Search engine optimisation
By Dave Riches
Getting a business online can be a daunting prospect. If taken as a series of tasks though, a working web site can be easily established by any small business owner with a reasonable grasp of how the internet works.
A domain name is your 'address' on the internet. It is what your customers enter to find you in a web browser and will be the suffix of all your email addresses e.g. email@example.com.
The original commercial domain extension was '.com'. It is becoming harder to secure a .com domain name as many of them are in use or reserved by domain 'squatters'. A short .com domain name is easy to remember and can help your site be more easily recognised in advertising etc.
If your business mostly services Australian customers then a .com.au domain extension should be considered. To use this extension you must demonstrate a legitimate business connection to the name being sought, which prevents names being reserved by squatters for profiteering.
Other domain name extensions such as .name, .biz and .id are also available.
These days you almost need to check that you can get the domain name you want before you register the business or company name. This is especially important if you want a .com extension.
There are different approaches with choosing the actual domain name. Some people prefer the generic approach and hope that they will pick up traffic from people typing their domain into a web browser e.g. www.secondhandcars.com.
There is another school of thought that branding is important and you should go with www.mycompanyname.com. There is a lot to be said for a powerful brand and unless you are in a highly competitive online market the generic name approach does not offer many advantages to the average small business.
Once you have chosen your domain name you then need to register it with a domain name registrar or reseller. Your web site designer or web host can register a domain on your behalf but it is best if you do it yourself and maintain control of it. Domain extensions have differing prices with .com, .net and .org domains being the cheapest.
Riches Domains provides affordable domain registration services and allow you to maintain full control over the names that you register.
Your web hosting provider will give you a set of nameservers for you to 'point' your domain name toward, and will usually consist of a name and and IP address like shown:
Once you have your domain name organised you then need a web site. There is almost no limit to how much you can spend on a web site. Graphically rich sites may look good but if customers find your site loads slowly they won't wait around for it to speed up!
If you are reasonably computer literate then you can put together a good site on your own. But be prepared for a lot of work! Not only will you need to create the navigation systems, content and images but you will need to learn about other diverse areas such as security issues, search engines and choosing keywords.
Web hosting is where it all comes together. Your site needs to be located or 'hosted' on a computer that has a direct connection the internet. Web hosting varies markedly with respect to:
For most small businesses shared or virtual web hosting is the most affordable and reliable solution. Your web site is located on a server with other sites but you have your own domain name and a protected directory to manage your site and email. Your web site may also come with a control panel that makes web site management much simpler, even enjoyable!
We offer web hosting for Adelaide and Australian small businesses. Our sites are hosted on fast, reliable servers with excellent bandwidth. All plans have been especially configured to meet the needs of small business. All sites come with a control panel so you can set-up email addresses and manage other aspects of your web site. Visit Riches Hosting to find out more about our web hosting services.