Hosting your website - what's involved ?
Once your website is ready to go you need to host it on the Internet. This is essentially a two step process:
Step 1. Register a domain name.
Firstly you need a suitable name for your website such as www.mybooks.com or www.lovelyflowers.co.uk. This 'domain' is made up of 3 parts:-
www signifies that your site is part of the world wide web.
lovelyflowers is a name of your choice. Choosing a name can be a bit hit and miss because often you will find that the name has already been taken. You are advised to pick a name which closely matches your existing business name and/or relates to your product/service. The name should ideally be short. There are many websites where you can check whether your name is available - try www.streamline.net
.co.uk is the suffix which describes the type of website. If you are selling in the uk then you should have a .co.uk suffix; if you sell overseas too then you should have a .com suffix; if you are a not for profit organisation you need a .org suffix and so on (see www.learnthenet.com/english/html/84domain.htm for more info).
Once you've chosen your domain name you need to register it with one of the many registrars such as www.123-reg.co.uk or www.net2.co.uk. See the SEO section below for additional advice on choosing a domain name.
Step 2. Have your domain hosted by a reputable company.
There are many hosting companies on the Internet such as www.123-reg.co.uk or www.streamline.net. Most will combine domain registration with hosting and this is your best bet. Packages (and associated prices) range from basic to unlimited.
Once you've achieved steps 1 and 2 you will then need to upload your website to your host account and update it as required.
If you will find the prospect of doing all this quite daunting then why not have 4shires manage the whole process for you. This presents significant advantages such as:
> it will minimise the effort on your part.
> you will make considerable savings and obtain an unlimited hosting package for the price of a basic one.
> you are not left on your own, specialist advice is always on hand.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
One further important consideration is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Essentially this involves giving your site its best chance of appearing high up on the results pages in search engines such as Google. SEO is split into two parts: Internal SEO and External SEO. The extent to which you will require SEO depends upon the extent to which you will rely on potential customers finding you via search engines. If you rely heavily on this then you need SEO. In addition, if there are many competitors for your type of business then SEO becomes increasingly important.
Internal SEO ensures that your page structure gives you a boost in rankings and keyword searches. We do this for you as part of the design process.
External SEO deals with increasing your website's popularity and is essentially part of the marketing process for your business. It involves things like registering your site with business directories, establishing links from other sites to your site and pay per click advertising with search engines.
We don't offer external SEO but there are many companies that will provide you with such a service.