In Part One of this series on Christian Web Design, we spoke extensively about creating a blueprint for your ecommerce, business or church website. And as a quick reminder, just as we did in Part One, we’re going to be discussing things you must consider before you begin to build a website.
However, if you already have your site up and running… not to worry. You can still go back and make changes if needed.
Nevertheless, whether you’re building a website for an established business, ministry, or even a home-based business, 2 key elements to consider before you begin are your:
- Website Domain Name
- Website Host
Please keep in mind, these 2 elements are in addition to the blueprint we discussed in part one of this series.
Choosing Your Website Domain
First, what is a “domain name?”
Your website’s domain name (or URL), is the .com, .org or .whateverelse where potential customers will come to see what products or services you have to offer. For example, my website URL is creativechristiancopywriter.com.
Now, when it comes to choosing your domain name, or website URL, it’s always wise to keep both the consumer and the search engine in mind when choosing the name. And this is good advice whether you’re about to launch an ecommerce, business website or blog.
Therefore, consider these suggestions when making your choice:
- If at all possible, choose a domain name that ends with .com (unless you’re something like a non-profit, where you may choose a .org)
- Make certain it’s relevant to the content that’s going to be on the website
- Keep it short if possible, making it easier for customers to remember
- Don’t use numbers in place of words (i.e.,
Let’s say you’re about to open an automotive insurance company in Dallas, TX. Before you even name your business, it would be wise to get with an SEO Expert who could do some keyword research about automotive insurance in Dallas, TX. Why?
For starters, let’s pretend there are 19,000 consumers (19,000 is fictitious – could be more or less) every month in the Dallas area who go to Google and search, “Auto Insurance Dallas TX.” 19,000? Every Month? Can you imagine the possibilities?
Therefore, if it’s available and you haven’t yet named your business, you might consider something like “Auto Insurance of Dallas.” Then, launch your website with the domain name of autoinsuranceofdallas.com – or something like it.
NOTE: This does not ensure that your website will be at the top of Google in this particular search… but it’s a great start. Why? Because the consumer is searching for auto insurance in Dallas, TX. And here’s what Google knows: The name of your business and URL – along with the content on your website – all point towards a perfect match for the keyword phrase the consumer has typed into the Google Search-Bar. Later, we’ll dive into this concept much more when discussing search engine optimization.
Easy to Find, Easy to Understand
There are most definitely several things to consider when building your website, like what domain name to choose. But regardless what step in the website building process you’re currently in, you must always keep this one priceless bit of information at the front-and-center: “Your number one goal is to make it easy… for both Google and the Consumer.”
Though this will be covered in much greater detail later in this series, I’ve been trying to find the right time to express the importance of your number one goal when building a website. But so much of the number one goal actually pertains to the SEO side of things.
Nevertheless, whatever domain name you choose for your business, keep in mind that your number one goal is to make finding your business super easy… for both Google and the Consumer. Not only so, but it will also help if your domain name describes what your business is about. What I’m really trying to say is that:
“We so often get carried away with catchy phrases that we put it in our domain name…”
Therefore, just to use a silly example to make the point, let’s say you were thinking about starting up a car detailing shop. You ask your friends and family members to help you think of a catchy name, and you settle on “~N~ The Details.” You open up your shop, then launch your website with the domain name of nthedetails.com.
Now, I’m not saying this is a business killer. You might in fact go on to become the most successful detail shop in the country. But I am saying this concept isn’t internet friendly. Why?
For starters, the domain name mentions nothing about cars, trucks or anything automotive. Secondly, neither does it mention anything about detailing cars. Therefore, how can a customer look at this domain name and realize it is an automotive detail shop?
So on a scale of 1 – 10, we could probably only score this domain name at about a 3 when it comes to being relevant to the content that will actually be on the website.
Once again, your goal as a business owner is to become successful. And when it comes to the online world, success comes at a much faster pace when you make finding your website super easy for both Google and the consumer.
Now let’s look at where you can acquire one of these domain-name-thingies.
Where to Purchase Your Website Domain
There are several places on the web where you can research and purchase a domain for your site. And yes, I did say purchase.
However, regardless of which you use, I always advise making your purchase through the company with whom you will also be hosting your website. I’ll share with you why in just a moment. But when it comes to pricing, depending on where you make your purchase, you should expect to pay somewhere around $10 – $15. The only caveat is that, if you’re seeking a domain that holds incredible potential for website visitors, you could spend up to several thousands of dollars. Which I advise there is absolutely no need to do.
Now, as to why I advise purchasing your domain through the same company with whom you wills also be hosting your website:
When I first began launching my own websites, I actually purchased a couple of domain names at Godaddy.com. But then, I chose to build my websites (or have them hosted) at Bluehost.com. And that’s when I ran into a couple of techy issues. By “Techy,” I mean there were some technical things I had to do in order to point my domain name (located at Godaddy), toward Bluehost, my website hosting platform.
Now, if you are a seasoned site builder this means nothing. However, if you’re new to this, it can be very frustrating. Which is why I suggest purchasing your domain with your web hosting company. With that being said, I must also add that it is very important to choose your website hosting company wisely.