How to make a good website 2024

Do you want to make a good website? This could be for an individual or an organization.

Make a good website

The world trusts professionals who have an online presence. No doubt, the best online presence is a website. That is why all successful persons and organizations are present on online platforms.

Social Media and Website

You need both social media and your own website. The term “social media” refers to online platforms for the sharing of ideas and information. And the word platform includes websites, apps, etc. “Facebook” and “YouTube” are examples of social media.

Social media is an online association of people. You can be a member of one or more social media platforms. But there are some limitations. Firstly, it is not only for you. It is for everybody. Anybody can open a free account on most social media platforms. Secondly, you must follow their designs, formats, rules, etc. You cannot be creative in your own way. There are more limitations on social media.

Thus, social media alone does not help. In fact, most social media like you to mention your website. This means that social media is an add-on to your website. This is why successful professionals have both websites and social media presence.

WARNING: Don’t ignore social media. Keep reading and you will understand why.

Why make a good website

Merely having a website is not enough. Your website must clearly explain who you are and what you are offering. Otherwise, people will lose interest and move away to other websites. Hence, the first thing is to decide why you need a website. If you don’t know why, then you will end up with a useless website. That will be a waste of money, time, and energy.

You don’t want a website only. You want to make a good website. Hence, the content is most important. If you don’t have enough original information, images, videos, etc. to show, then don’t go for a website. Copying from other sources is definitely not acceptable. Plagiarism is illegal in most countries of the world.
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Domain

The first step when you make a good website is choose a good domain name. A domain name normally consists of three parts.

  • The first part is usually a “www” followed by a dot. Sometimes, the “www” is not mentioned. For example, “www.google.com” and “google.com” are basically the same. But you can also have “mail.google.com” or “ftp.google.com”. These are for other purposes which you can learn later from other articles.
  • The second part is something that you decide.
    • It should describe your name or purpose. So, “google.com” and “gmail.com” belong to “Google”. Similarly, “microsoft.com” and “hotmail.com” belong to “Microsoft”.
    • It should be simple and not too long. This could be an abbreviation. For example, “msn.com” is actually “Microsoft Network”. “modularofficefurniture.com” is descriptive but too long and clumsy.
  • The third part is called the Top-Level Domain (TLD). Examples of TLD are:
    • “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, and so on.
    • “.uk”. This represents Britain country domains. There are also options such as “.co.uk” or “.ac.uk”.

Importance of Domain Name when you make a good website

The three parts put together is the domain name of your website. All domain names are registered with Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Hence, your full domain name is unique and nobody else in the world can have the same name.

You can have two or more domain names. For example, “amazon.co.uk” and “amazon.ca” both belong to Amazon, but one is for the United Kingdom and the other is for Canada. Moreover, one domain name can redirect to another. For example, if you enter “x.com” in your browser you will be taken to “twitter.com”.

CAUTION: Do not try to make your name similar to big, reputed organizations. You might face lawsuits if you do.

Domain names are normally valid for one year. But you can pay for more than one year. Often, you can get a domain name for free. How? Keep reading.

Email

Along with your domain name, you can also have your email addresses. For example, “gmail.com” and “hotmail.com” provide free email services. So, if your name is “somename”, you can have “somename@gmail.com” or “somename@hotmail.com”. Similarly, if your domain name is “xyzdomain.com”, then you can have an email address like “somename@xyzdomain.com”. You can also have multiple email addresses on the same domain; for example, “contact@xyzdomain.com” and “sales@xyzdomain.com”, etc.

URL

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is just the address of a given unique resource on the Web. Thus, if your domain name is “xyzdomain.com” then the URL could be “http://xyzdomain.com”. If your website has SSL installed (see Hosting below) then the URL could be “https://xyzdomain.com”.
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Hosting

The next most important step when you make a good website is hosting. Merely having a domain name means nothing. Obviously, your domain needs to have some space for content (text, pictures, videos, etc.) which people can see and interact with. Even if you are not making a website and only want the domain name for emails, those emails must reside somewhere. All text, pictures, videos, emails, etc. are stored as files, just like files on your personal computer.

A website (also called site) is a group of inter-related pages. Each page (also called webpage) is a group of inter-related files.

Server

So, now you need to decide on a good server. A server is a computer which provides you with storage space for your website files. This is referred to as “hosting”. The most important considerations in hosting are:

  • Storage Space. How much space do you need? If your website needs to store lots of files over a long period of time, then you will need more space. This space requirement will grow as your website content grows.
  • Traffic and Bandwidth. This is dependent on the types of content on your website. Images and videos take up more space than text. This also depends on the number of visitors to your site. More content and more visitors mean more traffic to and from your website. More traffic means you need more bandwidth. But this is a variable figure because both content and number of visitors keep changing over time.
  • The speed of the server is vitally important. If visitors to your site have to wait for your webpages to load, then they will lose interest and leave. More visitors mean more traffic and slower speeds.

