When it comes to planning your new website, it’s easy to get excited about the launch—and all the money the site will make you—and overlook important first steps.
So, if you are planning a new website, before you contact a web designer or look into a DIY web-building platform, be aware that these are components that will also be needed.
Purchase a domain name
This is your digital address and how people will connect to your website. For example, our domain name is https://Evielutions.com.
Your domain name will typically be the name of your business, but you should definitely search it and make sure it hasn’t already been purchased by someone else. You don’t want to get too far along into the process and find out your domain name is taken.
You can usually purchase domain names for less than $20 dollars, from providers like us, and many of the website builders have domain name purchase options integrated into the system.
Choose a web hosting provider
A web host is where your website content lives online. When people enter your domain name, the web browser pulls it from the website host server. Think of it like the energy company for your website. It is the thing that powers it and makes it available to the public.
Which website host you choose—and how much you will pay—depends on how much resources your website will use and traffic it will receive. Once you have a handle on that, you can choose from:
- Shared hosting, where you pay a monthly fee to share a server with other websites.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting, where you share a server with other websites, but your website can handle more visitors.
- Dedicated hosting, where you have a personal server. This one is predominantly for large organizations.
In most cases, as your company grows, your hosting platform can scale with you. You can pay to upgrade so that your website can handle more traffic.
Purchase a SSL Certificate
SSL encrypts the data on your website, so that it is only readable by the server to which you are sending the data. That keeps sensitive—specifically customer—data safe. Additionally, an SSL certificate provides authentication, so that you know that your data is being sent to the right server and not elsewhere, where it could be compromised and used for illegal reasons.
Furthermore, Google requires it. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, Google will flag it as “Not Secure.” That can certainly deter customers from checking out your website and that could hurt business.
You can typically purchase an SSL Certification through your web host.
Think about your design
With the last three steps, you took care of business. Now you can start thinking about the fun stuff. Your web design, or rather, all the details—like color, font, images and layout—that will make a bold statement and reinforce your brand.
If you are working with a web designer, it’s a great idea to bring to the table some wants for your website.
- What audience are you appealing to (e.g., serious and professional or youthful and fun)?
- What are the must-have features?
- How do you want it to function?
- What colors, fonts and images reflect your overall brand?
- Which features of popular websites would you like to adapt for your own?
While great web designers will walk you through the process and help you make decisions, having an idea of what you want can help move things along.