April 19, 2016

Building a website for your business

Having a web presence has become a normal part of any business these days.  Websites are an effective marketing tool for buyers to see who you are and make a decision whether they trust you enough to do business.

To give you a big picture for starting a website, it’s basically four steps –

  1. Register your domain name
  2. Sign up with a web hosting service
  3. Download your choice of website software
  4. Start adding your content

Domain Name

Having your own website for your business means you’ll need to register your domain name to have a personalized web address.  A personalized web address looks more professional than Yourbusiness.wordpress.com.

GoDaddy is a trusted player in domain name registration and also provide hosting services.  I’ve registered many domains thru GoDaddy and am happy with the service they’ve provided, I’ve had zero problems in the 2 years they’ve been used.  Some sites that have domain registration also offer web hosting for packaged convenience (see hosting sites in next section).

Web Hosting Service

Web hosts provide space, storage, and tools for webmaster’s content, pictures, video, and other media used in their websites and won’t be able to set up shop on the world wide web without it.  There are many hosting sites out there to choose.  I use HostGator, which is a top player in this field and am happy with their services.  The top players in hosting with good service are:

All these services are about the same price for a basic package, about $5/month.  Any of these hosts should serve you well.

Building Your Website

When making the choice to have a website, the first decision is to do it yourself or hire a professional web designer?

Depending on how many pages you’d like on your site, having a professional designer do the work can be $1000-$2500 for an average site with up to 5 pages.  You could find someone who’d offer less money, but I’ve found through experience you do get what you pay for. If you’re not familiar with website building and don’t care to learn, having someone else do it is well worth the cash shelled out for less hassle and frustration on you.

You can find a professional web designer on a web search in your town or use one from a freelancing site like Elance, oDesk, or 99Designs.  I’d recommend using a designer based in the USA, Canada, UK, or Australia since the web presence has been around longer and will have more experienced professionals at hand.  You can get cheaper rates out of countries like India at $5/hr, but again, odds are you’ll get what you pay for.  Do a lot of research on their previous work and see if their quality matches up with what you’re looking for.

There are many platforms out there to offer DIY website building templates and tools for free or at various prices.  Blogger and WordPress are a couple top sites that most people use.  I’ve come to prefer the quality looks of WordPress and love their widget and plugins that make it easy to add various functions to the site without the need for knowing any coding or maybe some small basics at the most for tweaking.  I speak about WordPress more because that’s what I use and like – surely you could get the same job done with Blogger or other platforms, I’m just not familiar with them to make any useful comments.

WordPress has many free templates to choose from at WordPress.org.  Most free templates you see there won’t have the ability to add any plugins for feature additions, only some widgets, which could do the job for you depending on what you’d like to build up.  As of this writing (April 2012) SideJobIdeas is using a free template which is doing the job for now.  As this site builds up and want to include different features, I’ll pay for an advanced WordPress template from StudioPress which will allow plugin use and can choose from a huge list of features to add for the site.

Just like with apps, whatever feature you’d like to include in your website, no doubt there’s a plugin for it.  Stuff like SEO tools, advanced spam filters, social bookmarking buttons, sliding pictures, adding various automated features, whatever you want it’s surely out there to choose from.

Adding Content

Once your up and running with your own domain name, web hosting, and website software, it’s time to start typing  your content and uploading your pictures and videos to your pages.  A good strategy is to plan out your website in a spiral notebook – draw out how you’d like your site to look, where the page tabs will be, how many columns you want (usually 2-3 column pages), and what you’ll have in each column.  This will give you an idea of what kind template you’ll need when researching through dozens of offered templates.

Hope this provided some help for anyone unsure of building a website for their new business.  Leave a comment or shoot me an email with any comments or questions – sidejobideas@gmail.com

About Mitch Jensen

Hello! I love to learn how people make their money, whether it's out in the offline world or through various online sources.SideJobIdeas.com was created to consolidate these ideas, pass them on, and provide inspiration.Hope you find some sort of inspiration here, thanks for visiting!

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