And how to get a solution that works for you!
As you have figured out by now there are a few things to think about and get sorted when you make the decision to have a website. By making good decisions now it can save time and complications further down the track.
We love to make things simple for people - and we know we are a great fit for many but not all businesses. And the same can be said for the managed web building/hosting platform we love to use: Rocketspark. So here's our best advice and recommendations to help you ask the right questions and achieve a solution that will work for you.
Decision 1. Choose a Domain Name & Registrar. This is your website address. We have registered www.repeatable.co.nz . A question to consider. Will I have total control over the domain name settings or do I need to access it through someone else?
Decision 2. Choose an Email Service Manager. Do you require a professional email service with an @ email address that matches your business name? We think it certainly helps build credibility with your customers.
Decision 3. Choose a Website Editing Platform. This is the website building software your website will be built and designed on. Questions to consider: Will you pay a great designer to build your website or will you design it yourself? (This is what we do best - choose us!) How are platform updates handled? Is the platform stable & secure? Is there support? How much are the themes? Is it easy for me to do website edits myself or will I need to pay someone? Is the platform future proofed?
Decision 4. Choose a Website Host. They store the files for your website and ensure the website is live. What other important things should they include? Is there support?
There are thousands of companies out there out there promoting and selling the above services. Many will include all of the above at a great monthly price. This may sound like a simple solution to start with however be careful out there. Unless you are keen to stay with this all-in-one solution forever it can create complications later on if you want debundle one or more of the services.
i.e. You want a brand new website built by a great designer who uses a different website platform and host. This is where the all-in-one solution companies can make it technically tricky for you to debundle your emails out of your website hosting package. It can end up costing you more.
It's the wild west out there as far as "hosts" go. It's best to have a host which offers great support and unlimited website traffic management and is local. Local hosting mean your website will load fast. Google loves that.
Decision 1 & 2 - Choose your Domain Registrar & Email Service Provider
These two you can combine. I recommend you use an official registrar to register you domain name. Not a reseller! They are bound by rules & regulations that ensure its easy for you control your own website domain settings. Most registrars also offer an email add-on service as well. If someone is doing this for you please ensure they register your domain name and set up the email account under your name as the owner. Please also make sure you have full access to the domain name settings via a login and password. I do recommend you do this yourself it's easier than you think and most registrars offer phone support.
We recommend www.1stdomains.co.nz to get this sorted.
Typical website registration for a .co.nz is about $25 per year.
A single Email Mailbox is less than $2+GST per month. (other options available)
(Pricing current as of January 20th 2018)
Decision 3 & 4 - Choose your Website Editing Platform & Host
Most registrars also offer cheap hosting options. This assumes you have a built a website on a website building platform such as Wordpress and now just need a host to serve your website visitors the pages. Beware of the hidden costs of free or inexpensive website builders such as Wordpress. These are questions you need to ask: Who do I call if something doesn't work on the website?
Like all platforms Wordpress requires regular updating to the latest version to sort things things like security issues. Questions to ask are: Will my website break if I upgrade to the new version? Will all the plug-ins still work? The reality is website platforms such as Wordpress do break and always need to be upgraded to newer versions. Who do you call when that happens and much will it cost to fix?
The answer to these sort of questions (and our own trial and error along the way) is why we made the decision to build and host all our websites on the Rocketspark platform. The Rocketspark solution combines an easy-to-use website builder which gives you control and hosting with support.
The Rocketspark platform is packed with great design functionality and features. After we have designed your website it's easy for you to do edit/updates yourself. There is also an 0800 support line to a friendly NZ based Rocketspark team in the Waikato.
Other important inclusions that are sorted by Rocketspark:
- Store the files for your website
- Ensure the website is working & live
- Files for your website are backed up
- Traffic management of visitors to your website
- Rocketspark ensures your SSL certificate is current - this so important these days and many hosts charge extra for this. This tells your visitors that your website is secure and safe (monitored by their website browser). It will also help with Google search results
Did you kow that Google checks a lot of things-over 200 factors!-to determine the ranking of your website? The good news is that you don't necessarily have to do all of these things to rank well in Google. Think of SEO as like earning brownie points with Google so they bump you to the front of the queue. Google want to present the best results to their users so they want to be sure that your content is what people are looking for. There are more than 200 ways to earn brownie points-the more of them you do, the further up the queue you'll be. If you have a Rocketspark site, a lot of the 200 magic factors are done for you automatically.
Rocketspark are always improving the platform to take advantage of new trends & technology. For example we all know that websites need to be mobile friendly to rank well in google. However Rocketspark have just taken it to a new level. Websites on the Rocketspark platform are now "Fully responsive" meaning the website looks great regardless if the visitor is viewing the site on a tablet, mobile phone, desktop or whatever screen size. Fully responsive is the new benchmark.
These sort of technical upgrades are automatic & included in your monthly sub so your website platform will always be up-to-date & stable. There's is no need to pay an expensive developer to do this. You are in good hands!
We recommend the Rocketspark website building platform & hosting package
$39+GST per month. There is an annual pricing option too (unlimited pages).
If you are after a simple landing page please ask us about Rocketspark's pricing for one page websites with e-commerce functionality and if you need an e-commerce site with all the bells and whistles we can recommend the best option there too.
(Pricing current as of January 20th 2018 or click HERE for the Rocketspark pricing page)