Congratulations on your new business venture! This is a really exciting time, it’s when you start to see all of your ideas coming to life and your hard work paying off. Getting your brand online is easier than you think and if you follow along with this checklist you can have your entire brand presence online today!
1. Domain Name
If you have never heard of the term “domain name” before, fear not. A domain name is what most people refer to as a website address or URL.
The way in which domain names operates on the internet is similar to physical addresses in the physical world. Each part of the domain name provides specific information. These pieces of information enable web browsers to locate the website.
The second-level domain is the customizable section which usually gives context to the content one will see when visiting the corresponding website. For example, a domain name like JazzysCoffeeHouse.net gives you an idea that you are visiting the website for Jazzy’s cafe.
The top-level domain is the farthest to the right after the dot and is the most important part. There used to be limited choices when it came to choosing a domain (hence why most people have only heard of .COM, .NET and .ORG) but today you have the freedom of customizing what comes after the dot and making it more personalized to your brand. There are TLDs for countries (i.e., .FR for France, and .CN for China), now there are hundreds of new descriptive generic top-level domain names like .CAFE, .SHOP, .FITNESS, and .FARM.
If you already know the name you want you can type it in the search bar at 101domain.com. If you don’t know what domain ending you want you can search through the domain categories: country code domains by region, legacy domain names and new generic domain.
2. Web Hosting
To new users, hosting might sound like a very intimidating and technical word. In reality, hosting is just a platform that allows you to run, automate and grow applications so that they are accessible web pages on the Internet. Hosting is an all inclusive package for your domains, website, and email with one-click installation for popular web software services like WordPress so that you have unlimited control to do the things you want to do.
Website Builder and Email
The purpose of registering your domain name is most likely to build a website where customers can easily find your business and where you can create your own unique online presence, such as an online store to sell and promote your products and services.
When we initially tell people about the Easy Website Builder they are nervous about the thought of building a website by themselves, but as soon as they get a chance to play around with the platform they see just how easy it is. The website builder gives you all the tools you need, all you have to do is drag text boxes, images, contact forms and buttons into place and with minimal effort and no time you will have yourself a fully functioning website that is live on the Internet (go ahead add web designer to your resume, we won’t tell!)
Email is a leading method of communication in business today for marketing, sales, support and internal collaboration with your team. Customers want to do business with brands they feel like they can trust. Free email services like Gmail and Yahoo make your brand look scammy, suspicious and unprofessional while a custom email address that matches your domain communicates trust, acts as free advertising, improves click-through rates for your email marketing campaigns and drives potential customers to your online presence.
SSL Certificates provide your website with an extra level of security and trust that shows your customers you go above and beyond the standard to guard their private information. SSL Certificates are 100% necessary for e-commerce and any websites that collect private data and carry out sensitive transactions.
Just as you would display an award or certificate of diploma in your office, your website displays its certificate in the address bar of a web browser, which can be seen with HTTPS. The “S” stands for secure and assures your website visitors that encrypted, unlike a standard HTTP protocol which can easily be hacked.
Once you get these 4 steps checked off your list you’ll be well on your way growing your brand digitally.