Ten Steps For StartUps & SMEs When Planning Your Website
SECURE YOUR DOMAIN It may seem obvious but always check if the domain name you have in mind is available and if the spelling is easy for people to remember. Generally avoid the use of numbers or ‘creative spelling’ eg Krazy with a K, Good4You etc… Also try to get the dotcom and the dotie. Try http://whois.sc/ for searching potentials…
REGISTER BUSINESS NAME Specifically for Startups or new businesses – You may have already done this however, if not, it is wise to have secured your domain name before you register your business name in case the domain is unavailable. Start as you mean to go on etc… Visit the CRO.ie to register your business name
ORGANISE HOSTING Use a good hosting provider based in Ireland (why would you want your website to have to go to the USA to grab your content from the server there?) – eg LetsHost.ie or Blacknight.com as they both have decent server options, good customer support and affordable business plans.
INSTALL SSL CERT
Your hosting provider can install this for you though there are a few additional steps to take once it is installed. This is where your site has a lock icon in the browser bar and is https:// rather than http:/ Google and other search engines penalise those websites without an SSl – Secure Socket Layer and it is IMPERATIVE to have it for any online sales transactions!
The fun part – getting creative with colours and logos.. This will determine your website theme, business cards, possible car wraps etc so think about it. Pay a good graphic designer if you can as it will reward you in the end – you will need options to use on different colour backgrounds, fabrics even, different shapes / layouts over time especially if being featured on other websites.. Have a go at Canvas Logo maker
PLAN FUNCTIONALITY What do you want your website to DO? Are you trying to encourage more sign ups? sales? sharing information? What functionality does your website need? Even jotting down a rough idea will help your web designer know what questions to ask you if you are unsure yourself. Our Get A Quote Form has some ideas to help you focus>>
More fun – choosing a theme is fun. However bear in mind that the theme needs to be from a reputable source (bad spelling in the code is always a sign to avoid), be responsive across various devices (laptops, mobiles etc) and the gorgeous images used on the theme may not be included when you buy it so be prepared to create or buy that content yourself to replace it with. Also various themes use different editors / plugins etc many of which are the free version (eg layerslider, wp-bakery etc) and may require separate upgrading at a later date or may not be compatible with other plugins/ editors etc as they are updated over time. Again your web designer can best advise. Why not browse some themes to get some ideas of what’s possible?
COMPILE CONTENT Always be prepared 🙂 Have your pages (menu) decided and content created in digital format – that includes text, images, videos, audios etc. Have them all ready to be formatted and optimised for web. You can source free images on sites like Pixabay.com
OPTIMISE FOR WEB
There are many many variations for optimisation and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and these include the content itself – formatting (headings), image sizing, image naming, alternative text tags, link title tags, internal and external links, keyword and keyphrase (search terms and remember voice search is big now) density as well as integrating analytics, sitemaps and linking them all up together to ‘talk’ to one another. Your web designer can advise and you can also move onto advanced SEO by outsourcing it to a specialist for ongoing management and to be found on page one of Google (the holy grail) My top tip? Always set up Google My Business, Analytics and Search Console. You’re welcome!
BACKUP & LAUNCH
Having done all that wonderful work don’t lose it! It’s worth paying for regular automated backups of your files AND database so that if the s**t hits the fan you have a recent version to restore to. Also programmes are regularly updated to fix bugs and improve security against the ongoing rise of cyber crime and hackers and thus even when your website core files are automatically upgraded you should check that your plugins are also upgraded ( once they are compatible with the latest version) and test them out to ensure they are still working fine especially contact forms / payment processes etc.
Then it’s time to LAUNCH THAT BABY onto the world wide web!! Check out our backup support services here >> (That’s where Marketing comes in and that’s a whole other blog… 😉 )
Would you prefer me to do all of the above for you? Then fill in my Get A Quote form here and I will get back you for a no obligation chat.