Here are some of the basic building blocks that are used to build a website – there are some that we will specifically use, because we’ve used them many times and know and trust the supplier.
Domain name and management
The domain name is your online brand; for most businesses this will simply be the name of your business, and many businesses have already secured the domain name but if you find that the name you want is already gone, we can help find alternatives that will still work for you. There are also many Top Level Domains (TLD) now, which can offer a bit more flexibility. A TLD is the last part of a domain name – .co.uk, .com, .org.uk, and .co – are just some of these.
We use 123-reg for domain management – some other domain management companies sell domain names and then charge extra for the tools you need to actually point the domain name at the website.
Domain Name Server (DNS) records are maintained at 123-reg, and tell the domain name where in the world to direct traffic (the host).
We provide hosting using Linode – and hosting is shared with other businesses: think of it like renting shared office space in a building – you only need a fraction of the capacity of a webserver, so there’s no point paying for a dedicated one, unless your site is so big and handling so much traffic that it needs one (and that’s a nice problem to have!). Linode have a fantastic track record for uptime (99.9% guaranteed) and data centres in the UK.
Each website is kept completely separated from its neighbours, and if the server needs an increase in capacity then it can easily be managed.
We also have a backup service, to ensure that your site can be recovered in the event of a disaster.
Finally, we use SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) by default; this helps with security and peace of mind for your clients, and is now the de-facto standard for websites (in fact, Google will ‘punish’ websites that don’t have an SSL certificate for the entire site). Look for URLs that start https, the padlock, and ‘secure’ next to the websites you view to see who else has it, and who doesn’t.
We use Google webmaster tools to manage the site’s visibility to Google, and ensure that the site is well formed, has no crawl errors, and is optimised for Google to find your site and stand a better chance of being ranked higher in search results. We can also advise on appropriate content for your site that will assist with this.
We will setup and add Google Analytics to your site, so that you can see traffic history and trends, and which can also be used to shape your online presence.
Finally, Google can also be used to promote your site in the search results by paying for additional advertising – something we can also assist with.
We use WordPress to create your site in; traditionally thought of as a blogging tool only, WordPress can be used to make websites which gives you the control over content, images, etc – enabling you to look after your own content in a really easy way. WordPress is also free, so there are no ongoing licence fees.
These days, simply having a website on its own is not enough; to really compete online you need to publicise your business and its achievements on an ongoing basis. The good news is that the major outlets for this are all free, and providing updates from your site to Twitter and Facebook, and linking from Instagram is straightforward. All you need is a strategy to drive traffic and increase your place in the Google rankings.