So you want a web presence!
Where do you start and what are the most important components you will need.
There are 3 main components you will require if you wish to be found on the internet.
1. DOMAIN: Firstly, you will need a domain. So what is a domain! A domain is a unique name and no two domains can ever be the same. Its like the physical home address you live in or your business address. You will agree that no two addresses can be identical. So, if I need to visit you and you then give me your address, I will arrive at your house. Likewise, a domain is an address on the internet, or as previously commonly referred to as the World Wide Web, this is where we get the www that precedes the domain name e.g.: (www.domainname.com). Domain Names have two components to it, which is the actual Name followed by the domain extension e.g. .com, .info, .co.uk etc. Though the prefix (i.e. the first component which is the actual name can be identical for lets say 2 companies trading under the same name such a Walmart. Now you can have many domains with the name “Walmart” but what will make each unique, will be the domain extension. So, you may have a Walmart in US with name www.walmart.co.us, another in France as www.walmart.co.fr or another one in India as www.walmart.co.in . Now each as much as it may seem the same, is really very different due to the domain extension or what we refer to as the TLD. Now you will agree that if you need to be found on the internet, then you will need a domain.
So, how do you get a domain! There are Domain Registrars in each country and the popular international one that you may be familiar with is GODADDY.com. There are thousands of such registrars throughout the world but not all as popular as GoDaddy. Domains are not expensive costing from a few dollars.
2. WEBSITE: The next important component you will require is a WEBSITE. A website is like the House or Office you have on your physical address. If you don’t have a website and I arrive at your domain then I am going to find nothing there, just as if you had no House or Office on the physical address. A website when found on the net will provide the visitor with information about your business.
How do you get a website! There are thousands of Web design companies everywhere and there are also lots of systems on the net where you can subscribe and with all the tools provided, to get your website designed all by yourself. The most popular platform is WIX, though they market themselves as Free, but a lot of important components you will need for your website, will come at a cost and in some cases may cost much more than if you went to a reputable web design company in your neighborhood.
3. Hosting: The next important component you will need is a hosting account. Essentially hosting means taking your website and publishing it on the net. The website will piggy Back on your unique domain name but will reside on some server (computer) that will remain connected and switched on 24/7 so that people can find your website on the internet at any time. Unlike your physical business that may operate from 8 to 5 daily, a website is open all day long. Remember most people also prefer having their emails run of their own domain name e.g. email@example.com. For email transmission, servers have to remain of all the time. You would not want emails destined to you bouncing back to senders.
So where do you find a company to host your website. Again, there are thousands of service provider all over the globe that will have accounts with larger service providers and they can activate a hosting account for you.
There are a whole range of other factors to consider for a great online presence, but in this article, I focused on the three vital components.
Its easy to find service provider that will offer the above services. If you are a novice and don’t have a good knowledge of the above then I suggest you find a service provider that can offer you all of the above services. Let the experts do this for you whilst you focus on your core business. You certainly wouldn’t switch to being a mechanic when you buy yourself a car!!