If you are considering having a website built for your business, you have probably done a lot of research and discovered all the benefits you can reap from having an online presence. However, if you are new to website design, there is one area of building a website that you might not be familiar with, and which you should strive to learn about – the process of setting up a website on the back-end.
Why is it important to understand how your website is set up?
When some businesses owners are having a website built, they do not care to learn about the website building process. However, because website building requires the participation of both the client and the website building company it is important to understand exactly what happens so you understand the scope of work and terminology of what your team is doing behind the scenes.
Website building is not a single-task process; it involves several steps that occur in sequence.
SEVEN SET-UP STEPS
1.Setting up web hosting
Web hosting is a service that stores (hosts) your website on a server or servers that are connected to the internet. Once hosted, users will be able to find and connect to your website anytime they want – a user will only need to type the address of your website on their computer browser, which will, in turn, connect them to the server where your website is hosted, allowing them to access it. Therefore, when you are having a website built, you will need to choose a web hosting provider who will host it once it is completed. We recommend Bluehost.
2.Registering a domain name & setting up email addresses
A domain name, also known as web address, is the unique name that is used to identify a website on the internet. For example, the domain name for On Purpose Projects is onpurposeprojects.com, which is what users will type into their computer browser when they want to access the On Purpose Project’s website.
Since users cannot find your website without a domain name, choosing and registering a domain name is one of the most important tasks in setting up a website. You will need to choose a unique name that will be easy for the users to recognize and remember. Once you have settled on the domain name, you will then need to register it so that it is reserved solely for your use.
There are several companies that offer domain name registration services, and you can find a host of them through a simple Google search. Some web hosting companies also offer domain name registration services, so you can check if your web hosting company will be able to do it.
3. Installation of a content management system
A content management service (CMS) is a web application that helps you to create and edit digital content (text, images, videos, graphics, infographics, etc). With a CMS installed on your website, you will be able to create and update your website content with ease, even if you have little or no technical knowledge of how websites work.
There are several content managements that you can choose for your website, but the one most people prefer is WordPress. The WordPress platform is more popular than other CMS because it is easy to learn and use.
4. Design template installation
Once you have chosen a web hosting company, registered a domain for your website and installed WordPress now the actual website building will start. The first step involves creating a design for your website – the web pages, layout, navigation buttons, colors, background images and graphics, and other design elements.
The design can be custom (created from scratch), but if you are looking for something affordable and fast, a web design template is a perfect option. The template comes with all the design features already created, and the only thing left to do is set it up.
Web design templates are available at various outlets on the internet, and they range from free templates to premium ones. You will have to pay for the premium templates, but they come with more features, better performance, regular updates, and even access to support services in case of a problem.
5. Design template customization
While web design templates are ready-made, they need a bit of customization to make them unique to a particular website/online brand. Once you have chosen a design template, we will help you customize it with color schemes, images, videos, text content, logos, banners, and other design elements. This will help to create a unique website that will make your online brand stand out.
6. Installation and integration of third party applications
After installing a content management system, your website will be almost ready. However, it will still need a bit of additional work – installing third party applications that will help to improve its functionality and performance. Some of the third party applications that we can install on your website include:
- Email marketing tools such as MailChimp and ActiveCampaign, which will help you to target your audience, engage with them, and promote your website to them using email.
- An e-commerce platform complete with a catalog, shopping cart, checkout system, and a payment gateway system. The e-commerce platform is needed if you are planning on selling products through your website.
- A range of WordPress plugins for content creation, SEO, web security, user interaction and engagement, social media, and many others.
- A contact management system: Infusionsoft, Zoho CRM etc.
7. Making your site mobile responsive
If you have ever seen a site that looks great on a big screen and also looks great on a small screen you are looking at the work of a developer who has written a lot of code to make your site responsive for different screen resolutions. A website is usually built to a standard middle-of-the-road desktop computer size and then edited after to make sure it still looks and works great when it is opened on a big screen and then again on a smaller mobile device. That effect doesn’t just happen…it takes work and a lot of skill to make sure your site looks awesome everywhere.