Having an online presence is becoming an important part of building and maintaining a professional reputation. For your customers, clients or patients, visiting your website is one of the most important ways they use to 'screen' you to decide if they want your professional services. Constructing a website can be intimidating, but even if you are not experienced with computers, you can tackle it in a few manageable steps.
1. Decide why you want a website. Determine whether the priority of your website is to attract customers to your offline business or whether you want a website for the purpose of interacting with your customers. If you want an interactive website, the process of building the website is much more involved than if you want a website that provides information. A simple informational website may have plenty of material, articles, links and pictures without interactive features beyond a simple email/ contact feature for your web visitors to ask you questions. An interactive website allows visitors to create their own profiles or to order items.
2. Search for a web host. A web host is a service that is already designed to help you build and publish your website. A web host is to a website as powerpoint or prezi or keynote is to a presentation. Popular and easy to use web hosts include weebly.com, wix.com, wordpress.com, go daddy.com, bluehost.com, and squarespace.com among others.
All of these web hosts have easy to understand tutorials for do-it-yourself web builders. The web hosts typically offer a free web building package as well as additional add-ons that you can pay for, such as a domain name or a dedicated email. You will probably find that as you navigate the do-it-yourself instructions, you will get an idea of which web host is more in line with your goals for your website and whether you want to move forward with building your website yourself of hiring someone to do it for you.
3. Decide if you are going to move forward by building and managing your own website or by hiring someone to do it for you. There are an abundance of web designers who you can hire. You might choose someone who is local, or you might even find a web designer by searching online. Often, your web host can provide this service for you at a cost determined by how complex and interactive you want your website to be.
4. If you are going to proceed with the do-it-yourself path of building and managing your website, you need to choose a web host. Typically you can 'buy' different packages from the web host, and most web hosts have a free basic package that includes easy to follow instructions. You can usually upgrade if you want additional features at a future time.
When it comes to earning income from your website, good content is the key. This means that if your site is not useful, or if you have a title that promises more than it delivers, visitors will only stay on your site for seconds and will not return or recommend it to others. So of you want to earn revenue from your website, the number one method of doing that is by having good content that is relevant for your readers.