So you want to build a new website for your business.
You really only need 3 things for the most basic of websites. A domain or the URL, your host, which puts your website on the Internet, and the content. Let’s take a moment to address each of these items individually. Starting with the domain, I suggest putting your company’s name in there. For branding purposes it helps. And for Google’s sake you may want to consider a keyword as well. Once thought to inflame the fire of the Search Engine, Exact Match Domains still do very well in the rankings. Until Google really levels an EMD penalty, go ahead and put your brand along with a keyword in your domain.
Next we have the host. Hosts are like cars, they all do the same thing, and some just do it way better than others. So whether you are sticking to what I will refer to as regular hosting, such as the inexpensive hosting like GoDaddy.com and HostGator, or something in the ballpark of your Bentley of hosting like the Virtual Private Server you have a decision to make. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. For example, the performance on the VPS is top notch, but getting the site live on the Internet is very complicated and you don’t have the excellent customer service man from Go Daddy to walk you through it.
Lastly, the third piece of the puzzle is the content. Will you build your website on Content Management System (CMS) or will you build a straight HTML5 website? I strongly recommend a CMS where you can easily change the content on the fly without having to contact a developer who is likely to bill you for the hours. So now you have to decide where the content is coming from. Are you going to write it and take the pictures? You should at least write the content; nobody knows your business better than you. For photos there are many great stock photo websites that will do the trick.
Most likely you want your business’ website to look professional so you will need a website designer and a website developer. They are two very different people and the communication between the two is of the utmost importance. The designer will make your website look and feel as you dreamt it would. The designer will match your website to your logo so your branding is consistent across all of your marketing. They will hand off the design to the developer so they can make sure the website will actually work the way you imagined it would. For example, the contact form should populate your email when the user clicks submit, that kind of task is up to a developer not a designer. My advice, hire a company that has both. It eliminates the communication issues and saves you money.