If you are an entrepreneur like me and own businesses, you need a website. Yes, social media can drive tons of business and sales. However, if you are for the long-term success; for the long run business. You need a website.

Why? Simple. Social media can be a driving force in regard to sales and business in general. But, what happens when the attention of the consumer; the attention of the people, shift to a different platform of communication. All of your hard work is gone and so are your clients. Think of MySpace and other platforms that have perish. So many depend on them as a source of income, sales and business. Now they are gone. All of the effort put into the accounts and then suddenly gone. Disappointing right. That’s why you need a website.

You need a platform that you alone as a business owner can control, manage and update at any given point.

Below I will be sharing 8 fundamentals that are required to building a website. This fundamental apply to small and mid-size businesses. I have also added a small section for e-commerce.

1 You need a Face, you need a logo.
One you have a clear name of your business name and what your business will stand for. It’s time to start thinking of your logo. Using a Logo is a great way to help create a brand for your business and website. There are 2 ways you can create your own business logo:

Option 1:
Hire a graphic designer: 99 Designs gives you access to 950,000+ designers. You can post a logo design project and just wait for graphic designers all over the world to apply for your project. You only pay if you like the final results – but it may not be the cheapest option. Pricing may be vary from $500 – 5,000 Dollars depending on the designers or scope of work.
(Fiverr is the lowest you can go personally and budget wise)

Option 2:
Use a logo generator to create your own logo in 1 minute: Logo generators allow you to create professional logos without any graphic design skills. It is a great option if you. Squarespace logo generator (free) and Tailor Brands (paid) are two of the best logo generators we have tested. The downside to this free logo generators is that you will look to generic. Plus, someone else can be using the same logo or image as their logo already and you are going to look like a me too copy.

Regardless of the road you decide to take. Remember it’s your brand and it’s going to be the first impression your visitors are going have and look at. So, take your time and do it right. Make sure it meets your needs, but it caters to your clients and over message you want to send out to the world.

 

2 Domain Name
A domain name is often the first thing you need when starting a website. It is your digital address that people will use to get connected to your website. For example, the domain name for this website is www.jessebrands.com.

Some popular domain name providers are GoDaddy. You can easily check if the name you want is available and how much it will cost, which is usually around $10 – $50 per year. If it’s not register, premium domain or on Bidding Mode. GoDaddy is also a good point to start searching for pricing on regards to hosting and different CMS platforms which I will discuss next.

 

3 Website Building Software
A website builder software is what you use to build your website. Some of the more popular web builders that you might have heard of are WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. I love using website builder software even though I can code up a website from scratch using just a Note Pad.

Why do I prefer a website builder?
Because it is just so mind-blowingly easy. Depending on your skills level and what complex features you want on your website, some website builders will work better than the other.

Here are some of the most popular website builders, and what we think about them:

Wix
Best All-Around Website Builder: They have the most features and tools when it comes to drag & drop website builders. Whether you need an online booking tool, insert video backgrounds, or want to create an online store, Wix has you covered.
*Pricing start at $14.00 – $25.00 per month – 150.00 – 300.00 per year plus renewals.

Squarespace
Best Design Oriented Website Builder: Their design templates are so good, they can make your website look as if you custom designed it.
*Pricing start at $16.00 – $26.00 per month – $150 – $300 per year plus renewals.

Weebly
Easiest to Use Website Builder: They’ve made it so easy for you to use, you can build a really good website even if you are deathly afraid of technology!
*Pricing start at $8.00 – $25.00 per month – $100 – $400 per year plus renewals.

WordPress
Most Flexible Website Builder: You can customize your website to your heart’s content, but WordPress is not easy to learn for beginners.
*Pricing start at $4.00 – $24.00 per month – $100 – $300 per year plus renewals.

Talk to someone who has experience on web design and ask for a free consultation and see what suits your needs. We experts, usually recommend to have a backup for domain and hosting and for them to be separated from each other (This is will require a long explanation.).

 

4 Website Hosting
A host is the storage unit where your website documents reside online. Whenever someone enters your domain name in a web browser, the browser will fetch your website content from your website host. Think of it as your apartment or house rent. You need one to live on.

How do you know what type of hosting to choose? The type of hosting you choose depends on how many visitors you expect to visit your website. The cost of your hosting will increase when more people visit your website as you will need to upgrade from basic to advanced hosting.

There are 4 general types of website hosting:

Shared Hosting
You are sharing a server with other websites.

VPS Hosting
You are still sharing a server with other websites, but you get more capacity to handle more visitors.

Dedicated Hosting
You have a server all to yourself and don’t need to share.

Free Hosting
This is provided for all fully managed drag & drop website builder. Its not actually but they market it that way. Just FYI.

Hosting Services start from $10.00 – $60.00 Per Month or $400 – $600 Dollars per year. This depends on your needs. If you decide to pay yearly you can save between 10% – 20% on the total cost. Remember, this all based on your needs and requirements for your business. For pricing you can check out
GoDaddy
HostGator
BlueHost

Check them out and see who fits your needs.

 

5 A Website Template Design
A website template is a pre-made website design that allows you to have a professional-looking website without the need of hiring a website designer. Using a predefined template gives you a quick, easy and economical way to create your website design. The typical rate for a good looking theme/template is usually start around $60 – $200 dollars per theme per license.

If you are using a self-hosted website builder, like WordPress, you can find great WordPress templates at:
WooThemes
Mojo Marketplace
Theme Forest

Like mentioned above, a predesigned template usually starts around $60 – $200 dollars per license. That’s the average cost for a good-looking template. Search around and see what template fits your needs.

