One of the most important things you need to accomplish when starting a brand-new business, regardless of the size of the business, is to set up your website. How prominent your online presence is can make or break your business’s future, so it’s important that the backend infrastructure of your website, i.e. the hosting is both functional and reliable. Not only do people check business websites, but they are also an important way of drawing in potential customers.
However, setting one up doesn’t need to break the bank, especially if you are a small business. With good SEO (search engine optimization) practices, you can set up a fully functioning website with minimal cost, and be well on your way to broadcasting yourself on the internet.
Choosing your domain name
Domain name choice is a very important step, although a lot of people simply rush picking a name, or do not understand its importance. It doesn’t have to be your company name, especially if you have a very long name. The best domain names are those that are relevant and easy to remember.
If your business is already up and running, you will want to select a domain name that is similar, or, one that roughly explains the nature of your business. There are numerous domain registrars which you can use to search domain names, and as long as they are not already taken, they should roughly cost the same price.
If you have a popular company name, then you may find that your first choice may not be available. If you have a large budget though, you can always try and negotiate a deal with the domain owner. It’s a fairly complicated process, so the easier way is to look at different domain variations like .net, .biz, .info, etc., rather than just .com.
If you haven’t launched your business yet, it’s a good idea to check domain names before you finalize your business name. You might be able to find a name that is similar to the one you were originally going to go with, which also has an unregistered domain name to match.
Custom domain names also give you the ability to create personalized email addresses, which aid to your professionalism and credibility. Receiving an email from email@example.com is much better than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hosting your website
After your domain name has been secured, the next step is to choose what type of hosting option you wish to pursue. For those that are unaware, all websites need to be hosted on some kind of web server, so that other users can access them via the internet.
Hosting involves maintaining files on the servers so that your potential customers can view all of the content of your site; essentially making it a gateway between your website and the World Wide Web.
If you have opted to sign up to one of those DIY self-hosted website template companies such as Wix, the price you pay will include the hosting too. It’s very unlikely you will have any access to the hosting, and all you will be able to do is maintain and personalize your web pages. These type of services seem perfect at the outset due to the ease of use, however for a business website, the lack of granular control and access to the backend could make you regret your decision, especially if your business starts to grow at a rapid pace.
Buying your hosting services from a hosting company is the most recommended and professional option. This, of course, means that you are capable of building your own website, or have hired someone who will be in charge of developing it for you. While there are a couple of hosting companies that do offer free hosting space, the services have many limitations. If you are considering this option, you may as well just pay the extra to get your own hosting.
Having your personal hosting service won’t even break two digits per month in cost, although there will be bandwidth limitations on packages that are so cheap. It is always possible to upgrade it at later date, but if you plan on your website actually gaining traffic, then it is worthwhile going with a dedicated small business hosting plan from the outset.
As your business expands, so will your traffic. When this happens, you will want to look into getting dedicated servers or Virtual Private Servers(VPS) for your website. This essentially means that the hosting company will have a whole server blade dedicated to your one website, rather than sharing it with other user’s websites. This means that your website speed will remain high, regardless of the high amount of traffic that you are receiving.
To apply your domain name to your hosting package, you will need to update the DNS entries. Each hosting provider will have their own guide on how to do so, but it’s a very easy process. If you bought your domain and hosting from AviarHost, this will already be done for you so you can start concentrating on growing your business.