Having an online presence is a must these days. Whether you’re a freelancer, small business owner, or a high-profile executive, having an online identity is necessary for your professional growth.
Having started my digital journey almost 10 years back, we’ve seen the industry and the technology supporting it change drastically. However, it is easier than ever for any one to create their online presence not only to showcase their services/products but also to attract new clients.
Without wasting anymore of your time, let’s get straight into setting up your first website online.
Note. I do not like to refer any self-hosted personal/professional identity as blog as it tends to make people casual towards my business. I like to term all my online assets as websites, including my “personal blog”.
Choose a domain name and register the same.
It is important to give a solid name to your website, which will not only be your future brand but will also be used to drive traffic to you product/service page (we will take about this in future).
Finding a good website name related to your business or industry is a tricky and time-consuming task. Do spend some time to come up with some catchy name, which would be easy for people to remember and gives a sense of your industry. For e.g if you are a wedding photographer who wants to sell photography services, you can choose sometime like – weddingmemories.com or weddingbells.com (These names are too common and just for example purpose. But you get the idea). However, it is not compulsory to choose a name with your industry/service name in it. If you feel your chosen name is catchy, just go for it. At the end, it is how you market and position yourself is what matters the most.
Note: Whichever name you choose; always make sure to check if the domain for that particular name is available or not. This is important to keep a sync between your online and offline marketing efforts. We do not want to name our company as “weddingbells” and then find out that weddingbells.com is already taken by someone else.
Check domain name availability on any domain registration websites. We suggest:
It is also prudent to check trademark/copyright directory of respective country to ensure that a particular name has not been already registered to prevent infringement issues later on. (If you are a local business who is not planning to go international, you can always choose domain names such as .in (country initials), .info,.co, .net etc. However, we would suggest you to give first priority to .com.
If you are finding a tough time to come up with interesting names, you can use business name generating websites such as:
Buy A hosting Plan
This should be your next step once you register your domain name. You would need to host your website online and connect your domain name to the host. (More on this later)
You can always choose to buy the domain name and hosting space from the same service provider. However, we always suggest to buy the domain name and the hosting from two different service providers. This is because if one of the service provider goes down or has a technical glitch, you know who is at fault.
Choosing a hosting name can be confusing. This can be because of one or all of the below reasons:
1. you don’t know how much space you would need for your website
2. you don’t know who is the best and provides value for money service
3. you don’t understand the technical jargons
For the uninitiated, unless and until you are planning to make a 100 + or 1000+ pages website and drive a massive amount of traffic to its pages, go for any “starter” plan which will usually be a shared hosting plan.
Once your website starts getting traffic and reaches a certain number of visitors per month, the hosting providers will send you a mail to upgrade the plan. That would be the right time to move your plan with higher bandwidth and space.
Note: The key here to to just start without getting bogged down by various things. As you move ahead, make the necessary changes as required.
For those looking for hosting providers, you can choose from the below:
web synthesis (Studiopress)
How to setup your hosting and install wordpress?
Once you purchase any hosting service, you need to point your domain name to your hosting space. In simple terms, connect your domain name to your hosting server.
Every reputed hosting service will have proper documentation and instruction manual. You can also contact them for assistance (Some service providers can get it done by taking some minor fee or even do it for free). However, we highly suggest to go through the “how-to videos” of the hosting provider and some youtube videos to help you navigate through the process. There is no doubt a learning curve, but it’s fairly simple. It will also help you to know the very basics of your website, which we feel is very important in the long run.
You can also take help from some professional on sites like Upwork and Fiverr.
Once you have connected the domain, please do note that it can take 24-48 hours or even couple of days for your website to go live. This is very normal.
A general setup procedure can be found here.
It is also important that for advanced security reasons, you purchase an SSL certificate as well. Read about the importance of SSL certificate for your website here.