When Benjamin Franklin coined the familiar phrase “time is money” he couldn’t have possibly imagined the extent of its truth as applied to today’s online economy. Bringing your business online opens up a new revenue path with the potential for global reach and sales. Introducing your business to the digital word may seem intimidating, but a professional online presence can be easily accomplished in minutes, even without any in-depth technical expertise. Follow these steps to quickly build your brand online and create a successful website by yourself.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Needs
First and foremost, consider what you would like to accomplish with your website. Would you like to connect and build relationships with your audience, convert sales online, encourage more people to visit your physical location, or perhaps serve as an online business card? Beyond establishing basic goals, determine what functionality is essential and what can be expanded at a later time. Take time to create a checklist of these necessities which can include online marketing features, eCommerce functionality or analytics tools, for example.
Step 2: Choose a Web host
To achieve lasting success online, it is important to have a basic understanding of Web hosting which will, in turn, help you to decide on the best hosting provider to meet your needs. A Web host, in its most basic definition, is a company that leases space on their servers and provides other website services. Especially when operating with limited resources, time, money, and future headaches can be saved by choosing a quality provider.
After doing some quick research, you’ll find that there are a lot of choices. To keep costs low while ensuring reliability and performance, a relatively large Web host with years of experience is probably your best option. A quality provider offers a range of products, includes useful features without extra fees, and has knowledgeable customer support. Use the list you created in step 1 to determine which providers can deliver what you need.
Pro Tip: Business is likely to expand with the addition of a website. Your hosting provider should take an interest in this expansion, help you achieve results, and enable you to grow your Web presence.
Step 3: Choose a domain name:
A domain name, or Web address, is the URL where visitors will find your website. As a huge contributor to your identity, it is a crucial element in the way your business’s online presence is displayed and discussed. The best domains are relatively short, memorable, and relevant to your business. For more information, consider these tips on helping your business grow with the right domain name.
Pro Tip: Some Web hosts will include a domain for free with your hosting package which will not only save on costs but also help streamline the invoices.
Step 4: Build your website:
This may sound complicated, but easy website builder solutions are available to simplify and expedite the process. In just a few clicks, it’s possible to create a beautiful, unique, and highly-functional online presence all without any programming knowledge. The fastest solutions will guide you through a setup wizard to have you up and running as quickly and easily as possible.
When designing your business website, choose an industry-specific template and be sure to customize it to meet your individual needs. To make sure you are reaching a large audience, ensure that your design adapts seamlessly to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If selling products are one of your goals, opt for a hosting solution that offers easy integration with marketplaces and other distribution channels. Finally, offer customers a variety of shipping and payment methods to accommodate their personal needs.
Pro Tip: The 1&1 Online Store combines advanced features for creating a shop with full mobile and social media compatibility as well as optimal usability for shoppers. Plus, users get a 35% discount on logo creation with Tailor Brands.
How quickly can you create an eCommerce website with 1&1 Online Store? See it come together in just minutes in this video.
The key to getting online fast and saving time in the long run, is to make the right choices from the start. For more tips and advice about getting online and achieving online success, check out the 1&1 Blog.