Are you starting a new business? Then you need a website. A website helps you communicate your message and presents your product or service to an unlimited number of people. Not making use of this amazing opportunity simply places you far behind the competition. And that is no entrepreneurs can afford.
Setting up a very first site can be overwhelming for a new business owner. There are endless possible ways to go about building a website, and the internet is full of confusing offers and intimidating jargon. What is the difference between a domain register and a host? What is a CMS, and which tools can help you build your site?
In this blog, we will look at the basics. We will walk you through the first three steps to take when starting your first site. Three choices that overwhelm many people but aren’t that complicated after all.
Before starting a website, you need to make an important decision: what to name your first site?
Does your business have a name already? Then we advise you to try using your company name as the domain name.
To find out if your business name is available as a domain, simply enter your business name in the search field on one of these websites.
As you can see in the above example, there are several variations of ‘socialmediagids’ available, but www.socialmediagids.com is not available. That domain is taken already, by us.
If available, a website ending at .com is advisable in most cases. Many people assume that a website ends like this. If this assumption is true, they will find it easier to find your site. Also, to most people, a .com website looks most established and professional.
Is your company name not available as a domain? Then you will have to think of another name. A few things to keep in mind while making your choice are:
Make sure your domain name is easy to remember
Have you made up your mind? Then you can register your first site at a platform like One. All you have to do is enter your details, pay, and you are done.
Often, when registering your domain name, you will be asked if you want a professional email address and a website builder. This might be a good idea in some cases, but it depends on the way you would like to host and build your website.
Let’s take a closer look at the options.
After buying the name of your website, your website needs a home. In website language, this home is called a 'host'. A website host runs physical computers that save all the website files of the pages they host. The computers run 24/7, to make sure the website can be accessed day and night.
By paying a website host, you basically rent a piece of space on one of the computers. The more space you need, the more you will pay.
There are many great website hosts available. Think of BlueHost, HostGator or Hostinger. Which one you choose will depend on what you find important. Most of them offer similar features, but they differ slightly on for instance pricing, email services, speed, uptime, and support.
Once you have your name and host sorted, it’s time to start thinking of building your page. Building a first site is a step that many people decide to hire an expert for, but this is not always necessary.
Option 1: CMS platform without a builder
A CMS platform (Content Management System) is the platform that allows you to build a site. It provides you with all the tools you need. Think of a text editor, colors, a way to insert images, video features, and all the other tools you need to design the website exactly the way you want to.
Many years ago, a CMS system was complicated. Using it required a lot of practice and technical knowledge. Luckily, with the latest tools, modern CMS systems have become more and more user-friendly. And although they still require some practice, most people will be able to build a basic website on their CMS.
A few great and well-known CMS system are:
Option 2: The builder
Do these options still seem a bit too complicated for you? Then you can make things a lot easier by making use of a website builder.
Builders are tools that replace the features and options within a CMS with easy drag and drop options. With a builder, you can drag your website features around on your site. Think of images, headers and text fields. You can select features from a list of options and simply place them wherever you want them to be on your page.
Builders are excellent for beginners but do limit the design options a bit and might end up costing a bit more than a CMS without builder.
Two great options for those who want to make their design work as easy as possible are:
Take a look at the video below for more about one of the most user-friendly website builder platforms we know, Wix.
Option 3: Marketing platform with builder
A third, and possibly a bit less well-known option, is the use of an all-in-one marketing platform. This option is especially interesting for those who are motivated to do it all: build a beautiful website and run a successful marketing strategy.
Many of our clients have chosen to use Kartra to host and build their website.
With Kartra, you have everything you need as a starting entrepreneur. Your website, a professional email address, an email marketing platform, a completely functional marketing funnel (automated marketing), and much more.
Take a look at the below video for a quick intro into Kartra’s features and form builder:
Especially for those offering a product, service, course or membership sites and looking for a very user-friendly website builder that integrates a website with a very effective marketing funnel, Kartra might be worth checking out.
Although we hope our explanation gave you some clarity, we understand that all these choices are still overwhelming for many people.
Do you need help building your first site? We would love to help you out. Contact us for a FREE strategy call so we can get to know your business and make an action plan together.
Are you interested in learning more about social media marketing, sales funnels, and marketing in general? Then our Social Media Gids Community might be worth checking out. On this platform, you can access all our training material and discuss your progress with like-minded entrepreneurs. Feel free to contact us for more info, so we can tell you precisely what you can expect from your subscription.