First of all, let’s get this out of the way: You need a website. Period.
Not just ‘a’ website, but a damn good website! A website with an attractive, professional and easy-to-navigate design. A website that fulfils its purpose.
It doesn’t matter if you are a giant hamburger corporation erecting big yellow M’s from North Cape to the Bluff, or a one-man band building company servicing a local niche or a second-hand bookstore open from 3.04pm to 3.23pm on fine Wednesdays only… You still need a website!
But how to get started?
Here’s a quick rundown on what’s involved in developing a website.
A domain name
A domain name is the name of your website. It’s what people enter in their browsers to go to your website. For example, google.co.nz and yahoo.com are domain names.
Registering a domain name is done on a first-come, first-served basis. The domain name you have in mind may already be taken. If your company name is Good Plumber, it doesn’t automatically follow that you have the rights to the domain name goodplumber.co.nz – so you have to pick a name that is still available.
Normally, nationally-focused businesses in New Zealand use the .co.nz extension. However, there are a few other extensions to choose from. For example, a not-for-profit organisation might want to use the .org.nz extension, or an international company with a worldwide focus may prefer a domain name with a .com extension.
Even registering multiple domain names to protect the name/brand would be something to consider.
Website design and coding
So we’ve got the domain name sorted. Now it’s time to choose a design for your website. The design, or look, depends on the site’s purpose, content, target audience and your business image. After designing the coding/programming, the website development process, begins. Again, depending on the site’s features and purpose, different programming languages/systems can be used.
Now we’ve got our domain name, and the website has been designed and coded, we need to get it on the Internet. This is the so-called ‘web hosting’ process. Very simply, a web host is a computer on which the website (code) is saved and connected to the Internet. Of course, there is a bit more to it, but once your website had been loaded to the web host, Internet users all over the world can access your website.