DO I JUST NEED A WEBSITE
Do I Just Need a Website?
A big Yes and an even bigger No!
Just a website on its own is never enough. Unless you have certain items done and dusted and safely stored in your digital shed, then do not go flying towards a wonderful ‘we’ll build your site for you’ deal.
Because that is not enough.
There are 3 main things that you’ll need, and some extras. I won’t discuss Mail Subscription Services, Backups, Plug-ins as they are unique for each site.
Below are the Fundamental Basics you must get/do.
- The Domain Name
- The Website
- Site Engine Optimisation
I want to make clear right now that none of the links below are affiliation links – thus we gain nothing from you clicking.
1 The Domain Name
You need an identity for your site. What is it called? Will it be your name, a brand, the title of your book, services, or a new business? Some designers will build your site, and then let you go off and do the Domain Name and the Hosting yourself. Yes, yes, yes, it can be done in any order you want (kind of not true) but why risk things falling apart when you try to associate a name to a built site. What if you lose the site or it resets itself during the process?
Yup. Big bummer there.
I recommend using 123-Reg https://www.123-reg.co.uk (123-reg.co.uk) as they have a great range of domain names for super low prices (for the first year). For most sites you’ll be looking at £1.99 for the entirety of Year 1, and then £14.99 for Year 2 onwards.
Option 1 is getting the name yourself, so that you own it, and then changing the DNS Name Server (your designer should know how to do this) towards your suited Hosting Service.
Option 2 is that you let the designer obtain it for you. There is a risk that they then hold you to ransom as they’ll possess the rights to the Domain, and I have seen cases of this happen, so if you do let them purchase the Domain, make sure that you have a Contract in place ensuring that ownership shifts back to you at any time with no loss of service.
At BATS, we can purchase the Domain for you as part of a Hosting Package, even if you go for the Basic Package at £6 per month.
Some recommendations are:
- Don’t make the Domain too long like BusinessAnalyticsandTechnologySolutions.com
- Don’t add too many hyphens or symbols like Business_Analytics-Solutions.com
- Don’t make it too vague unless you have a brand: GreenPlop.com
- Don’t purchase too many domains and then link them all to just one (costs will add up)
- Don’t create a site per novel you write; aim to promote yourself as a writer
- Don’t use offensive or suggestive words as your name
- Think out of the box. We couldn’t get BATS.com, so we got BATS.work
- If a name is taken, try an alternative like Apple.org.uk (notice the .org)
- Say the domain name aloud. Would someone get it if they just heard it?
2 The Hosting
Almost all places that offer you the facility to purchase a Domain name will offer you hosting too.
From experience and from talking to many (many, many), I will not recommend using GoDaddy, Blue Host, Hostinger, Hostgator, and many other sites for their hosting services. I’m not saying that you can’t use them, just that I wouldn’t, and my thoughts are my own.
What am I referring to anyway when I say Hosting? You have the Domain Name, and you have a Designer chomping at your ankles to get the site built, so what is Hosting?
Hosting is the gateway to the web! (Cue the Choir humming aloud).
The Domain is the Identity. The Site is the Body. The Hosting is the Lifeforce that picks up the body and lets others see it. Without the Hosting, no-one will see your site.
No Hosting = A Dead Zone = End Of.
I am bias with my recommendation though I have tried many in the last 12 years, and without a doubt, Siteground https://www.siteground.co.uk/ have been amazing.
They offer fantastic Hosting Packages from 5.99 per month, absolutely mind-blowing support and tech-help behind the scenes (24/7) and give you all the tools you need to get things up and running quickly.
Many Developers and Designers use Siteground.
If you decide to do the hosting yourself, go for Siteground and use the steps they give to connect your Domain’s DNS to their Server.
Or you could ask us to do it for you. Starting at £6 per month – we could purchase your Domain and put you on Siteground’s Hosting – and on top of that, you would get us looking after your site’s daily backups, SSL Site Security, hosted maintenance and ensuring things are fine.
