This is a sponsored / guest post…
The internet now plays a huge role in everyday life. A web presence is therefore very essential for any business to succeed. If you are starting a new business and have never had a website before, you may be wondering how to go about the process of getting your first business website made. Here are 3 simple steps in getting you started.
Find a Web Designer
Lots of sites offer free or cheap website templates that can be easily customized for your business. These may seem like a good option, but in fact they really should be avoided. Many of these are out-of-date and often poorly designed. This does not give your business a good look on the web. Some may seem modern and well-designed, but they are generic and fail to stand out. I have had many clients come to me after having used some of these out of the box templates and they find later on that they are not user friendly and cannot easily be updated. After much frustration, they wind up looking to hire a web designer.
It is a good idea to get quotes from multiple designers, and ask to see websites that they have worked on in the past. Try to strike the best balance you can between affordable pricing and a history of impressive, good-looking designs.
In order to be accessed online, your website will need to be hosted somewhere. This is a form of storage designed for websites to be kept on. Just as your files are saved on your hard drive and can be accessed through your computer, your website will be saved on your host’s server and accessible through the web.
As every new website needs hosting, demand is high and this has led to the appearance of thousands upon thousands of web hosting providers. In choosing a host, there are a number of things to look at – customer service, reliability and speed are some of the most important. Don’t trust the hosting companies’ own claims and statistics. Many cheap hosts make claims of 99.9% uptime, whether it is true or not. Instead, search the web for reviews of different web hosts from people who have first-hand experience.
I suggest Hostgator to my clients who are using the WordPress platform. They have great support and customer service.
Learn to Manage Your New Site
It will be much easier and more affordable if you or an employee is able to manage the site in-house. This will save having to go back to the web designer every time you want to make a change, update some information, or add new products and services. One of the most popular software tools for managing a website is Microsoft SharePoint. It is easy to pick up basic SharePoint skills, and many websites will give you advanced Sharepoint 2013 tricks to help you make better use of your site.
Other popular software for site management includes WordPress (my favorite) and Joomla, which are known as Content Management Systems (CMS). SharePoint also incorporates content management capabilities, along with other website management tools. SharePoint and WordPressare both designed to give advanced functionality while being accessible to non-technical users. WordPress is one of the most widespread content management packages, while SharePoint is used by 78% of Fortune 500 companies according to Microsoft’s own claims.