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 / dot com etc

2) Once you have a domain name you need somewhere to host it. A hosting company provides the hard disk space / storage your web pages are saved to. 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, 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.

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 suffixes: should you have dot CO.NZ , dot NZ and a dot Com? What about country neutral dot CO (Colombia)?
  • 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 – I use MailChimp.com
  • Photography
  • 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 (additional software / apps) to be installed and configured. 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.

 

Q: What do I need to get started?

A: A web domain name and a website hosting plan.