Guidance and Direction
How to Get Started! What is Needed!
Here you will find guidance and direction on what is involved in website development, how to get started, and how to grow your website. There is information on the “must haves”, access to step by step instructions as well as recommendations and links to trusted suppliers.
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What is website development?
Creating a website – a foggy concept if you are not a techie or if you find it hard to deal with the abstract. But think of it this way. You are planning to build a house. So what’s needed – a plot of land, an address, foundation, house, contents and mailbox. The plot of land is the web hosting. The address is your domain name. The foundation is the platform on which you’ll build your website, like WordPress. The house is your website, its shape and design. The content gives you the functionality you need to do the things you want your site to do for you. The mailbox is your email.
Website development is the process of creating and maintaining a website, from start to finish. It includes purchasing a domain name and web hosting, web design, build and publish, content development, and security configuration.
In a broader sense, website development, which is often used interchangeably with the term web development, encompasses all the actions, updates, and operations required to build, maintain and manage a website to ensure its performance, quality user experience, and optimal speeds.
Website development may also include all those strategic actions needed to ensure ranking with search engines. However, because Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a different area of specialization it is sometimes dealt with outside the area of website development.
What is WordPress
WordPress is a Content Management System. It is the platform on which you build a website. If you likened it to building a house, WordPress would be the foundation on which you build. There are other platforms to choose from but WordPress is the one Bouzane Consulting has found to be the most suitable for our clientele. We are certainly not alone with that opinion. WordPress is used by more than 1/3 of the websites on the Internet.
Here are some of the benefits we find in using WordPress:
- flexible and adaptable for changing needs
- user friendly and easy to learn
- doesn’t require coding skills
- it adapts so you can make any type of site
- supports numerous media types
- has a variety of themes (free and premium)
- functionality can be expanded with plugins
- WordPress sites rank high with search engines
- mobile responsive
- you have full control of your website
- there a community support network
What is a webmaster?
This is about the online gateway to you and your brand. A webmaster is the administrator and he or she holds the keys to your website. Trust is essential.
Generally, a webmaster’s responsibilities include:
- Register and maintain the domain name
- Purchase suitable web hosting package
- Design the website incorporating aesthetic appeal, functionality and brand identity
- Build and launch the website
- Maintain the website regularly
- Update content as needed
- Ensure size, bandwidth and disk space is within limits
- Plan future growth and requirements
When it comes to individuals and most non-profit organizations and small businesses, webmasters have to be the ultimate multi-taskers. The webmaster often does it all, from designing, building and publishing the website to daily maintenance and content development.
The functions of a webmaster can be done, all or in part, in-house or outsourced to an independent contractor.
How much does a website cost?
If this is the first time you’ve been involved in creating a website of your own, you will want to budget properly. There is nothing worse than being halfway through something only to be blindsided with the unexpected. From the outset, it is important to establish all of the costs involved in creating and maintaining a website
- domain registration
- web hosting package
- software (themes and plugins)
- security and SEO
- web design, build and publish
- content development
- ongoing website maintenance
- ongoing content management
- annual fees
You will need to purchase the following:
- domain registration*
- web hosting package*
- security (if not included as part of web hosting package)
- themes or plugins
*Click HERE for recommendations on trusted domain registrars and web hosts.
* The registration does not mean you own the domain name. Instead you have rights to use it for a period of time. Typically, you would purchase registration and renew on an annually basis for the duration of the time you want to have a particular website. The annual price varies with each registrar. The average cost ranges between $18 and $25 per year. Some domain registrars may offer special deals for the first year if you choose to also purchase your web hosting plan with them.
* The web hosting plan that you purchase must also be renewed annually. The cost will vary depending on your short to medium term needs. Suppliers are in competition with each other and offer deals through pricing and features attached to each plan. Many suppliers offer deals on the first year with the regular price kicking in on the second year and beyond.
Labour or Contracting Costs
If the design, building and publishing of the website is being done in-house, the labour will be the employee’s salary.
If you decide to outsource the work, determine the components you want the contractor to handle for you and obtain a detailed quote.
- Website Design
- Build and launch
- Security setup
- Configuration of SEO
- Ongoing website maintenance
- Ongoing Content management
If there is a monthly retainer, determine what services, if any, are included and what the rate is for routine and/or additional work.
Steps to Creating a Website
What is a domain name
A domain name or web address are terms that are often used interchangeable. They both mean the same – the address where Internet users can access your website. That address specifies the location of the website on the computer network providing a mechanism for retrieving it.
Your domain name is so important. Ideally, it should be short and give an indication of what the website is about. If you are a business, consider using a name that indicates your industry or niche. Make it unique and brandable. It should be easy to remember and easy to spell (avoid numbers and hyphens).
There is heavy competition for domain names. As soon as you have done your homework and are satisfied with the domain name, it is wise to purchase it right away. Otherwise somebody else may get in ahead of you.
Choosing a domain registrar
A domain registrar is the company that takes your domain name registration information and reserves your domain from the main registry. The registrar also helps you with the renewal, transfer or termination of your domain name registration.
You should purchase your domain name through a domain registrar that has been accredited by ICANN. There are numerous accredited registrars from which to choose. Bouzane Consulting normally recommends one of the following:
If yours is a new purchase and you wish to use the country extension .ca, GoDaddy is the vendor of choice recommended by Bouzane Consulting. For all other extensions, we recommend your choice of either of the vendors.
By clicking on either of the vendors, you will be able to search domain names to determine if the ones you preferred are available for purchase. Select your top choice and purchase the name. The company will register the domain name in the main registry.
What is web hosting
If you were building a house, you would need a plot of land on which to build. For a website, web hosting is the equivalent to the plot of land. You need special computers (servers) to host (store) all your files and databases so it is visible on the Internet. The servers need to be running 24/7. You will need to purchase a web hosting package from a reputable web host provider.
When Internet users want to view your website, all they need to do is type your domain name (website address) in their browser. The computer will connect to your server and your website will be visible to them. Normally, if you have not yet purchased your domain name (e.g. www.yourwebsite.com), the web hosting company you choose will help you with that at the time you enter into a hosting contract with them.
Choosing a Web Host Provider
Choosing a web host provider can be so overwhelming as there are hundreds from which to choose. In turn, good providers will offer several hosting packages each with escalating benefits and features. Tier one will normally be a starter package enabling you to host one domain. It may, indeed, be all that you need in the short term. As your online activity grows you will be able to consider upgrading to a package with more capacity and speed. A good web host will be able to help you as your business grows.
Recommendations by Bouzane Consulting
We recommend you use a reputable domain registrar and web host. There are many from which to choose and it can be confusing.
The following are the top 3 that we use at Bouzane Consulting. Each of these companies provide domain registration and web hosting packages as well as other products you may need. Click on either to connect directly with that specific company to view more information about their products:
*Please be advised that if you click on either of these companies from this website and subsequently make a purchase, Bouzane Consulting may receive a small referral fee from that company. This does not change the cost of your purchase in any way.
Stay Tuned! There’s a lot more to come.
We are currently updating our website. Some content will not be available for a couple of days.
Our apologies for the inconvenience. If you have a question or if we can help in the meantime, please send an email through the Contact link below.