Ready to Go Online and Don't Know Where to Start?
If you are reading this article, you probably have your Internet access already. Many choices are available today: dial-up (least expensive, but too slow), cable, DSL, satellite, etc. Shop around and ask your Internet-savvy friends for a recommendation.
1. If you are serious about your online business, invest in your own domain name. Think of your domain as the most important part your online identity. See my article about domain name considerations.
2. Find good hosting company. When you purchase a domain name, you will probably get "free parking" with it. You will have to find a host for your domain in order to upload your website on line and to have your own email (firstname.lastname@example.org) boxes. Good hosting plans come with at least 10 email boxes, guaranteed up-time, phone and email support, anti-spam filters and website statistics. Choosing your host is serious decision. Shop around for a reliable hosting company with good customer support or ask a web professional to assist you with it. Your host is your major partner in your online business.
3. Design and upload your website. If you can afford it, work with professionals. There are many things to learn and follow in the web development field and your online competition is serious. Working with professionals will save you lots of time and help you to avoid many mistakes.
4. Promote your site. When looking for professional web designer, try to find one that understands search engine optimization. Basic search engine optimization is one of the least expensive ways to bring quality traffic to your website. We know several business owners that had their websites up and running for years without making it on search engine's first pages even under their own unique names. Effectively they had wasted time creating their websites, because no one could find them. If you cant find your own website using search engines, how can your clients possibly find you?
By Zhenya Beck
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Zhenya Beck, M.A. Journalism is an online marketing and web development consultant and founder of Centauria - http://www.centauria.com, Vancouver, BC web design and development company helping businesses and organizations with their online presence since 1998.