The second you get the idea to launch a business or create a brand you should be thinking about creating a home online for your it. Today having an online presence is non-negotiable. Even for businesses where the transaction is done face-to-face, most people will check you out online to vet you and get a feel about whether your business is legitimate.
Do you need a website?
The answer depends on how much information you need to provide to a potential customer in the research phase. If you only need to share contact information and few photos, a Facebook Page may suffice. If you need to share pricing, work examples, or more detailed information – a website will serve you better.
Another thing to consider is ownership and control. If you only have a Facebook page, what happens if you get put in Facebook jail? Can you still conduct your business? Having your own website gives you control over your online home which is necessary for sustaining a business.
To create a website you’ll need:
- Domain Name
- Server Hosting or Use a self-hosted provider like Wix
The best scenario is for your business name to match your domain name. Before you finalize and trademark a name you need to check to see if the domain is available. You wouldn’t want to name your business Audrey’s Art Supplies and someone else is already using www.audreysartsupplies.com.
While it’s okay that there are slight differences between your business name and domain name, you don’t want them to be too dramatic. You can check to see if the domains you’re interested in are available HERE.
Do you really need a website?
Today Facebook pages provide many website-like features for free so it’s a good idea to create a page for your business. Only after using the page a while will you know if you actually need features that Facebook can’t handle.
If you’re planning on selling online or have a lot of photos or visuals to display you’ll definitely need a site or store. The rest of this content pertains to a non-store website. Click HERE to learn about creating an online store.
What’s the process for creating a website?
#1 – Get a domain name
Domain Name – a memorable, easy-to-spell address for your website. The most common domains will end in .com or .org but there are a variety of others available. Before you decide on a business name you need to check to see if the domain is available. You can do that HERE.
#2 – Get a server hosting plan
Your website files will need a place to live on the web. Dedicated web servers provide this space and you will need to rent it from them in the form of a server hosting. You can purchase your domain and hosting together at the link above.
#3 – Site design & development
After your server space is assigned you or your developer can begin building your site. Before this process begins you will need to have all of the content needed. This includes logos, taglines, about text, images, links, etc.
Work with GIG
GIG uses WordPress to develop general websites. WordPress is the best choice because once the site is designed you will be able to make updates to it yourself. There are a lot of tutorials and videos on how to do this.
Ongoing maintenance is NOT included. Your website should be kept current as things change in your business. If you prefer to hire GIG to maintain your site there is a monthly fee of $95.
Graphic Design is NOT included. If you don’t have a useable logo or brand for your business you will need to pay an additional fee for me to create one for you. The success of your site depends in large part on the quality of your images and graphics.
I am not a writer or editor. You are responsible for writing the content for your website. This includes information about your business, product descriptions, and all other text that appears on the site.
Final payment is required before your website files will be available. Once you have approved a project design you must pay your balance before your website will go live.