Most of my family and friends know that hayWire does web design so it’s no surprise that I often get asked by friends for advice when they are planning their first or next website. I’ve told this advice well over a handful of times so I thought it may be easiest to write it down for easy reference:
1. First you need a Name
Figure out a name for your business and possibly what business structure you want to register as. For those in Nebraska, you can always start here: https://www.nebraska.gov/sos/corp/corpsearch.cgi?nav=search
2. With that Name, you now need a Domain Name. (www.MyWebsite.com)
You can always use GoDaddy to search, but I wouldn’t recommend registering your domain with them. Instead, if you want to just buy the domain only and “hold” onto it until you decide to build a website, I would recommend using Google Domains. If you’re ready to get going on everything then I would personally set up a hosting account on Bluehost because they give you your first year of domain registration for free.
Note: This should cost only about $10-$15/year at most domain registrars.
3. Next you Need Hosting
Hosting isn’t the same as domain registration (see #2), but you will need both for a website. Hosting is simply where the files of your website will be stored and should cost you anywhere from $5-30/month for most small to medium-sized companies…depending on usage and complexity as well. Again, I recommend Bluehost for most businesses PLUS you get your domain name for free for the first year.
4. Then Comes a Logo
This can happen a number of ways. You can design it yourself, hire a designer that you know or use a crowdsourcing site. Either way, we always recommend having a logo before starting on a website as it’s really the focal point of all design related to your business/brand. (Note: Have it in a vector format such as.ai or .eps format- so no .jpg logos PLEASE!)
5. Lastly, Set Up Your Website
There are many popular options out there to use a site builder tool such as Wix.com for a business starting out. For businesses that are more established or want to look great out of the gate, we recommend having a custom website built by a local web design company. Basic tips on how to pick the right web development company
- Check their work
- Call their clients- Don’t ask for referrals, simply call people on their portfolio page and ask about their experience
- Check any reviews they have externally- Because people ONLY put good testimonials on their website.
This is very much the short version of how to go about getting a website, but we are always available for a free marketing consultation if you’re buying lunch!