Building a website

Your website is the digital equivalent of a shop window. So you need to make sure it’s appealing. Whether or not you trade online, it’s the place where potential customers will look to find out more about you and your offerings, see what makes you the best choice, and, ideally, buy or book something easily.

Building a website
    <p>These days you can create a website or online store quickly and cheaply online. Here’s a 4-step guide to getting started:</p> <h3>1.&nbsp;<b>Create and register a domain name</b></h3> <p>The first step is to stake a claim on your own space online by getting a website address. This is also called a domain name or URL. Domain names should be easy to say, spell and remember, so the shorter, the better. If possible, you should also avoid numbers, hyphens and other special characters as they’re difficult to type.</p> <p>If your first choice of domain name is already taken, choose another that’s different enough to avoid any confusion with similar businesses. It’s best to avoid any names that have trademarks associated with them. It’ll save potential legal issues and costs down the track.</p> <p>Your domain name may become one of your biggest brand assets in the years to come. So think long-term and check if your chosen name is available on social media sites. It’s easiest if customers can find you under the same names across the internet.</p> <p>Lastly, consider the domain name extension. The most common are .com. But if it’s important for your business to be associated with a particular country or topic – or if your first choice is taken – other domain name extensions like .nz, .kiwi, or .tech are available.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>2.&nbsp;<b>Select a host and platform</b></h3> <p>A host connects your website to the wider internet, sets you up on a server and offers services such as email. Important things to consider are reliability so that your website remains available and flexibility so you can make changes to your website quickly and easily. Try searching ‘best website hosting NZ’ on Google for a list.</p> <p>Most hosting providers offer numerous service plans, depending on the size of your website and the amount of traffic it’s likely to receive.</p> <p>Some hosting companies will offer you a deal if you register a domain name and host a website with them. With this option, note that if you decide to change your hosting company, you may have to pull down your domain name and could encounter unexpected hurdles.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>3.&nbsp;<b>Build your website with your customers in mind</b></h3> <p>Websites aren’t rocket science (unless, of course, your business specialises in rocket science) and business websites usually include standard pages: homepage, products/services, online ordering/booking, about us and contact information. If you’ve got something to say, some news to share or maybe previous work to promote, then you can also include a blog.</p> <p>If your business doesn’t need a technical or highly bespoke website, then spending a few hours building your own with a web builder like Wix, WordPress or Squarespace is an ideal and inexpensive way to get online.</p> <p>Website builders are perfect for helping small businesses get a website up and running in just a few hours. They require little technical knowledge and thanks to their ‘themes’ and templates you can do a lot by just dragging and dropping the layouts you like, to support the content and imagery you have. They often have their own image libraries for you to use and they’re generally mobile-friendly.</p> <p>You’ll want your visitors to instantly understand your business, find pricing, know how to buy, and ask questions.</p> <p>Ensure that you also include a clear search bar and call to action buttons.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>4.&nbsp;<b>Keep your customer’s information safe</b></h3> <p>Don’t forget: the safekeeping of customer information is critical to your success in the digital world as a data breach can severely impact your reputation and even have financial implications.</p> <p>Some best practices to avoid a data breach are:</p> <ul> <li>Ensure your website is secured with SSL encryption by checking your website begins with http’<b>s</b>’ or a padlock symbol. This ensures that any information your website sends, like credit card details, is encrypted, or scrambled. Find out more about securing your website&nbsp;<a></a><a href="https://digitalresources.nz/article/5K8CdyW">here</a>.</li> <li>Ensure that customer card information stored, processed and/or transmitted by you or your service providers is encrypted and compliant in accordance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Find out more&nbsp;<a href="/content/asb/business-banking/en/business-banking/pci-dss-protecting-payment-card-information-guide.html"><u>here</u></a>&nbsp;or visit the official PCI Security Standards Council website&nbsp;<a href="https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/"><u>here</u></a>.</li> <li>Ensure that any personal (non-card related) customer information you store is only accessible to people who are authorised to manage or view that data.</li> <li>Ensure that you have the latest version of third-party applications, browsers and shopping carts and you are up to date with security patches.</li> <li>Monitor your website for unfamiliar activity, content or links – this could indicate that your website has been compromised.</li> <li>Regularly check to ensure your website admin profiles are correct – Fraudsters typically look to gain admin access to your website to then plant code to extract information.</li> </ul>