Think about it. You could pay £5.99 + VAT to use Siteground, plus you still need to purchase your Domain Name, and then do the backend tech stuff – or use us for £6.
3 The Website
Got your Domain and Hosting? Good.
Got WordPress? Even better.
Got an Idea of Content? Hand over the scribbles.
Got Elementor Pro? [Record scratches to a halt]
Elementor is a world-leading Page Builder for WordPress and every site that we’ve build, even this one is built with Elementor. We don’t stop at the Basic Free Elementor. Oh no, we want the full load of widgets to help your site look amazing, so we install Elementor Pro – that actually costs £40 per year – for FREE for you! https://elementor.com/
This makes it easier for us to build, but also saves you from hiring a HTML Coder or a Developer who charges into the £Thousands for changes.
It always helps the time taken to build a site if you know the logo, colours, narrative content, images, pages, layout and other bits and pieces.
Don’t fret though.
If you have little idea, we can help you along the way. The site build may take longer than our Average of 4 days, but we always get there (together).
Our process is to get the Landing or the Home Page done first, and once we’re agreed on the Headings, Footers, Content, Layout and all else, then we progress onto the other pages. We always want to be sure that you’re happy and believe in what you see.
Our basic build cost of £240 is not based on 4 days work, or a total of 21 hours of work, etc. Our cost is based on reaching the end even if it takes longer.
At various stages, we’ll share the site with you and ask you to assess so you’re not left wondering about progress.
And most of all, we will build your site to be work responsively on a Desktop, Tablet and a Mobile.
If you have a load of images and a logo ready, then please send them over. And if you have many that are clogging up the inbox, then send them via WeTransfer which is Free. https://wetransfer.com/
Before we upload your images, we’ll compress to reduce the size – and don’t worry as this won’t affect the quality of the image – with our suited preference being TinyPNG https://tinypng.com/
I won’t lie; if you compress before sending to us, then it helps.
If you don’t have a logo, then please do ask us to create one for you https://bats.work/ebookcovers/ Our prices start from £25. If you’ve taken out a Hosting Package, then we’ll do it for FREE (within reason).
If you’re short of images, then we can obtain using our Canva PRO https://www.canva.com/ account or from Unsplash https://unsplash.com/ to get Royalty-Free images suited for your site. Often, we’ll get hold of many so that you can chop and change.
5 Site Engine Optimisation
Also known as SEO.
Having a site online doesn’t guarantee organic/natural visitors knocking on your door. Sure, you’ll have a line of friends and family visiting but they won’t be your main customers or your re-visitors that are willing to share.
Google uses Crawlers (creepy – right?) to gather information about site content especially about the keywords contained in your site. The results of the crawling feeds into an index that alongside an algorithm will define the search results.
Websites at the top of Google didn’t get there by fluke.
They go there via people visiting, people sharing, people searching on certain words, and via strong SEO within the site.
Every task that we take on will have their Home Page optimised using Rank Math https://rankmath.com/ . Here we can define the Keywords, the Snippet that appears when you are found on Google, and ensuring that the site hits as many tick boxes as possible to help your site get higher in Google. This also includes submitting your Site Index to Google to get the crawling started.
If you require other pages to be optimised then we charge £10 per page, but rest assured that your Home Page will be thrashed to the maximum in a positive way.
I must add caution that even the best SEO doesn’t guarantee you appearing on the first page of search results. Some things that can help are:
- Ask your friends and family to organically search for your site on Google, and to then click it when they find it. Don’t just give them the link.
- Ask them to stick around on the site and visit other pages. If they just go to the Home page and then click away, that doesn’t help, and Google notice.
- If you have Social Sharing Icons – get them to click and share with their own followers. Links that just take them to your Facebook page can be defeating as they’ll just see your FB page, whereby if they can share directly to their FB, Linkedin, Twitter Feed, then that’s free advertising.
- Make sure you add your home page address when posting on social media or to the relevant blog post/page.