Ingress Online Website Design / Development and Online Services Wangaratta North East Victoria

I build small business websites,

setup and manage your social media.

FacebookLinkedInTwitterEmailPrint

How to build a website

20-May-2017 There is more to a website than just the words and images you see when browsing the internet.  The below cheat sheet will take you through all the necessary steps to be included in a website. 

Domain name

What it is: 
A domain name is the website address, this name is used to point to your website. 

Tips on use: 
It is best to secure your domain name early as this is far more important than your website hosting. You can register a domain name at:
  It is important that the domain name is easy to remember for humans and contains keywords, and that you purchase all the necessary extensions.  For example .com.au, .net.au, .net and soon they will be releasing .au so you should buy that as well so your competition can't purchase it and take your brand.

Eg itp.com.au won't be picked up if someone is searching on "tax", whereas Income-tax-professionals.com.au can be matched.

When people search on "Income Tax" the computer tries to match up that word or phrase with all the websites on the internet. The ones that match will score a higher rank.

Most people will not be typing in the domain name they will do a search so it doesn't matter how long the domain name is, within reason.

Search engines are just computers therefore if the characters do not match exactly, they cannot see they are the same.

Eg design, designs, designer, designers, designing are all different words and therefore bring back different results.

Website Hosting

What it is:
This is where your website is saved/stored. Just like a word document is saved onto your PC your website files need to be saved to a computer that is attached to the internet 24/7 so it can be viewed.

Depending on the type of website you have will determine the hosting. There are four main types of hosting:

Static Website Hosting

What is it:
This is the most basic of websites where there are a series of HTML pages that are linked together. This is usually build by a Web Designer and can only be edited by a technical person. This hosting is usually the cheapest hosting available as this site has NO functionality.

Tips on use:
You could get away with the cheapest hosting for this type of site.

CMS Website Hosting – Windows or Linux

What is it:
This is more complex hosting than static hosting.  This hosting needs to support the software that your website has been built with.  Just like an Apple Computer or Windows PC you cannot install Apple software on a Windows PC and vice versa. The same is true for CMS software. You will need a Windows Server if you are using Windows Software.

Tips on use:
Not all hosting is the same. Be very careful as your website software will determine what kind of hosting is needed. Eg if you have a website that uses windows software you will need windows hosting.

If you manage your own hosting you will inevitability get into a situation where your website builder will need to talk to the hosting company and you will need to manage the interaction not knowing who's responsibility falls into who's jurisdiction, is it a hosting problem or a website problem and this could cause all manner of stress, especially if you are not Web Server savvy.

In addition to this if you are managing your own hosting you will need to make sure your website builder updates your CMS software with new releases so you always have the latest version on your website. This could be security patches, bug fixes etc, just like you have Windows Updates on your PC you need to have the latest software managed on your server. Your hosting company will NOT update your web site, you need to make sure your web person does this for you. 

Warning!  If you purchase your hosting before your website you may not have the appropriate hosting and will not be able to get out of your 12 month contract with the hosting company.  The safest way to ensure your hosting is appropriate is to purchase hosting and website as one.  See Subscription site below.

Email Hosting

What it is:
This is hosting just for your email. This enables your emails and your website to be two separate servers so one does not affect the other. 

Tips on use:
This is recommended if you have more than 5 staff so your email is not disrupted each time your rebuild or move your website hosting.

Subscription Websites (SaaS)

What it is:
This is where you are paying for the use of the software instead of owning the software you lease it. You access the software online and pay the subscription monthly to have your website live.

This is becoming more the mainstream of website hosting as more and more people are using cloud computing. You will be assured of the latest software without extra costs and you will also be able to use the latest features as they are installed. Your website software will never be out of date and you will be able to use this service for the life of your business. You just need to put on another design/skin/template.

Tips on use:
Your data is only as secure as your password, make sure it is very cryptic with a mix of numbers and letters, if you are having trouble keeping track of all your password you may want to have a few different ones.

