8 Tips for starting / setting up a website in 2016

switch between to dutch language website

Tip 1: Use WordPress

WordPress is now powering more than 25% of all websites, 30% of all web shops and 60% from the CMS (content management systems). These figures should already speak for themselves. I started with coding my websites by hand. The advantage of starting directly with WordPress is that your learning curve is not high. It is easy to make extra pages by yourself and maintenance can also be handled without much technical knowledge.

Tip2: Choose a host server with SSD

Most of the host packages are slow. The speed of your server is critical on how fast a website is served to your customers and a host server with SSD is 5 to 20 times faster. Speed is also a SEO factor.

Other Choosing arguments for a host package

  • Starting package. Means the cheapest package of the used host company.
  • Where are the servers from the host physically. If you live for example on an island, your business is on that island, than your website will have a quicker loading time if the server is also on that island.
  • How many domains do you need? More domains means probably more MySQL data banks
  • Any Sub domains needed?
  • How much disc space do you need. Uploading videos to your own server? ( 5 minutes video is roughly 100 MB) Or do you just link to your videos from YouTube and Vimeo, which doesn’t cost any memory.
  • One button WordPress and Magento installation ( as application from hosting company)
  • Do you start a shop –> choose for HTTPS ( security needed for payments). See also tip 4 for other businesses.

This website is running on the host Vimexx* The package is for WordPress installation and runs with a SSD. Besides this, you can generate your SSL certificate for free. I am using the 4.49 euro/month package at the moment.

TIP: If you want the domain name for free the first year then start out with the domain name and choose later the package.

* Vimexx is an affiliate link, so I earn a few euro’s when you actual uses this link

 

Tip3: Buy a SSL certificate

Your host can provide you with this. There are many different ones, but in the end most businesses need only the cheapest one. Prices starts at 14 -40 euro euro per year.This depends on the host. Normally the host will supply a certificate.

 

Tip 4: Think about your domain name

The domain name doesn’t have to be your business name, although this will be prefferable for clarity.

Outsourcing a website can be tricky and raises a lot of questions. For example who do you trust? How much money should I spend? Does a company needs really so much developing time?

Choosing argument for a domain name:

  • Local means for example ending on your country code like .nl ( roughly 15 USD a year). Your website will not be easily found in other countries, but you probably have more choice in names.
  • Global means ending .com ( roughly 20 USD a year) or .eu
  • Name should be easy to remember and same at your YouTube channel, Google plus channel, Facebook channel, Gmail account
  • Hosting countries all provide domain names and a search box to test if a name is possible.

 

Tip5: Buy a professional theme

If you start with a website and have no design experience, than a professional theme will help you a good looking website with the correct coding inside. Nowadays SEO (search engine optimization) depends on technical factors, like the correct coding and microdata. In a the themes from Genesis are all these technical details in order and are continue improving. So with one buy, you can use this for years.

A professional theme is just around 100 euro, which is very cheap compared to a special developed theme.

The advantage of the professional web designs from StudioPress:

  • Reliable, StudioPress has more than 170.000 customers
  • Responsive and mobile-friendly (mobile SEO)
  • Coded with HTML 5 and structured data (new SEO)
  • Search Engine Optimized (on page SEO)
  • Updating is simple and secure
  • Security, best possible via the extra layer of Genesis Framework
  • Most themes are ready for advertising
  • Most themes have different lay-out options
  • Most themes have easy to adjust color options
  • Themes have different page functions: home, blog, landing pages

 

Tip 6 Check your new theme for following points

A theme should not have any additional functionality. These will be handled by plugins. But still the theme needs to handle your content and in a way you like to display it. One extra tip: stay away from sliders in the head section of your homepage. They look great, but mostly they are conversion killers. Here you will find some features a theme should have:

  1. HTML 5
  2. Responsive
  3. 1/2/3 columns possibilities
  4. Landing page
  5. Inserting picture of a logo
  6. SEO ready

Themes are normally build for a target group so ask the following question:

  1. What kind of business do I run
    1. blog
    2. magazine type
    3. web shop
    4. restaurant or cafe
    5. agency
    6. listings (of e.g. houses)

Extra functionality comes with plugins, which should not be in your theme. Here are some of the plugins which I use in this website

  1. a contact form (plugin Ninja Forms)
  2. caching of pages (speeding up your website, plugin WP Super Cache)
  3. minifying of code (speeding up your website, plugin Autoptimize)
  4. security of your website (All in One WP Security)
  5. Need of email subscriber
    • email via mail chimp (plugin Mailchimp for WordPress)
    • email via your website
    • google feedburner

 

Tip 7: hire me for the first set-up of your website

Of course this will cost another 400 eruo (on top of the 100 euro for your theme), but the big advantage is that your website will be on air soon. The site will be beautiful and I will help you with the search engine optimization (SEO) for your home page.

 

Tip 8: Other Free Services on the web

While setting up your page, you will start hearing all kind of background noise. To have a head start, some search engines like Google and Bing should be able to find your website. Their spiders just follows links from existing websites, so if you are new in the field, it is probably wise to start with a XML sitemap. At Google webmaster / Bing webmaster this will be explained. There are free generators on the web, so it is not really difficult to do.

Make several webmaster accounts, to register your website and submit your sitemap. Here is another useful short list of free services which you might consider to start creating more traffic to your website: