Doing business in today’s era is incomplete without making a digital presence. Without it, you might miss numerous opportunities that are available in the virtual world. Be it a multinational company with a footing in every country or a small flower shop; your customers want to find you on the web where they can connect with you and have a closer look at your work.
A website helps a lot in bringing customers close to businesses. Every business must have a website. If you have money to throw around, no time, and you don’t want to learn anything new, you can surely go to a website developer and designer.
But if you want to try building your own website, you can do so by using the numerous tools available on the internet. Of course, it will not be the million-dollar website comparable to an MNC’s, but it will definitely work. Later on, when the business starts generating the desired revenue, you can outsource the management to an external vendor.
This article is not about telling you how to create a WordPress website but the most important things that are not possible to explain in steps. It will not make you a website builder or a web developer, but it will help you go easy on your pocket.
Are You a Blogger?
Blog; Most people have heard about it, but it becomes a difficult term when it comes to explaining it. In simple words, a blog is a conversation, an informal one, with your digital followers and all the people out there who may be interested in the topic under discussion.
So, are you a blogger? This is an important question to answer because a blog website is entirely different from a business website. A business website may have a blog on it, serving as a point of information for customers about the new ideas and products it is working on as well as the recent developments made in the corresponding field.
A blog is an informal, easy UI based website that shows the most recent updates on the top and older posts according to their date of publishing or popularity. Several platforms allow you to create, manage and update your blog easily. Some of the best ones are:
If you say blog, most people will automatically relate it to a WordPress blog. Such is the popularity of this platform. Almost once in every 3 websites is created on WordPress. The reason being the CMS’s simplicity, which allows even a novice user to create a blog that looks amazing.
WordPress blog has simple options, an easy-to-handle interface with administration tabs that allow for changing the themes, and plug-ins installation without much of an effort. The functionality and appearance it provides for free are amazing. The easy-to-use tools will get your blog running in no time.
You know Blogspot, right? Google’s blogging platform? Well, that is Blogger now. It is a free blog publishing service from Google which can be easily used by anyone who has a Google account.
Available in almost 60 languages, the platform is quite popular with bloggers. You can have a free domain name with an extension, “.blogspot.com,” or you can choose a custom domain name. A large number of free images, themes, layouts, etc., allows you to choose how you want your dream blog to look.
Another added benefit of the Google Blogger account is that users can integrate their accounts with Google AdSense and Google Analytics. You need to create a separate account with Google AdSense to link the relevant ads and earn money though.
You can make the changes from the dashboard, change the features, and most importantly, the platform works equally well on both mobile and desktop. So, if you want something basic for blogging, Google Blogger is the go-to option.
There are a few competitors in the blogging industry who keep contesting with each other to be on the top. One of them is Tumblr. Now the platform is owned by Automattic, the developer of WordPress.org.
The dashboard is the place where every Tumblr user lands and finds the recent updates from the following blogs. It allows the users to upload short blogs along with other multimedia content on their blogs.
With the single button on the top of the dashboard, the users can upload texts, images, videos, links, etc., and also connect their several social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook. It also allows the users to schedule the publishing of the blog at a particular time. A custom domain name for free is an additional feature.
The First Step – Your Domain Name
Before creating a blog or a website, you must have a name in your mind that reflects your business or your blog’s idea. The above-mentioned platforms allow you to create a website in minutes and also offer a free domain name. However, it is not customized, and there is a possibility that the name that you’ve come up with may also be not available.
For a personal blog, things are relatively simpler, and a simple custom name might work. For a business, however, a domain name should reflect the products and services, and it, if possible, must match your business name. There are certain domain name registrars which you must know about:
Most of you must have already heard this name. After all, the registrar has more than 77 million domain names. You can buy as cheap as it gets to as expensive as you can imagine domain name from GoDaddy. They also offer hosting services and an AI to build your business website and make it up and running in minutes.
Want complete privacy protection with your website domain name? You can choose Namecheap for that. They offer it with all of their domain names. Their powerful search tool helps you find the right domain name for your business, and the add-on services are another reason to use Namecheap. Though they are not as user-friendly as GoDaddy, they are good at what they do.
