In today’s digital age, your website serves as your primary gateway to customers in the vast online world. As a client, understanding what it takes to create a successful website is paramount. It’s a collaborative journey that begins with discussions between you and us, your trusted web developers. While established businesses often have a clear vision for their websites, many clients, particularly new or small businesses, may find themselves navigating uncharted waters at this early stage. Fret not; we are here to guide you through this process.
Prepare for the Journey
We, as web developers, work on websites daily, but it’s important to remember that we don’t have all the answers. We continually learn and adapt as we work with new clients, and your input is invaluable. To embark on this journey successfully, you must be prepared, just as you would make a shopping list before heading to the store.
Here’s a breakdown of the key elements we need from you to kickstart your website project:
Page Plan: Begin by outlining the four essential pages you want on your site. These typically include pages like Home, About Us, Services, Testimonials, Contact Us, and more.
Content Copy: Content is the lifeblood of your website. It’s what makes your online presence meaningful. If you haven’t already prepared content for your pages, we can connect you with a skilled content writer to assist. Crafting quality content is crucial for a successful website.
Images: Include appealing images of your skilled tradesperson alongside their trusty work Landcruiser – who knows, it might catch the eye! We also playfully suggest securing a signed permission letter from your lifepartner if your images are irresistibly charming. But don’t worry, we’re just having a bit of fun! In all seriousness, when submitting images, strive to present yourself in a positive light. Dress professionally, ensure pleasing and high-quality backgrounds, and, if possible, provide us with a minimum of 5 portrait images and 5 landscape images.
Logo: While we’re not designers, we can help create a simple logo if needed. However, comprehensive branding and logo design services are beyond our scope. Feel free to provide your own logo, or we can design three simple options for you to choose from.
Hosting and Domain: Take charge of your website’s hosting and domain. This ensures ownership and control over your digital presence. While we can recommend hosting providers, the final decision should be yours.
The Truth About Hosting and Domain
Let’s demystify hosting and domain matters. Think of websites as houses, with domain names acting as their unique street addresses, such as “SunnyVilla.” Hosting represents the land where these website “houses” are constructed, housing all the website’s content. Each hosting server possesses a specific set of numbers, an IP address, functioning as its online GPS coordinates. To make your website accessible, you link your domain name to your hosting, similar to erecting a signpost guiding people to your house. This way, when someone enters your domain in their browser, it’s akin to them locating your house using its address. Domain names serve as your website’s name, hosting as its digital land, and IP addresses act as online locators.
We strongly advocate for clients to acquire their own hosting and domain names, primarily for ownership and control. When we purchase the domain name, it becomes ours, not yours, akin to us holding the keys to your house. Similarly, if we procure hosting and you use our access, it’s as though we’re building a house on our land, and you won’t have true ownership. Our hosting is secure, much like a gated property housing valuable assets. Due to these security measures, we can’t provide unrestricted access to our hosting.
Empowering You with Ownership and Control
Our ultimate goal is to ensure your website is entirely yours, firmly under your control. By obtaining your own hosting and domain name, you gain complete ownership of your digital “land” and “address.” This grants you full control over your website, encompassing its content and functionality. You can make changes, customize it to your liking, and even relocate it elsewhere without constraints. We endorse this approach because we want your website to be genuinely yours, affording you the freedom and autonomy to manage it as you see fit.
Choose Your Hosting Wisely
When it comes to hosting, numerous reputable companies are available, and we don’t favor any specific provider. You won’t find us making commissions or profiting from your hosting or domain purchase. We’ve compiled a list of trusted hosting companies, and we recommend consulting with us before making a final purchase to ensure you select the right package for your needs. Hosting pricing typically ranges from $5 to $20 per month for small businesses, while domain names should not cost more than $50 annually.
Notable hosting companies include Hostgator, Godaddy, Bluehost, Digital Pacific, WPengine, and Panthur Hosting. Please note that there are a few hosting and domain providers we prefer not to work with due to technical issues encountered in the past. Rest assured, the listed companies are those we are comfortable partnering with.
To complete your website project, we’ll also need your social media account links and your contact information, including your email address, business address, and phone number. If you lack an email address, we can set one up for you.
Finally, ensure that any content copy you provide is in digital format, such as PDFs, Word files, or Excel files, as we cannot accept printed materials. Organization is key; name your images in a way that’s easily recognizable, or include instructions on where and how you’d like each image used. Longer content is perfectly acceptable, and don’t get caught up in industry jargon or corporate language. Be direct and provide what potential clients are seeking: a list of services, contact information, and, if applicable, pricing details. Remember, visitors to your website are usually seeking solutions, not lengthy mission statements.
In conclusion, creating a website is a collaborative effort, and your active involvement ensures that your website genuinely represents your business and effectively serves its purpose. Prepare thoroughly, and together, we’ll craft a successful online presence.