We know! Starting a website project from scratch can be a daunting, sometimes overwhelming, task. We're here to consult with you and guide you each step of the way. For us, it's personal. At the end of the day, we want to take as much pride in your new website as you do. We will strive for it to be the best.
Here are the steps that need to be considered as you begin this journey. Remember, we are here to help.
- DOMAIN NAME - this is the first step and a very important one. The domain name is your online address, much like exit1.biz is our domain name. You need to think of a name that corresponds with you business name - keep it short, but also catchy. Many times you can find the name readily available and register it with GoDaddy or some other registrar for as little as $10/year. However, other times, your preferred name might be owned by someone else who might demand hundreds of dollars for its purchase. In any case, NEVER let someone else hold the registration to your domain. Make sure you take care of that yourself with the help of GoDaddy as mentioned before. Need help? Exit One would be pleased to help you select a viable domain name for your project. Click here to get started.
- HOSTING - Once your domain name is secured, you'll need a hosting plan. Exit One can provide hosting services for our clients at a reasonable cost, but many times it simply makes more sense for our clients to purchase a monthly or annual plan from GoDaddy. When purchasing hosting, be certain to request a WordPress plan as you will likely need WordPress support to launch your website. Again, if you need help with this step, Exit One is here to help.
- WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT - OK, you have your domain name and hosting plan purchased, now it's time to get down to work developing your website. It's always best to have a plan. We suggest conducting some reviews of existing websites making note of ones you like and some of the features that catch your eye. From here, you should develop an outline of how you would like your website to flow - what types of information you plan on conveying and how you would like it presented. Many times our clients come to us having given no thought to what they actually want. This will make your project much more difficult and take much longer to complete. At this stage, Exit One will be very much engaged with you to help you plan. We can provide some ideas and guidance based on our experience. We are happy to meet with you in person on by telephone to sort out the details. At this stage, it is also best to have a logo and color scheme already developed.
- WEBSITE MAINTENANCE - Once your website is developed and launched, it's really important to keep it up-to-date. This means making sure that the software that runs your website is kept current with security patches and it also means that the content on your website is kept fresh. Your visitors will appreciate current information on your website and the search engines will like it too. If you don't have the time to maintain your website after you go to the expense of creating it, we encourage hiring someone to do it for you. Don't forget to make a backup of your site and store it at a remote location such as OneDrive or Dropbox in the event that your website is hacked.
- TIE THE PIECES TOGETHER - Now that you have a website, make sure you have links to and from all of your social media outlets such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, etc. There are some very useful plugins for WordPress that make this a snap.
- SEO WORK - Don't be fooled by the so-called SEO experts who promise you top placement presence on Google. That said, there are some very important steps to take to optimize your website for the search engines. Either spend some time to research this topic thoroughly or hire someone to do SEO work for you. If they make promises about where your site is going to land, hang up the phone and find someone else.
- WEBSITE MAINTENANCE - We already covered this, but it is important to emphasize the importance of website maintenance. If you don't keep your website software current, it is highly likely that your website will get hacked. Keeping the website software up-to-date will greatly reduce the chances of this happening and if you have a current backup of your website, getting back on-line will take a fraction of the time and expense of recreating your website from scratch.