You have decided that you want to make a website, but you’re not really sure how to proceed.
These are the three steps to follow:
Build Your website
Before you can create a website you have to make sure you find an appropriate domain name and a reliable web hosting service. You have to be very careful when deciding what services to choose, as this can play a big role on the overall performance of your website (stability, speed, up-time…).
It is essential to understand that the domain itself (although an important part of the website) does not represent the actual website. Instead, it only serves as a pointer as to where your site is located (Hosted). This is where a web hosting service like 123 Reg comes in. Web hosting provides you with the web-space necessary to support your content. It serves as a skeleton for your site. After you have successfully set up your domain name and web hosting service, it all comes down to building your actual website.
Building a websites will set you back varying amounts. While a basic one could cost as little as £500, a really good one that dominates the market could cost up to £20,000.
If building your own website is not an option, try searching for web designers online, you have the option to build the site using free third party software such as WordPress or Drupal. The most important thing is to keep the site clean and simple: people will buy from you if they trust the site and can find what they want.
Make sure you update your website’s content constantly, as innovation, imagination and invention are essential if you are going to succeed in the longer term. Also make it easy for people to get in touch: your business needs to present a human face.
One area where internet businesses often fail is marketing.
Too many people fall into the trap of developing their product or service and then expecting orders to come racing in. But with no ‘shop window’ through which to promote yourself, how are potential customers going to find you?
Sites such as Google AdWords can be a cost-effective way of advertising, she says. These operate on a “pay per click” basis, so you only pay when someone clicks through to your website.
James also recommends emailing your friends and family with details of your site. Look out for chatrooms and discussion forums, and let people know you’re there. Network with other websites and get referrals.
You may want to get a company to do search engine optimization (SEO) for you to ensure that you catch any potential customers searching for your type of product on the likes of Yahoo! and Google. However try to get them to work on the results. SEO isn’t that important if you have spent money effectively on online ads. A lot of people try to get to the top of search engines – and there can only be one.
Start small and have patience
Don’t give up your day job too soon, as it will take time for your internet venture to grow – and in the meantime there may not be much incoming revenue. As a budding online entrepreneur, you’ll need lots of energy, enthusiasm, determination and passion; but you also need to be realistic. Success on the web is rare. While many businesses are launched, few make a profit, and most will never see a return on investment. That said, while starting up an internet business can be one of the toughest things you ever do, it can also be the most rewarding.
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