Website Development How-To
OK, so you have a great new business idea and you need a website to promote it. But where do you begin?
Get a good domain name
Your domain name should say who you are or what you do: as briefly and memorably as possible. TLD's (top-level domains like .com and .net) are generally seen as desirable. People tend to stay away from .org domains unless they're governmental or not-for-profit organisations. There are lots of places to register your name, including web sites such as GoDaddy, 123-Reg and SRSPlus. Base your decision on price and the kind of functionality you need (eg. webmail, less-common DNS record provision, etc)
Get a good content management system (CMS) and Web host
The most common CMS is a Wordpress design - it ticks most boxes for most people and there are plenty of hosts providing Wordpress out-of-the-box. If you need a bit more control over your hosting environment, you may go to a specialized provider like HostGator or Media Temple. But if you want a really fast website, custom functionality or a design that isn't off-the-shelf, you'll need to get your hands dirty with some computer programming, and/or use a better CMS. At Silverink, we use Easibuild.com almost exclusively - as it provides our ideal combination of dedicated-server hosting speed, CMS power and customisable flexibility.
Create your website
This process is a topic in itself and could take anything from hours to months, but in essence you need to:
- Define your stakeholders: who you want to target with this website. This decision will influence every point below.
- Outline your website navigation and functionality: where to focus client attention and simplify their path.
- Create wireframe layouts: the information you want to present, without the distraction of colour and graphics.
- Develop your branded graphic website design.
- Finally, develop, populate and launch your site.
Launch your new website design
Update your content and learn SEO (search engine optimisation) to drive traffic. Again, this is a vast topic in its own right. Creating content and tailoring code to drive your website up Google's organic rankings for your chosen search-terms is one aspect. Harnessing the social networks to reach your target audience is another skillset; managing paid Google Adwords campaigns yet another.
But don't be daunted by any of this: the most important element in all of this is you. Providing you have the inspiration, the drive and a great website development team, there is no reason your website can't help make that new business idea a runaway success!