6 Steps To Creating and Managing Your Online Presence

imagesSo, you want to build a website and generate traffic and leads for your business?  It’s easy if you understand the basic pieces that go into creating a website, as well as maintaining and marketing that site to your customers.

Let’s start with the 10,000 foot view:

  1. You need a domain name
  2. You need a hosting service
  3. You need a website design
  4. You need someone to develop your website based on that design
  5. You need a marketing team to advertise and make sure your website gets traffic and conversions
  6. You need someone to maintain your website and work with the marketing team as content and creative change.

Technically, there is a lot more to it than those 6 steps, so if we dig a bit deeper, we can develop a better understanding of these and what we need.

  1. Domain Registrar – This is a company where you register your domain name.  I believe everyone is familiar with GoDaddy, but there are others such as Enom, Network Solutions and NameCheap.  These companies manage the reservation of domain name for a yearly fee and if you do not keep up with the renewal, your domain will expire and you could risk losing it.  Also, make sure your administrator is yourself or someone you trust because they essentially own the domain.  As a web developer myself, I have seen many businesses lose a domain because their web development company set it up and won’t give them permission, or they can’t get a hold of the person who originally set it up.
  2. Hosting Service – Handles hosting your website through their servers, maintaining SSL certificates, upgrade to the server software etc. through a monthly, quarterly or annual fee.  This service does not maintain your website, domain, email or computer, it simply “hosts” or contains your website files or email accounts.  Once hosting is set-up, your domain “points” to the location and allows the browser to view the site.  I find it best to use the same company to register and host your domain to keep everything in one place.
  3. IT Service – This can be a gray are for a lot of companies.  This resource is needed to maintain your computers, handle any email configuration on client computers (i.e., the machines in your office), and provide support for hosting/server problems.  Many small businesses purchase their hosting through companies like GoDaddy.  That’s great if you just want a web development company to put up a website for you, but it won’t provide support for computer, server or email issues.
  4. Website Development Service (usually incorporates design and development) – This is a company who will design a website and provide the front-end development and functionality that makes your site work.  They provide creative and technical services but usually do not include IT services.  They do not maintain or set up email or provide computer support.  They will maintain and upgrade your website with a maintenance contract or hourly rate.
  5. Website Marketing Service  – Provides ongoing services once your website is launched including, SEO, SEM, Social, PPC etc.  They do not develop, maintain your website, provide computer or email support.  They are here to promote your site and work with you on the creative aspects to drive leads and generate buzz often working with your design and development team.

When a business considers a website, they should review these important aspects that work together to create a successful online presence.  Mid-West Digital Marketing handles Web Development and Marketing Services.   Let us know how we can help you with your next project!