With more people searching for local businesses every day, it has become imperative to get your business online or get left behind.
And while it may seem like a daunting task to get your business online, in reality it's actually very easy. That's why we've compiled this guide with easy to understand, easy to follow steps to get your business online quickly.
To get started, you're going to need a website, domain name and hosting. Then once that's done, you'll need to get started with marketing.
Before we go through the purchase process, let's briefly discuss domains, hosting and websites.
A domain is the name registered for your website and email. It is the address where you visit a website, ie. www.exclusiveweb.co.za, and it is the address where you send emails to and from, ie. firstname.lastname@example.org.
You need a domain name if you're going to have a website and use emails. And while you could get a free email address from google or similar, having a unique domain will add a lot more credibility and trust.
If you think of your domain name as a physical address (like your business address), hosting can be likened to your business premises. So hosting is where your website and emails are stored, while a domain name is the address where they are located.
You may be wondering why you need a website when you have access to free social media. The answer is that social media isn't enough. Since we've written an in depth article about the benefits of having a website for your business we're just going to list a quick summary of those benefits here:
Looking at all the options available, you may be unsure which package to choose. So let's take a look at those packages and discuss which one is best suited to your needs.
Now that we know what a domain name is, why you need hosting and why social media isn't enough, let's go through the process of purchasing a website design package. (The process is the same for all hosting packages)
Step 2: Enter your domain of choice and click check. If the domain is available it will automatically be added to your shopping cart. If you wish, you can add more domains before continuing.
Step 3: Choose your billing cycle, check that you have the correct package selected, then click continue.
Step 4: If you wish to add domain ID protection, you can do so here before clicking continue. ID protection masks all your personal information when someone does a WHOIS search on your domain.
Step 5: Double check your package, domain and cart total. If you have a promo code, you can enter that then validate it before clicking checkout.
Step 6: Enter all your details here, then scroll down. Please note, you'll need to enter details for everything that isn't marked as optional.
Step 7: Tick the "I have read and agreed to the Terms of Service" box then click complete order. When you click on the word "Terms of Service" a new page will open with the Terms of Service.
Step 8: After clicking Complete Order, you'll be redirected to the invoice page where you can click Pay Now. If you choose Subscribe, the payment gateway (PayFast) will automatically debit your account each month. Please note that we do not keep any card details.
Step 9: Choose your payment method of choice then continue with payment. Once payment is completed, you'll be redirected to your client zone.
Step 10: You'll receive emails from us confirming your order and payment as well as an email containing your account details. Please keep this last email safe as you'll need the login details to access your client zone and services.
So your website is up and now you're wondering how to get visitors to your website. This is where marketing comes in. We've written a detailed guide on marketing your business on a budget, so here's a quick summary list for you:
So to get your business online and ahead of the competition you need a domain name, hosting, a website and marketing.