Example:
Level 1 password for low security logins such as forums, newsletter subscriptions and other low risk websites this could be an easy password.
Level 2 password for high level security websites like your Google account, your website, your online banking. This needs to be a very cryptic password.

You can keep track of all your passwords with "Last Pass" which encrypts passwords on your PC instead of keeping them in your browser for anyone to access.

Content

Flash

What it is:
A way to display animation, video and interactivity to web pages, used in Banner Advertising, games and more recently rich applications.

Tips on use:
Use Flash in small amounts if at all on your website, mobile browsing has overtake desktop browsing and you would be better off using YouTube as Apple mobile devices do not show any flash at all.

Static Site

What it is:
These are HTML pages, that is it, no functionality, no CMS in fact it will just sit there. It is the most basic of websites. Tips on use:
If you plan to update your site less than once every 6 months then get a static website as it will be cheaper, if you update it more that every 6 months then get a CMS.
  

Content Management System (CMS) website

What it is:
CMS is a software program that you can use to update your website. There are lots of programs available.  See my article on business software.

Tips on use:
Make sure you get a free trial and test the software before you purchase, if you have trouble then don't use it. I have seen many people login for the first time 2 months after their site is live only to find they cannot use the system and then they have to pay for training.
  

Analytics

What it is:
Analytics will measure all aspects of your site and is vital to measure the activity on your website. 

Tips on use:
Make sure you have it, make sure you have an account and make sure you have training/explanations on what these measurements mean and how to improve the website based on these measurements. Example, what keywords are user using in the search engines to find you.

SEO

What it is:
Search Engine Optimisation is basically a matching and popularity game. The computer need to match EXACTLY to the word on your website or on the internet and depending on how many matches, where they match will determine your rank along with how many people click on it and who links to your site plus much more.

Examples of exact matching:
Computer does NOT match with he words computers, computing, computation etc these are all different words.
Computer DOES match Computer ONLY no other word will match.

On Page SEO – this is within your website
Off Page SEO – this is outside of your website

Tips on use:
If you didn't know your company name what words or phrases would you type into Google to find you, there are plenty of resources on the internet about how to optimise for SEO but as long as you do the basics and have an overall online marketing strategy that SEO is just one part of then you will have the exposure you will need.

SEO has been saturated with late adopters and therefore is becoming less and less effective as a way to drive traffic to your site.  Read my articles on SEO and Online Marketing.

Design & Build

Depending on your budget and how strong your brand is you may want to get your site professionally designed. There are plenty of Designers out there but choosing one can be daunting.

View the checklist for choosing who to build your site as it applies to designers as well.

Web Standards

Now we get into what each website should have as a minimum standard. I strongly advise that your web builder do this for you.

You can find out more about all these in detail in my article on Common Website Mistakes.

A web page consists of the following elements:
  • Page Name: the name of the page document, just like you name word documents so you can find them again on your computer you need to name the web page so you can link to them
  • Page Title: This is the title of the document
  • Short Description: Like a summary in a white paper a short summary or description of what the page is about
  • Keywords: What topics the page is about, relevant tags that tell the user and computers what the page is about
  • Content: this is what the user will see, the content of the web page.
  • Analytics: Although this is not necessary I believe you cannot change what you don't measure, if you don't know how your website is performing you cannot make informed decisions on how to improve it so I strongly recommend you install Analytics .

W3C Validation

Always adhere to web standards this not only will prevent errors on your site but it will make sure the search engines can scan your site easily without errors. This makes your site easier to index on the search engines as well ensuring your website doesn't fall over when new browsers versions are released. Eg if you have code in there that is non standard then future browsers may not support that code and it will break. Always make sure you have standards compliant code. You can check your website here.

http://validator.w3.org

Small Business Resources

I have put together a list of website resources to give your website every chance. You can view the Small Business Website Resources here.



Comments



Comment on this article


No Very