Small Business Series: Starting your first Website
In our competitive environment starting a small business may seem like a very daunting and brave onset. However, many people have conquered this and other seemingly impossible mountains and have been able to look back knowing all the hard work was worth the success.
Did you know that 80% of most Internet companies around the world started in either a garage or a dorm room? All these entrepreneurs were equipped with was a laptop and one big idea. So stop daydreaming and start achieving your small business success story today!
How you ask? Well, that is why we are here, to give you the step-by-step guide on how to get your small business online. We are going to help turn your big idea into an online marketing platform that works while you sleep.
So what is the very first thing you need as a small business started? You will need many things to get your small business up and running but let us start by setting you up with your very own website, so that you can get the ball rolling and take those first steps up the mountain.
Not many small business owners know that they can have a great looking website without paying huge amounts of money. Before you can build your own website, there are some basic things that you need to know.
Get ready to put your business planning into practice with the below easy to use website set-up guide:
1) Define Your Website Name
Your website name is very important. It will not only be your URL (that is the address you type into the top bar when going to a website), but it must convey what your business is and what it is you do. So choose wisely. Take your time with this one. For example if you sell bicycles, do not choose a name such as “CoolColours”, the user will have no idea what your business it about. Rather choose a name such as “cycleworld” or “sa-bikes”. Remember it must also be easy to read for users in the URL.
2) Check Your Domain Name
It is important to check if your Domain name (your URL) has not been taken by another company. One way of doing this, is by visiting the Hetzner.co.za to check that your domain name is still open and that you can use this URL for your business. Once you are on Hetzner’s home page, click on domain search tab. Change the tab to .co.za and type in your company name. Hetzner will tell you if your domain name is available. If your domain name is not available, Hetzner will give you suggested options on a new name. If Hetzner does not give you any options you will have to look at changing your name. This is why your business and website name is so important.
3) Finding a Hosting Company
Ok. So what the heck is hosting? Hosting is basically money that you pay each month to a company that “stores” your website for you. You need this in order to have a working website. Finding a good hosting company can be tricky. One way of doing this, is to host it with the person that designed your website. You can however, find your own hosting company, and luckily hosting is not too expensive.
It is important that you know from which country your hosting company comes from. Many companies are based in Germany and other foreign countries. If your website goes down for any reason, you need to know that you have their number at hand so that you can contact them to rectify the problem. If they do not have a landline find out if there is another way that you can be in immediate contact, such as via Skype, that way you can solve any emergencies instantly.
Here are the top five hosting companies based on market share:
From personal experience, Internet Solutions, are also an good local option to look at. For more hosting companies please click on this link http://randolf.jorberg.com/web-hosting-south-africa/ and find the hosting company that suits your budget.
So that’s all folks….for now… next time we will be teaching you how to build your website.
Article written by Esta Pretorius