What do I need to build a website?
So you’re considering building a new website, but you’re not sure where to start. With these uncertain times we’re living in today, most business owners have said to themselves “I need to take my business online. Where do I start?”
To help you out and make the internet a better place for everyone, here is a step-by-step guide on what you’ll need to start.
A domain name can be described as your “address” on the internet. All domain names are unique, and routes to a specific website. This is also the name for your website link, e.g. www.symbiote-web.com.
Domain names need to be registered once, then renewed annually thereafter should you wish to continue using it. There is a small cost to register and renew your domain name (subject to the domain being available).
The cost to register differs depending on the domain name you choose. For example, a domain name ending with .co.za is usually cheaper to register than .com domains. However, .com domains are better recognized internationally.
2. Web Hosting
So you’ve registered your new domain name, the next step is to add a hosting package. If domains are your “address” on the internet, then hosting can be described as “renting” said address on the internet. To clarify, hosting is basically storing your website files on a web server for everyone to access over the internet.
Hosting companies usually provide this service in the form of “shared hosting”, where you are allocated a certain number of disk space to store your files to be accessed by the public. Hosting is a small monthly (or yearly) cost to keep your website files accessible on the internet. Subsequently, the hosting packages sometimes have a limited number of resources available to you. To have an idea of how these resources are allocated, you can visit the Web Hosting link at the top right of this website.
3. Website Content
The next step is to get some content for your site. This would be all the text, images, videos, and logos that will be displayed on your website. You can create this yourself, however, we do recommend having a professional put together a company profile for you.
This is another important factor, as your content ultimately speaks for your brand identity. Moreover, you also have to be aware of online copyrights, privacy policies in your country, and website best practices regarding the legal stuff.
4. Website Design & Development
Every website on the internet has some sort of design. Whether it was designed by the owner, or done by a professional. At Symbiote Web, we offer Web Design and Web Development services in Cape Town.
We get asked quite often what’s the difference between web design and web development. We describe it as Web Design being the “look and feel” of your website, and web development being the “core functionality” of your website.
Meanwhile, you’ll also need to decide on which content management system or platform you’re going to use to update your content. There are a few to choose from e.g. Wix, Squarespace and WordPress.
At Symbiote Web we use WordPress as it is one of the most customizable CMS systems out there today. As a result, WordPress is used by 42.8% of the top 10 million websites as of October 2021.
Other worthy mentions
In conclusion, there are 2 other factors to consider in the long run for your website. Firstly, is the maintenance of your website. A website needs to be regularly maintained and updated in order to retain it’s functionality, security and relevance.
Secondly, a digital marketing plan together with Google Analytics can help you improve the performance of your website in terms of generating leads.
Starting a new website comes with it’s own challenges, but once you know the basic steps you need to take, it becomes easier. There will be more challenges to face once it is up and running. However, it will be rewarding to see more traffic on your website, and in turn your business grow. Take it one step at a time. Good luck from Symbiote Web!
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