Top of your to-do list when starting up a company should be getting a website sorted.
Your fledgling business's online presence can be make-or-break for its future, so it's worth doing all you can to make sure you are getting the most out of the world wide web - and drawing in lots of potential customers.
But it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg - We now offer a Website Design service for only £29 and will also help you to understand how to stand out and make sure your website can be found. Here's how:
Why is a website so important?
During the past 10 years, having a strong online web presence has evolved from being a great marketing tool to a make-or-break business must-have.
Now, if you don’t have a website, you run the risk of not only not reaching potential customers through social media, search engines and directory listings, but of alienating your current clients.
It is highly likely now that the first thing anyone will do when researching a new business is search for them online.
Likewise your existing customers are most likely to quickly Google you if they want to find something out.
They want to easily access your information, find directions to your business and view any upcoming news or events. If you don't have an online presence, it's more than likely that a potential customer will pick a rival that does.
What's in a name?
Your domain name is the name of your website. It doesn't have to be your company name but it needs to be relevant, easy on the eye and simple to remember.
Not only does it make it easy for potential customers to find your firm, and allows you to showcase your goods or service via anything from a full-blown online store to a simple online business card, with your contact information, hours and location.
How you choose your domain name depends on where you are with your business. If you're already up and running, you'll want to choose a domain that comes to close to matching your business name, or alternatively what you do.
Costs starts at as low as £0.99, but can cost a small fortune, depending on the type of domain or extension you want.
If you want a domain that someone else has, then buying it off them may prove prohibitively expensive.
Of course, if you have a popular name your first choice may not be available.
If that's the case, don't worry - there are virtually endless domain variations available like .NET, .BIZ or .CO instead of just .CO.UK or .COM, which may actually end up being a cheaper option.
It might be worth paying the extra though, as you want your internet calling card to look good.
If you haven't yet launched your business, it's probably a good idea to check your domain name is available before formally deciding on a company name, if you want them both to be the same.
A domain name also gives you a secret weapon in marketing your business: a domain-based email address, which shows a level of professionalism that you can't get from a free email, such as Google or Yahoo.
A website needs to be hosted on a web server in order to make it accessible to users via the internet.
Hosting involves housing, serving and maintaining files so that your potential customers are able to view the site contents - essentially it acts as the gateway between your website and the web itself.
There are plenty of companies that provide free hosting space – BT and Google are just two. However, free services may have limited facilities.
A decent paid-for hosting service starts at around a few pounds per month, if you want more bandwith for high traffic or extra bells and whistles it will cost more.
This will be on a web server shared with other websites. If you don't want to share, your own web server starts at around £60 a month.
Domain name registration and hosting can usually be set up through the same company.
Why professional web design is important for your business
The objective of any effective business website is to clearly promote your goods or services, making everything clear to the consumer on first glance. Clever design ensures your site gets action based visitors on an ongoing basis.
Aesthetics are just as important in the online world as they are in the offline world and a well designed attractive site will always do better business than its badly designed counterpart. Where would you prefer to shop? Harrods or some drab unkempt store with no customers in it? The same applies online.
Interested in buying a web design service at low cost? Check it out here.