Domain

PART 2. CREATE AND MANAGE WEB /BLOG SITE BY YOURSELF

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GETTING STARTED WITH DOMAIN NAME

A Domain is a specific regional area or site owned or controlled by a single entity. Domain name is a unique, case-insensitive name, consisting of a string made up of alphanumeric characters and dashes separate by periods, that the domain name system (DNS) maps to IP (internet protocol) numbers and other information.

 

NAMING YOUR DOMAIN 

Give your site a name: A domain name is the address where people can find your website. My domain name is “www.mikeandemblog.com.ng”.  You need a memorable domain name so it’s easy for potential customers to visit your website

Get the right name for your domain:

• Most businesses register domain names ending in .com or .co.uk, .com.ng, .org – These are the addresses people recognise and trust most.

• You can also consider other business-related domain extensions like .biz or .net – especially if you can’t find a good .com domain.

• If you trade abroad, register domains for your target markets. For instance, an address ending in .mx would be good for trading in Mexico. .za would be good for trading in South Africa, .ng would be good for trading in Nigeria, .com/.org/.bis/.net and so on would be good for trading worldwide even by attaching specific Country’s extension.

Make this HOST your choice of domain name registrar. They offer cheap and affordable services. Good luck to you. 

 

DOMAIN NAME TIPS

While choosing the name for your website or your domain name, bear in mind that:

• Lots of good domain names are already taken, so you might have to explore different ideas to find the right one for your company.

• You buy domain names for a fixed period – typically two years. Always renew domains promptly, to stop others snatching them!

• To stop “domain squatters” profiting from your brand, consider registering additional domain name extensions.

 

PURPOSE OF YOUR WEBSITE

What’s your website for?

Once you’ve decided to build a website for your company, you need to decide what you want to achieve with it. Define some broad objectives for your site.

For instance, you might want to:

• Sell directly online

• Attract new customers

• Offer after-sales support

• Provide information about your company

It’s important to decide your aims at the start, because they will influence how your website looks, the structure of the pages and what information you include. Write the aims of your website down in priority order, so you can refer to them as you design and build your site.

 

SITE MAPS

How will you structure your site?

Before you start building anything, it’s important to decide what pages you want on your website and how they will fit together.

The structure of your site will depend on what you’re aiming to do with it.

These are some of the things you might need to include:

• Home page

• Product catalogue

• Company information

• Online order form

• Contact page

• Help and support

• Business news

It’s a good idea to draw up a map of your site – either using paper or your computer. Most site maps are represented by a tree diagram, with the website’s home page positioned at the top of the tree.

 

CONSTRUCTING YOUR SITE

Decide how to build your site

There are 3 main ways to actually build your website:

• Do it from scratch – If you’re familiar with the HTML codes websites are built with, You can create your site from scratch. This gives you a high level of control, but can be time-consuming and tricky. (This method is Good if you’re not afraid of code and have enough time available).

• Use a site creator –  This is the fastest, easiest way to build a website. Just pick the design you like from a range of templates, then add your images, text and other content. No technical knowledge is required. (This method is Good if you’re on a limited budget and don’t want any technical hassle).

• Work with professionals –  For a unique, highly-professional website, you can work with a Web design agency. You’ll benefit from all their expertise and should get a site that you needs exactly. (This method is Good if you have complex requirements and money to spend).

Your budget and the level of technical knowledge in your business will largely determine which is the right option for you. Make sure your chosen method will meet all your website needs too.

 

SITE CONTENT

What to put on your site

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to put on your website. Unlike printing a catalogue or newsletter, you can include as much information as you like – at little or no extra cost! However, too much detail is just as bad as too little – so think carefully when selecting content for your site.

Tips for great content

• Put your visitors first. Think about what people are most likely to be looking for on each page, and make that the first thing you include.

• Avoid dead ends. Every page should give your visitors somewhere to go. For instance, to buy a product, or contact you.

