There are several things that think about when you’re getting ready to build a website.
Pick A Domain Name
Initially you need to select a domain name. As you probably know, the domain name is the URL that identifies your website. (The URL for this site is http://www.startunz.com). You’ll be using this domain name on your business cards advertisements etc., so it’s best that the domain name has something to do with your business.*
When you’re selecting your name, you’ll quickly discover that there so many web sites out there and so many people buying domain names, that you might have to buy a variation of the name you originally wanted. That’s OK! just keep playing with it until you find one that works for your business and is also available.
You can use a site like checkdomain.com to try out a bunch of different domain names. Remember that top level domains such as.com ,net and .org are the most popular. .Com is the most popular of all, and it is the one people usually default to when guessing your web address, so it’s generally a really good place to start.
Buy Your Domain Name
Once you select a domain name you may purchase it yourself, or I can purchase it for you. If you want me to manage your domain names registration I can take care of it; meaning that I will make sure its configured correctly, and invoice you every year before the due date.
If you prefer to buy the domain name yourself you can save a few dollars per year. Contact me for some ideas where to purchase your domain. (Just remember that if you forgive to renew your domain name you risk losing that domain name so it’s really important to be on top of it.)
Once you have a domain name, it’s time to host your website. A “host” is the actual server where the files for your website reside. There is a monthly fee for hosting a web site.
Not all hosts are created equal. Some of them or discount hosts have shabby customer service or spotty uptime. Some are owned by companies with which you probably wouldn’t want to do business. How do you know where to host?
When you are hosted with StarTunz, I can most easily help you with your website. I’ll be able to help you setting up emails or designing your site, because I have worked with this interface and I’ll be the one setting up your account. This means if you run into problems, I can easily assist you.
One of the things I’m most proud of is our Green Energy Program. When you host with StarTunz, we offset in electricity used by purchasing green energy credits. Our hosting set up actually offsets more than what we use by purchasing 130% green energy, so you can feel good about running your website green hosted at StarTunz.com.
Finally it’s time to design your website. In this time of so many different sized devices and screens, and the fact that the Internet is changing so rapidly, the best way to stay current is to use a Content Management System (CMS). There is a small fee for installation of this system, and optional shopping cart, along with basic plug-ins which integrate to make your site run efficiently. There are a myriad of different plug-ins to choose from, depending upon your site design and intention.
Some websites revolve around blog entries, others utilize a shopping cart, while others showcase your art, music, or service. You may want a gallery of photos, or simply use your shopping cart as a catalog. We can make your site be whatever you want it to be.
And you can have me install the basics — and then you can take over and play with your design yourself. Or, you can simply hire me to design your site. Or, if you’re a big DIY person, you might opt to dive in and learn what it takes to make your own website. I am available to help you as much or as little as you’d like.
I offer web designing tutoring, and/or help when you need it for an hourly fee.
SEO and Social Media Marketing
Marketing is simply a collection of ways by which people will find your website. You probably are already doing some “marketing” for your arts and services now. Marketing your site typically consists of SEO and Social Media Marketing.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It consists of optimizing your web for placement by the various search engines by making sure that they can “crawl” your site and find a lot of good content, keywords and phrases. There are a lot of scammers out there with regards to this service, and I would highly recommend that you simply install and configure a good SEO plug-in, or have me do it. I can also monitor your SEO and make applicable changes as required on a monthly, or bi-monthly basis.
Social Media Marketing consists of any social media accounts that you may have or plan to start. Your website can be optimized to connect with these sites, as well as offer “share” buttons throughout the site which will make your social marketing easier. As always, you may do all of this yourself, or you might hire me to do it for you.
So to sum up your initial cost is about $25.00 to buy a domain name, and this domain name must be renewed once a year. The second thing that costs you money is your website hosting. This is a monthly fee, and I have an easy way for you to subscribe so that its auto paid every month.
The only other costs are totally optional. I can install the shopping cart for you at the same time as I’m installing your content management system. The installation is a one time fee. Generally most plug-ins which are part of your website within the content management system are also free. I can also install some security plug ins to help protect you from spam and bot attacks.
Your website should be an extension of your own creative energy — and I’m happy to help you as much or as little as you like!
*You can benefit from my mistake in picking a domain name – because I didn’t know back in the mid 90’s when I bought startunz.com, that the search engines tend to give preference when your domain name has something to do with the service that you’re offering. Startunz Productions was an umbrella production company that, at the time, covered both my music production and web services — but notice that the domain name doesn’t say any of that. It would have been much wiser to buy a domain name for my web design with “web services” in the title; that’s what I’d do if I were just buying a domain name today.