What You Need to Do

There's more to creating a Website than simply designing a site. You need to create a memorable domain name. You need to find a reliable site hosting service. And you need to do something that thousands of companies fail to do: figure out why people would want to visit your site in the first place.

Define Your Target Audience

Think about your audience. You need to determine who will want to visit your site and what they will do there. Your target audience should include present and prospective customers. Answer these questions about your target audience:

  1. What prospective customers do you want to reach through your Website?
  2. What do these prospective customers have in common?
  3. What are the characteristics of these prospective customers?
  4. What will these prospective customers want from your Website?
The definition of your target audience will influence your Website design.

Review Competitors’ Websites

Search the Internet and review the Websites several of your key competitors. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each of the sites. Which sites appear to be developed with Website goals which are similar to yours? View the source document and look at the keywords the Website contains for search engines. Make a list of these keywords and phrases. Do these Websites contain useful information? Do they contain too much information? Are they easy to navigate?

Analysis of your competitors’ Websites will give you ideas for planning your Website. If you want assistance with this, contact us.

Create a Table of Contents

Create a Table of Contents or an outline of the information you want to place in your Website. Review our List of potential topics for ideas before you write your Table of Contents. You may print and use this list for your Website planning.

Content - Your content should achieve a number of goals besides just communicating. It needs to sell your product, capture leads, speak to your target audience, and make the best use of your keywords.

Navigation - An intuitive site architecture is important for successful Website. If a visitor cannot navigate your site and find what they are looking for, they're gone. And so is the opportunity to make a sale.

Wireframes - A wireframe is a basic layout of every single page on your web site. A wireframe will tell us what goes where and gives the you an opportunity to run through the navigation to ensure that it makes sense. Wireframes are also a great way to make sure that you get buy-in from all of the decision makers.

Create and Register an Appropriate Domain Name

You need to decide on a domain name (www.yourname.com). This can be your common name, your business name, or whatever you like. It is best to try and come up with a name that is relevant to the expected content of your site. It should be easy to remember. Visitors come back more often if they can associate your name with your site.

Even if you don't plan to build a Website right away, you should register your site's domain name now. If you wait, someone else may claim the name that you want. Try to get a domain name that's memorable - one that matches your company's name or a variant thereof.

To learn more about domain name registration, click here.

Select and Configure a Web Hosting Service

A Web hosting service provides a place for your site to reside. The hosting service provides individuals, companies, and organizations with online systems for storing information, images, video, and other content that is accessible via the Web. They also provide Internet connectivity for your Website. In exchange for this service you pay rent for your site to live on their server. This is typically a monthly or yearly charge and is not related to the domain registration fee. Typical hosting costs for a basic Website will range from $100 to $250 per year. Expect to spend more for Websites with eCommerce features, special processing requirements, or high traffic volume.

A hosting service's most important product is the reliability of their connections to the Internet. Connectivity and uptime are critical. Hosting uptime is the time while the host is accessible. Hosting providers try to reach 100% uptime, but there are always server restarts and maintenance requirements that affect uptime. Remember, 99% uptime means the server is unavailable for 87 hours a year, so expect some periods when your site will not be accessible.

To learn more about hosting services and how we can assist you in picking a provider, click here.


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