Deciding to create a website for your home business is one of the best ways to maximize your business success. However, as a home business owner, you probably don’t have any expertise in website creation, nor the money to hire an expert. The good news is that this by no means that you can’t have a professional, functional, and appealing website of your own at an affordable price.
The trick is to know how to proceed, and what tools to use.
The following are 7 easy steps to get your own website off the ground with little or no experience.
This is the stage where you decide the purpose of your website, what it will contain, and what keywords you need to focus on in order to attract the most people. You may even want to start thinking about the layout of the site at this point.
Before you go ahead, you must at least know what your site is going to be about and what you’re planning to do with it. Planning is probably one of the more boring parts of the web building process, but nevertheless, remains to be one of the most important.
Once you’ve done that, you can start thinking about your domain name. These days, you can get a domain name for as little as $8.95 a year. Getting your own domain name is one of the most important investment you’ll ever make for your web site.
You can purchase your domain from any registrar on the net. If you’re not familiar with any, check out NameCheap.com
Decide on an appropriate domain name that is easy to spell, easy to say, and isn’t too long to be impractical, then register it. Your own domain name can instantly give you a professional aura even before your customers reach your web site.
The next thing to do is to rent some space on a server that is permanently connected to the internet i.e. sign up for a web hosting account. Decide upon an affordable, reputable, secure, and well equipped web host company that can meet your requirements of web site design, minimum downtime, and reliability.
Depending on your requirements, you may want to check out the web host’s support system, connection speed, storage space, data transfer limit, e-mail features, FTP access, CGI and PHP support and database access.
There are plenty of web hosts out there. Do your homework BEFORE you sign up with one. And when you first start up with a new web host, sign up using the monthly payment plan first. That way, if you hate their services, you can always switch after the first month.
If you’re in a hurry, I recommend signing up with
. They’re not the cheapest host out there but they provide many extras that could prove to be time savers to home businesses.
Okay! You have an idea of what your web site is about, you’ve registered a domain name and you’ve found a great web host. Now, it’s time to look for the perfect web site template.
Well… because it’s a lot easier to start off with templates. And you can get a much more superior web design quality.
Web site templates are created by web design experts. who has the experience and skill to know what works and what doesn’t. They’ve tried and tested more site designs than we’ll ever want to see in our lifetime.
There are thousands of web site templates out there at our disposal. Just go to Google.com and type in “web site template”.
You can choose free web site templates, or you can pay a one time membership to a template reservoir, or you can even pay per template. It’s up to you.
My favourite is TemplateMonster.com.
Once you have a your desired web site template, you will need to get some tools to make changes to the template.
Since you don’t know any HTML, you’d want to get web authoring software that will allow you to work ‘visually’. What you need is a WYSIWYG web design software. And just in case, you decide to learn HTML in the future, get one that will also work in code mode.
There are many softwares out there today. The more popular ones include Dreamweaver and Frontpage. If you’re after a free software, you may want to check out NVU.
You’ll also need a web graphics software. Not so much to create a graphic but more to customize the images in your web template. To add labels on the buttons, for example.
A popular software is PaintShopPro. If you’re after a free software, try out the GIMP.
Now that you have your web site template and your tools, all you need to do is customize the template.
When customizing a template, all you really have to do is replace the template content with your own. You may also need to customize some of the images. Usually, this would be the logo. Some templates uses button images as the navigation. You may want to add text to these buttons to set up your navigation.
Once you’ve customized the template, just upload it to your “rented” server space and you’re live on the internet.
Although you don’t have to, I highly recommend that you learn a bit of HTML. You don’t have to master it but knowing some basic HTML will take you a long way when it comes to having more control over your web site.
Follow these 7 easy steps and you’ll have a smooth and affordable entry into the world wide web.