I was eager to get home from the airport after a tiring business trip. I gave the taxi driver my address and relaxed expecting to reach home in half an hour. But instead the taxi driver took a long and circuitous route. And there was nothing I could do! Except sit back, fume and watch as the meter kept ticking. How I wished that I was driving my own car.
When you are ready to build a website, you need to make sure that you are not taken for a ride like I was by that taxi driver. But instead, you should always be in the driver’s seat. You need to do your homework. You have to research all the different building blocks that go into creating a website. Otherwise you too could end up being driven in circles, watching the meter ticking away.
Described below are 4 building blocks that need to be researched when creating a website.
Planning your Website
This is the most important building block for your website. Most people will first talk about domain names and hosting plans. And while it is important to have all those things it makes no sense without a website plan.
Creating a plan for your website is about creating a clear map of what you want in your website. It lays down the goals of the website and how you intend to achieve those goals.
Would you go to house agent and say I want a house? Or would you say I want a house that has 4 bedrooms and a big kitchen and a big yard and it should be by the lake and on and on.
The more specific your website plan is, the easier it will be to build your website.
So do your homework, do the research and create a plan and then you can move onto getting a domain name.
Getting a domain name
A domain name is the address for your website (such as google.com or StressLessWeb.com). It’s how your website will be found by your visitors. Choosing a good domain name for your website is extremely important (Watch for my article on ‘Tips to Choosing a good domain name’).
There are many domain registration companies that sell domains names. Do your homework to find out what the different companies have to offer. Once you register a domain name, it can only be used by you during the period for which you reserve it (i.e as long as you continue to pay the registration fees). Registering a domain name does not create a website you. For that, you need a web host.
Getting web hosting for your domain
When you visit a website, you are actually reading via your browser some files that are stored on a computer somewhere. These computers are called ‘web servers’ because they serve web pages to visitors via the browser.
Companies that sell you the rights to store your website files on their web servers are called hosting providers. There are many hosting providers from the very cheap to the very expensive. Each offering different kinds of hosting plans. That is why it is necessary to research the different hosting providers to better understand their features (Read more on the basics of web hosting).
Build it yourself or get a Web Designer?
So, now you have created a website plan, learned about domain names and studied different hosting plans. It’s time to figure out whether you are ready to go one step further and learn to build the website yourself.
In 2001, my husband and I were looking to buy a house. We did all the research, knew all the facts so we figured we didn’t need an agent. We could do it on our own. So we went from open house to open house, weighing all the pros and cons and came very close to buying a house on our own. Till one day we talked to a house agent. That’s when our eyes opened and we immediately realized we needed an agent. Of course, we still needed to find the right agent. But in our minds we were clear we needed an agent.
In the same way you need to figure out what is right for you when building your website. Talk to web designers. Find out what skills they have to offer. And then, you too can make an educated decision. Talking to a web designer will also provide you with a ton of information and insights on how to build your website.
If you decide that you can build your own website then you need to start researching web development platforms. On the other hand if you decide that you prefer a web designer then you need to start researching web designers to find the right one.
So where does that leave you
You have just learned the 4 basic building blocks that go into creating a website. Create a website plan. Get a domain and hosting plan. And finally decide whether hiring a web designer is right for you. Knowledge is power and it will put you in the driver’s seat when building your website.
Are you ready to build your website? Contact me and let’s discuss your website.