New Website, New Adventures - Starting a Site 101

Posted By: Brian Farrell

Last Updated: Wednesday February 11, 2015

Anyone who has ever setup a website remembers how daunting their first experience was. Terms like ‘shared hosting’, ‘register a domain’, ’nameservers’, and ‘cPanel’, which may now be in your regular vernacular, were once a foreign language you’d someday hope to understand. You were confused about what company you should host with, or how you’d even build a website, or whether or not you could fix a problem with the site once it was online. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business, an individual, a hobbyist, or anything in between, todays culture expects you to have a web presence. So where does the first time site builder get started?

Easy as Pie Easy as Pie

This isn’t going to be an all-inclusive/comprehensive guide to getting your first website online, but with any luck it will point you in the right direction. One important thing to remember is research is key. You shouldn’t feel rushed into setting up your site just because you’ve gone this long without one. A few extra days (or weeks) of investigation to make the right hosting decision can save you hours of headaches and problems later on.

  1. Keep track of all your logins. I can’t recommend LastPass enough. It’s a secure way to store all your online passwords. This includes your client account login, your control panel, and anything else you’ve setup with your new site.

  2. Update your software regularly. We see thousands of compromised websites every year, and most of them are attacked due to running outdated software. Whatever you chose to build your website with, keep it updated and keep it safe. (Check out our security blog post for more details)

  3. Backups are king. Even if your webhost offers backups, keep your own. I cannot stress the importance of maintaining regular, off site backups you control and have full access to. A few hours of due diligence each month to make sure you have backups could save you countless hours and money down the line if something happens to your site.

  4. Keep your content fresh. A stagnant site won’t rank as highly on major search engines, and regular visitors will stop coming back if you’re not persistent with keeping the site updated. If your main site content doesn’t change often, then setup a blog (like this one!) and post every few weeks. Create a community forum for folks to discuss your site or products. Be active on social media so your fans can keep tabs on what you’re up to.

  5. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun. This site is your project, your passion, your business. If you don’t enjoy it then neither will your audience. Just like anything in life, don’t take it too seriously. Hey, you didn’t even have a website a month ago, so why get too stressed over something that never previously existed?

Creating a website, regardless of the purpose, can be a very fulfilling experience. Whether it’s a canvas for expression or a way to grow your business (or both), make it count and make it worthwhile.

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