The beauty of the internet is the freedom it offers individuals to showcase their passions to the world. Setting up a website is now easier than ever with thousands of people sharing their thoughts, crafts, photographs and experiences every single day. Whether you want to start a blog, a small retail site or a whole forum, read on to find out the four essential aspects of any good website.
1) Establish a sense of purpose
What do you want your website to offer? Is it a space providing insight and knowledge on healthy eating? Are you creating a website to sell homemade candles? Are you blogging about your PhD research project on ancient Greece? Whatever your goal, you need to do a little bit of research to work out what the purpose of your website is and how to reach your audience. Give thought to things like structure, key words and themes and use this research to choose a clever domain name which you must then register.
2) Ensure you have technical functionality
First of you need to choose a host based on the quality of the software, its performance and the availability of support. Whilst shared servers are the most affordable they are also slower whilst VPS (Virtual Private Servers) offer better speeds at a slightly higher cost and costs range between £5-£100 per month.
It is also very important to make sure your website is fully secured by investing in a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate – a layer of protection which will protect you and your user’s personal data from hackers. Signified by a gold padlock symbol and the presence of https:// in the cache bar, an SSL Certificate can be downloaded via any reputable industry site.
Finally comes the design process. If you don’t have the time to do this yourself you can either use a pre-existing content management system like WordPress or hire professionals. If this is your first online venture, it might be best to rely on reputable people you know and trust.
3) Provide high quality content
When it comes to running a successful website, content truly is king. No matter how beautiful the aesthetics of your site or how nifty the design, only excellent content will build a loyal readership who will make your site a success. Although it can take time to build a reputation through social networking and word of mouth, if your content is strong it will do the majority of the work for you.
4) Focus on increasing your site traffic
The success of your website is measurable by the amount of traffic it attracts. By using a simple web analytics package you can track your user’s behaviour by placing a piece of tracking code on each page of your website. No personal data is collected (although you need to warn visitors that cookies will be left on their computers) but the information you gather will be invaluable for helping you develop and modify your site to capture the attention of a wider audience.