For those who need a modern website but are unsure of where to start, you’re in luck! This is the first article of our “Your Website” series where we break down websites into three stages: basics, intermediate, and advanced. The goal of this article is to introduce the basics of website development. We want you to feel comfortable with the subject and also to provide a look into our approach. As such, we’ve broken down a website into its core components. You’ll get a better understanding of those components and how they all tie together.
Your domain is the address (example.com) or .com of your website, and is accessible by customers. It’s important because it’s the first thing that people will see and read when they want to learn more about your business. There’s a number of domains to choose from and sometimes, your domain may have already been taken. A simple workaround might be to switch from example.com to example.io or example.co. Or it could be a slight tweak like adding an “s” like examples.com.
Your domain can be purchased through providers, such as AWS, GoDaddy, and Bluehost. They’ll have tools for identifying whether a domain is available and even provide alternative domains if not. Keep in mind that domains are permanent so be strategic when selecting one. Each domain provider has their advantages so make sure you’re using one matches your needs.
Once you’ve got a domain purchased, the next thing you’ll need to do is to set up the hosting environment for your website. For most modern websites, hosting is done on the cloud. By pointing your domain to your website, customers who access your domain will land on your website. When they type in example.com and hit return, they’ll see your website in browser.
Just like selecting a domain provider, you’ll need to choose a hosting provider that fits your needs. AWS, GoDaddy, and Blue Host are also popular hosting providers.
Now that you’ve got your domain and hosting working together, it’s time to secure your website. The industry standard for websites is through SSL implementation. It’s usually a simple installation that protects your customer’s data and prevents search engines from penalizing your site, placing your website lower on the list of search results and increasing your ad spend budget.
To identify whether you site is secure or not, browsers display “this site is not secure” message on your site. There are automated and manual ways to secure it, so consider both options when determining what’s best for your website.
Content Management System
You can’t have a website without content. So, how do you add content to your website? You could have a developer build a site for you using custom code. Or you could take the simplest approach and implement a content management system (CMS).
A CMS is built for non-tech savvy users and manages your content through a cookie cutter approach for designing and building your website. That could be through a drag and drop builder (Webflow or Divi and Elementor for WordPress) or text and image inputs (WordPress Themes). There are limitations of CMS but for the majority of websites, they are more than enough to build a kick ass site.
One of the quickest ways to improve your website’s digital presence is to set up all your relevant social media channels. Make sure to choose a channel that your customer engages with. Whether that’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, don’t forget to link your social media pages with your website. Additionally, you’ll need to create a Google Business Profile, which will improve your digital presence during Google searches.
Without any social media presence, we’ve noticed that your site may face issues displaying in the search engine results pages (SERPS), such as Google or Bing search results. It’s quick and easy to create your social media profiles, so don’t skip this step!
The Bottom Line
Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll feel that a website isn’t too complicated. A basic site requires a domain and hosting provider, security, content, and social media. It’s really that simple! Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to graduate to the intermediate and advanced level website. Reach out to our team today to get started with building your website!