"I need a website for my small business!", Basics (of the Basics)

Very often I get clients asking me about websites for their small business. Here are a few basics. 

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Find/choose/purchase a "domain name". A domain name is the name of your website : ) Buying a domain name is a separate issue from web "hosting". I have bought all my domain names through Dollarhost which is a web hosting company (no I'm not affiliated with them, but the service was always excellent : ) If you go to Dollarhost's website, on the left side you will see an area to check whether the domain names you have in mind are available or not. If it is, you can either buy the domain through them, or through any other domain name/hosting company you like. Prices are standard across the board (and regulated by ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers). Or google "buy a domain name" and you'll find many options.  

So once you have a domain name, how will you get an actual site? You have 3 choices – a) hire a web designer to build a custom website (more than likely a small well-built site will run you at least $1000), or b) build your own site, or 3) customize (or have someone help you customize) what's called a "content management system" or "CMS" – a website that will allow you to manage and update your own content. There are many to choose from, the most popular being WordPress. Here's an article discussing the pros and cons of using a CMS vs hiring a web designer.  

Personally, even though I have basic web building skills, I am now using a CMS called Squarespace – i like it a lot and the templates are beautiful. This way I get a beautiful website that I can easily manage and update whenever I want (even from my phone).

Good luck!! Email me anytime if you have anymore questions. For those of you who are needing a nice big fancy beautiful website that lets people play games or buy things, A-Schmidt Graphic Design is happily affilliated with Portal80, a web development company based out of Vancouver that does fabulous work including regular SEO and all kinds of other good custom fancy web stuff!