For those of you that will take on building a website on your own – or hire someone else – you will need to plan and manage the build of your site. It is your site, your company, your web presence that is on the line, so consider this checklist approach.
We at Creative Boro have developed a Website Buying Checklist in order to help and educate everyone that needs a website. (That’s You!!!) This is not a step by step guide on how to build a website. No, those are everywhere. We offer something unique. This series of articles present a way to ensure you are achieving your objectives while securing your investment of time and money, not to mention your brand.
This 1st article of the Web Hosting series concentrates on your domain management. We have a few items to check before your next website build.
Let’s split this into 3 sections for easier digestion: domains, email, and setup or migration.
choosing your domain
Don’t think about your domain name too much or too little. It needs to represent your brand but it is not everything. I mean you need something easy to remember and spell. Unfortunately, your domain name will not instantly help you rank on a Google search.
Choosing between .com, .net, .us, or even .io is seemingly a big decision. It is not. Just choose the one available and stick with it. Most people stick with top level domains – .com, .net, .org. If you want to buy all of them and redirect all of them to your main domain, that if fine too. More expensive but a-ok. You really need to drive traffic to your domain and that has nothing to do with the letters after the dot.
managing a domain
You should be able to manage your Domain Name System (DNS) and NameServers. Having control of these aspects will allow you to have your website files anywhere on the Internet. When you control the DNS and NameServers you will always be able to ensure your website shows up at your domain name.
transferring a domain
You will also want to ensure you can transfer your domain management to another provider. For example, many of our clients have a GoDaddy account, but then transfer to us. There are some steps to do so and can be found in our knowledgebase. Some companies like Wix make this transfer process very difficult. Ensure you know how you take your domain with you, after all it is your register domain name, not theirs!!!
You will need to setup or have someone setup your company email addresses. This is relatively simple for people that do this often. Do not pay a lot of money for this service. We have a portal that allows you to just type the email and click add. If you want to setup that email address in Outlook, MacMail, or Gmail, then that will take more effort. Good companies offer instructions and support to do this setup (yes we offer these instructions and support).
Not a fan of setting up your email and just want to know if someone is trying to contact your company email? Use forwarder to send the email directly to your preferred email account. This is simple and like other setup items, should be a breeze for any hosting service to walk you through or do for you. Do not pay much as this takes a minute or so per email address.
general contact addresses
It is good practice for most businesses to separate your email into categories in order to stay organized. You can do this by establishing an ‘info’, ‘support’, and ‘sales’ addresses. Then you can have different forms go to different recipients as needed. A solo entrepreneur may just prefer a simple first name email for all things. Very personalized and reflects their size and attention to their clients.
Setup or Migration
Your actual website files can live anywhere on the Internet, not necessary where you have your domain name purchased. Because of this you will need to ensure your DNS or Nameservers are set to direct visitors to your website file location. If you want to move your website to another server, that is called migration. You do not need to migrate your website if you use most domain services. However, companies like Wix and Squarespace do not let you take your website with you!