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The Checklist to Build a Website

Interested in building a website? Follow this checklist to help you get started:

  • Determine the purpose of your website (e.g., blog, e-commerce site, online brochure).
  • Choose and register a memorable .net domain name for your web address.
  • Determine what is critical for your website today vs. what you can add later.
  • Develop a list of website requirements. For example:
    • Number of website pages
    • Amount of website storage (keep in mind, images and videos require more storage space)
    • Tools such as online forms, blogs, customer reviews, maps, slideshows
    • Links to/integration with social media
    • Video and/or audio players
    • Shopping cart
    • Tech support
    • Mobile device optimization (so your website looks good on mobile devices)
    • Easy way to make content updates
  • Since most DIY website building tools are now made with small business owners in mind, decide if you want to do-it-yourself or if you want to outsource it to an expert.
  • To find the right website builder, do a quick internet search or ask colleagues for recommendations.
  • Choosing a hosting company (the company that will host your website on the internet to make it accessible) is a critical step. Note that some website builders include hosting and conversely, some hosting companies will build your website and/or provide a DIY website building tool.
  • Having a memorable web address makes it easy to tell people where to find you online, so if you decide to use free hosting that places your website on the hosting company’s domain name, don’t forget to connect your .net domain name as a web address to your website. You can do this by “redirecting” your domain name to where your website is located.
  • Create website content that your visitors will find valuable. At a minimum, make sure your website shows your business’s contact information, such as your branded, professional email address and phone number.
  • Promote your website! Think about how your visitors will find your website and put your web address everywhere possible, including business cards, social media, advertising and free online directories. Experiment with paid search.
  • Understand how your website is performing and who is coming to your site, use a tool like Google Analytics to help analyze your website traffic.
  • Continually optimize your site and develop useful content for your visitors based on what’s working.

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