So you want to know how to start an online business?
You already have an idea or a current business but you want to get online so that you can increase your customer base from your local area to well… the World is your oyster, as they say!
Basically to get your business online you need a website.
Now you may be thinking any of the below, I can’t have a website:
- I can’t afford it
- I haven’t got the time
- I don’t know where to start
- I am SO not technical
And so on and so on…
Let’s start an online business then – Choose a Domain
So where, exactly, do you start?
The first thing that you need is a domain name or URL for your business – put simply a name for your website. This can be done quite simple by visiting a domain registrar such as Go Daddy, 123 reg etc. Think of it as registering your business name.
You may choose to use your business name or even your own name for your domain, if it’s available. To check if it is available you can visit any of the domain registrars and simply type in your chosen name and see if it is available. They will then let you know with what extension (or Top Level Domain – TLD as it’s known) is available for your chosen name. So to the un technical amongst us that means your .com or .co.uk.
So what if it’s not available?
You can use a variety of other TLD’s such as .org .uk .online and so on. Either that or you will need to change your name slightly. Maybe add another word or two (as long as it doesn’t make it too long) that says what your business does. For example, my first website was called Pink Heaven, I blogged about different party ideas so I called it Pink Heaven Party Ideas.
Remember: The name of your domain doesn’t HAVE to be your business name. As long as it is relating to your business in some way and people will remember it.
And now for some hosting
So now you have a domain name you need some hosting to go with that.
So what on earth is hosting I hear you say?
Put simply hosting is like renting a space on the internet to put your business. A bit like a shop, where your domain name is the shop sign along the top of the shop.
But hosting varies so much it can often by overwhelming in knowing where to start. Basically you should go for something that includes at least one free email address along with plenty of disk space and bandwidth. Disk space is the amount of room that your website has to fit in (so think of it as the size of your shop) and bandwidth is the amount of memory that you are allowed to use per month, this decreases every time someone visits your site and how much you have stored (so think of this as the amount of visitors that will visit your shop).
Many hosting companies offer unlimited disk space and hosting, and at a reasonable price, so shop around.
If you want simple and easy hosting options then feel free to visit my hosting page – where there are the only two options you should ever need!
To start an online business requires a bit more than a domain name and some hosting, however.
If you want to find out more then you can join my DIY Website Success Academy