Aging Tech

Are You Sure You Know What You’re Doing With Your First Website?

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It may be based on code but a website is really just a combination of parts – text, images, scrolly things that let you move down the screen, and doohickeys that let you do stuff, like switching between pages and making images bigger. With all the website design programs that offer visual interfaces on which to build, you may even be able to design your site yourself.

So, once you’ve got the bits in place, your high-quality copy, your pretty pictures and Grandpa’s stamp of approval, “You’ve got a real cute website there, Honey,” your website is as good as gold, right?

Not quite.

An attractive website certainly doesn’t hurt and the old man’s opinion is something, but unless you’re planning on hiring Grandpa to stand on a city street corner in order to flip a sandwich board advertising your site, it’s not going to bring you any business.

Making your Website Work

Your website may be a work of art but aside from aesthetic pleasure, artwork can be irrelevant when it comes to SEO rankings. Unless the purpose of your site is to make visitors stare slack-jawed at its awesome beauty, you need a website that’s functional.

Make sure your theme is responsive so it works as well on mobile devices as on desktop computers. Be sure links are active. If the purpose of your website is to get visitors to buy your offerings, don’t play hide-and-seek with purchase links or the virtual shopping cart.

Choosing the Right Name

Your website name should tell people what you have to offer but it also needs to be memorable. You might like the brand name Hallelujah Sensei Swords but good luck finding anyone who can correctly type hallelujahsenseiswords.com into a web browser on the first try.

SEOmoz suggests keeping domain names short, using only letters and sticking to domains that end in .com. If you’re reselling brand name products or building a site about an entity you don’t own, such as a TV series or a game, be conscious of potential copyright or

trademark infringement. SEOmoz recommends you check the copyright.gov website before choosing a name. It’s often a safe assumption that any well-known company has its name and logos trademarked.

If you’re considering buying an existing domain for the page rank or backlinks, do your research. The owner may be selling because they’ve lost interest, or they may been nailed by search engines for unseemly practices. Know why a company is selling before you buy.

Finding the Right Host

So, your cousin Mikey owns a server, does he? He can save you a bundle of money so long as you’re cool with his long weekends when the server might go down and there will be no one there for a reboot.

Saving money on hosting is a good thing as long as you don’t sacrifice quality. When researching web hosting companies, the uptime of your website, the speed at which pages load and the security of the site are good comparison points. A reliable hosting company with 24/7 technical support and speedy servers in your native country is a requirement for a successful site.Don’t worry about it. He’ll be back on Wednesday to get you all sorted out.

If Gramps likes what you’ve done, you’re starting out on the right foot because he doesn’t like anything but pistachios and warm socks. Your design will get you nowhere if your website is constantly down, no one can spell the URL and visitors can’t figure out how to buy once they arrive.

When launching your first website, it’s possible to know exactly what you’re doing and feel as if you have no clue at the same time. With the right name, the most reliable host and a high-functioning site, you’re definitely starting at the best place.