5 Building Tips For New Website!

Thinking of setting up a new website? It’s pretty much the most important tool available for your business and often a consumer’s first point of contact with your brand- so it’s important you get it right.

It may seem like a daunting task, but there are many tools out there to make it as easy, quick and as cheap as you would like it to be.  Gone are the days when you needed a professional designer or programmer to get things up and running. Web.com, Go Daddy and Wix are just a few of today’s online site builders which are simple to use and absolutely free.

Here are some tips on how to get you started.

1. Choose an effective domain name

Building your website #1Think of your domain as an accessible address. Coming up with a good domain name is just as important as naming your business, so make sure it’s simple, short and easy to remember. No matter how good your content, thebestsiteintheworldwithanimpossiblename.com isn’t going attract flocks of new users. Think shortandsweet.com. Many good short domain names will already have been taken, in which case it’s time to get creative; add something which is relevant to your brand. For instance, if cupcakes.com is taken, change it to cupcakesbysophie, tastycupcakes or londoncupcakes.com.

2. Choose your platform

Next you’ll need to choose your platform. This will determine the underlying programming language the site will use and will have a big impact on the development and functionality of your website. The most popular platforms are generally PHP, .NET, and JSP.

If your site is for blogging, WordPress.com, which is based on PHP and MySQL is the most popular platform and is used today by millions of websites.  It’s simple, efficient and free, helps you customize your site with themes and gives you the option of adding upgrades such as personalized domain names and video storage. Platforms which combine blogging with social media such as Tumblr are becoming increasingly popular, so it’s worth doing some market research.

3. Choose a web host provider

As a next step you’ll need to sign up for an account with a web host so that your website has a ‘home’ and is accessible to users. Think of it like renting office space for your business. There are plenty of free web hosts available but it’s worth your while to pay three or four dollars a month for one which won’t impose unregulated advertising on your website. Dream host, Hostgator and Bluehost are three of the best, although there are many reviews out there which can help you make an informed decision.

A good web host should be reliable and fast and guarantee a minimum uptime of 99% or higher. It’s also important to look for details on how much bandwidth traffic and disk space the package is offering and whether technical support is available. If it’s relevant to your business, you may also want to check if you can set up SSL (a secure server) for taking payments. Also remember to set up a professional email. It reassures visitors that there are in fact human beings behind the scenes and not having one can look suspicious.

4. Analytics

Building your website #2Analytics is an instrumental tool when making decisions about your business and website. The analytics platform provides powerful insights into how your users are using your platform, key trends you may have missed and ways you can improve your results.

The data used by Analytics to provide information in your reports, usually comes from the following sources:

·         The HTTP request of the visitor

·         Browser/system information

·         First-party cookies

You can usually choose how you would like the results to appear, in the form of graphs, pie charts, line charts and tables.

Daily, weekly and monthly reports can be generated on areas such as internal searches, language and user’s choice of browsers, which can be received via alerts. Results can indicate crucial developments such as increase in traffic and what content performs best, so it’s a worthwhile investment.

5. Test drive your website

Building your website #3Before you go live, make sure everything is running smoothly. Most web design software will give you the option of checking it out before it goes online. Things to look for are broken links, missing tags and flaws in the design which might impact on the effectiveness of your site. You should also be able to generate a full-functioning site map to submit to search engines.

Once you follow these steps you should be ready to go live. But remember; it doesn’t stop there. Make sure you regularly update your site content and stay on top of analytics in order to attract new users and keep existing ones interested.

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