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Three basic steps to get your website up and running

By Ruben Barberan

In today’s business environment, almost any business needs to have an online presence. For some business owners this is an unknown world still, but I hope with these 3 basic steps you and your bank account can see the light of the internet era.

1. Create a website

Be honest about your skills. If you are not a geek programmer, a pixel perfect designer or a good writer, designing your own website will probably not be a great idea. Also, please don’t think about asking your cousin “Pedro” to do it just because he knows how to use the computer, when he probably just uses it to check his Facebook account. Creating a good website requires not only technical skills, like knowing HTML, PHP, and JavaScript, but also knowledge in copywriting, social media and graphic design. Generally, you get what you paid for! You can pay a lot for someone who isn’t capable, but you can’t pay a little for somebody who’s really good. So, my suggestion is to ask your local Chambers of Commerce to recommend you a good web design agency or a freelance web designer. And please, don’t forget to have a contract signed when you hire somebody to do a job for you.

2. Buy a domain name

Once you’ve created the website, you are ready to put it online. Right now there are millions of websites out there. Each website has a unique address called domain name. Normally the cost for a domain name can be around $10 – $50, depending on the extension, but usually the .com and .net are the cheapest ones.
If you are not planning to build your website right now, I highly recommend that you purchase your domain so you can protect it from being bought by a foreign guy in a remote country who wants to resale it to you later for a lot of $$$. When you purchase your domain name, you should get a name that reflects your company and its services or a name that it is easy to remember. You can ask your web design agency or your freelance web designer to register the domain name for you, but you need to tell them to add your business and your name like a Registrant for the domain name. You don’t want your just-born child being registered with a different father / mother name than yours.

3. Get a web hosting service

Now you’ve created a website and registered the domain name, there is one more step to get your website online. You need a place to store your website, so your visitors can access it with an internet connection.

You can ask the web design agency or the web designer to recommend you a good web hosting provider. Normally you will be paying from $10 to more than $200 per month, depending on your needs.
If your website only has a few pages and a contact form, you’ll probably be paying $10 per month. Please, when you choose your hosting provider, use the same approach you did to hire your web designer. There are a lot of web hosting companies out there that offer hosting services for extremely cheap prices. You don’t want to deal with them because it’s likely the hosting company is managing for the guy from that remote country that was planning to buy your domain name. So, you need a company with good customer service and a phone number you can call if you have any problem.

Now, that you have the website, the domain name and the hosting provider, your web design agency or your freelance web designer will upload your website to the server. After that your business is officially online and ready to attract new customers and make your bank account happy, although your cousin Pedro and the guy from the remote country probably won’t be happy at all.

About The Author: Ruben Barberan

Entrepreneur, designer, surfer and technology passionate, Ruben Barberan, is a co-founder and Managing partner of Hispanicpros.com, founding board member of the Willamette Valley Latino Chamber of Commerce and member of the marketing committee for the Latino business showcase Expo Negocio. ruben@hispanicpros.com