For anyone building a website, it is comparable to building a business. There is a lot of planning, work, and decisions that need to be made. How will it look, what will it be about, who is my target audience, what devices should my site be viewable on, and most importantly, what will I name it? These are all factors you need to consider before you decide on anything else. Building a site can be fun, tiring, tedious, and rewarding all at the same time. If you are ready to build a site, consider everything involved.
Site Name, Niche, and Domain
Your site should be your brand. If you want to create a site in a niche market, imagine yourself shaking someone’s hand and introducing yourself as the owner of whatever.com. Choosing your site name will depend on a few factors:
- Availability: Does your site name already exist? Is the domain name already taken?
- Relevancy: Does your site name describe what your site is about? If you have a gardening site, does the name dirtyshoes.com say what it’s about, or will iheartseeds.com be a better name?
- Searchability: Will your domain be easy to search for in Google, Bing, or Yahoo? Simplicity is key when choosing a domain name. Nike.com is easier to search than the_nike_company.com.
- .com, .net, or .org? The rule of thumb in choosing a domain name is to only purchase the .com domain. If your site name.com is already taken, consider another name, don’t settle for lower end domain extensions such as .co, .info, or .us.
SeoMoz.org offers great tips on choosing your domain name to better increase the chance of your site’s success.
Webhosting: Who Should I Choose?
Choosing the right webhost is like choosing the right local location for opening an office. You want to make sure they offer the services and options you need for your site. You need to consider what format your site will be in, what type of server would you like to host it on, who offers the most services for the money, are there any extras I can add if needed, and most importantly, what is the average uptime of sites hosted on their servers. You can’t have a successful site if it is constantly down.
Now that you know what to call your site and where to host it, you need to decide what it will look like. If you have the knowledge to build your own site design, you can have a lot of fun tweaking your colors, layout, and functions. Other options include hiring a web designer to put in the long hours of coding, or using a template that is often offered by many of the major web host services. Using a template is a great option for those who don’t know how to write code and are working on a limited budget.
Marketing Your Site
Simply building a site doesn’t make it searchable. There is an entire world of site marketing that continues to change and increase in difficulty. From site directories, to guest posting, to on-page SEO, there is a lot to plan and implement to get your site out there for people to see. As well, social media has taken the internet and society by storm and value is placed in our friend’s likes and dislikes. Creating a great reputation among the social networkers is now a requirement for site success.
Building a site is a great way to get your products, services, or message out to the world. Take your time and build a site you will be proud to own and maintain. Plan out every detail from your domain name to your marketing strategy before you start building and you will have an easy to follow map to success.
Editor’s Note: Colby Hetrick is an avid blogger for sites across the net. He offers tips on creating and marketing your site, from guest posting to submitting your site to a popular US Guide.