• Keep it snappy. Keep pages to a maximum of 400 words, using bullet points and titles, so people can skim read.

• Be personal. A casual, conversational tone works well on the internet – so try not to sound stuffy and formal.

• Use pictures and video. Carefully chosen, well-placed photos and videos can really bring your site and business to life.

• Remember your objectives. Every item on your website should go some way towards meeting the objectives you defined at the start.

 

GET SOME HELP.

If you’re struggling to generate content for your website, there are lots of places to go for help. Ask your staff, see if customers will contribute, or search online for a web agency or professional writer.

 

SELLING ONLINE

Should you sell online?

Setting up an online shop is a great way to find new customers and grow your business – ultimately giving you extra stability.

 

HOW TO SELL ONLINE

There are two main ways to create an online shop:

• Use an ecommerce package. The easiest way to get started, an ecommerce package will let you choose a design for your shop, then add your company and product details. It will take care of payment and order processing too, so you don’t need any technical knowledge.

• Develop a shop yourself. If you need customised functions, you can build an online shop from scratch. This gives you loads of flexibility, but takes lots of time and know-how. Most companies would need to work with a professional web developer to do this. When you plan your online shop, consider the impact on the rest of your business. You have to take care of postage, returns, enquiries –and monitor stock levels so you don’t keep your customers waiting.

 

KEEPING IT ALL  SECURE

Security is super important when you’re handling sensitive details like credit card information. You can protect this information and prove your site’s identity with an SSL certificate from GlobalSign. This activates the browser padlock which visitors expect to see when they buy online – giving them confidence in your site.

 

HOSTING YOUR SITE

A Host is like an enormous site, a big building or mansion with different ranges of apartments, where you rent an apartment – called shop, to paste your business name at door post (your domain name or website name) and stock your products inside for people to see and come in for your products. This process is known as Publishing  of website.

 

PUBLISHING YOUR WEBSITE

Once you’ve built your website, you can publish it on the internet using a web hosting package. This gives you web space, so anyone online can visit your website. (If you use a website creator or ecommerce package to create your website, web hosting should be included).

 

GET THE RIGHT HOSTING

Web hosting packages include two essential features:

• Storage space, for your website files. This is measured in megabytes (MB) – you need at least 10MB for a simple site, and much more for a complex one.

• Bandwidth, which allows visitors to view your site. It’s also measured in megabytes – the more visitors you have, the more bandwidth you’ll need. It’s hard to know exactly how much storage space and bandwidth you should get, but entry-level hosting packages are usually suitable for simple websites. If you’re not sure what you need, look for a low-end package which you can upgrade easily.

Here are some other things to look for in your web hosting package:

• Good support. Comprehensive online help and a knowledgeable support team can be a lifeline.

• Reliability and security. Look for an established provider with a good track record in the hosting industry. On this case, I suggest that you go for this host; King In Website Hosting 

 

KEEPING IT UPDATED

Managing your website

Published your website? That’s just the start. To keep visitors interested and willing to return, you need to regularly update your site with new information and remove any outdated content.

 

WHAT TO UPDATE

There are lots of things to keep up-to-date on your website:

• Products and prices. If your product catalogue is online, remember to update it whenever prices or product details change.

• News. If there’s a company news section on your website, update it frequently – otherwise it will look out-of-date.

• Company information. Things change. Maybe you’ve taken on new staff, or moved offices. Your website needs to reflect this. To make sure nothing gets missed, it’s a good idea to review content on your website in sequence. Keep a list of pages and aim to review them all at least once every 6 months.

 

IMPROVING YOUR WEBSITE

Keep it fresh

The best business websites are treated as ongoing projects, with new pages, sections or functions being added regularly. For example, you could:

• Add a discussion forum so customers can share information.

• Start selling online (if you don’t already).

• Launch a blog offering advice about your products or services.

• Shoot some promotional videos and put them online. Gradual improvements add up. So even if it’s just a new page here or a video there, visitors will notice the overall impact on your website. More details

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