Starting a business can be a very scary thing but if you are inadequately prepared, starting an Internet Business can be even more so. Where do I begin? What should I expect? How much should this cost? I hope to answer some of the common questions asked by business owners wanting to setup a website.
First you must register a domain name. This will be the address for your setup. Websites need to contain keywords but also need to be attractive to human readers, so do not get carried away by keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com domain names. Keywords do help, but you want a name that is able to be branded as well. I register all of my domains with godaddy.com. They start at around $8 a year for a regular .com registration but sometimes you can get a good discount if you sign up for another godaddy service such as private registration. This keeps your contact information hidden from the public. If you would like to see what kind of information is publicly available, do a Google search for Who Is when ever you get the chance.
The next task is to decide where you will host your site. The two most common types of hosting are Shared Web Hosting and Dedicated Web Hosting. For most starter websites Shared Web Hosting should be sufficient, but larger websites should enjoy the added benefits of dedicated web hosting. Shared hosting is going to cost around 10.00 a month compared to dedicated hosting which can run around $75 or more a month. If you receive a large number of visitors a day, or have a fairly large database driven dynamic website, dedicated hosting is the only way to go. Most Search engine specialists will recommend a dedicated server over a shared server even for small websites due to the possibility that your site could theoretically be penalized for shady actions taken by other websites that share your sever and IP address. So if you choose to start off with shared hosting, shop around and make sure you will be sharing your sever with a reputable company that hosts reputable websites. Even though some companies offer webhosting for $3 or $4 dollars a month, it doesn’t mean it is a good buy. Spammers know where the cheap prices are, as they register them in bulk!
Now the fun part! The final task is the most challenging of all, the building of the website itself. You can outsource your web design with a website design company or you can opt to build it yourself. If you decide to build your own site, remember to practice common design recommendations like header tags and good text based navigation. Another important tip is to set a title, description and keyword tag in the head section of every page. A lot of people believe these tags are useless, but this is far from true. The title tag is the most important on page factor because it greatly affects ranking. The title tag is also important for enticing users to click on your listing as most search engines pull some of your listing information from the title tag. I try to keep my titles under 65 characters long. The description meta tag is also quite useful for ranking and can be quite a bit longer. Look at keeping your description under 250 characters, including spaces. I believe the keyword information is mainly used for categorization purposes. Just make a point to not repeat any words more than two or at the most three times or it may hurt you more than help.