Step One: Purpose
There are various steps in setting up a website and initiating an online presence for your business.
The first step involves putting pen to paper and brainstorming everything starting with the purpose of your business. If you do not have a clear vision of where you are going and what you wish to accomplish, there is a good chance you will never accomplish anything substantial.
Once you have defined the purpose and goals of your blog you can use that brainstorming exercise to clearly visualize and write down your mission statement.
All this work you do at the conceptualization stage is conceivably the most important phase of development.
Step Two: Keywords
Once you have a clear idea in your head regarding your purpose and goals, the next step is to brainstorm a set of keywords relating to your business.
Keywords are words that a person looking for your business might type in a Google search. The importance of keywords is high especially if the topics you are discussing or the products you are selling have related frequent search terms and have competition.
The keywords also influence the brand name and subsequently the domain name you choose to represent your business. If you have a business name, you may be able to skip this exercise as you will likely want to use that name as your brand and your domain name.
Once you have decided on some possible keywords you wish to use as your brand and your domain name it is time to check whether the domain name is available. It is good to have a few possibilities to try as the more popular ones will be taken or be held by domain name speculators.
If you have identified a niche market with low competition you may be able to get the exact keyword(s) in your domain name. On the other hand, if your niche is popular and you have lots of competition you may have to be creative in coming up with a name variation. You should avoid adding hyphens, extra filler words, or difficult spellings.
Using a Top Level Domain (TLD) such as .com, .org, .net is the ideal. Most people will type ‘.com’ at the end of a domain out of habit. It is the most trusted TLD.
Step Three: Registration
As mentioned in the previous step, you now need to take those keywords and check to see if they are available in a domain name at a registrar. This is the registration process.
This task can be straight forward, or it can be tedious depending on whether your keywords are popular and frequently used to describe your topic or your product. Some trial and error has to take place.
Note: You will want to get a .com TLD if at all possible unless you are a nonprofit organization or need to get a Country-Code-Top-Level Domain (ccTLD).
The generic top-level domain (gTLD) .org is truncated from ‘organization’.
Some examples of ccTLD are .it (Iraly), .ca (Canada), and .br (Brazil). Some countries mandate the use of a ccTLD if your business is physically located there.
Personally, I register all my domain names at Domain.com I like to keep my registrations separate from my hosting plan. You may prefer to register your domain name through your hosting account.
One advantage to registering your domain name with your host is that they usually offer one free domain name with a new hosting account.
Hosting is the next Phase we explore so I will talk more about this in a moment…
Step Four: Hosting
In this Step we discuss Hosting. The reason I want to spend some time on this topic is because I have had both good and bad experiences with hosting. I have also read of others having bad experiences.
Choosing a quality host is important. You can get good service at a good price without sacrificing the quality of service and ‘uptime’ you receive.
The better hosting providers not only have a good rating from satisfied customers but also tend to be the independent ones that are not part of the conglomerate of internet providers.
I encourage you to shop around a bit as it truly is an important decision.
Currently I deal with Hostinger and have found their service to be quite good and the price to be reasonable. If you decide to give them a try please click on the name. It has the affiliate link embedded. Using the link costs you nothing extra and Hostinger awards me a small commission for referring you. The same applies to the registrar I use. If you decide to register your domain(s) separate from your Hosting plan, as I do you cannot go wrong with Domain.com. Again, if you use them I receive a small commission for each registration.
Hostinger can help you register your domain and when you purchase a new Web Premium, Web Business, or Cloud hosting plan for 12 months or a longer period, a domain name for one year is included for free 🎁
From here I recommend you read the next steps in getting your website/blog online and functioning properly. Check out My Favourite Tools.