WebStart Pack by MakeMySite

What you need to have for creating a new website?

The purpose of this article  is to give you some feedback and guideline pointers on what you should and shouldn't do when starting a new website. Obviously the requirements for websites vary greatly - we are not going to discuss the requirements of these websites, we are going to consider the general pitfalls and advantages of setting up a new website.

Domain Name

Domain names are relatively cheap to buy, people have registered a lot of domains that they have no intention of ever using.  This means that getting a domain name that in anyway resembles your company name is now becoming increasingly difficult. In fact, this problem was one of the deciding factors in us selecting Method & Class as a company name - we could actually get the .com domain.

So probably the first thing you should do is register a domain name - this should be as short and memorable as you can get. If necessary, try putting in dashes (-) for spaces to create your desired company name. It's always nice to have the .com or .com.sg domain as well -
it's the first thing people will look for if they know your company name.

Register domain for long periods

The reason we suggesting registering the domain for a long period is for two reasons:

Search Engine purposes - a domain registered for 10 years suggests you are in it for the long-term and not just using the domain to point traffic
to another site, which will help boost your search engine rankings (ever so slightly!)

You are unlikely to change the domain name anyway, so it makes sense to secure it for a long period. We Personally Don't Recommend any company or any organisation for domain registering but Folk from US can check out www.bluehost.com etc.

There are many more companies you can just search over Internet according to your requirement.

Define the purpose of the website

You need to decide clearly what the purpose of the website is. Is it to be a:

Web application which ultimately 'is the business'
Web-based shop-front for your company
Brochure site for your company (just the who, what and where)
Information Website Where you just give general knowledge to the public at large
Something far more complex and secretive...

The purpose of your website is going to dictate how much money you spend on it, what your measurements of success are and how much effort you are actually going to invest in putting it together. For example, if you are creating an online shop, your measurements of success are going to be how many widgets you actually sell a month and if you are profitable. If you are creating a brochure site, it's all about attracting new visitors to the site and converting the visitors into customer contacts. The measurement of these two sites in terms of raw requirements are quite different meaning you would need to approach them differently.

Likewise, if you are selling a product that retails for SGD$15,000 you are going to be looking for qualitative traffic that could result in a sale, whereas if you are selling a product for SGD$10 you will be looking to get as many people onto your site as possible in the hope they'll impulse buy that SGD$10 product.

Design, Branding, Look and Feel

If this is a completely new business you are probably going to need a logo or brand development to work with your website. Get this sorted before you start considering your website. It would be a huge waste of resources to put together a website and then decide you want to change your logo/brand/colour scheme after 2 weeks - trust me on this one, we went through the same process with our own site!

You want the website to be an extension of your brand; it should be a cohesive representation of your company. I personally don't like to see a brand that has become a mishmash of logos, fonts and colours.

When was the last time you saw an MNC advertisement that wasn't in keeping with their brand?

The design of a website is such a subjective thing it's really worth asking around a few colleagues, friends and family to find out what other people like - after all you could be in the minority. It's important to remember to have a website designed to meet your customers needs, not your own. Remember that!


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