If you are using a fully managed website builder (Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly), they will provide you with free website template designs. Here is a summary of each website builder’s template design selections:

Wix
Large website template library with over 500 professionally designed templates.

Squarespace
Some of the best website design that can rival some custom designed websites.

Weebly
Their templates allow access to the codes, so you can make custom changes if you want to – an added design flexibility.

Choose a template that meets your needs, goals and objectives. If the theme you select is missing some options. Look for compatible plugins that can be added. WordPress is great for doing this. Also, don’t forget to make sure that the template is mobile compatible.

 

6 Get a Business Email Address
I am a believer of business email address for anyone who is serious about building a business. There is nothing more effective in crushing your website’s or your business’ credibility with emails like “abccompany@aol.com” or “fitnesscoach@gmail.com”.

The first question that pops into my mind is – “wow, they can’t even afford $5 a month on a business email? This doesn’t look very professional. Is their service or product even reliable?”

I know that sounds harsh and judgmental, but that’s how a lot of people think!

So, if you are serious at building a website that can help you attract new customers and grow your business, get a business email address with your website domain name. It’s very easy (and cheap $5 Dollars per month per account or around $50 if paid a year in Advance) to get set up with Google’s G Suite or your website hosting provider.

 

7 Building an E-Commerce Website?
If you are building an online store you are going to need a little more items. The typical items you will require are:

Payment Processor
How are you going to be running the transactions? What processor are you going to be using? Typically, payment processors require for you to go through a background check and they require an estimate of the amount of transactions you are going to be doing and the overall all amount. Based on this they will give a Monthly Retainer, Transaction Fee (Cents on the dollar) and Percentage Fee (A Fixed percentage per transaction). The typical rates for a processor are from $50-100 Monthly Retainer, 3% – 5% per Transaction and .15 – .25 Cents per transaction. Also, don’t forget the registration fee and equipment fee. That an additional charge.

Some options for online payment processors are:
PayPal
Square
Stripe
Authorize.Net

Check them out and see which one meets your needs.

SSL Sockets
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser in an online communication. The usage of SSL technology ensures that all data transmitted between the web server and browser remains encrypted (Protected).

An SSL certificate is necessary to create SSL connection. You would need to give all details about the identity of your website and your company as and when you choose to activate SSL on your web server.

The SSL Sockets is used by millions of online business to protect their customers, ensuring their online transactions remain confidential. A web page should use encryption when it expects users to submit confidential data, including personal information, passwords, or credit card details. All web browsers have the ability to interact with secured sites so long as the site’s certificate is issued by a trusted CA.

Shipping
When it comes to online business, shipping can build your business or break your business. If not set up correctly it cost your business tons of dollars or you can make good profits. I’m going share with you some basics that set a foundation for your shipping. While you can come back and change each of these later on, as you learn more, these are the key decisions and steps that make up your high-level shipping strategy.

Your shipping rates and methods.
Are you going to pass the full cost of shipping on to your customers, or will you offer free or flat-rate shipping to absorb some or all of the cost? By the end of the post, you’ll have more information on how to make this choice for your business.

Product weights
To streamline the process, measure and update the weight of each product you sell. Having that information set up will help you get a good sense of your total costs, and pass along accurate prices to your customers.

Choose your preferred packaging.
While there’s more to be said about what kind of packaging is right for your products, once you’ve selected it, you can add that information to Shopify so you can calculate accurate shipping prices.

Source your packaging.
You can order free packaging from USPS, UPS, or DHL, or invest in branded packaging if that’s part of your strategy.

Shipping is definitely a challenging aspect for any ecommerce business. Every business will have their own unique challenges they need to work through and overcome to develop the best and most efficient shipping strategy. Like many aspects of building your new ecommerce site, it will take time and tweaking to determine what works best.

Understanding all the variables and evolving your shipping strategy with your growing business is vital to its long-term health and success. So, once you think you have it figured out, don’t let it go stale. Reevaluate every six months to make sure you’re delivering the absolute best possible service and experience for the best possible price to your customers.

This are some of the basic needs when it comes to building an ecommerce site. This applies regardless whether you are selling physical products or intellectual property or services. It’s not as simple as it sounds its actually more complicated than what you think.

 

8. Website Content.
One thing is getting all the technical parts of the website going. The other one is getting all the creative together. Getting the creative together is the most difficult aspect of a website. This responsibility relies on you the business owner. As the business is your responsibility to provide the following items:

• Logo
• Pictures and Video
• History
• About the Company
• Mission, Vision, Values and Purpose of the company.
• List and description of Services
• Contact Information
• Terms and Conditions
• Description and Specifications on Products
• External Links
• Refund, Return and Exchange Policy
• Testimonials
• Clients Logos
• Pricing and or cost of services or goods.

These are just a general list a of items business owner must have at hand. Some of this items can be outsourced to different media producers or content providers to reduce the work. However, this item are a must have. Not all of the them but at least the basics.

If you don’t have these items in place what you will end up is with an empty template and feeling of stress, disappointment and an empty wallet. Content is crucial for website building. It will be what your visitors will be seen.

 

Conclusion…
So far I have shared 8 points that are required to build a website. This points are a a nesesity to building a website. Weather you are a starting business or existing business. Simply to recap what is mentioned on this article. To build a website you need the following:

• A face, a logo that represents the company.
• A domain name.
• A website building software
• A Hosting Company
• A Website Template
• A Business E-Mail Address
• Are your building an online store
• Website Content

This are the basic needs. The basic fundamentals to building a website. I have provided links and a list of resources to building your website. You can start the process and then hand it over a designer/developer/agency/freelancer to help finish the project. Hope you take the most of this article and if you have any questions, comments or will like to add to the subject feel free to leave it in the comments.

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