So, you want to build a writer website? Good decision! Luckily for you, website building is easier than ever, thanks to big developments in this area. You can create a simple website in a matter of clicks – not something that we could recommend though.
But wait, where is the catch? Naturally, in order to create a good website, you need to invest a bit, and think some things through before you just start doing them. As a part of our Five on Friday series, we are bringing you the 5 most important things that you need to know before you set out on this adventure. It might seem easy, but for good end results, a good plan is needed; so read carefully.
Like everything else when running a business, the budget is probably the most important thing you need to know. How much are you willing to spend? Do you have money to spend only once and are you ready to invest monthly for different maintenance costs and services, and further upgrade? Think carefully about these questions, as they might define every aspect of your website. Creating a website that is a simple blog is really easy and you can even find a free domain – but, the limitations there are great.
On the other hand, creating a website with custom themes, plugins, and a dedicated web shop can be extremely expensive. You are the one who needs to create limits and, in order to do that, you also need to know some other things, which brings us to item number 2.
2) Hosting and Domain
Usually, the first step when creating a website is choosing a hosting service as well as selecting the proper domain. The domain (as you probably know) is the address that you type in in the address bar in your browser (fascinating). In many cases, the hosting services sell domains as well; and it is a good idea to go for a top-level domain (with a “.com” suffix).
Now, what to choose. Your business probably has a name, but you do not want something long – it is better to go for something shorter, easier to remember, and you need to avoid embarrassing word combinations or, god-forbid, spelling errors. Ask your family and friends for help, and you will find something good.
When it comes to hosting, that is a different story. You need to find the best possible option (do not always go for the cheapest; sometimes, a few bucks a month can make a great difference in the long term). Especially try and research about any hidden fees when upgrading or downgrading, or see if there are any limitations. If your website surges in popularity, you want to be able to accommodate all that by upgrading, without having to pay a fortune.
3) Website Purpose
Why do you want your website? It’s a really important question. It will define how your website looks like, what it specializes in, and how it does that. For example, if you need an online book store and you need a blog to post news and great deals, then perfect – you have yourself a purpose. You want to convey that purpose to the visitor as soon as they open a page; you want to take them there. Is this a simple news blog? Does it have a store? Does it sell a particular service? After that, you need to make sure that everything you do leads to your final destination – your store.
A website that is made without a clear purpose in mind will fail on many fronts, it will look bad, and the messages it sends will be confusing. The answer to this question is intended to create a better environment for the visitor, not for you. You are just someone who is trying to provide a pleasant experience and create a potential reader.
Other important purposes of a website could be to show previous visitor experiences, to share your knowledge and build a brand, update readers with new information, or simply serve as a conduit and promote your writing on other networks.
4) Design Direction
We won’t try and examine the science behind a website’s design, the way it controls the visitor and takes natural eye-movement as a factor, and all that psychological stuff. That is best left to professionals. What we are going to talk about is what you want your website to look like when building it; and what is suggested for that particular niche.
For example, if you are a lawyer and you need to make a website, you can probably picture it in your mind. The main colors are blue and gray, with a strict font. If you were selling cupcakes with funny writings, then you can have plethora of colors, focusing on those that appear in your logo. In any case, your logo is a good place to start, as it can be a great inspiration for the overall direction, or how your website might look.
In the end, ask for help; this is truly an art form, and professionals will give an honest and efficient solution.
5) Further Development
So, once your website is up and running, does that mean that it is over? Of course not! Once again, we come to the matter of your budget. There are fixed monthly costs, such as hosting and domain name renting, but what about maintenance?
Furthermore, do you plan on updating your website yourself? Not only actually updating the software that’s running your website, but posting content and making changes as they come?
If you have some experience with this, you will probably do this yourself and save some money, but if not, you will have to either hire someone else part time to finish the job for you. Remember, a single bad update of a small plugin can crash your entire website, and troubleshooting that might be a big problem for someone who is not up for the task, but if you think and plan ahead, you will certainly know how to deal with those situations.
After everything is planned, you just need to sit down and relax, take care of your website, and in return, it will take care of you – and create loyal readers!
Duke Vukadinovic works for FirstSiteGuide.com. He is passionate about the Internet world and can help web newbies build successful blogs in various niches.