Tell me, do you know anything about building a website? Do you know what a domain is? Not everyone can answer these questions, and therefore I want to help. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing lots of information to help you brush up on your WordPress knowledge, my top tips when building a WordPress website, top plugins to use and so much more. I always keep things simple so it won’t be scary or overwhelming at all, I promise!
Why do you need a website?
There are so many answers to this, but I am going to give your 5 amazing reasons why you need a website.
#1 – Your website is available to view 24/7
You can sell your products and services whilst you sleep. Customers can browse at their leisure and not feel pressurised into buying anything which ultimately could lead to more sales for you.
#2 – Worldwide marketing
If you sell products or certain services it gives you the opportunity to sell to anyone, anywhere in the world.
#3 – You look professional
Your email address will be a professional one instead of a Gmail or Hotmail account.
#4 – Customers expect an online presence
It is much easier for customers to trust your abilities if you have a website. You can use your website to showcase your previous work, customer reviews and your knowledge in your industry.
#5 – Customer support
Adding an FAQ page will save many phone calls and emails as you can answer the most frequently asked questions your customers are likely to ask directly on your website. This saves you time and ultimately money!
Domain Name & Hosting
What is a domain?
A domain is the address URL of your website ie. www.takenoteva.co.uk and this is where your website will be displayed to the world.
When choosing your domain name, decide on one which has your keyword in it. This will help with SEO and those lovely Google robots will be able to find your lovely website that little bit easier.
Try not to have a too long domain name, remember, your customers will need to type this out and you will need to write it on all your promotional products and it will get tedious after a while. It will also be the tail end of your email address. When I first bought my website I had: www.TakeNoteVirtualAdministration.co.uk after 2 months I changed it to www.TakeNoteVA.co.uk much better! And a whole lot less typing!
Buying your domain & hosting
Buying the domain is done through a hosting company, there are so many different ones out there depending on your requirements. I have used Siteground and Bluehost and I haven’t had any problems with either of them. If you can afford to, buy the domain for more than 1 year. Google knows how long you have bought the domain for and if the contract is longer than 1 year Google will trust the site that little bit more.
Domains can be bought for as little as a couple of pounds and some hosting companies offer the domain name completely free for the first year.
The hosting company are the ones who display your website on their servers for a set fee, and without hosting, your website will not be live and available to view on the internet.
When you are considering what package to buy from the hosting company check what you get included, look at the amount of storage available to you. A good start for a basic website is 5GB, this allows for hundreds of pages, images and videos.
Many hosting companies quote prices for the month but then require the year payment in full, so bear this in mind.
If you require an e-commerce website (a shop where you are accepting payments or login information) then you will also need an SSL certificate. This is a Secure Socket Layers Certificate which will keep your customers’ personal information safe. The SSL certificate changes your URL from http://www.takenoteva.co.uk to https://www.takenoteva.co.uk, it is the ‘S’ after ‘http’ which shows it is secure. Often a padlock symbol is somewhere in the address bar as well.
The SSL certificate is encrypted so it only allows the recipient to view the credit card information or login username and password. When this personal information is submitted through a website it needs to bounce through various computers to reach the destination, and if anyone other than the recipient was to see it (which is 100% possible when NOT using an SSL certificate), the information submitted will be garbled and made unreadable by the SSL certificate due to the encryption.
SSL Certificates can be free depending on the hosting company and requirements.
When you buy your domain name you will usually create email addresses as part of the plan. Sometimes you are limited to the number of email addresses you can create and the mailbox size is usually limited. Again, always check what is included before you confirm and pay for your plan.
Your email addresses can be anything before the @ symbol. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com etc.
If you have any questions please contact me and I will be more than happy to help!