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December 2015 – Website Basics

Website Basics

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By now, you should know that if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist in the eyes of your prospects or of Google. However, simply setting up a website and hoping for the best is close to useless – every aspect of design, content and navigation plays a vital role in your website’s success.6fc19a99-4b5a-473f-96f7-52f0883efb13

Beyond a contemporary appearance and easy-to-use interface, your site must function properly. Users must instantly understand what your company offers, and you need a way to collect visitors’ contact information to turn your website into a lead acquisition tool, rather than something little better than a brochure. But, first, let’s take a step back to the basics and determine whether you have appropriate control over your website.

Domain Name

Your domain name is your website’s address. It begins with www. and ends in something like .com (or one of the many new extensions like .beauty, .coffee 8fd8f3e3-35d9-488c-a0e2-6a0779c9ddc7and .lawyer). It is essential that you have access to your domain name to keep control of your website. It can be useful to place your domain name in your hosting account, but this is not crucial.

Hosting Account

A hosting company rents you space and bandwidth to allow your website to exist. There are many options to choose from for your hosting account, but we fb1c80eb-d764-4930-bb68-bc8535396281recommend opting for a national, reputable company such as HostGator or Network Solutions. Whether or not you have both your domain and hosting account with same company, you should have ownership of your hosting account to avoid becoming locked out of your site should your “website guy’s” business close or suffer some other mishap.

Website Files

Your web files contain the data that makes up your site and use a separate login from your hosting account. Again, it’s important that you have control of this login to make changes and to manage your site.

Security

Finally, your website needs protection against hackers, who may seek to steal your data or information about your customers or simply create havoc on your website. Security is particularly important if you run an e-commerce37ca8abe-e5dd-430e-8231-1f4796e97f34 website, but hackers also breach other sites to use servers for spam or to serve (often illegal) files. To stay safe from hackers, take steps such as ensuring that your software is always up-to-date, setting up server-side validation, requiring strong user passwords, and using SSL for any e-commerce platform. In addition, you can avoid the loss of information by performing a backup at least weekly.

At Solutions for Growth, we build and rebuild beautiful websites for optimal functionality, access and security. We also offer a website management program to ensure that your website is always up and running. 

Take a peek at some websites we recently developed (select “Websites” from the filter).

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