1. Write what you do.

Before you build a site, you need to know what it is you do. Now, this might sound like an easy task, but as a small business owner, I know how challenging it is to divide what you’ve done in the past, from where you’d like to go in the future, all while focusing on the strengths and shtick of your company. This is important not only for you, but for anyone else that is working on your team. Below are some of the questions we ask our clients to help us learn more about what they do. A simple conversation helps us get to know our clients and their business, allowing us to focus our work on communicating an effective and succinct message:

  1. What exactly does your business do?
  2. How did you get into this line of work?
  3. What excites you about your work?
  4. What are the core principles of your business—things that rarely change?

These four questions are a quick, but effective start to developing your elevator speech. The project or product you talk about to your clients may change over time, but the core of what you do—which does not change much or often—is what you need to build your brand around. Identify that, and you’ll lay an excellent foundation for a snazzy website and cohesive brand.

2. Register your domain name.

Domain name registration is (without getting into too much nerdy detail) where you pay a company to match your domain name with an IP address that folks will use to access your website. So for example, when I pay my registrar each year, they pair an IP address with my domain name: moonpupproductions.com. This allows folks to access my website.

Okay, here are the genuine details you need to know:

  • Go to a domain name registrar.
  • Find out if the domain name you want is available.
  • Purchase said domain name. It should cost around $10-$15 per year.
  • Save your login details for the domain name registration company. Nerds like me will need them shortly.

3. Secure a website hosting plan.

Hosting is the other really geeky part of setting up a website that you need to know at least a little bit about. When you purchase a hosting plan, you are paying a company to store the files that make up your website on their server. A server is a computer that is on all the time and manages access to your site.

There are a lot of options for hosting plans and packages, but often times a basic package will do the trick. Here are some hosting companies we recommend checking out.

  1. Bluehost
  2. Cloudways
  3. Dreamhost

4. Branding brainstorm, baby!

Here at Moonpup, we have found that identifying what your company does only takes you so far in the branding process. After years of projects, with special attention to interviewing each client, we’ve found that the other half of the story is your personal style. These two things together, your business ambitions paired with your personal aesthetic, have helped us create countless brands that look great and work for you.

So, start checking out websites. What do you like and what don’t you like? Write it all down with a list of website addresses or start a Pinterest board if that’s your thing. Either way, having this information ready will set you up for success as we begin your site.

5. Create content.

The content on your site is really, really important. Each person that reads your site is a potential customer and you don’t want to waste their time by providing them with sub-par content that is poorly written. Take your time writing and make sure it says a little bit about you and the personality of your company. Every bit of your marketing and brand should send a consistent clear message, be it visual graphics or words on the screen.

6. Get Pumped.

Now it’s time to get excited! A fresh new website, with clear communication and stellar graphics can do wonders for your business. With all the bones in place, you are ready to take your company to the next level!

Let's Get Started!