Checklist

Here is a quick checklist to help you prepare for your website:

This would be a domain name (i.e. mysite.com) which is typically something that ends with .com, .tv, .org, .edu, .it, .fitness etc. You want to make it relevant to your business name, but not too long so it will be hard to remember.
You have to register the domain name (i.e. mysite.com) you choose for your website. First you have to check to see if the domain is already registered. You can use GoDaddy.com to see if the domain is available for purchase and to purchase it.
After you have registered the domain name, you will need to have a space to put your website. Find a web hosting company that will support your needs. Many website hosting companies will register your domain name for free if you purchase website hosting with them. Most small businesses will find a shared hosting plan will suffice for them. If you plan on generating a lot of traffic on your website, then you will need to chat with a web hosting company to discuss your best option. Note: If you are installing a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, make sure your hosting package includes database access and PHP support. You can find many reliable shared web hosting companies by searching on the internet.

Note: If you are installing a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, make sure your hosting package includes database access and PHP support. You can find many reliable shared web hosting companies by searching on the internet. GoDaddy.com and HostGator are two of the most popular and reliable web hosting companies.

If you purchase your domain, then later choose to purchase web hosting from the same company – please use the same account to purchase web hosting that you used to purchase the domain.  Otherwise, we will need to login to the domain account to perform more complicated steps.

Another option is to create your website on a Software as a Service (SaaS) site. You can register your domain, purchase website hosting and create your own website using these online software solutions. If this sound like the way you want to go, check out my blog post supplying links to information about various options available.

Do you want your website to generate more business, give you an online presence, promote your brand or all of the above. It’s important to really take stock of what your goals for your website are before you get started making your website. Take some time to research what you should have on your website and what your website should do to promote your business. One tool that will help you plan out your website is to create a website sitemap. This

One tool that will help you plan out your website is to create a website sitemap. This slideshow gives great details about sitemaps.  Please note that all you need to create a website sitemap is a pen and some paper.  The online sitemap generators are great, but it’s fine to just write it down.

Your logo and the content are just as important (if not more so) as the design of your website.  Some say it’s just as important as your business plan. The logo and the content on your website are a direct representation of your brand identity.

Your logo needs to be simple in design so that when it is shrunken down on a business card it is still recognizable and easy to read. Your logo and the pictures you have for your website should be clear and sharp, have good lighting and of good quality. Gather professional pictures of your products and/or get stock photos to add visual interest. Some of the more popular sites to buy stock photos are Adobe Stock Photos , IStockPhoto, and ShutterStock.

Last, make sure the content you have for your website clearly explains your vision, the mission and purpose of your business, services or products you offer, and reliable ways to contact you. Make sure the content is grammatically correct and spelling is checked.

All of these steps help to make your website appear more professional, show that you care about the details and your company. DO NOT underestimate how important it is to plan out your website. Hopefully, all of the care and consideration you put into your website will translate to your customers how well you would treat them.

The checklist here is more detailed for those that are brave enough to do it all yourself.