The holiday seasons are over and it's time to follow through on New Year's resolutions. If you've decided to create the website you've always wanted, ServerPoint is a great place to start. You can create your own or work with Weebly, which is one of the leading website builders on the Internet. We fully support Weebly sites, and if you are ready to get started here are some tips.
1. Figure Out Your Business Model
Before you start your website, you need a plan. The big part of the plan is what you want to do with your site. Do you just want a basic blog? Do you want to sell product? Do you want to sell a service? What is the purpose of the site? This is probably one of the most difficult for people with multiple interests and multiple ideas. Do you go with something that's a hobby or try to do something professionally that you understand well?
Once you nail down what you want to do, you need to plan your business model. Sometimes, this model can be set up in phases. For instance, you might want to sell 10 products initially but in phase two you then want to sell 10 items and several services. You will hear the phrase "minimal viable product (MVP)" thrown around when it comes to new businesses. This is the minimal product that you can have built to establish the business and test the market.
2. Determine Your Hosting Requirements
ServerPoint has some of the best cloud hosting available, but you also need to understand the different types of hosting. Each type has different price points, and you will need to choose one when you sign up for service.
You'll see shared hosting mainly with small blogs and personal sites. Shared hosting is when several hundred (sometimes thousands) clients use the same server. This is the cheapest form of hosting, but you have very little options in terms of server and hosting configurations.
The best choice for any site owner is VPS hosting. Virtual Private Servers (VPS) is a step up from basic shared hosting although it does cost slightly more. VPS services still share the dedicated physical machine, but you get your own "sandbox" environment where you can configure server preferences and configurations. You only share hardware resources, and the host is responsible for keeping the resources from crashing including upgrades and maintenance.
The last type of hosting is dedicated servers. You lease the entire machine, and you can even ask for upgrades to your service. You have complete control of the server's resources, and you can even create your own virtual machines on the dedicated physical machine. This service is usually the most expensive, but it gives you complete flexibility and allows you to host several sites on one machine.
3. Get a Weebly Developer or Create Your Own Site?
The next step is to decide if you want to create a site yourself or hire a developer. If you have never worked with CSS or HTML at least, then it's probably best to hire a developer. Weebly has its own website builder, but you should display a professional site if you plan to sell product or a professional service.
It's hard to find a developer, but you need one that works well with Weebly and understands design and layout. If you want to try the design yourself, Weebly has several pre-made templates and has a builder to help you work through any design changes. For personal blogs and sites, using a builder is sufficient for publishing. If you are new to the field, it's best to work with a Weebly developer.
4. Marketing and Content
After you create the site, you need to market it. How are you going to market your site? You need a full strategic plan. If this is your first site, it's difficult to know the ins and outs of website marketing. There are several online courses and free videos that can help you, but just know that you have thousands of competitors vying for your customers.
Even if you create a simple blog, you have competitors who want to rank in search engines to gain traffic for advertising dollars. You need a good plan. Social media is a good first step. Many small blog owners and business sites start off with simple social media marketing. Share with friends and family and then create specific business pages to attract others.
You'll also hear "SEO" in marketing circles. Search engine optimization (SEO) is useful for your site's search engine ranking. SEO is a way to make your site more search engine friendly, so that their algorithms can understand your site and its user engagement.
5. Time for Deployment
After your site is ready, it's time for a deployment plan. You don't want to deploy during the busy season if it's an upgrade to an existing site, but now is a good time to tidy up your code and test it before releasing it to the public.
If you decide to work with a Weebly developer, he will help you deploy your site. You may need changes in the future, so having a good, solid reliable developer is an advantage of hiring one to work with your site initially. Any bugs or updates can be handled by your developer.
It isn't easy starting a new business online, but with the right strategy and site design, you can make it happen. With ServerPoint, you can leave the worries of hosting and performance to us. We offer cloud hosting with fast servers, data centers, and uptime so that you can work on building your business rather than fixing your site.