Offline businesses realize they need to be online to reach a larger audience and expand their profits however they have little or no idea what it involves. They often ask the question “What do I need to design a web site?” After receiving a few answers from their relatives or a friend they ask one of their kids (who is proud of their computer skills) to design the site instead of hiring a professional web designer.
Frequently asked questions to design website
- Have you registered a domain name?
- How many pages do you need?
- Will you maintain the website yourself?
- Will you update the website yourself?
- Do you need a contact form?
- Do you have the content and images to go on the site?
- What are the names of the links for each page?
- Do you need a web hosting plan?
Here is a basic list of needs for setting up a website
1. Register a domain name
If you’re establishing a business online select a.com domain name. The one you want is probably not available so you’ll need to get creative. Consider.org,.net,.us,.info or try dashes between the words. It only costs approximately $10.00 to register a domain name. Enter “domain name registration” in Google to find a domain name registrar.
2. Select a reliable web hosting service
Choose a web hosting service that has a 99% uptime (allows 1% downtime for server upgrades) and has enough disc space and bandwidth to host your site. Check the customer service response rate whether it’s by phone or email so you can quickly resolve any hosting problems.
Beware of companies that offer unlimited space and bandwidth because you will be sharing the same server with many other websites. If one or more of these websites receive a surge of traffic the server may overload and shut down. This means your website will not be available and you’ll lose sales.
3. Build your website
If you don’t have the design skills and don’t need a custom built site that uniquely identifies your online business, you could use free templates. For example WordPress dot com or Blogger dot com enable you to start a blog using free templates.
Free HTML software
If you have html skills or want to learn them consider free html editors such as Kompozer dot net or Coffee Cup dot com.
Hire a Professional Web Designer
If you’re doing business on the Net you need a website that not only looks professional but loads fast, has a clear navigation system and is optimized for the search engines. Designing and building the site yourself or using a free template may save you some money upfront but hiring a professional is a wise investment if you want a website that is sustainable and grows with your business.
- A domain name costs between $10.00-$25.00 depending on the domain name registrar you select.
- Web hosting costs vary depending on how much space and bandwidth you need. For most websites 100MB of space and 3GB of bandwidth is sufficient. The cost ranges from$15-$25 per month depending on the web hosting company.
- Web building software is free unless you use professional software such as Dreamweaver which costs $399.00.
- Web designers charge based on the size and features needed for your site. For example a 5 page informational website may only cost $300-$500 to build however a large site containing 100s of pages may cost you 1000s of dollars.
Now that you know what you need to design a website it’s time to build and market your online business.