What are the building blocks of a website, and how do I get them? This is the first question many of my new clients ask. The building blocks are:
This article seeks to provide information about all four of these building blocks.
Choosing a name for your site can be a challenging, but exciting task. Just as your home address must be unique in order for your mail to be delivered to your door, each domain name on the Internet must also be unique in order for the browsers to be able to find your site. In addition, your domain name must represent you! If you are selling baby clothes, you would not want a domain name such as fastcars4u.com. You would want a domain name that would convey the information that you sell baby clothes. If you don’t already have one, Xpertwebs can help you choose a domain name for your site.
While you can go to one of the domain registrars such as godaddy.com, register.com, or networksolutions.com to search for an available domain name, this is not a procedure that I recommend. I have heard of reports that when you use any of these companies to search for a domain name and decide to purchase it at a later time, you may find that your chosen domain name is no longer available when you return. It has been purchased by … the company you were using for your search! They have purchased it themselves and will sell it to you for a premium price. While this does not happen very often, Xpertwebs believes that your best protection is to do your search using a service that does not actually sell domain names. The domain search service that we recommend is www.domize.com. Once we have selected the perfect domain name for your website, Xpertwebs will help you purchase it. We believe that it is very important that the domain name belong to you, the client. In layman’s terms, the registrar serves as a sort of clearinghouse for domain names. Once you have a domain name, they “point” that name to your web host’s server.
A website must be hosted at a web hosting company. When people visit your website, they are actually visiting the area reserved for you on your web host’s computer – not on your computer. It is important that the web host can handle what you will have on your website. For example, if you will have a database or an online selling option, you’ll need to use a web host that provides a way to do that. Whether you use a local or a national company doesn’t really matter; the services they provide are what matters.
Many web hosting companies will offer to register your domain name for you. However, this is not something that Xpertwebs endorses. We prefer to separate domain name purchase and web hosting. Regardless of where you have your web site hosted, it is important that you record all usernames and passwords for both your registration and web hosting accounts. It is also very important that you provide this information to your web designer. Without this information, we will be unable to troubleshoot if and when things go wrong. We believe that it is best if we are registered as the contact on both accounts.
The first thing you will need to decide is the purpose of the website.
- Is it to provide information?
- Will you be selling something?
- Will you need to provide an online shopping cart?
Make a list of the information you want on your website. Put it into logical categories and sub-categories, if necessary.
The next thing to address is the images. Every good website has images that are not just attractive, but that actually provide information to your visitors.
- What images will you want displayed on the website?
- Do you have these images?
- Do you own the images, or do you have written permission to use them?
- How many images will there be?
- Are they in digital format? If not, we will need to have them in a high resolution so that they can be printed and scanned.
Think about the key word phrases that might be used for your website. Try to determine what words people might type when using a search engine such as Google to find information on the web. The key word phrases you use will be important in having your website come up in the results of their search. Xpertwebs can help you determine the best keywords to use for your site. For more information on this, refer to the article on our website entitled Using SEO