Gate Customer Newsletter Gate.com
Issue: October 2015

Website Building Checklist: Support Your Brand

Right now, there are more than 858 million registered websites for users to visit, according to Tech Made Easy. This means you have a lot of competition to deal with when creating and building out your brand’s online presence.

A website is an essential piece of the business puzzle, helping a brand connect with its customers and offer potential for the organization.

However, building a website that supports its brand is not as easy as one might think. Some important components and strategies are often overlooked when designers and decision-makers begin their website-building journey. This checklist will help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks:

1) Overall purpose and driving goals

Before thinking about theme or design, determine the overall purpose and goals of the website. Small Business Trends contributor Amanda Stillwagon noted that these include defining the type of site and what it will be used for – will the platform be used for e-commerce? Is it educational? Or will it offer some other type of service? Answering these questions will serve as the starting point for the entire process – these details will guide the decision-making processes for the entire initiative.

2) Top priorities, in order of importance

Once the website’s purpose and goals have been determined, it’s time to prioritize. For example, if the website needs to be launched and accessible quickly, it might be best to begin with a basic site and add to it later. If the website’s purpose is to provide data or educational information, what assets should be made available first? Stillwagon advised making a list of priorities to better drive the creation and launch process.

3) Register a domain name

The domain name will serve as the web address for the site. PressCoders pointed out that the company may want to include the business’s name or certain keywords in the domain name to make it easier for clients to find. Overall, it’s important to maintain a short and simple name that won’t be difficult for users to remember.

“It doesn’t matter what SEO value you get from the keywords, you need to think of people first, and search engines second,” PressCoders recommended.

The name must be registered with a leading hosting provider like Gate.com in order to ensure that it remains the property of the business. Many generic domain names can be quite popular and are therefore some of the first to be used. Registering a domain name can establish credibility for the brand as well as increase its visibility online.

4) Features and capabilities

It’s also essential to think about the features and capabilities the website will need. These will largely be governed by the site’s purpose and goals. For example, an e-commerce site will need a product catalog and shopping cart. An educational resource site may need considerable storage, a robust database and a blog. Selecting these features will help with the next step.

5) Platform software

There are more than a few solutions on the market that serve as the foundation of a website. These differ in their features and capabilities. For example, Magento is a leading e-commerce platform and offers just about everything a brand needs to open its own online store. WordPress, on the other hand, is more suited for blog-based sites. There are free tools as well as paid solutions, each providing different levels of design, support and user capabilities. It’s important to do research in order to select a platform that will be able to address all of your needs.

6) Hosting

Another key component of website building is attaining the proper support. Often, it makes more sense for a business to select a hosting provider that can handle the equipment, expense and upkeep to host the site. When registering a domain name, it can be helpful to also examine that provider’s hosting capabilities.

Hosting also comes in different levels. Dedicated hosting, for example, differs from shared hosting, although both strategies come with their share of benefits. Working with an industry-leading hosting provider like Gate.com can help decision-makers understand the difference and select the best environment for the company’s needs.

7) Content

With the domain name, platform and hosting resources in place, it’s time to consider what content will live on the site. Again, this is primarily determined by the type of website and the industry the business operates within. Stillwagon noted that a website should include company branding and contact information. The website can also provide in-depth details about available products or services, and informative content such as that found on a blog. The possibilities here are nearly endless.

8) Continual improvements

It’s critical to keep in mind that websites do not exist in a vacuum – they must be continually updated and improved to capture users’ attention and provide true value for the brand.

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In This Issue
Website Building Checklist: Support Your Brand
What’s in a Domain Name?
The Importance and Value of Auto-Renewing Your Domains
Connect with Us on Social Media
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Managed VPS Hosting - Now 50% OFF
 
Do-It-Yourself Web Presence

Search Engine Journal
Oct. 4, 2015
SEO 101: 5 Things Small Business Owners Should Know About #SEO Friendly Web Design

Business2Community
Oct. 7, 2015
How Mobile-First Design Is Really Content-First Design

Forbes
Sept. 24, 2015
The 10 Most Common Small Business Marketing Mistakes

What’s in a Domain Name?

Since the inception of the Internet, we’ve all used domain names as the addresses at which our favorite websites and resources reside.

While many users don’t give a second thought to a company’s domain name, consumers and businesses alike might not realize the impact an URL can carry. More than a web address, this moniker encompasses a brand.

Today, we’ll take a look at domain names, including the process of registration, and what businesses should consider.

Choosing a domain name

Domain names come with an endless potential for variety – simply changing one letter or the attached suffix creates a brand new name and destination. When choosing a name, it is important to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Length: The best domain names are short, sweet and to the point. It can simply be the name of the brand, if available. For a domain to be memorable, it should be as short as possible.
  • Keywords: Entrepreneur contributor Jon Rognerud noted that keyword optimization also comes into play, though brands must be careful not to overdo it. ”Ultimately, you’ll want to use keywords to create a domain name that’s both memorable and likely to be ranked in the first ten listings of search engine results,” Rognerud advised.
  • Uniqueness: According to 2014 research from Tek Eye, there are more than 284 million domain names currently registered. This means a unique, compact name may be difficult to find. Many providers will suggest alternatives if the name you’ve selected is taken, but brands should be sure to differentiate their name enough to stand out in the marketplace.

Registering a domain name

When it comes time to register the domain name, your company will want to select an industry-leading hosting provider. Gate.com’s domain registration enables brands to control their nameserver information, manage multiple domains with our online control panel, provide protection with domain locking, and boost potential traffic with domain aliases.

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The Importance and Value of Auto-Renewing Your Domains

What’s worse than forgetting to renew your domain name registration? Getting your domain deleted as a result of not renewing and it having it registered by someone else. They may demand an exorbitant price to sell it back, or worse, sell it to one of your competitors, who takes all your customer traffic and email.

Many people fail to appreciate that domain name registration is for a set period of time. Most domains can be registered for 1 to 10 years. Once your registration term expires – or better yet, before it expires – you must renew it or risk losing it.

Although we send expiry notices multiple times prior to the domain expiry date, many customers leave the process of domain renewal to the last minute. This is not recommended, as other priorities can distract you from completing this simple and necessary process. Next thing you know, you’ve forgotten about renewing your domain altogether.

There are other factors that can also result in a losing a domain due to non-renewal. You might assume someone else in the organization will take care of the renewal. The registration contact person might have left the company, leaving the expiry notices to bounce back. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the true value of their domain name until they lose their registration.

The results of losing a valuable domain are costly, ranging from a relatively low cost of around $125 to redeem the domain at the registry (if it can be redeemed), to fees in the thousands of dollars charged by domain auction houses. Those vendors will price the domain based on a number of factors, including the amount of traffic coming into the domain, the number of years the domain was previously registered for, and the type of company that previously registered the domain. That last one opens the market to your competitors to secure the registration from you.

There is one simple and free solution to keep this nightmare from happening: Set up your domain to auto-renew. Our auto-renewal feature ensures your domain name will always be renewed before it expires as long as the billing info in your account is up to date. This feature adds another layer of protection not only to your domain, but also other services associated with your domain, such as web hosting and email, by preventing service interruptions that can cost you money.

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