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How to Build a Basic Website

Here’s six things to consider when developing a website, whether you have one or are looking to do a redesign!

Making a website isn’t all about a pretty picture cut up into HTML and CSS. There’s tons of things happening in the back end ranging from programming, marketing strategies, and traffic monitoring software like Google Analytics. For those of you who don’t have a website and are thinking of developing one, here’s a few things to consider.

Domain

A domain is your web address. This is the location name you give out when you want to be found on the world wide web. These days most .com’s are taken and you might be a tad disappointed to see that another company owns the business domain you wanted. If that’s the case, try incorporating your tagline instead of adding dashes and/or numerals. Don’t forget, domain registration is a recurring cost that needs to be paid yearly.

Hosting

Hosting is where your website is stored and in turn becomes accessible to the World Wide Web. Hosting costs can run from $40 to $400 depending on your hosting provider. Before you set up shop with a hosting company you’ll probably want to check out their reputability. It will important to ask, how long has the company been around? You’ll also want to ask how reliable the company is – what’s the up-time guarantee? It’d be a big bummer if your website suddenly disappeared ‘cause the hosting company went out of business or simply packed it in. Your temper will also flare if your website goes down (at anytime of the day or night) so make sure you find a company with a 99% up-time guarantee. Like your domain registration, hosting is a yearly cost to factor into your web development project.

Information Architecture

Information architecture is how information on your website is laid out to support usability to your visitors. For example, about us contains biographical information about a company, contact us can include a Google map, contact form, address of location, telephone number and email addresses. It’s the structure of information for your website, which truly is it’s purpose. An information architecture is where you combine, organize and label your navigation system.

Creative Web Design

Creative web design is used to create aesthetically pleasing order to your website information for your visitors. Before you start tackling your creative design, you’ll need to create a layout of the information you want on your website, from an information architecture to help develop order and hierarchy of design elements and content.

Content and Content Migration

Content comes into place once you’ve finalized a design and general details of your complex or not-so complex information architecture. Here you’ll need to literally copy and paste content to your website, link up links, insert relevant images, create anchor tags (a tag) and maybe include some keywords for SEO. The great thing about Content Management Systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, is you don’t really need to know HTML or programming languages to manage a web site. All you’ll need is some experience with Microsoft Word and you’re all set! If however, you are interested in learning code check out Code Academy.

Marketing and Generating Traffic

So now you have a website but no web traffic – this is when marketing comes into play. We definitely can help develop your online web presence but if you’re going to plunge into it yourself, you’ll need to be sharing content, events, promotions or contests through other mediums on the web. A great way to do this is with social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. And here’s an article to check out with 5 more simple tips to increase traffic.

Tell us about the marketing strategies you use to generate website traffic. Is there anything we left out? Leave your comments below!

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