Your Online Presence
The internet is one of the most powerful tool and a rich place to do business, nowadays. Having an online presence is considered an edge for most businesses for variety of reasons. Some businesses even found success online than using the traditional way of doing business. Online presence comes in various form, one of which is having your website. Some of the advantages of having an online presence are:
- Extended market reach. Using the internet, especially with the growing demand and use of social networking sites, online presence extends your market reach. This is specially true for virtual goods which are usually sold online. For sellers of physical goods or services, online presence gives you an advantage in reaching wider market segments, especially when your business structure and operation has the capacity and ability to transact in a wider geographical scope or even worldwide.
- Efficient and effective marketing. Online presence gives you an opportunity to market your products in a more efficient and effective way. The market is just around, you don’t need to go somewhere else. The market is huge. Even if customers land to your website and are able to see your products for the first time, you can make a great sale! Preparing a well-designed advertisement will be the only challenge. Without an attractive design, customers won’t notice your products.
- Increased competitiveness. Businesses with online presence is always an advantage and will definitely stands out in a competition compared to those that are not. If you have your own business website or webpage, customers can always research and browse through your products. Integrating e-commerce in your website, they can able transact with you online, which businesses without online presence can’t.
- Always on. With online presence, your business is always on. You close your shop but your website is always on. You don’t need to stay awake all night just to explain to your customers what your products are, what are their features, and other relevant information. If you have a website, they can just browse your catalog and there they will know everything they need to know. Just make sure you give your products sufficient details to let them have a good read. You can make a sale even when you sleep! Putting up an online shop lets you make money even when sleeping or in a vacation. Just let them shop online and when you wake up, just prepare your delivery.
Advantages of a Website
As mentioned a while ago, online presence comes in various forms. They can be in a form of:
- Fan pages
- Externally blogs / webpages
- Online directory listing
- Online paid or free advertisements
- E-mail and e-mail marketing
- Social networking accounts
We recommend having a business website among all other alternatives for variety of reasons. Having your own website:
- you can directly control the information and postings and customization
- you can transact with suppliers and customers online
- you can have your own, distinct online indentity
- you can advertise and make your products available online
- you own your domain (e.g. mybusiness.com) which means that you will never promote other domains unlike mybusiness.wordpress.com which is not so pleasing in the eyes
- you control the contents, you can integrate e-commerce and may a sale even when you sleep, if you want. You can control the pages, you can make a blog under your domain, you can create subdomains (e.g. blog.mybusiness.com, offices.mybusiness.com, etc.)
- you can have your own e-mail using your domain (e.g. email@example.com). This sounds better than firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!
- have a full access to website statistic (using tools like google webmaster tools)
- choose your own domain extension (choose from .com, .info, .org, .co, .us, .au, .me, .biz, .nf, etc.)
- and many more!…
With fan pages and online social networking account, you can actually interact with potential customers but with certain limitations. Aside from you are just using the other companies’ network, you oftentimes cannot make a sale directly from those sites. Marketing campaigns also cannot be prepared with a high level of customization.
With online directory listing, if its free, it is very much saturated to the extent that you will sometimes not be noticed at all. If it is otherwise a paid listing, it may cost you a bit too much, which you may save if you just let your creativity work.
Blogs and webpages aren’t attractive at all when these are hosted in free domains. Even if it can give your customers ample information about your products, issues of trust may arise. If I were “Sony” advertising my product at “www.sony.blogspot.com“, can I convince my customers that it is really me, “Sony”? Isn’t it better if you have a “www.sony.com“?
How can I start my Own website?
Here are some of the key steps for you to have your own website:
- Buy your own domain
- Search for free or buy a web hosting service
- Start create and designing your own website!
1. Buying your own domain
Buying domain need not be expensive. One of the largest and most affordable domain service provider is GoDaddy.com. The domain of this website was bought from GoDaddy.com. Compared with all other domain service provider, GoDaddy.com is the most reliable and most affordable. You can search the internet and check for domain services and you will find out that nothing bets the pricing and quality of GoDaddy.com. Click HERE to, start searching the best domain for you. Payments can be made using PayPal or Credit Card.
