The five steps of website creation
1. Choose a domain (website) name
This would look something like www.mybusiness.com. Do a domain name search to see if it's already taken. If it is, you could try changing to .biz or .net. Or you could put your location in: www.mybusinessperth.com.
Registering your domain name incurs a fee. You will need to renew the subscription annually or risk losing the name.
2. Choose a hosting service
The hosting service will store your website on servers, and provide network access. Some hosting services may only provide the actual physical hosting and not the configuration of the DNS server.
3. Choose a platform
A platform is the software to design your website. It allows you to select from a range of themes, templates and plug-ins. Many hosting providers include a platform with their hosting service.
Essentially, there are two types of software platforms:
- Simple 'drag and drop' website builders including ones for e-commerce. These require no coding skills but the design options are limited.
- More sophisticated platforms like the popular WordPress. They give you wider options including e-commerce, but there is a learning curve.
What about e-commerce?
You will need an SSL certificate. They keep your customers’ information safe online (shown by the green lock next to URLs).
Make sure your platform is transferable between hosting providers. Some platforms use custom code, so you can't switch hosting services without building a new website.
4. Choose your website content
Decide on the text and images you want to use. If this seems hard, check out what other websites are doing.
Typical things you could include that inform customers about your business:
- What products/services you offer
- Why they should choose you
- Your history and credentials
- Contact details and call to action
5. Choose your design
This is where you put it all together. Do it yourself or hire a designer/writer. But keep it simple to read and navigate. Make it easy for your customers to find what they want, or they'll go elsewhere.
If you're new to creating a website, start simple. Decide what features are essential now, and the ones that can wait. You can always expand later as you get the hang of things.
Good to know
People increasingly browse the web via mobile or tablet. Most website platforms today are 'mobile responsive' – that is, they can detect mobile devices and optimise content to suit.
The two most important questions
Before you start, ask yourself:
- Do you have the technical and design know-how to make a website?
- If you don't, do you have the time to learn these skills?
If you don't have the time and skills
Go for a 'drag and drop' website builder. They're great for beginners, and you can easily make changes.
If you do have the time and skills
Use a more advanced platform which gives you greater flexibility.
Creating a website is only half the story. There are ongoing software upgrades, plug-in updates, design/text edits, and adding new features and tools. If something goes wrong, can you fix it?
Make it easy with Telstra
We're the one-stop shop when you want to do business online. We cover all your bases, including domain name, hosting, design and dedicated local support. Check out these related pages for more information:
We'll work with you to get your business online in 10 days
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