The Most Important Things
There are lots of things your website/blog will eventually need to expand. The absolutely most important things are a top level domain name, web hosting, SSL security and marketing.
In this tutorial/informational article I will be going over these things and how they affect your websites traffic, reliability and appearance to the public. These bold words stated above are the ones that I find to be the most important to take into consideration, although there are lots more of things that could largely benefit your website.
Anyone can put up a website, but only the one who knows how to manage it will be able to keep it
Get a top level domain name
Getting a full domain name will make your website address easier to remember and appear more professional.
A domain name is your website address. And getting a full domain is significantly better than a sub-domain. An example of a full domain would be www.yourwebsite.com. An example of a sub-domain would be www.yourwebsite.wordpress.com
It increases your visitors
Getting a domain name will make your website appear easier in search results on google and bing etc, because a domain name is SEO friendly. This will lead to you being easier found and more visitors appearing on your website. A huge feature for anyone who wants to establish their websites identity on the internet.
A domain name is easier to remember
A pretty obvious thing is that a shorter, more professional appearing web address will easier get stuck in a visitors head than a clumsy sub-domain name. This could make a larger amount of your visitors return to your website when they need to. This is a great way to establish loyalty and to create a bond with your visitors.
You will appear more professional
A full domain name will make your website appear more professional and easier establish trust between you and your visitors. To some visitors, someone who spent money into their website trying to improve the user experience means someone who is legit and therefore they might feel comfortable enough to leave their contact information to you or maybe even make a purchase if you own an online store.
Domain names are more important for some than others
We can already tell that getting a domain name is a huge benefit to the most websites, although some type of websites needs a domain significantly more than others. If you own an online business or eCommerce store, then a domain name is pretty much a must have. Otherwise the majority of people just wont make a purchase or feel comfortable enough to leave their contact information to you. On the other hand, if you own a blog, it's not quite as important to have a domain name since you are already blogging in your niche and can establish an internet identity for yourself without the need of a domain name. Also, the most blogs don't ask for peoples private information.
If you want to buy a domain name I recommend doing so on the by far most popular domain name service Godaddy
Get 24/7 web hosting
A key feature for your website or blog would be to get professional web hosting from a hosting company. Get web hosting on a company like Bluehost or Hostgator
Web hosting allows your website to always stay up 24 hours a day and allows you full access to all the records and backup files. If you are creating your website on a website builder platform like Weebly or Wix, then this hosting issue might apply slightly less to you. Although it could still be a step up to move to professional hosting instead of sticking with their hosting since you don't get access to everything on there.
You get more bandwidth
Many hosting services provide infinite bandwidth when purchasing any of their web hosting plans. Basically what this means is that you will be able to receive any amount of traffic to your website at one time without the site crashing. Many free website builder platforms don't offer unlimited bandwidth, like WIX for example. If you would like to get infinite bandwidth from them you have to upgrade your plan.
Everything you work on can be saved
With paid web-hosting you can constantly arrange backups to be created, effectively saving versions of your website in case things are not going the way they were planned or if you get hacked/ddosed. You can often get the backup files to get e-mailed and this always gives you a sense of security in case you would lose your precious work.
Honestly, hosting a website is about as costly as a cup of coffee each month. About $4 recurring monthly is something I think the most people can afford and it is without doubt worth it.
If you want to try out web hosting, I recommend Bluehost, one of the leading web hosting companies world wide.
Get an SSL Certificate
It stands for secure sockets layer, and encrypts all user submitted information and personal information when visiting a website that has an SSL certificate. This would be vital to have if you own a website that collects sensitive information like credit card numbers, telephone numbers or passwords. So websites like eCommerce stores and membership sites absolutely need a certificate.
Protects against hackers
A certificate will protect you against hackers trying to steal your users information on the site by using top of the line encryption to secure all sensitive information. With a certificate your website will just appear as a huge no-go for hackers and they would probably just move on to a site which has more loose security layers.
It builds trust with your users
More and more people gets aware of their security online and today not many of them would want to buy from a website that doesn't encrypt their information. You could lose potential customers and lots of them if you don't have an SSL certificate. This is why it's so essential that you have one if you are selling items online, digital or physical doesn't matter. With SSL, you will appear more trustworthy to your customer, strengthening your bond with one another.
It's SEO friendly
Search engines like google, bing etc will rank secure websites higher. They are more friendly to googles crawling bots and with an SSL certificate you will appear as much more secure. The encryption on your website will be appealing to search engines and this could yield a lot more visitors actually. You can expect to climb googles rankings long term and receive an increase in visitors which might mean more conversions.
You might have heard of DDOS before, or Distributed Denial Of Service attacks. These are attacks which hackers send to your website to crash it by flooding it with fake traffic. Every website has a limit of how many visitors that can visit it at one exact moment (even ''infinite'' bandwidth websites). If the traffic amount gets high enough, the DDOS attack could get big enough to take down a large website. This is a definite threat to any site who could be getting rivals.
Here are a couple of reasons why you absolutely should go for DDOS protection services
When using a form of DDOS protection you will survive attacks of various scales. For a website whose uptime is vital in order not to lose money DDOS protection is necessary. When receiving a DDOS attack all the pings will be taken care of. Cloudflare is a company which has claimed to be able to handle huge attacks of up to 400Gbps. If you do not have protection against these attacks, your website will go down and be rendered unusable for any visitor during the attack.
Makes you less attractive to hackers
Should the time come when you get attacked you will be protected, although it may not even come at all. A website who has DDOS protection will be super unattractive to any hacker looking to cause chaos. That combined with an SSL certificate you are pretty much good to go. Very few hackers have the will, knowledge or time to hack or DDOS a website with these security precautions taken into mind.
If you feel like your website might need DDOS protection, or if you just would like to try it out, I recommend Cloudflare.
Advertise your website
A lot of great, unique websites just don't get noticed or seen online today. The internet world is literally massive and your website is just one in hundreds of millions. This causes many websites to shut their doors. This is why it is important to know how to market your website and invest in reaching the right visitors.
But isn't advertising expensive?
No, it does not have to be. Marketing your website using the right tools and knowing how to target your audience could make you reach out to visitors/customers with still keeping a low budget for anyone who doesn't have thousands of dollars to spend.
Use Facebook Ads
I've told you this in my previous article about how to get more traffic to your website, but I really cannot stress enough how good this method actually is. It's cheap, allows advanced targeting options and provides results!
You create your own ad with your own text and images on Facebook, then promote it to users who will see your ad and click if interested. The pay per view is very low and hundreds of people could see your ad for only a couple of bucks. You could get a lot of clicks out of this depending on what you are promoting.
Say you were promoting an affiliate link, and you know the website you're affiliated with has a sale going on, you could promote that sale and make users click on your ad to be directed to your affiliate partner. This way you can get conversions and advertising could actually be beneficial.
You will be recognized and get a name for yourself
Once people have actually seen a commercial from you, there is a chance that your name or ad will be remembered. This means that the next time a person who has already seen an ad from you before sees another one, they might click out of curiosity. If they find the content interesting, you might have just gained your self a loyal and returning visitor.
Advertising has been proven to be beneficial if it's done right and can earn you lots of money. If you wanna know how to maximize the efficiency of your ads, I recommend Facebook official Ads Guide, It's good to read before advertising: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide
If you would like to try to market your product/website/blog then you can click the link to get started with Facebook advertising. https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads
Thanks for reading
Author: Nick Bergman