Need to catch up? Go to Day 1.
On Day 16 I wrote “build a website” as if it’s an easy thing. These next few days I’ll dig a little deeper.
What’s a domain name? This is what people type in to get to your website. My domain is www.CalicoMarketing.com. I suggest your domain be www.YourFullName.com. If you leave your firm, a simple Google search will make it possible for former clients to find you. If you have a difficult to spell last name, consider using your first name + city. www.BradChicago.com or similar. Make sure it’s easy for people to remember since generic domains like www.CRESolutions4U.com will be difficult to recall.
What is web hosting? A computer (or server) connected to the Internet that will host all your website’s files. This company can be completely separate from the company that hosts your domain name. To keep it simple, I’m suggesting you use Bluehost.com. This company will keep your domain and web hosting all in one spot.
Do I need separate email hosting? No, not really. I, personally, like to separate my email host / website host and domain host. This means that I have a different company for each one. It makes things a little complex, but if one of those pieces goes out, it won’t affect the others. For instance, if my website goes down my email is fine. I like Office 365 email because it’s secure. If you’re sending contract back and forth, security is a big deal.
How to build a website. This is not an easy task, I suggest you get professionals (like our website design services) to build one for you. But there are a few questions to ask yourself before you start the process.
- How will people get to my website? Will you be needing any SEO (search engine optimization) services to get you a higher rank on Google? Are you willing to pay for Google Adwords until your SEO efforts kick-in? I suggest at least submitting your business with website to your local directories like Google, Yahoo, and Yelp to ensure you business will pop-up on local searches.
- What do I want people to do on my website? Do you have a special report to download? Do you want them to use the contact form? Do you want to sell/lease/showcase all your listings? Think about your website’s main purpose before you begin. A website designed around lead generating will be very different than a listing based design.
- How will I keep people coming back? Will you be posting in a blog? Do you have a newsletter? When you regularly update a blog, you can use those articles to create a newsletter!
Once you’ve figured out exactly the purpose and plan for your website, contact a designer and get started!