1. Finding a name
Finding a name is the first step you should take when starting your new business or creating a brand.
Your name should be short, memorable, unique and descriptive.
Of course, this all depends on the nature of your business, but this rule should be mainly applied to the businesses who are thinking globally. If you are a local brick and mortar store, you can use a local name. For example, if your business is situated in Manchester you can name your business ‘Manchester Building Supplies’ which is very descriptive but not necessarily short, but in this case, it is not an issue.
Most importantly, the name should be the same as your domain name, so when looking for your business name the best practice is to check the domain availability at the same time.
If you would like to know more about the best techniques to finding the perfect business name, please read our blog post “HOW TO FIND A UNIQUE BUSINESS NAME”.
2. Finding a domain
As you already know, the domain name is really important and should match your company name for a better branding experience. For example, if your business is called ‘Webcraff’ your domain should be ‘webcraff.com’ with the .com domain extension (if you are thinking globally of course).
If you are only interested in the UK market or the market of a specific country, then your domain name should be ‘webcraff.co.uk’. Specific country domain extensions are usually much cheaper than the global ones, so if you are not thinking worldwide it’s a good idea to save your money and buy the domain extension of your targeted country.
You can always buy both extensions, but keep in mind that you will need to pay for both domains annually because every domain is sold on an annual subscription basis.
Domain names are usually cheap and cost between £9.99 and £15.99, but they can also already be owned by someone else, and still be available for sale. Already owned domains can be very pricey and it is hard to tell the exact price you will need to pay for this type of domain. The prices are individually set by the domain owner, so this can cost you as little as £500 but can reach prices of a few thousand pounds.
We always advise our customers not to buy these domains but instead create a unique business name that will make finding a domain a lot easier.
Although global extensions (.com) are very popular and the best choice for your business, it keeps getting harder to find one which is not already owned, that’s why this process can take some time and you need to be very patient, but be creative and find your business name yourself, so you can be proud of it for years to come.
Where is the best place to find a domain?
Many hosting providers offer domains for their customers; however, we advise our clients to get domains from a different provider than their hosting company. This is to save time and money in the future while transferring domains from your current hosting provider to another because domain migration is often a paid option.
Head over to NAMECHEAP and check if your domain is available.
3. Getting good hosting
Which hosting is the best?
There are so many choices out there and without the right knowledge, finding good hosting becomes a nightmare for most people, so we won’t list them all to confuse you, even more, we will simply tell you the hosting we use for ourselves and all our customers.
After many years of testing and jumping from one hosting to another, we found SiteGround to be the best solution on the market so far for the average customer’s needs.
Great server performance, innovative technology and reliability with SSD drives on top of all plans makes the choice very easy.
Their server uptime is 99.99% which is one of the best results you can get from a hosting company these days.
Why do some comparison websites not show SiteGround at all?
Having good knowledge in this field ourselves, we don’t trust most of the hosting comparison websites as their results are not reliable for us, it looks like every site has their favourite. On a few sites, SiteGround is in the first place and on others it is not shown at all, strange isn’t it?
4. Building your website
When it comes to building your own website, there are so many choices that it is hard to decide which one is best to use.
Using web design companies will most likely get you 12 months of free hosting and SSL, then you will need to pay for them on an annual basis.
To use open source CMS platforms, you will need to have your own hosting and SSL and pay for them on an annual basis plus pay for expensive yearly or monthly plugin plans, but if you have the knowledge to use them, CMS platforms are a good option for you.
From our experience, the cheapest option for most people is to hire a professional web designer to build your website, not because we would like to convince you to build the website with us, but because you will save your money in the long run, with the website being yours and no monthly subscriptions.
Although finding a good and professional studio is not an easy task, the website you get will be packed with features and functions you won’t get anywhere else. The price you pay will be a one-off payment without any hidden costs. There will be no subscriptions either unless you choose a maintenance plan.
And lastly, if you decide to hire a web design studio, don’t be fooled by super low prices some of them offer, cheap often means poor quality and troubles. To have a professional website, you will need to invest your money. Your website is one of the best places to gain your subscribers and maximize your conversion rate.
We have a nice article on our blog titled “How to build your website in 2019,” so make sure you read this, as we go more in-depth on this topic.
5. Maintaining your website
No matter how you choose to build your website, failure to look after your website can often lead to being compromised or hacked, so security and maintenance are the most important aspects of your entire website after it is published to the internet. Using paid platforms like a Shopify or Wix you have security updates included in the price so you don’t need to be worried about it, but for other solutions, you will need to keep your eye on your website at all times.
When your website is left unattended for a long time, it creates a vulnerability that hackers can exploit to break into your site, and when not updated regularly it can become impossible to update some of the features, so they can simply stop working and won’t be able to receive future updates due to version incompatibility. In other words, your website becomes an old car without servicing.
Sometimes when a website is completely out of date, the best way is to build an entire website again and import the content to the fresh website, though this can be expensive if your website is complex, so website maintenance is crucial.
Again, there are many companies out there who offer cheap maintenance plans on an annual basis. Don’t be lost on that, cheap maintenance simply means NO MAINTENANCE.
Our monthly maintenance plan is simple and includes:
- Daily checks on your website to ensure everything is working correctly
- Regular updates to the website and server
- Constant broken link monitoring
- Site performance reports
- Payment system tests
- Weekly website and database backups
- After every update, we check your website for any errors
- Searching for and fixing errors on your website
- Checking your contact forms and buttons
- Site speed and performance tests
Please Note: Our maintenance plans are available only to our customers.