Quick guide to websites

Website basics

Here’s my  5 steps to your first website…

1) You need a domain name, mine is SteveHart.co.nz. Yours will be your company name or words linked to your industry. Having your own domain name means your email can be YourName@YourFirm.co.nz (great for marketing and building confidence with customers)

2) Once you have a domain name you need somewhere to host it. A hosting company provides the hard disk space your web pages are stored on. It is the hosting company that allows people to see your website on their computer, smartphone or tablet.

3) Once you have a name and a hosting package sorted (I can help), you need a website designed and to have your text and photos etc added.

4) Not sure what your site should look like? Do a search and look at all the sites you can to decide which ones appeal to you and fit your business.

5) You will need content – words, pictures, audio and video – to engage your audience and build a Google search engine profile. I can help prepare this with you.

Worried about starting a website? Just let me know what you need, I’m always happy to chat about WordPress websites.

Other things to consider

  • Logo / web masthead design for the top of your web pages
  • Content: You’ll need SEO articles written and pictures to tell people about your business and its services/products
  • Domain name: I can help draw up a list of possible options based on your company name and industry
  • Domain suffixes: should you have dot CO.NZ , dot NZ and a dot Com? What about country neutral dot CO (Colombia)? I’ll help you identify the options
  • Membership: restrict certain web pages and content to members only
  • Email database (EDM): build an email list from your members and visitors so you can bulk email them special offers and industry news etc
  • Photography: stock photography and custom shoots organized
  • Video
  • Podcasts: Audio is a great way to talk about your services so people on the move can listen at any time.

Common questions answered

Q: WordPress is a free content management system, why do I have to pay for it?

A: It is free, but installing WordPress, configuring its look and feel, and extending its functionality to meet most people’s needs requires a mixture of plugins to be installed as well as manual configuration. All changes need to be checked and tested.

Q: I hear these sites need to be updated; why is that?

A: The WordPress core installation files and all the plugins that enhance its functionality are updated on a weekly/monthly basis. This means that unless they are all kept up to date then security vulnerabilities can develop and the site may eventually stop working.

Q: Are all the plugins WordPress uses free?

A: A lot are; but sooner or later you may need something specific that requires a paid plugin. Some plugins can be bought for a one-off fixed price, others are sold under annual license – incurring annual payments. Free plugins often go so far, and then one needs to buy the full version to obtain its full functionality.

Q: Once the site is built can I create pages and add content to them.

A: Sure, once you get the hang of it it is very easy – I will show you how.

Q: Will the completed site be mine?

A: Yes – no question.

Q: If I need help down the track can you assist?

A: Yes. You can pay a monthly retainer for priority assistance, or book me at my hourly rate.

Q: What do I need to get started?

A: A web domain name and a website hosting plan. I can help with these if needed.