Having a website for your business is a great way to reach new customers and clients online. With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to get a website online. But having a poorly designed website that suffers constant down times is going to hurt your business more than having no website at all. Website design and hosting require time and dedication to make sure everything is working properly. If you have a poor design or an inadequate hosting connection, your website and your business could suffer.
Steps for Website Design
Designing a website can be fun and exciting when creativity flows. But actually making sure it works and works well for the users can also be frustrating and difficult. Follow these steps to make sure your website has a professional and functional design.
Step One: Hire a Professional
Unless you’ve got your own degree in website design and development, it’s usually best to hire a professional website designer. If you want to save some money in this process, you can hire a new developer or a student. They’ll more than likely provide you with some quality work, but are also willing to negotiate a little on price to help build their portfolio for bigger jobs in the future.
If you really can’t hire a professional, then use a website-building tool such as WordPress. These applications allow you to create a website using already-developed themes that help everything look and feel professional. Most website hosting providers will provide integration for these applications, so you can design a beautiful website and still get powerful hosting for it.
Step Two: Create the Layout
How your website looks will play into whether or not a user sticks around. A poor layout with difficult navigation is going to make it tough for your business to succeed online. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to layout your website, look up the sites of some competitors in your industry. You can get ideas on what does and doesn’t work and piece together your own website from that research.
Step Three: Generate Content
A website needs a good balance between images and text. You may want to hire a professional web content creator if you aren’t confident in your writing abilities. While you’re creating the text for your website, you’ll also want to source some images for it. There are plenty of free images you can use with the right credits given, but having images your business owns is always best. You can take these photos yourself, or hire a professional to come out for the day and do a shoot at the office/store for you. Having photos of yourself and your business on the webpage helps build trust and confidence with your clients and customers.
Step Four: Edit
Before you think about posting your website online, make sure you give it a look over for any errors or bugs. Have others who have never seen the website before take a look as well. The fewer errors you have on your website before launch, the better received it will be.
Steps for Website Hosting
Now that your website is designed and ready to go, you need to find a way to host it online. Website data is uploaded to a server, which then connects it to the internet so that users can find it. Buying your own server for just one website can be extremely expensive and is only recommended for bigger companies that need more resources and power. Most website owners team up with a hosting provider and utilize their data centers for hosting.
Step One: Find a Hosting Provider
Finding the right hosting provider can be tricky. There are a lot of them out there, and not all are as superb as they claim to be. When looking for a hosting provider, pay attention to the extra services they offer. Free migration, 24/7 customer service, and third-party application integration all make for a better hosting experience. You’ll also want to make sure they have easy ways to upgrade or downgrade your account as needed.
Step Two: Choose a Hosting Plan
There are three main types of hosting plans you can choose from. For most businesses, a shared hosting plan is more than enough to help get their website online and running smoothly. More complex websites may need to upgrade to a VPS (virtual private server) plan. It costs a little extra, but it does provide the additional resources needed for efficient running. For websites that are particularly large, a dedicated server can also be leased from a hosting provider.
Step Three: Set Up Your Account
Setting up your hosting account is quick and easy. You won’t need to know much about computer sciences or coding, and you often just need to tick some boxes. When setting up your account, make sure you have automatic backups ready to go. Regular backups of your website prevent data loss and allow you to restore your website to a previous version for any reason.
Step Four: Monitor Your Account
While the bulk of the work is done by this point, you’ll still need to spend some time monitoring your website. Website management includes keeping your security software up to date, checking for updates on any applications or widgets, and taking action if there’s any sign of a threat. If you don’t have the time for this, many hosting providers offer account monitoring for an added fee.
Website Design and Hosting with Cirrus Hosting
At Cirrus Hosting, we’re dedicated to providing our clients with the best hosting experience possible. We offer free website migration, seamless third-party application integration, and 24/7 customer support for any problem at any time. Our website design and hosting services are made to help small businesses and personal brands achieve the online presence of their dreams. To get started, you can choose from one of our hosting packages online or give us a call at 1-877-624-7787 if you have any questions.