Creating a website is easier these days, but things won’t work properly if you don’t have an idea about your business, or the site needs. There are important things to consider before starting a website, and it’s a good idea to understand them carefully.
Millions of websites are created every year, but a few percentage of them are active and successful. When a website was built, based on advice and good ideas, the chances to succeed will be higher and the problems will be easy to solve.
Today, I’ll talk about what you have to know before creating a website or a blog, and how to avoid problems in the future.
Set your website’s goal
Every website should have its own goals and what you want to do with it. Creating a blog is different from a business website or a forum, every niche needs specific tools and work, and you should think about that from now. At the same time, make things easy and general.
If you want to create a website to sell products directly with it, you will need extra tools. The WordPress platform, for example, lets you use create any website type you can imagine. There are thousands of plugins to extend the site functions and customize everything.
Define the main goal of your website and what you want in the end. That will make things clear from the beginning, and you will save lots of work.
Choose cheap and reliable web hosting
Nowadays, the free website creation is no longer valid for professional services. If you just want to publish few pages and share them with family members you can use any of the popular platforms, such as blogger.
If you want to go professional, then, you should think about the site hosting services. There are lots of companies and you can select the right one for you, but remember not all of them are the same. Only a few hosting providers like Inmotion Hosting offer affordable and reliable hosting services.
The web hosting step is the most important in any online business, or even a simple website. You don’t know when the site will be down, and sometimes it takes hours to work again. That’s a big problem with companies that offer free hosting.
At the same time, Google and the other search engines use the hosting as a ranking factor, and that’s not a secret. Free web hosting will negatively impact the sites that are hosted on their servers, and that without talking about the low quality services.
The wrong thing about hosting is choosing a monthly payment option, and that’s not a real solution for these reasons. First, you will pay more for the monthly hosting plans, instead, you can save lots of money with yearly plans that I recommend.
Second, you can’t guarantee that you will pay each month and that can interrupt the site services unless you pay them again. So avoid these problems and pick a yearly hosting plan. Do it once and forget it, or select a long-term hosting plan that will save you money, even more.
The real web hosting should offer unlimited hosting, such as, the disk space, the monthly transfer and daily free backup. At the mean time, they should have a good customer support that’s available 24/7 by phone, live chat, and ticket system. These are very important factors to consider before starting a new website.
Select the right theme
When we say a website or a blog, we think immediately about the look and the template. You can create lots of content, but it will never attract readers or customers without a professional and optimized theme.
The first thing to consider before starting a blog is selecting an SEO friendly theme, it’s the only thing that can reflect the blog’s content and how search engines will read the content.
If the theme was just created to look good without caring about search engines, then, no one will find the blog, simply because it will not be crawled properly and indexed by Google.
There are lots of themes that you can use, but make sure to pick the right one. A theme for food sites, for example, will not work for a business website, and vice versa. It’s just an example and each niche should use the appropriate theme that comes with customized colors, relevant layout and structures.
The new search engine ranking factors give real importance to the HTML Markup structure, it’s a code that tells them about the site information. Not all the theme builders are using this feature, and that’s why you should be careful before buying any theme, unless you verify its speed, and search engine friendly coding.
If you want to start a website with WordPress, then, I recommend the StudioPress premium themes for their quality and the good reputation. They are the number one theme provider for WordPress, and you can count on them.
After all, you can browse their theme one by one, and best of all, you can test them online using the live demo link.
If you want to start a website, but without WordPress, you can browse the ThemeForest themes, they have thousands of designer and creators with long years of experience. You can find themes and HTML and CSS templates for all sites and platforms.
You can also read: How to select a good WordPress theme for your Blog.
The themes the first thing that gives an idea about your site, if the visitor finds it unclean, he/she will leave the site after a few seconds, and that’s what you don’t need. So work on your theme colors and design if you should customize it.
Or, simply use one of the above suggestions and get a premium and professional theme that’s used in popular websites with millions of visitors.
Think about security
You will get lots of spam comments and emails, or even, attempts to login to your admin area. There are lots of spammers and you should protect your site before launching it and make sure to scan it every day. If you are using WordPress, you can read how to scan WordPress themes and plugins for malware.
If you want to start a commercial website, you should secure the connection and use and SSL service. Lots of hosting companies add that feature to their services, but I’ve found that Inmotion Hosting offers the best SSL prices and security.
You have to be careful about plugins or tools that you add to your site, verify their source and scan them before the upload process. You don’t know how they can affect your website, and it’s better to verify things first. If you have a private server, make sure to ask your technician or technical support about the recommended software to protect it. Everything can be customized in these days.
The contact page
You need to create a contact page with your email, or simply add a contact form. This is professional and it adds extra trust to your business, no one will buy from a site that looks anonymous, and hide information. If you have a commercial website, add a clear address with Google maps, it’s good and it helps in bringing more customers, especially for restaurant websites.
Read the Google webmaster Guidelines
Yes, you need to read that, Google is the only search engine that you need. No other way to succeed without paying thousands of dollars for advertising and hope it will work. Google helps webmasters to stay safe from spammers and bad people and content.
The Google webmaster guidelines is a simple page that you can read and understand what you have to do exactly.
Be careful about these things
When you start building a website, no one will be interested in it, unless it gets some important traffic. In this case, you will get lots of emails and request to exchange links, and that’s what you should never accept. There are lots of people who want to destroy the other websites, and you need to forget these emails.
If someone contact you for publishing his articles on your website, never accept and you will thank me later for this advice. Type his name or email in Google, and you will find lots of information.
Never share your email address and personal information with everyone, keep things safe and trust people who you know personally, or have relation with them. You don’t have an idea about how people can use your information for fraud and other bad things, so be careful about this.
Also, never save your login details on your browser, they can be accessed and you can avoid that by adding your login details manually every time, or use one of the password manager tools for web browsers.
These are the most important things to know, before creating any website. They can help you to avoid issues and succeeding your business easily.
Fathi Arfaoui: A Physicist, founder and owner of Trustiko.com. He shares Business, WordPress, Web Safety, and Blogging tips to build better websites and blogs. Thus, you will succeed online with the right marketing strategies and recommendations. Of course, you’ll find much more topics.