How many hours per day do you go without accessing a website? For most of us the answer to that questions is, not many!! Why? To start, if you are employed you are using a computer system or you need to reference information from outside websites to get quick answers. You may like to shop online, pay bills, access email and read articles or books. We can’t forget about social media. As an entrepreneur looking to maximize exposure, income, and awareness you are most likely interested in a good website that serves the needs of your business. Even if you don’t need one for customers to access, you need one! Inventory, client lists, contact information, document management can all be done more effectively using technology and various websites. While pen and paper are still a tool I will never let go of, it is wonderful for clients to receive an electronic receipt that they can file or delete as they please. It is also beneficial to have access to certain records no matter where you are.
During this weeks episode of Love and Grow Stacy and I discussed websites and how they can be effective for your new business. We recently launched Love and Burn. We offer various soaps at this time and will expand with candle options and more. This website is a retail site. It does not contain articles or videos but maybe one day it will. So what does that mean? That means that we had to make sure that we chose a website option that has those capabilities and would integrate with our primary payment option. The Comfort Killers Website has way more content and requires different capabilities. There are options such as Word Press, Go Daddy, Weebly, Wix, Shopify, and Web.com but you have to go with what works for you. If you are a writer and want to constantly flood your website with text content there are platforms that will better serve you. If you are selling a product or service you may be looking at a completely different option. Considering that most options now have tons of template choices and fee ranges for templates and hosting you still want to ask questions. Do you expect to have 10,000 people visit your site in the first month? If so you may not want to go with the website that will not require an upgrade as soon as you get to 6,000 because things start running slower. If you are offering subscription packages or plan to upload tons of video footage discuss that with the representative and read the information and reviews for this type of content before you go with the first site provider you speak to. Talk to people you know! Ask them how they are doing with there website provider and hosting, other entrepreneurs will let you know the good, the bad, and the ugly. Especially if they support you and want to see you have a successful launch!!
Where do you start? Enter your proposed site names in the address bar to see if they are even available. Once you have that information you can start making calls or registering your domain with a provider for that website. You will also need hosting which is not always included in the initial cost of the website. We discussed inmotion Hosting and Hostgator on the show and you can look into more options and reviews by conducting a simple search.
If you do not need your website today but are sure in the future you will and you are looking to secure the domain name, purchase it. You will have it for later. If someone else wants it, they have to purchase it from you.
If you and your partner or team have some reservations due to lack of knowledge you will want to obtain a sophisticated technical support package that your website hosting company offers. This will allow you to reach out to them whenever you have questions or an issue. If you plan to send out a lot of email communications and campaigns mail chimp is a good option. You will also want to consider information tracking and analytics. It is important that all of the information you need can be obtained or added to your website capabilities. There are tons of add-ons that allow users to customize their website as business increases or needs change. Perhaps you need to switch from Square to Paypal, there may be an add-on to assist you with integrating the the change on your company website. You will also want to make sure you can integrate the social media sites that you use regularly. You know how much we love to share these days!
There are many tech savvy folks willing to create your website, if you choose to outsource someone to design and add content to your website just always be sure to know and approve what domain, hosting and support they have chosen. Understand what you are gaining for your investment and make sure the timeline works for you and your goal. Be aware of the capabilities and learn enough to make changes on your own. Have you ever used Fiverr, you may find what you need here. You may even find someone to design your logo, marketing material, and be your personal assistant as well!
Join us next Thursday on Love and Grow as we continue our tech discussion.
Peace and Growth