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How to get started on the web

 

You have decided you want a website and not exactly sure where to start. Getting started on the internet requires a number of basic steps to be address.

 

Select your domain name

Your domain name directs visitors to your website and it may also be the basis of your email address.  Ideally, your domain name will describe what you do and be easy to remember.  And most importantly it must be unique.  So, you cannot register a name that belongs to someone else.

 

There are two components to your domain name.  The top level domain name (eg .com) and the second level domain name (eg yourname).  There are a number of top level domain names including .com, .org, .gov, .net, .biz, .info and .tv.  Some of these names can also be followed by your country eg .au for Australia.  So you can end up with a name like yourname.com.au.

 

Design your web site

Now you have your name you can start the process of putting your site together.  Your site will be made up of a number of interconnected pages, each with its own theme.  These themes may include: Landing page, What we do, our products or services, location and operating hours, our people.

 

There are some desirable characteristics in a website:

  • search engine friendly, (the site is designed so that it will rank well with search engines)

  • good navigation, (humans will find it easy to move around your site)

  • stickiness, (people will want to stay on your site, not just land on your home page and leave)

  • call to action, what do you want to achieve when people come to your site.  Ensure your site is set up so that this can be achieved

  • easy to maintain and amend

In developing your website you can buy some web development software and do it yourself, or you can obtain help to develop your website

           

Arrange web hosting

Now that you have a domain name you need your web pages to be hosted on a server (a computer).  A web hosting organisation can look after this for you.

 

Upload your site

 

Monitor your activity

Are people visiting your site, where are they coming from, what pages do they look at, how long do they stay?  These are just some of the important questions you will want to know about your site.  All this information is contained in your logs. 

 

Maintain your site

Regularly review your site, is it still achieving your objectives, is the information still current, are all your links working, what new information do you wish to ad.

 

Undertake promotion of your site

Typically you will need to be proactive to get visitors coming to your site, just listing it on the search engines is not likely to generate sufficient traffic.  Develop a plan to promote your site.  Tools for promoting your site will include database management, ezines, article writing, advertising and ensuring your hard copy material has appropriate reference to your site. 

 

Getting help

Would you benefit from someone to guide you through this process or even do it all for you?  Someone who knows how to work to a budget?  Yes, I am interested in help

  

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