According to the reports of Internet Live Stats (2016), around 40% of total world population accesses the Internet today. It was not even 1% in 1995. So, there’s a big reason for you to get online and nothing can be a more positive step for the upliftment of your business.
There are several ways to show your online presence. You can create business pages on social media sites or submit your business in the directory sites. But nothing can be so useful as a website exclusively designed for your business, keeping your targeted audience in mind.
Being a layman, you may think that there are a lot of technicalities that you are not capable of dealing with. There are domains, hosting, HTMLs, CSSs, CMSs and a lot of technical things. But don’t worry. This is 2017 and the digital world has evolved enough to help you learn to create a website easily.
Check this out.
Buying a Domain
The very first step to building a website is buying a unique domain name for your business. If it’s an existing business you want to promote, it’s better to go with the same business name. And if you are to start a new business, you need to do bit market research.
There was a time when businesses tend to buy domains that have the niche keywords included in the domain names. It was done primarily with the intention to influence the search engines. For example, if you run a tourist agency, a search engine friendly domain name would be “www.location+tourism/tours/travels.com”. But now, the digital media has become smarter, and the search engines don’t really entertain such activities.
So, what should be an ideal domain name for your business?
You should start from finding businesses that provide or deliver products or services similar to your business. Look for the search terms suggested by the search engines to optimize the businesses for the SERPs. You should also check the titles and meta descriptions of the businesses that appear on the first page. This information will help you select a perfect combination of most searched words for your domain. All you need to keep in mind that the domain name doesn’t contain only the keywords.
Now it’s the time to choose the type of domain that suits your business the most. You must have seen different types of domains like www.abc.com, www.abc.net, www.abc.gov, www.abc.org and more. These are all TLDs (Top Level Domain), meant for specific purposes. Mostly, .com which is recognized for commercial purposes worldwide is used. Similarly, .org is meant for organizations, .gov for government agencies, and .net for network. There are several other types of domains. If it’s a country based business you want to promote digitally and reach customers in some specific locations, you should go for the CCTLDs(Country Code Top Domain Levels) like www.abc.com.au (Australia), www.abc.ca (Canada), www.abc.in (India).
Buying a Hosting Server
So, you have a business name that people would use to reach you. Now, you need the space where you would store all the essential files of your online store. Just like the tables, chairs, desks, racks, and all the essential things to run an offline store. In one word, the space where your website would be stored. There are a good number of web hosting providers who give space on a server owned or leased and let individuals and organizations make their website accessible via the worldwide web.
Types of Hosting Services
The hosting services are mainly categorized into two types, namely smaller and larger hosting services. The first one is a basic and small-scale file hosting that allows to upload files via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or a web interface. There are various hosting providers that provide a subdomain (abc.example.com) or a directory (example.com/~abc) for free. Larger hosting services generally provide database support and application development platforms so that companies that are not internet service providers could be connected to the users online. So, if you want a website to run your business, you have to go for the larger hosting services. There’s a good number of hosting plans that you can choose from to store your files. Let’s find a suitable one for you.
Different Types of Hosting Plans
Shared Hosting: This type of hosting stores several websites on the same server. You can buy a single or a multiple domains shared hosting with a single c-panel to manage the files of your website. Shared hosting may come with some restrictions as far as software and updates are concerned but for the beginners, they are perfect as they are cheap compared to other hostings.
Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated hosting comes with a web server and allows users to have a full control over it. These services are mostly self-managed or unmanaged meaning that you have the full access to the server but you don’t need to worry about the maintenance and security of it. This type of hosting is generally required to the huge websites that have a lot of files to manage.
Managed Hosting: It comes with a web server but the user doesn’t get complete control of it. It provides an FTP panel or some remote management tools to help the user manage his/her data. This type of hosting is better for those who don’t have much knowledge about hosting servers. The service provider is responsible for the necessary maintenance and provides a guarantee of quality service.
Cloud Hosting: This new type of hosting is more reliable than others as it has alternative computers for backup support when there are some problems with a specific hardware. Apart from this, local power cuts or natural disasters have less effect on this type of hosting. Another advantage of using cloud hosting is that it enables providers to change users only for resources.
