How do you get your very own piece of online real estate? When it comes to starting your work at home business, few things are more intimidating than creating your very own website – especially if you don’t know your way around the technical side of things. While there are many terrific options out there for new or inexperienced business owners, getting started can have some hassles.
Why you should not get a “free” domain
There are a few steps you can take to make your cyber home comfortable and cozy. Start by purchasing your very own web domain. With so many websites offering “free” domain names, this may sound silly to spend money on.
But many of these sites are just giving you a subdomain – for example: mybusinesssite.whatever.com. Not only is that difficult to remember for consumers, but if your customers mistype your site address, they could land on a site that’s offensive or contains a virus costing you valuable clients.
Your own domain gives you more credibility
Buying your own domain name immediately gives your site credibility in the eyes of web visitors. While you’re at it, avoid free hosting. When you use free hosting (examples: blogger.com, wordpress.com, webs.com, etc.) your site is bound by another company’s terms of service.
Let’s say you’re running a health and beauty business and your website is being freely hosted. Now let’s say this free host provider suddenly has an influx of spammers taking over the health and beauty category.
Not having your own domain can get you blacklisted as spam
Suddenly, your top-notch website is mistakenly labeled spam and you log on one day to find it’s disappeared – deleted without warning. Your existing customers don’t know where to find you online and you’re losing out on potential customers and sales.
What will a domain and hosting cost?
To finally get your piece of online real estate you need web hosting. If you can afford it, pay for hosting. You’ll rest easy at night knowing you won’t wake up tomorrow to find the website you worked so diligently on suddenly deleted. While you should be paying for hosting, you shouldn’t have to go broke paying for it.
There are a lot of options for domains and webhosting; bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator, and NameCheap to name a few. Bluehost and HostGator have great customer service, while others may have varying prices, there are more details on our Website Hosting Resource Page.
Next step: building your website
Once you have a domain and hosting, how can you build a professional looking site with correct search engine optimization that attracts thousands of visitors each day? While you can certainly pay a web designer for a fancy site with all the bells and whistles, you don’t have to.
Where do you go to get started building your site?
You can research free open-source software for building your very own website. These software packs even include professional templates for you to use. Some suggested open-source software is WordPress, Joomla, and others. All are great options to use for your website. And if you get a host that has cPanel, then installing your new software will be a breeze! Now you are all set to develop your own piece of online real estate!
To get a jump start, you can always go on Fiverr and find someone who will set up your website for you for about $50-100. You just need to have purchased your domain and hosting.
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