If you want a complete solution, from finding a domain name to building a website, HostGator is your choice. You can avail an amazing domain name with the help of their search tools and also use their shared website hosting.
The beginner-friendly domain management area, numerous extensions, DNS management tools, and free domain make them the first choice for several newbies.
Started in 2000, Domain.com is a popular domain registrar. It allows you to find a domain name quickly for your business and offers several premium options.
They offer all the services of a top domain name registrar, like DNS management tools, easy transfers, free registration, and whois privacy protection. Domain.com also provides web hosting if you want to buy all the services from one place.
These are some popular domain name registrars that will help you find the domain name that perfectly suits your business.
A Personal Profile – Nameplate Sites
A website is like having a house on the planet web. Don’t you want a nameplate for this house? One that tells about who you are and what you do? Well, a nameplate will help you with that.
A nameplate is a personal webpage, a web business card that tells your partners, customers, suppliers, etc., about your work, your contact details, where to find you, et cetera. You can get one for your business from these nameplate service providers:
It is a website that offers you simple drag-and-drop tools to create a nameplate in minutes. Flavors.me is design-focused and thus, cares more about appearance. You just need to put into some information about your business, the work you have done, link to your social media accounts, etc., and you are good to go.
The free version does not offer several options and layouts, though. You can choose a premium account for a meager $20/month and enjoy services like the mobile site, analytics, 17 layouts, and contact form.
This is one of the nameplate services that are gaining popularity fast. The free service allows you to upload a single photo from your gallery, some personal information about you or your business, links to your social networks, your portfolio, etc. Its easy-to-use advanced features allow even a novice to create an attractive personal or professional nameplate.
Re.vu lets you create a beautiful, attractive landing page for your business in a matter of minutes. You know how? All you need to do is simply link your LinkedIn account to it and import the details by yourself, your work, your company, your work experience, etc.
You can also allow the visitors to download your resume. Building a nameplate for your business is much easier with Re.vu. It is a simple way to show off our work to the people around us who want to know you or your business better. So, give them a beautiful way to do that.
Best Web Hosting Providers
Being a business, having an online resume or nameplate, a few blogs, and a personal website isn’t enough. You need something serious, i.e., a product or service or anything constructive to get your website out. And the website should be user-friendly, engaging, which allows you to handle customer interactions and everything that a good website generally does.
You need a web hosting service at this point. You can opt for shared web hosting, VPS web hosting, or dedicated web hosting. 4 of the best web hosting service providers are mentioned here so you can choose the best and most suitable one for yourself:
Those who are creating websites on WordPress must know that Bluehost is the recommended hosting service by the CMS. They are also offering a free domain name.
If you are just starting and want something at affordable prices, you can choose their shared web hosting. The SEO tools and analytics from Bluehost will help you to monitor the progress made by your website. Plus, their 24/7 live support is amazing.
How affordable a web hosting can be? Well, at Hostinger, you can get it for only $0.99/ month. Isn’t it amazing? The prices may change on renewal, but pay upfront and enjoy affordable hosting for up to 4 years.
But the best part is coming. At these low prices, you get the services of a pro. The uptime, speed site, and everything that Hostinger offers feel like a premium service, and they also provide 24/7 support. What else could you want?
Want a simple website at an affordable cost? HostGator is your option. Their technical support and how-to-guides are a boon for anyone who is trying website building for the first time. Whether you are a Linux user or a Windows user, HostGator is there for you. You can choose whatever hosting you wish, be it shared hosting, VPS, or managed WordPress hosting.
If you are looking for a monthly hosting plan, DreamHost is the most affordable web hosting service provider. It offers a custom control panel to exercise control of your website.
You can also migrate to DreamHost in a few simple steps. However, note that it is a bit difficult to migrate off DreamHost. With a free trial period of 97 days and a free unlimited shared hosting plan for non-charitable purposes, undoubtedly, DreamHost is the best choice.
Now that you know 4 of the best web hosting service providers, you must also know how to choose the best one and what you should look for in them.
