A website is a location connected to the internet that maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web. The first website ever created was loaded in 1991. Since that time, websites have continued to evolve and change. Today they may include multi-media, e-commerce, blogs, forums, games, news, social media and other complex services.
Often the first priority of a new business is to get a website up and running, proving to your potential clients that you are a legitimate business. Websites can be a simple on-line business card, or a more expensive interactive website.
A good place to start, when thinking of a website, is to analyse your needs. Are you a photographer that wants to show your work to family and friends? Do you want to sell photos, or perhaps advertise other services such as studio sessions or workshops? Perhaps you just want to share your ideas and exchange information. Start by answering a few questions. What is your purpose? Who is your audience? What is your marketing plan? Where are you going? Your website should fill your needs and evolve as those needs change. There are many solutions available today depending upon your needs. Let’s look at the most common cost-effective route.
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to get into the technical details. You’ll need a Domain Name.
A domain is the address that is typed into a browser to find your website. Many new businesses will check to see if a domain is available before committing to naming their company. A domain should be short, easy to remember, and easy to spell. For photographers, there are extensions such as .photography, .photos and .camera as well as .ca and .com. You can also purchase more than one domain and point them all to the same website. There are a large number of registrars that can register your domain for you.
The next order of business is to find a web Host. Pick a reputable company who will give you support if you have questions. There are many considerations when picking a host. Web space, file access, bandwidth, back-ups, control panels, email and pricing are all factors to consider. You also want to be careful that your Host does not have questionable websites on a shared server, as this could affect your website. Check customer reviews. Many Hosts will also provide a free domain for the first year if you sign up with them, or add a year onto your domain registration.
So now that you’ve picked the perfect domain, analysed your needs and picked a host, you’ll need to build your website. There are various ways to build a website these days. Many hosts also provide free site builders. It’s always a good idea to load your contact information onto your server space while you are working on your website.
Now you only have to design that website properly.