It is likely that you will need a website in the course of your life. If you are reading this, that time could be now.
Most people who are not familiar with websites usually start without a clear goal, or look at the website as the end goal itself. This should not be the case because a website should be a tool to help you achieve a specific goal. You therefore need to plan diligently and ensure that you have a formula for success, and the parameters that will define that success.
Here are the specific things to consider.
Start with an Objective
A website for the sake of a website is likely a waste of resources. One needs to clearly define the end goal so that everything will be designed to fit that end goal
The objective could be raising awareness about your brand, creating publicity about your products, selling online, sharing useful information, creating a community or even protecting your brand online.
Once you have that information you are better placed to decide what will work for you, and it will inform the type of content that you are going to create.
Prepare your content
One of the most important steps is preparing content that can go into your website. Remember that you are the person who is best placed to provide the relevant content that you need, even before you seek external help.
What kind of content do you need to prepare?
First, think about all the information about your business or the entity that needs a website and put it into writing. Any bit of information that you think somebody should know ought to be written down. From there, go ahead and search online to see what similar businesses and competitors have put online.
The second part involves the more technical work such as identifying keywords that you want your website to rank on and organizing your content in a way that is appealing to both people and search engines. If you are not familiar with this, get an expert to help you with this. Most web designers can also help you with this.
It is important to have this content ready before you engage someone to develop your website. This is because you are the best placed to know what you need, and when you engage a third party it will be about enhancing what you already have and covering the gaps.
Get a Domain Name and Hosting Service
You definitely will need a domain name and web hosting service. This can also serve as your email service.
There are many web hosting and email service provider you can choose from, and I will leave this for you to decide.
Get a good web designer
From there you need to have a web designer or a developer who will make your website become a reality.
You need someone who will help you present your content in an appealing way and make it presentable on the web. It is a similar thing to painting a house and working on the landscape to make a piece of real estate look attractive.
This is where you will determine what content appears on specific location of the website, as well as getting good graphics to accompany your content. A web developer should use their expertise to present the content the way it is designed, and this is quite a hard task that take time.
Publicize your Website
Once the website is ready, it is necessary to publicize the content and put a word out there. What is the purpose of having a website that no one knows about?
There are several ways to achieve this.
Start with listing the website in directories, and adding it to your social media pages. Let your clients know about it and put it in all your publications and branding materials.
You could also consider promoting it using online ads. This would help put the word out there but in most cases it may not be necessary. With time, you will see your site start to show on search engines.
Keep it alive with content
A good website is alive, and need regular content and working on to keep it relevant. How can one achieve this?
For a website, you need to keep adding content that your users might need. This is because no one will keep coming back to see the old content. The best way to do that is to have regular posts, and you can consider having a blog section where you will be sharing this content.
Try to keep up with trend and any new information that could be useful for your website. If you cannot do this yourself, you can consider getting someone to do this for you.