What to Look For in a Web Hosting Service Provider?
You cannot choose just any web hosting service for your website. If you don’t want to let your customers down, here’s what to look for:
A good website does not make its customer wait. If they don’t get what they want at your place, they will move to another one. A good web host makes sure that the buffer time is almost nil.
A good web host ensures minimum downtime or almost no downtime. Whichever web hosting service you choose, look into their customer base and the guaranteed uptime.
You are a growing business. In the future, you are definitely going to have more visitors. Your web hosting site must ensure more bandwidth whenever you need it.
It is an affordable resource, and web hosting providers may not charge that much for it. Get as much space as you think you will need for your business.
What if you are stuck at some point? You would definitely like someone to pull you out of the mess. Make sure that the web host you chose has an excellent support service.
If a customer wants something, you must have it, be it a feature on your website or an additional feature that your competitor is offering. So ensure that your web host keeps updating the features, platform, databases, etc.
Flexible Payment Plans
The better plan you choose, the better services you get. It is not always true, though. There are several hosting service providers who offer amazing plans at very affordable prices. But make sure that your service provider does not make a fool out of you by charging you extra for every service they offer by calling it an add-on.
But what if you want an eCommerce website and sell your merchandise on it? You need to list your products, their features, product descriptions that can attract visitors, but all of this can happen by incorporating the essential features.
First of all, you must get your payment method secure by obtaining a Secure Socket Layer certificate to make financial transactions safe for your customers. You also need an inclusive email marketing plug-in to ensure effective promotions by sending personalized emails to your subscribers.
You can also hire a third party to oversee the promotions. An eCommerce website is a more serious affair, and you may want to bring an expert to build it.
Best Website Builders you Should Know About
Have you ever heard of a website builder? Well, no worries, if you haven’t. A website builder is a set of tools that allow you to make a website with the help of simple drag-and-drop tools and templates. It helps you create a website as good as that developed by an expert.
No coding, no hassles. Just choose a template, make the changes, and there you go. So, basically, they are some pre-built website designs you can choose to launch your website quickly. 5 of the best website builders, if you need them, are listed below:
The name is very popular among beginners. The range of features makes Wix one of the most recommended website builders. The ease of simple drag-and-drop tools has made it the best. Choose your website design carefully as you can’t change your template after going live with your website developed using Wix.
Are you someone who loves a website that is pleasing to the eye? Then Squarespace is for you. The range of templates it offers makes it hard to choose one as they are all amazing. This is where Squarespace beats Wix. But it is not as easy-to-use as Wix. You may need some time to get used to it. But once through it, you will find it worth doing.
Want a simple business website? Try Weebly. If you want an eCommerce website or a blogging website, come to Weebly and have a look at its amazing features. It offers both free and paid plans. The latter ones are still the most affordable ones available in the market.
You know already that if you are in a hurry, you should go to GoDaddy. The design assistance makes it easy for the users to set up fast and get their websites up and rolling in no time. If your website is a complex one, GoDaddy might not be the best choice.
Well, if you mean blog, you mean WordPress. You may need a bit of technical knowledge, but it is easy to use nonetheless. If you have decided on doing everything yourself, you must know about web designing software too. In this drag-and-drop era, you must choose a good web design software that is easy.
Most of this software runs on the WYSIWYG interface, which means what you see is what you get. You can build web pages with the help of simple drag-and-drop tools and design them all by yourself without any coding.
Adobe’s Dreamweaver is one such page creator, which is the most popular one as well. Figma is new in the list, but it is powerful when it comes to features. For the ones who want an eye-pleasing website, Sketch is a wonderful option. The design award from Apple has made it a designers’ favorite as well.
Choosing a platform and creating a website gets simpler when you know what it involves. The prerequisites of every website are domain name, web hosting, and the kind of website you want to build, and tools. This article includes everything that’s crucial to build a website.
If you have time to spare and you want to try your hand on something new and exciting, build your own business website. If it goes south, you always have the option to hire web developers to clean up afterward. But with the basics covered above, you will be fine. So, go for it now.