Tips in buying your own domain:
- Check the best domain extension. If your website is for a business, the “.biz, .com, or .co” domain extension is the best for you. If it is for a group or organization, “.org or .net” may be the best one. If it is personal, “.me” may be great. If you want your coutry domain “.us, .tw, .ua, .uk, .jp, etc” can be the the best fit.
- Check saving offers. GoDaddy.com usually offer discount for bulk domain purchase or for a long-term registration. Example, “.com” domain price for 1 year may be $12. When you buy a 5-year domain service, they might give it to you just $40 instead of $60, or just $8 a year. Check the prices depending on the number of years of registration, you might save bigtime the longer your registration is.
- Choose a short domain as possible. Short domain names are easy to remember. In as much as possible, make your domain name the shortest. If your business name is “ABC Credit and Collection Agency, Inc.”, you should not choose a domain like “abccreditandcollectionagencyinc.com” domain. Make it short like, “abcccai.com“, if you were known with that abbrevation, or “abccredit.com“. The key is, make it short and memorable and it short be representative of your business.
Check out their domain products CLICK –>> HERE
Now that you know where to buy and how to choose the right buy, may be you can already have your own website. But wait, you need a web hosting.
2. Search for free or buy a web hosting service
Obviously, web hosting is another service you will need for you to start your own website or blog. You can search for free webhost or buy webhosting services. One of the free web hosting service provider is Hostinger.ph, aside from the free web hosting, they also have paid web hosting.
One of the worse disadvantage of a free web hosting service, however, is that it has limits. With free web hosting, you have a bandwidth limit, where, when you consumed the allowed bandwidth, your website will be down and useless for some time. Most of the free web hosting services gives only 4GB per month bandwidth and after that, your site is down.
Personally, my experience is so bad with free web hosting. After just 5 days, the bandwidth is already fully consumed and I have to wait for 25 more days for it to be activated. That was so deteriorating. My site has never get stable high traffic because of that.
So I prefer premium webhosting services like again, GoDaddy.com. Aside from the domain services, GoDaddy.com also has web hosting services. The last time I check it was around $7 per month but if you avail of a longer service, say 12 months, 24 months or 36 months, they offer it $3.99 per month. That’s a $3 savings per month, $36 savings per year! Payments can be made using PayPal or Credit Card.
Check out their web hosting products, CLICK –>> HERE
3. Start create and designing your own website!
If you already have a good domain name and a reliable web hosting, then you are all set. All you have to do now is to start building your website! You need to link the set the “nameserver” of your domain to your hosting account. After that, you can use some auto-installation tools in your web hosting or the website templates there to start building a website that rocks!
If you are unsure on how to get started, you need step-by-step guide on how to do it, you need someone to set if up for you, we are just here. Just send us a message using our contact form in the “About” section. We’ll be willing to help you make your own website/blog that shines! For complex processes and customization, may be we can agree for some consideration.
How much does it cost again?
Oh well, cost is always be a question for those who don’t really want to invest because they aren’t really sure how it works. But then again, if you try it for just a year and after that you decided you want to continue, you will spend a bit more for renewal, than what you might have saved when you availed for a longer period. For cost conscious, here are some tips/estimates:
- 1 domain for 1 year + free web hosting (you have to search) = approximately $12 maximum (minimum is $2, check GoDaddy.com), renewal maybe higher
- 1 domain for 1 year + 1 year webhosting = approximately $60
For those who are willing to try 5 years services, you will definitely save. Check out GoDaddy.com and find out more about their prices.
The consumer’s use of internet is growing everyday and time will come, everyone will have an access to the internet and if you are not there, you are out. The market continuously shifts from traditional to modern for all market participants, so will you let yourself be left behind?
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and information provided are for general conceptual guidance for public information and are not substitute for expert advice. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and if you want to avail professional services. Find us on Facebook!