or of your actual products. But no one wants to look at a website full of blank spaces.
While this all seems like it could take some time, you can easily get it done in two hours if you’re computer savvy. And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect just to publish it.
Even the best web designers are always tweaking graphic aspects of their pages.
Now that you know how to buy a website, why don’t you get started?