Free Business Resources for your Business & Website. Starting your own business and being self-employed can bring you freedom in income and happiness. When it comes to marketing your business, a website is a required part of your Marketing Plan. I have outlined all the tools I use for my own business that you can definitely use to help with your own business.
Your Business Website
Before your business or blog website can be seen online you need these three things: a domain name or URL, website hosting; and a platform to share your content on the internet.
This is your website address / domain name / URL etc. You can have any domain name as long as it’s available. You can use your name, your business name, your business keyword, or just a fun name if you prefer. There are many places you can purchase a domain name from, it really doesn’t matter, I have purchased domain names myself from many sites including Crazy Domain Names, GoDaddy, HostGator, Bluehost, SiteGround and have been in charge of domain names for clients that have bought them from places including Netregistry, Melbourne IT, as well as smaller local domain name companies. I also sell domain names as part of my services. It usually comes down to the price factor and what company you prefer to deal with. For the purpose of this lesson, I’m going to walk you through purchasing your domain name through Crazy Domains.
Before you get ready you need to have these things:
– A domain name idea plus a few backup ideas
– Your credit card
If you are purchasing an Australian or country domain name. e.g. .com.au or .co.nz etc. you will also need your Australian (or another country) registered business number. You don’t need this if you are only purchasing a .com or .net etc domain.
When purchasing a domain name, you have a number of options. Let’s say I wanted my web address to be ‘thomaswebdesigns’. Depending on availability, I might be able to choose from the following:
If your business or blog is in Australia and only serves people within Australian then a .com.au domain name is perfect for you, or you can also pick a .net.au or .org.au. A .org.au address however, is normally only used for not-for-profit organisations. A .com domain name is ideal for business that serve customers outside of Australia, although sometimes it’s good to buy both the .com and the .com.au domain name to cover all bases. You can also purchase specialised domain names like .sydney or .melbourne etc. I don’t particularly use or recommend them unless you have a specific reason to as they are more expensive. Keeping in mind, domain names have no influence in Google search ranking factors and only a tiny influence with Bing searches for when you start to market your website in search engines. .com and .com.au are more well known but you really want something that is going to be easy for your audience to remember.
Hosting is a service that allows your website to be viewed on the internet. Once you purchase hosting you will be provided with a server that has a certain amount of space for your website, if you go over the space or disc allowance then your website will most likely go down or you will then need to purchase more server space. A hosting provider can host your website and/or email address on their server and depending on what type of information is on your website/emails will depend on how much space you need. If you have a basic business website with a dozen images and regularly get business emails without large image files then a server space of 500mb is suitable. If you have a large website with a large amount of traffic or images added daily, such as directories, job boards, classified sites, ecommerce websites or large blog sites then you will likely need more website space.
As a do-it-yourself(er) you are best to start with say 500mb to 1gb and upgrade as you need to. The other thing you want to look at is the type of website hosting. There are many types of hosting from shared, dedicated, managed etc. Dedicated hosting is more expensive and unless you have a large business then you are best to start with basic ‘shared’ hosting. Dedicated hosting is extremely fast as it has almost all the products required to optimize your website and you have complete control over the server. If you’re going to go down this route, I would recommend Amazon web services. Shared hosting can be a little slower, but you can definitely speed your website up with a good hosting provider and a few website hacks. For most websites then shared hosting is completely fine.
If you are using website building platforms such as Squarespace, WordPress.com, Wix etc then your hosting is paid as part of your website building tool so you don’t need to purchase website hosting as you are already paying for it.
Okay, now let’s get started and purchase your website hosting if you decide to have a self-managed WordPress website.
STEP 1, jump onto the Siteground website. I have used many hosting providers and helped clients improve their website speed and I believe Siteground is one of the best for people that want to manage their hosting themselves.
Platform to share your website content on the internet.
There are many website builders including Self managed WordPress, WordPress.com, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Godaddy website builder, HTML editor, Shopify, Drupal, Joomla, Cake PHP, Magento, Prestashop, including ones I have never worked with from Levo Builder to Rocketspark and so many more.
No wonder why people get confused. We can normally help people edit most website builders however we specialize and love Self-managed WordPress. Why? It’s so customizable and search engines love the clean code of it, especially when using the amazing theme DIVI by Elegant themes.
Once you have set up your hosting for your website you can generally easily install the website builder of your choosing unless you are using platforms such as WordPress.com, Wix, Squarespace etc as these have hosting set within the platform that you pay for rather than using hosting above.
Once the website building platform is installed you are now ready to create your own website. If you are going with our recommendation of using Self Managed WordPress then Grab the FREE 7-day guide to create your website and we will walk you through installing WordPress.org to build your website with.
Best theme to use for your Self Managed WordPress Website?
Divi by Elegant themes. From US$89… Why Because it’s so customizable so you can make it look similar to any other theme plus its fast loading and website speed is an important factor for user experience and search engine rankings.
Best Plugins for WordPress
Plugins are little pieces of software that can add more functions to your website. e.g. you can add a shopping cart plugin, or a contact form, or a slider or a calendar to your website. Whatever you are thinking of adding there is most likely a plugin to install for it. Just be careful as adding too many plugins can slow down your website which takes it longer to load so people can get annoyed and stop visiting your website. As plugins are created by many different website developers and are updated often to improve their function, some plugins clash so having too many can cause errors on your website.
Wordfence for security
Akismet for preventing spam on comments or reviews.
Yoast SEO for search engine optimization
UpdraftPlus for back up’s
Monsterinsight to view basic website stats (optional as long as your connected with google analytics you can view your states separately through google analytics)
Your Business Brand- Graphic Design
Having a Business Brand helps your clients and customers to identify your business. Branding is basically your business DNA – how it looks, colour, word usage, and overall style.
You can hire a Graphic Designer or if you have a basic idea what you want then our team at Thomas Web Designs can create a logo from an idea you already have.
If you like to play and do your own designs then the following are great tools you can use.
Create beautiful designs for your website, social media and advertising, from logo’s, business presentations and more. Upload your own images, or use the stock images available. Check out Canva.com now- It’s free to use for most things.
Allows you to create amazing imaging and graphic design. Check it out with a free trial here.
Another great design program that allows you to create stunning images with a easy-to-use graphic design tools, Grab your free trial here.
It’s illegal to use google or use images without permission so if you are looking for some professional stunning stock images then read my blog article on “Amazing websites to find professional stunning stock images.”
ATTRACTING CLIENTS & BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE
When you are building your website you want to make sure you are clear that you are bringing the right clients and driving them to your products and services.
When someone first lands on your website they might not be 100% ready to buy from you so if they are not then you want to start collecting their contact details so you can follow them up and keep putting your business in front of them on what you offer so they will eventually buy from you. There are few ways you can start building a list.
Facebook Messenger bot
Located in Goulburn NSW, but servicing anywhere in Australia- Canberra, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Adelaide etc. Website design, blogs, e-commerce webpages, wordpress editing, training, consultancy services, domain name, hosting, SEO, Social media Management.
© 2017 Jacinta Thomas