Choosing a Platform for Your Website
There was a time when HTML codes, CSS and Flash were mostly used to make a website. Mastering the techniques of using them was not a piece of cake for a layman. It’s a matter of a long time and tremendous effort.
The job became easy after the introduction of the CMS (Content Management System) platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc. They basically help you manage and create your online contents without using bunch of HTML codes.
WordPress is the most popular CMS platform today. The main reason behind it is that it is user-friendly and most importantly, even a beginner with a few hours research can create a website in WordPress. Along with this, you can build all kinds of websites (from a blog site to an eCommerce store) using WordPress.
Why Choose WordPress?
It’s Completely Free with a Lot of Free Themes and Plugins
You don’t need to pay a single penny to install WordPress and use it as your content management system. Additionally, it comes with tons of free themes, templates and plugins that have attracted millions of users since the day of its inception. While exploring the sites like Themeforest and TemplateMonster would uncover a world of beautiful themes and templates that would minimize the web designing efforts of a user, there are numerous plugins to make your site user-friendly and technically okay without the knowledge of codes.
Small or a Large Business, Blog or an eCommerce Site
No matter, if you run a small or a large business, if it’s a blog site or an eCommerce store you want to build, WordPress is suitable for all of them. The CMS platform, though initially regarded as a blog building platform, now widely used even for creating huge eCommerce stores and all you need is a simple plugin installation.
As mentioned above, WordPress is meant for the beginners and one of the primary reasons behind such a recommendation is that with it, you don’t need to worry much about the technicalities of a website. It allows you to make a responsive website, along with the built-in canonical issues solved.
Installing WordPress in Just 1 Minute
While there are various methods to install WordPress, Softaculous Apps Installer provides the easiest and fastest WordPress installation solution. And not only that, by using it you can install Joomla, PHP-Fusion and several other website platforms. But you have to ensure that it’s a c-panel hosting you have and your hosting server supports the one-click installation software.
Log in to your cPanel and look for the option Softaculouus Apps Installer in the software section.
Just click on Softacuous Apps Installer and you will be redirected to the page shown below.
Mouse hover the WorPresss logo and you will have the installation option. Click on install and go to this page.
If it’s a secure server you have, put “https://” instead of “http://”. Choose your domain. If you want to install WordPresss for a sub-domain, put its name in the directory. If not, you should leave the box blank.
Enter your site’s name and write a short description about it. If you want a multisite, click on the checkbox.
Choose your username and email. Copy the auto-generated password for future use.
Choose your language and leave the plugin section as it is.
Now go to the advanced options and click on all the checkboxes. You should also choose your backup frequency. It’s recommended to choose the “don’t backup” option because there will be a lot of automatically created files if your site is backed up too frequently. There are several other options for backup. We will discuss it later. Put the email where the details of the installation will be sent.
Click on the install button and you are ready to rock.
And if your hosting doesn’t support the software, you need to download WordPress manually and unzip the files. Then you have to upload it on your server through FileZilla or by accessing the C-panel> File Manager> Public.html folder.
Now you are done with WordPress installation and thus creating a website. All that remains is the task of customizing it.
Choosing a Theme
The very first task that you would love to do right after making your site live is to choose a perfect theme for your website. To do this you have to log in to your admin panel and go to appearance and then themes.
Have a look at the live previews of the themes and install the one that appeals you the most.
Now it’s time to work with the plugin part.
There will be some pre-installed plugins. But you need to have your own ones to make your site work perfectly and user-friendly.
To install a plugin, click on the “add a new button” and search for the one that you wish to install.
Click on “install now” and activate it.
You can find the plugin in “installed plugins” section from where you can deactivate and uninstall it. To customize it, you need to search through the left sidebar, tools, settings and appearance options.
Some important plugins to start with WordPress are Yoast SEO, Contact Form 7, Mailchimp Widget, Responsive Menu, Share Buttons by AddThis and WP SVG Icons.
So, what are you waiting for? No more worries and no more hesitations. Just take the chance and create your masterpiece.