Building a website is a venture which never quite ends; there is always something to improve, to enhance, and to add new content. However, laying the foundation right will make all the work much easier. The three essential points of kicking off a successful website are its hosting, domain and content.
Picking a domain
Without a domain it would be hard for people to find your website. If you’re not sure what that actually is – “google.com” or “amazon.com” are domains. It’s important to choose a domain name which describes the theme of your site well; for example, if you’re setting up a small business website, the name should reflect the business you’re into and be memorable. However, you’ll soon discover that plenty of simple and good domains are already taken, so you’ll have to get creative. We suggest you try to avoid hyphens – websites spread via word-of-mouth and people are more likely to remember your domain incorrectly if it contains hyphens or digits; you should, thus, make the spelling as simple as possible.
But does not necessarily mean that shorter domains are a better choice; sometimes even a long domain name can be remembered easily if it’s catchy enough. There are also numerous domain extensions such as .com, .org, .net, .info and so on. The most frequent is the .com and we suggest using either that one (or .org if you’re building an association’s website or something along those lines). Domains are usually purchased on a period of one, five, or even ten years – once you decide upon a domain, be sure to renew it annually – you’d be surprised how many established sites forget to renew their domains, which can cause significant trouble if somebody else purchased it in the meantime – often with a goal to sell it back to the original owner for a hefty price.
This may seem like a no brainer, but there are plenty of sites whose content is either unrelated to their main topic to a high degree or, even worse, there is little content at all. What is your website about? What information your visitors seek? Is that information clearly presented to them? These are the main questions you should ask yourself when writing content. Don’t ever plagiarize or copy content from other websites as your site will lose allcredibility (you’ll have a lawsuit on your hands in a worst case scenario), people will not take you seriously and even search engines will shun you as their algorithms can distinguish original from plagiarized content. Be sure to update the site regularly – new content on a regular basis will create a base of regular visitors and attract new ones. If the site hasn’t been updated for a while, it will seem abandoned and obsolete.
Hosting companies provide you with online space on which your website will be stored. There are two basic types of hosting – free hosting and paid hosting. People who don’t have previous website-building experience often ask: why should I pay for hosting, when I can obviously get it for free?
Well, free hosting providers earn money by putting advertisements on your website. These advertisements are most often unrelated with the topic of your website and make it seem cheaper (and unprofessional, if it’s a business site). They are also often flashy and decrease the aesthetic value of your site’s design. Free hosting is not as reliable as paid hosting when it comes to downtime, that is, the amount of time your website won’t be accessible because the server which hosts it crashed. If you’re serious about your website, we strongly suggestgetting a decent hosting which guarantees constant uptime, has a customer service and is completely ad-free.