My niece asked me if I still developed new websites. Being a Website Developer I, of course, said yes. Why wouldn’t we? Her next question surprised me.
“Well, doesn’t everyone already have a website?”
Granted, this question came from my 10-year-old niece, I still wondered how many other people thought this?
There are several reasons you might want to plan a new website, including:
- Updating an out-of-date website
- Starting a new business
- Releasing a new product line
- Wanting to put your ideas or thoughts into an interesting blog
- Raising awareness for a cause
- Earning money
Now, the big question: where do you start? This can be a stressful and overwhelming question for people or businesses owners that have never had to consider it before.
The answer: you need a plan. The most basic steps you need to know are as follows:
Determine the Goal of Your Website
Some possible goals could be:
Educate: Inform people on a cause, service, product or a topic of interest, such as politics or movies.
Sell: Provide a product or service useful for people.
Question: Pose questions on popular beliefs, legislation or current events for healthy online discussions.
Share: Upload photos, recipes or other resources people may find useful.
Once you’ve determined the goal of your website, you can proceed onto the next step of your plan.
Find a Developer
This can be the most nerve-racking part of the plan, but it’s the most important part of the plan, especially if you have no experience in website development.
There are many different types of developers and agencies involved in website development. You need to find the developer or agency that will help you fulfill the goals you have set for your website.
Development agencies can range from simple coding companies to niche development agencies to full-service marketing agencies.
Many of these agencies will offer graphic and copy development, as well as programming services. Full-service marketing agencies go beyond the website, graphics, copy and programming to help refine your original goals and set up strategies for achieving those goals. This can include promoting your website and helping you in the next steps of your plan.
Set Your Budget
How much do you want to spend on your website? An easy question, but a tough one to answer.
Pick Your Domain Name
This step isn’t necessary if you already have a domain, but it is my favorite part of creating a brand new website. Go to WhoIs.com, GoDaddy.com or one of the many other registrars out there to see if the domain name you want is available. If it isn’t, many of these registrars will give you a list of available alternatives.
Keep in mind that just because these companies offer hosting, it does not mean you have to host with them if you purchase your domain name through them. A development or marketing agency can help you decide on the best hosting solution for your website, too.
Instead of stressing, have fun planning your new website!