More Server Factors

  • Is the server secured against viruses and malware? Poor security means that your website can get hacked. This can affect both you and your visitors.
  • The server needs to be well configured. A server with outdated or low-quality hardware and software will crash often. Servers also need to be monitored and maintained 24×7 by qualified personnel to ensure minimum downtime.
  • Apps and utilities. These are additional software provided by the hosting company with which you can easily make a good website. For example, “Wordpress” is a CMS (Content Management System) that many people use to make a good website. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is an additional layer of security for your website which is most important.

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Design

This is the part everybody gets to see. You make a good website page by page. Each page you design should have something of value for your visitors. This includes text, images, videos, forms, etc. Equally important is the layout and color combinations. These should be attractive. There are no hard rules here. It’s all up to your content and creativity.

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that you should know why you want to make a good website. The design stage is where you get to show your “why”. Design is an ongoing process. The more valuable content you continue to put in the more attractive your website becomes.

Since designing is a creative and ongoing process, it is also the most expensive part when you make a good website. While the cost of domain and hosting can be fixed, the cost of designing is what you negotiate with your customer. More pages and more content per page mean more cost.
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SEO & SEM & SMO & SMM when you make a good website

SEO

Other important factors when you make a good website are SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SMO (Social Media Optimization), and SMM (Social Media Marketing).

You can promote your website directly only to a handful of people, those that you know. But how do you reach out to the millions of people who you do not know?

People get to know about websites through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Search engines continuously scan the internet for new content. They then promote new and existing content to people who search for something. Sooner or later, your website will also get scanned and catalogued by the search engines.

But search engines also have a reputation to maintain. With millions of existing and new websites, search engines need to be fair in their promotion. They cannot afford to ignore a new website just because it doesn’t have much content. At the same time, they cannot ignore an existing website just because it is old. Hence, they are very particular about which websites they promote.

Moreover, with continuously improving technologies, methods and content, website ranking is a dynamic process. What is correct today may become outdated tomorrow. A website may be at No.1 today and drop to No.100 tomorrow. Hence, SEO is a continuous and dynamic process.

SEM

Search Engine Marketing is when you pay a search engine to advertise your site. Paid promotion websites normally appear at the top and bottom of each search engine page. But, this also is competitive. Obviously, all websites want to appear in the top slots. Just like newspapers and magazines, a small ad in an inconspicuous part of the page does not attract people.

And it is not just about money and budget. If it was only about money, then Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. would be monopolized by a few big companies. Millions of medium and small companies would not even try to participate and that would severely hurt the search engine’s revenues. Along with budget, other important factors are keywords, content, authority, niche, etc.

SMO

Social Media Optimization is posting on social media platforms with good quality content. Good quality content includes easy to read text, high quality pictures and videos, etc. As we have mentioned above, you need both websites and social media to have a good online presence.

SMM

Social Media Marketing is paid advertisements on social media. Some platforms are automatically covered unless you specify otherwise. For example, Facebook and Instagram are automatically included in Meta ads. Similarly, YouTube is automatically covered with Google Ads. Here again, along with a decent budget, you need quality content.

Facebook, Instagram, etc. can give you much more exposure than other avenues of marketing. Many more people are on social media than on search engines, especially the next generation. Search engines satisfy public needs, but social media instigates public wants. And marketing is all about pushing the wants so that they automatically convert into needs.

We won’t go into more details about SEO, SEM, SMO and SMM. These are explained in separate articles. All said and done, no search engine or social media platform wants to promote a slow or poorly designed website. That is why you need to follow some rules of design and optimization when you make a good website.
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Cost when you make a good website

Generally speaking, domain names do not cost much. Many hosting companies offer a free domain name for the first one year if you buy a hosting package from them. Domain names need to be renewed every year.

Existing websites with lots of content need more space, speed, and bandwidth. Hence their cost of hosting is more than new websites. Hosting also needs to be renewed every year.

As we have explained above, design, SEO and SEM are most costly. The more the content and facilities the higher the cost of creating and maintaining.

Here are some indicative ideas about cost of a good website

Disclaimer: all prices are subject to change.

  • Domain Name. Mandatory. May be free or highly discounted for the first one year with hosting package. After that, a “.com” domain may cost $ 10-15 per year.
  • Hosting. Mandatory. This usually starts from $ 360 per year. Here again, you may get special deals and discounts. Some hosting companies offer a monthly payment option.
  • Design & SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Mandatory. Starts from $ 1,000. This can be a one-time cost. If you want continuous updating and maintenance, then costs will be a lot more.
  • SMO (Social Media Optimization). Optional. Free if you can do it yourself. Otherwise, it depends on how much content you want to post per week. Professionals normally charge a minimum of $ 500 per month.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Optional but important. You can start with a budget of $ 1,000 per month. But, with experience and research, costs can go up. Successful organizations spend thousands on SEM because this is ongoing advertisement which gives them the maximum exposure.
  • SMM (Social Media Marketing). Optional but highly important. Don’t underestimate this. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. generate various kinds of audiences which they pass on to you.

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