Getting Your Business Started With A Website

Looking at website builders like Squarespace and Wix may be a good way to get started with a website, but as you get larger and more professional, your website won’t keep up and will slow down your business. Companies like Squarespace and Wix lack the sophisticated tools that you should be using to keep your website fast, well-performing and high ranking in search results.

This article will go over how to get your website setup, how to host your website, what a domain name is, what it should be and how to get one, along with other important parts like search engine optimisation and performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a domain?

Domain names are just the website address that you buy, nothing comes with it, you are purely buying the name/address. You will have to keep paying for this name/address and the renewal times vary depending on the name and the company you purchase it from. There are thousands of web addresses available with all sorts of endings, so make sure you look around and find one that is suitable for you and that it is within your prices range as they vary a lot. Domain names can be purchased individually from different places or can be part of a hosting package. Some hosting sites give them away as an incentive to purchase hosting, however, these sites do not always offer the best deals. Once you have bought the site name you then have to link it to your hosting site. This is done by changing the name-servers on the domain name suppliers’ site.

Domain Registrars

Domain RegistrarWebsite Link
Krystal Hosting
Nominet UK
Two Cows
Google Domains
IONOS by 1&1
Reputable Domain Sellers

What is website hosting and who should I use?

Website Hosting is where your website is stored and “powered”. These servers normally run on an operating system called Linux with software installed to run a website server. Often, website hosting companies come with features such as built-in email servers, spam protection and other features.

Which company you use is personal preference and depends on what technology your website runs on. If you’re using WordPress, you’ll need a server that can support PHP with at least 512MB of RAM – this just means that your server can run low-level website applications. If you’re just running a regular site coded in HTML then you don’t need anything special, just something that runs a web server.

I recommend using Krystal Hosting as they come with a load of features, including unlimited emails accounts, databases (used for WordPress, other web apps) and can also be the place where you register your domain. My website and many of my clients are hosted on Krystal and for the 3 years I’ve hosted on Krystal, I’ve never had an issue and they have amazing round-the-clock support.

How can I get a custom email?

If your hosting company provides email accounts with your hosting plan, then you can just add an email in the section in your administrator panel. If they don’t, there are many different email service providers. Most notably, Google provides a service called G Suite which lets you have a Gmail account, especially for your business email. G Suite starts around £5 a month for 1 user and comes with Google Drive for you to store any files you need.

What’s the standard time frame to get a website built?

Depending on who is building your website and what technology is being used, they can take anywhere from 2 weeks to around 6 months. It heavily depends on the content of your website, who is making it, how it is made and how many other clients they have at any one time.

Personally, when I create websites, they can be finished with any changes made for the client within 4 weeks, depending on the tools I use. If the client wants a simple one-paged website, this can be done in less time, however, this does not account for planning time and design development. Whoever builds your website should provide you with a reasonable timeframe and explain what the time will be used for, with intermittent updates so you know you are in good hands. When I build websites, I ensure that communication is maintained with my clients so they are comfortable with the product I am providing them – get your website built by me by visiting my hire page.

What is an SSL certificate?

The technical description of an SSL certificate is that “SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details.”. In less technical terms, it’s a mark on a website to show it’s secure and protects any data going in or out of a website.

SSL certificates include:

  • The domain name that the certificate was issued for
  • Which person, organization, or device it was issued to
  • Which certificate authority issued it
  • The certificate authority’s digital signature
  • Associated subdomains
  • Issue date of the certificate
  • The expiration date of the certificate
  • The public key (the private key is kept a secret)

How do I edit my website?

The process of editing your website depends on how and who built your website. In some cases, your developer may write your website in a language called HTML which is the baseline of any website. If you want to edit this website, you may need to contact your developer to get some instructions on how to safely modify the website without ruining the structure of your page.

Some website developers use tools such as WordPress to build websites, allowing you to customise and change your website much more easily than HTML as you won’t have to learn how to write in code, just how to use an interface. Each page will have a user interface which you can navigate through and change your content in a simple text field.

WordPress Block Editor
This blog post in WordPress’s block editor.

Why you should avoid website builders

Most of the people I have helped and built websites for, are coming from website builders such as Wix and Squarespace, who may look like good companies out of the box however they lack the total customisation you require to properly present your business online. Wix outputs very poorly made code, slowing down your overall performance and is difficult to get on the first few pages of Google and Bing searches due to the lack of control of search engine optimisation (unless you know what you are doing adding custom meta tags).

Squarespace is similar while producing much cleaner code, there is not as much control over your website unless you are planning on forking out at least £20 a month purely for a website without any emails, not including domain registration and lacking the ability to customise entirely even after being on the highest plans.

To get complete customizability on your website, you should have as bespoke and custom of a website as possible. Whether it’s built from scratch or on top of a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal, you should always strive to have complete control over your website.

If you want the best performing website, get in contact with me and we can begin to build a product you can be proud of.

Thank you for reading my blog post, if you have any feedback or questions, please email me and I'd love to have a conversation with you! This article was written on September 28, 2020.