How to get started with your own website
Your own website in 4 steps
Not a single company can afford not to have its own website. Even if you do not sell products online, you can use a website to present your company, tell people what you offer, what your opening hours are, and where your company is located. With the following simple steps, your company can also have its own “home” on the Web!
Register a domain name
A domain name is your address on the Internet; it is the only way to identify your company online. It consists of two parts. First, there is a suffix, like .be, .com, .vlaanderen, .gent or any of the numerous new domain extensions, such as .guru, .club or .flowers. And there is also the actual domain name, which is usually the name of your company, like johnsonshoes.be or gardengnomesjones.be.
Registering a domain name is quite simple: you just have to surf to an authorised registrar such as Combell, enter your desired domain name, place your order and pay. Choosing a good domain name is very important, so think about it very carefully. Also, do not forget to register variations on your domain name, like johnsonshoes.com or johnsonshoes.nl, with an eye to future expansion. This way, competitors will not be able to steal your ideas!
Choose a web hosting provider
Your website needs a “home”, a computer that hosts the files that make up your website. For this, you can address professional hosting providers like Combell. A good hosting company makes sure your website is available night and day. It automatically makes the necessary backups and protects your website against hackers. Your hosting services should also be scalable: if your website or web store is successful, and you need more web space and bandwidth for your visitors, scaling up will not be a problem.
Once you have rented the necessary web space from a hosting provider, you have to link your domain name to this space. Combell provides a very handy dashboard that makes this linking process quite easy.
Have your website built or do it yourself
Everything is now ready to “build” your website. If you are a Jack (or Jane) of all trades, then you can do it yourself. Thanks to Combell’s SiteBuilder, building a website is child’s play. Templates, themes and widgets are your building blocks. You just have to choose and assemble them as you like.
A Content Management System will offer you even more variation. The website structure is fixed in a frame. Web forms allow you to add new content, which is instantly shown in this frame when visitors land on your site or request another page. With a CMS such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, you will be able to create a beautiful blog in no time. As for PrestaShop and Magento, they allow you to quickly build a successful web store.
If desired, Combell can install the CMS for you, but you need to take care of the rest yourself. This requires some knowledge and experience. You can also outsource this job to a professional web designer, who will take your desires into consideration and build your very own website or web store, which will be unique!
Make sure everything works smoothly on your new website before you officially open it. Check if the site displays correctly in all web browsers (Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome, IE). This Google page will let you know if your site is also mobile-friendly. Also, have your website tested by a few people, including your grandpa, your kids, etc.
Attract visitors to your website
A beautiful website will be useless to your company if no one visits it! Advertise your site using all possible channels. Mention its address on your business cards and stationery. And make sure it can be found easily in search engines. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an art form in itself. Your web designer or an agency that specialises in SEO will give you advice on how you should create search engine friendly content.
Create a page on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. But make sure that these pages are used only to support your own website; they cannot become an end in themselves!
And do not forget that good old e-mail. E-mail marketing is still one of the most powerful means to attract customers and win their loyalty. A newsletter with interesting news from your sector will be much appreciated by your customers. Forbes also compiled 100 tips to attract more visitors to your website.
If you follow these steps, your web store will undoubtedly be a huge success.