Create a List of Preferred Web Address Names
Choosing an appropriate web address, url or domain name is a critical first step for website launch. You should have anywhere from 5-10 preferred web address names in mind before committing purchasing a domain. This way if one is not available you have others ready. There are tools online through domain name registrars like Host Papa or GoDaddy, that can help you see what’s currently available; if you’re happy with what’s available you can register it right then with that registrar.
Purchase a Hosting Plan from a Reputable Company
It pays to research to find a host that’s right for you. Fast hosting with enough space is key. Keep in mind that quality hosting usually costs more than the cheap deals advertised online. Also keep in mind that quality hosting involves both the quality of website speed and customer service availability. We recommend Host Papa or BlueHost.
Hire Web Designer/Developer (or Company) to Setup Your Site
In order to expedite the launch of your site, it pays to hire someone to design and develop your website for you. A content management system (CMS) is beneficial so that you have the ability to do basic updates to the site over time with minimal training. You’ll want a web developer or a web development company to build the site with a background in setting up CMS-based sites. WordPress is the most common and easiest to learn. Additionally, email addresses for you and anyone in your organization should also be setup. We make it easy for you with our start to finish website design.
Review the Website Before Launching
Your chosen designer(s) should spend some time interviewing you for your site needs before building your site. If a logo for your organization does not exist yet, it might be good to include logo design. A website map is also beneficial at this point so that you know how many pages will need text and photos.
Prior to launch you should recieve a test link from the designers test server. They should walk you through their process in creating the site. It pays to ask questions in person, and express any concerns you have immediately; also, take notes so you can go over any issues that might arise.
Working on the back end of a website in a CMS can be intimidating for many. Training and tutorials are important. Better to learn from the people who built the site than someone else. There are many free online and inexpensive book resources available on how to use various CMS websites. Learning the basics, like adding and editing pages, uploading images and adding YouTube videos yourself can save time and money.
Launching the Site
Once you are happy with the layout, logo, and ability to change content on your website, your designer should launch the site onto your live web address. There are a number of small technical details that go with any site launch; analytics, to measure your site traffic; ensuring that any printed materials your business sends out include the new web address and much more. The overall process should take between 1-3 months for most small to medium size websites. Anyone can launch a WordPress site live in a matter of minutes, but careful, deliberately planning a website design in the beginning will ensure a higher quality and improve the trustworthiness of your website.