How to Build a New Website - Part 1
Amy Durbin on 08/02/2017
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Media Factory is creating a shiny new website for ourselves, and we can’t wait to reveal it to you!
...but we can’t. Not yet, anyway. We will as soon as it’s ready to roll out...which will hopefully be soon! In the meantime, hang tight. (Patience is a virtue, or so people keep telling me.)
Since we’re on the topic of websites, when was the last time you redid your company’s website? If you can’t remember, then most likely it’s overdue. Why? It’s important to keep your brand fresh, and it keeps your clientele engaged.
When you go to a familiar website and it’s suddenly different, don’t you get excited to explore it? It’s true! And (subconsciously, if nothing else), a new website gives off the impression that you’re a growing and thriving company.
If the idea of creating a new website makes you break out into a sweat, have no fear. We’re going to explain how you can build a new site for yourself. (It really is doable, no computer degrees required!)
Step 1: Choose and Install a Platform
It probably sounds like I just asked you to install a stage somewhere, but that’s not what I’m referring to. The first step in creating a website is choosing a Content Management System (CMS). This is the platform where you will make changes (like adding pages, creating blog posts, changing layouts, etc) to the new website.
There are multiple sites available where you can accomplish this task. WordPress, Squarespace, and Joomla are just a few popular options. Visit their websites and browse their capabilities. Choose one that will work best for your needs/wants.
Step 2: Pick a Provider
Congratulations on picking a platform! Now you need to give your website a home. I know that sounds weird, but stick with me.
If you think about it, a website is nothing more than a collection of digital files (blog posts, images, etc) that need to be stored somewhere on the internet so people can access them. You might think of your provider like an online file cabinet—or a place to store your files.
Your files will be stored on a server. In other words, when someone types in “www.YourBusinessHere.com” in their browser, they’ll be taken to the server that is hosting your files.
There are lots of hosting sites available. Some popular ones are: GoDaddy, BlueHost, WpEngine, HostGator, etc. When choosing a hosting site, make sure you pay attention to things like price, customer service, and reliability.
Step 3: Choose a Domain Name
Now that you’ve chosen your platform and provider, you need to come up with a unique domain name that represents what your company or website is going to be about. This is what people type into their browser to reach your site, like www.Google.com or www.MediaFactory.us.
You’ll want your name to be relatively short and memorable. Think about the possibility for typos, as well. (Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.com probably isn’t a great choice.) Your domain name also shouldn’t be too close to an existing, already-established website. (Like if you wanted to name your horse magazine www.hoofingtonpost.com.)
While the name of your website is important, it’s not THE most important thing, so choose the best option available and move on.
We’ve given you plenty to think about today, so stay tuned for Part 2 in our How to Build a New Website series. Just a few more steps to go!