Recent years have seen an influx of businesses taking their businesses online, reasons being the rapid advancements in technology and not forgetting the COVID pandemic that forced businesses to move their businesses online in order to survive. Operating online has now almost become a norm if one needs to survive in the highly competitive market. There are a variety of ways of putting one’s business online and these include creating social media pages, getting the business listed on listing sites for example yellow pages and also having a website. Having a website ties up all your online efforts as traffic can be driven from any other online platform to the website where real transactions can then take place.
In this series we will be talking about how you can create your own simple website, the end goal being to improve your brand visibility and also increase your sales. There are about 6 steps that you need to follow when you are creating your website. Before you embark on the journey of making your simple website, always make sure that you have your content at hand and also you have a structure in mind.
We will start with the most basic steps that you need to take before you take on the adventure of creating your dream website.
Step 1: Getting your domain
The first step towards building your website is to register your domain of choice. Explained in simple terms a domain name is your website’s home address for example pnrhost.com is the home address for Pnrhost’s website. To register your domain you need to find a good registrar for example pnrhost.com(you can register your domain here), then decide on the domain name extension that you want eg, .com, .net, .co.zw or .org just to mention a few. It is important that you pick the extension that captures your organization’s purpose, that is, for instance, if you want to specifically serve the Zimbabwean populace, a .co.zw domain name extension will be more suitable. If you want a website for a charity organization or a non-governmental organization a .org will be proper.
After deciding on the registrar to use and the domain name extension the next step will be to check the domain’s availability. To do this you enter your domain of choice in the search field that you find on the registrar’s website(an example is shown below from pnrhost.com). If the extension that you want is unavailable you will be provided with a number of alternatives, you can either choose an alternative domain name extension or you can find a different domain name altogether. Now that you have your domain name, you can go ahead and place your order and purchase it.
There are a few tips on how you can choose the perfect domain name for your brand and these are as follows:
- Keep it short and simple
- Be quick when making a decision
Keep it short and simple
The first tip when it comes to picking the perfect domain name is to keep it short and simple. This way your potential web visitors will not have trouble remembering your website name. A longer and complicated domain name may affect the number of web visitors you get because some may fail to remember it. Given how impatient most people are nowadays and the wide array of alternative product and service providers available, most potentials will rather opt for an easier website name rather than going back and forth trying to get the name right. Therefore keep your domain name short, simple and memorable.
Be quick when making a decision
It is important to note that domains do not always stay available so once you have decided on a domain name and have searched and confirmed its availability, it is advisable to go ahead with domain registration right away. Your domain of choice may be available today but registered by someone else tomorrow.
Step 2: Hosting your domain
Domain registration works hand in hand with hosting, so it is advisable that you get both services at the same time. Most domain registrars in Zimbabwe and beyond, for example pnrhost.com(get your website hosting here), also offer hosting and you can order it when you register your domain. Website hosting in layman terms is a service that allows your website or your domain name to appear on the internet. It is like renting internet space.
There are a number of important factors that you need to consider when choosing your hosting provider and these include:
- Speed – you need to choose a hosting provider whose server speeds are fast.
- Security – this is a very important aspect when it comes to making a choice about the best web hosting provider. You need to choose one who offers maximum security so that your files will be safe.
- Support – choose a provider who offers you support in case you run into those technical challenges that you can not address on your own.
- Scalability – the hosting you choose should allow you to upgrade as your business grows rather than change the hosting provider completely.
- Price – you should choose a package that offers the best features within your budget.
- Storage space – always check how much storage space your hosting plan comes with. This is important because you might need some decent space to store your files and as the business grows more space will be required.
- Control panel – a good control panel means that you will be able to use your service with ease so consider this as well as you make your choice. The control panel is also a very important part when it comes to CREATING YOUR OWN SIMPLE WEBSITE as you will find out in the next part of the series.
- Uptime – you would want to choose a hosting service whose uptime is at least 99.99%. Your website needs to be accessible all the time.
After purchasing your hosting your website hosting provider will provide you with your control panel details. It is via this control panel that we will install our WordPress as we will find out in the next part of our series.