I’ve been into web design, publishing, and development for many years. Yet, I still in a position to learn the ins and outs of web, particularly with the emergence of social media and web 2.0.
The Internet is no longer the good ol’ place to hang out and share info. Websites and blogs are commercialised. Nothing wrong with that, as I also believe that the Internet is the driving factor of the new economy. There are people make a living (or even a lifestyle) working on the net – as their only source of income.
For the unaware businessmen – behold, the e-Commerce will leave you in the dust. You HAVE to jump into the band wagon NOW. I did, too. Why? According to Paypal, e-Commerce transaction already pass US$ 2 billion mark. Huge numbers. Big opportunities. The market is still wide open for you and me.
Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to explore the lucrative world of the Internet or an avid businessman looking to expand to the Internet, I have one thing for you: start selling with your website, and start evangelising about your business with your blog.
You already have a great product. Now, sell it in your website. Here’s the how-to:
Domain name: Web address that usually starts with www.yourgreatbusiness.com (the most common ending – called TLD, Top Level Domain – is the .com… however, you are free to explore other TLDs, such as .us, .ca, .biz, .info, .tv, etc) – suggestion: Never choose other than .com or .net, unless you have strong reasons to do so!
Web hosting company: Your provider of web space. Usually the company have several hosting packages, or even for free. Suggestion: Use web hosting company that guarantee almost 99.99% uptime (meaning, your website is accessible 99.99% of time)
About free domain name and hosting
So many free alternatives out there, but why throw money? location, location, location. Your ‘physical’ location on the net is your domain name (just like your ol’ business address) and web hosting (just like your ol’ leased retail space). You see, location is important. You wouldn’t want put your business address on P.O. Boxes to gain trust. You don’t want your business website address looks like http://mygreatbusiness.otherpeopleweb.com or http://www.otherpeopleweb.com/mygreatbusiness – you’ll want http://www.mygreatbusiness.com. Got it? :)
How to find a good domain name
To get a good domain name, you have to search for it. Usually, a good web hosting company has a feature to search for domain name. If not, just try to look for it in whois.ws, whois.net, etc.
Some tips on good domain name:
The shorter, the better. www.abc.com is great, but unfortunately has long been gone… www.mygreatbusinesswithgreatproduct.om is NOT a good idea!
Easier to read, the better. www.mygreatbusiness.com is good, but www.my-great-business.com is easier to read. It’s all up to you.
Filled with keywords about your business. If you sell Acme biscuits online, you’d name your domain www.acmebiscuits.com or www.deliciousbiscuits.com, rather than www.acmecompany.com.
Next, choose a hosting package. Choose what you WILL need, not what you need it right now. Choose more than enough storage space for your website, and more than enough bandwidth to attract visitors. You would not want for your website to be unable to get more visitors, because your ‘retail space’ is full!
You shouldn’t worry too much about pricing, because nowadays the web hosting competition is so stiff, that prices are low and almost identical.
I suggest you to look for the plans and features you need. For example, I want to establish an online store. Then, I look for a web hosting company that is designed to support e-commerce, to simplify my life :)
If I were you, I will choose web hosting that:
Can search domain name
Easy to reach customer support
Have verified testimonials, full of positive words on the service.