There’s no feeling quite as exciting as coming up with an idea for a new website and diving straight into bringing that idea to life.
Whether you’re starting a new business or coming up with a new way to promote one you already run, this is a chance to really show off what you do, to increase your audience and of course, generate lots of lovely new sales.
Yet before you do march headlong into launching your new site, it pays to take a moment to step back and make some important decisions.
You could always do this as you go along of course, but by considering the following before you even so much as register a new domain name, we practically guarantee that the whole process will be a lot quicker, simpler, and easier to manage.
Build-it-yourself vs. Pay a Professional
Web designers and developers can charge a lot of money to build your new website, but if you have the budget available, it’s often a worthwhile investment.
Not only does it save you all the time, energy and effort of going it alone, but it also means your site is more likely to be in keeping with industry standards and includes the kind of functionality that you can’t add yourself.
On the other hand, there’s a lot to be said for taking the DIY approach. Of course, you’ll save money, which can be especially important if you need to launch your new site on a budget.
However, there’s more than just the financial aspect to think about.
With online website building tools and Content Management Systems, building your own site is much easier than you might think.
Doing so can be a much more rewarding experience than simply offloading the project to somebody else, especially if you want complete control over every aspect of your site.
Choosing a platform
Whichever option you choose, your next task will be to decide exactly what kind of platform your new site will be based on.
If you’re paying a professional, they’ll likely be able to make some recommendations for you, but if you’re flying solo, then you’ve got lots of different options to choose from.
Do you use an online drag-and-drop editor like those provided by Wix and Weebly?
Will you be adding lots of new content that could be best managed by a CMS such as Joomla, Drupal or the all-conquering WordPress?
Are you planning to launch an eCommerce store, in which case you might want to look at Magento, or a simpler option such as Shopify?
Choosing your hosting
Now that you know how you’re going to create your site, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about where you’re going to host it.
Most of the web’s top hosting companies support the majority of the platforms we’ve listed above, though it’s still worth double-checking with the company that you’re thinking of using that they’ve got everything you need to create your site.
Invest some time in checking our user reviews of your chosen company to get a better understanding of just what you’re letting yourself in for, and don’t forget to look at the cost, too. Most web hosts will lure you in with fantastic bargains for your first term, but after that, prices can rise sharply, so check the company’s regular renewal prices so you’ll have a better idea of the long-term costs involved in running your new site.
Getting the right domain name
There’s nothing quite so frustrating as planning an entire new web project based around a single domain name, only to find that somebody else has already beaten you to the punch.
Before you start then, take the time to draw up a list of several suitable ideas so that you’ve always got something to fall back on if the one domain name you were counting on using has already been taken.
What are the biggest decisions you’ve been faced with when starting your new website? Share them with us over on the Web Design DIY Facebook page. Alternatively, let us know how we can help you make the big decisions that are holding you back by tweeting us @WebDesignDIY