New Business Website Help
Congratulations! You've started your new business and now you're ready to have your new website built. It's an important step in your business success. Naturally, as this may be new territory for you – you have some questions. We're here to help you!
Whether you've decided you'd like an online business card or catalog, or you'd like to open an online store (Ecommerce website) – it'll help if you understand the basics of the Internet and websites and how it all works .
Once you understand the basics, it's not complicated at all. For simplicity, I like to use the analogy of your home to describe how websites work:
* Website: A website is your "home" on the Internet.
* URL: A URL is your "address" on the Internet, and it includes your Domain Name.
* Hosting: Hosting is your "rent" for being on the Internet.
Where to start?
First you'll need a domain name. What is a domain name? Your domain name, or URL, is your "address" on the Internet, with your website being your "home". Take your time in selecting a domain name, as it will be a reflection of your company and its offerings, as well as instrumental in directing people to your website.
Next up, you'll need to find hosting. Many web design firms are now offering hosting in addition to website design and you may be able to find a designer that can help you with all four of your requirements:
1. Domain Name
3. Website Design
4. Website Maintenance
Finally, you'll need to work on your website layout in order to communicate with your web designer what you'll require for your website. We've listed the basics for you:
Decide what type of website you'd like to have:
* Brochure: A website that showcases your products or services with images and descriptions.
* Educational: A website for people to read information about your company or services.
* Ecommerce: A website where you can sell your products or services directly online.
Once you've decided what type of website you'd like, you will need to figure out what features you'd like your website to have:
* Will you have members sign up for use of your site?
* Will your members require a special area to sign in before viewing their members area?
* Will you require video or audio uploads?
* Will you require a CMS (Content Management System) to enable you to make changes or updates to your websites?
* Will you require a custom contact form for your site? (ie online application)
* Will you require a photo gallery?
* If you require an online store, how many products will you be selling?
Now that you've planned what type of site you'd like to have and what features your site will require, choosing a specific look and design options for your site is the next step:
* Do you have a company logo? Would you like your site to match your logo colors / style?
* If you do not have a company logo, what color scheme would you like to have in your website?
* What style (if any) would you like your website? (ie classic, professional, high tech, whimsical, Web 2.0)
* Would you like a flash intro or some other flash element on your website?
Next you'll need to plan the structure of your website and how you would like your website to be viewed. Most websites contain main Menu items and individual Pages under those menus.
* How many Menu items would you like to have? (ie "Home", "Company", "Products" …)
* How many pages under the individual Men would you like to have? (ie "About Us", "Mission Statement" …)
* Do you have images you like placed on the pages?
Now that you have your basic information you can communicate clearly with a web designer in order to begin creating your business website.
Other important aspects of your website that should not be overlooked are your website keywords, meta tags, page descriptions, and analytics. Make sure that you choose a designer that will help you to market your site using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that you do not have to spend a bundle on an AdWords or PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign.
We created a form on our site if you'd like to download it that includes the basic information covered in this article. For our potential customers, we also have the form located online for you to fill out. We also have additional information for small business planning in our Articles section of our website.
Best of luck to you in your new business and building your business website!