10 things you'll need to start a new web project
Everyone agrees that companies of all sizes need to have a strong online presence. So, here's my website launch checklist, which will come in handy anytime you want to start a new web project.
1. Domain name.
Any site must have a unique, easy to remember, catchy domain name. To get one, head over to https://www.godaddy.com/ and then type in the desired name in the search box. If you are selling speakers, for example, you should try to acquire a domain name such as amazingspeakers.com.
People who are searching for catchy domain names are often late to the party; their desired domain names are taken most of the time. If this is the case, you can probably get a domain that's got the .net or .org extension. You'll have to pay for the domain name each year, so be sure to add this task to your calendar; otherwise, you may risk losing it for good.
2. Hosting account.
Your site needs to be stored on a server, so you'll also need to purchase a hosting account. From my experience, https://www.siteground.com/ is one of the best hosting companies out there, offering a high-quality service at an affordable price. Choose their StartUp plan for small-sized projects, or GoGeek for sites that must handle up to 100,000 visitors per month. And if your business grows even bigger, the company will quickly move your site to one of their cloud hosting servers.
3. Business email address.
If you've purchased the amazingspeakers.com domain, you will need a email@example.com email address, right? Some companies charge several dollars per month for a business email address, but you can quickly and easily create one from within your cPanel hosting account, without paying a dime! Simply log into the account, scroll down to the "Email" section, and then navigate to "Email Accounts". Pick the desired email address, set its password, and then choose the desired server space quota. That's all!
You can try to create a free logo online, but I guarantee that it won't look professional. There is a reason why businesses pay to have their logos designed, right? You will also need a secondary logo, favicon icons, which are displayed at the top of your browser's tabs, app icons, and so on.
5. High quality images.
Your site will look bad if it doesn't include high quality pictures. I have written an article which shows a few websites that provide free images, but the truth is that those images aren't always the best. And those that look great are often used by lots of people on their sites.
The conclusion is simple: use commercial images and take high quality pictures of your products, office, etc – you are going to need them for sure.
6. The actual website.
Once again, you can go the DIY route, or you can hire a professional to create a site for you. No matter what option you choose, ensure that the resulting website looks good and loads fast. You don't want to have a site that looks fantastic, but takes 10 seconds to load. Recent studies show that mobile users will leave in droves if a website takes more than 2-3 seconds to load.
7. High quality content.
I can't help you that much in this area, but there are lots of professional writers who offer their services at affordable prices. Order a sample, and then, when you have discovered a great writer, treat him nice. You will probably need hundreds of articles for your blog, especially if the site is a success.
8. Lead generation system.
Always make sure that you've got a form that can capture your visitors' contact information. This will allow you to get in touch with them, build a relationship with them, and hopefully get them to purchase one or more of your products.
9. Visitor tracking system.
Your site may be a success or a failure, but you won't be able to tell that without having a visitor tracking system in place. Most people use Google Analytics, which allows you to determine how many people have visited the site each day, what pages they've read, and so on.
10. Security mechanisms.
Hackers are everywhere, and they'll try to attack your site as well. So, be sure to use whatever security mechanisms are available to protect it. I'll mention Siteground once again here, because it offers 30-day backups for all its hosting plans. This means that if something goes wrong, you can quickly and painfully restore your site to a previous version by simply clicking the "Restore" button.