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What is a Website?

What exactly is a website? Almost everybody knows what a web page is, but when asked to elaborate in detail what it is, very few people can do that. Here we take a look at what is a website, and what it entails

Definition of a Website

A website is a collection of web pages and related components that are bundled together and accessible via a URL such as a domain name or an IP address. These are published on a web server and can be accessed through the world wide web.

An example of a web page or the page that you are reading this, or Truehost Cloud website. Together with other pages, media content and information meant to organize all these pages together, we get a web page.

What consists of a Website

A website consists of a number of things. These include the following:

  • Web pages
  • Content Management System that is used to help manage the page files.
  • Databases for storing the data.
  • The application for running the web pages.
  • SSL certificate to encrypt the data being sent or received from the site page.
  • A domain name that is an address to access the files.
  • A web server where the page files are hosted.

Types of sites

There might be many ways of classifying web pages, but here we are going to look at the two most distinct types of classification.

Static Websites

A static site refers to a site where the content is stored on the webserver and always sent to the client as it is. The appearance of the content is controlled using various protocols and the same content is served to all users who visit the site.

Majority of websites online follow this format and usually serve static content. This may also include photos, video and music.  For a static website, you cannot interact with the content and have no server-side processing.

Interactive Websites

An interactive website is where one can interact with the content of a website, by adding comments, signing up as a user and getting customized content. This is like YouTube, where when you visit the content is customized for you. Other examples include e commerce websites, news websites or even blogs.

How to Get a web page

Now that you know what is website, what is the process of getting one?

Getting a web page is simple, thanks to the availability of the information needed online (through the same websites).

Once you determine that you need a website, we have together a guideline for creating a successful website that can help you know what you need to do to get started. In addition, you can start a chat on this page and we will guide you through it.

How to Keep your Website Updated

How hard is it to keep a website updated?

It is a common experience for one to visit a website and find content that was created and posted 12 years ago. This is because many website owners never bother to update their websites and once the site is up, little is done to maintain it.

For a blog, one does not need to worry about keeping the website updated because blogs are meant to have fresh content as regularly as possible. This is the same case with eCommerce websites which are always full of new products.

However, corporate websites or business websites may not be regularly updated, and this is more common with small businesses that may not have a lot of content to post online. They also may not have the resources to do that. However, keeping websites updated is a very important factor today and every website owner should take it seriously.

Why you need to Keep Websites Updated

There are several reasons that necessitates this.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engines are the online maps that help us navigate the internet. These are services such as Google Search and Bing, and without these the possibility of being found online comes close to zero.

Search engines have a high propensity for liking new stuff and this means that you need to keep creating new content to remain relevant. There are a few exceptions to this, but generally, you need to have fresh content to remain relevant.

Users

Websites are meant for people and people need fresh content to keep engaging with your website. If you need users to keep flocking to your site, you need to keep providing them with fresh content all the time.

In some cases, information can be static if it is expected that it is useful to new visitors or if it is the location of your business which may not change. However, you need to update the page once in a while in order to give your website a fresh look.

What you can do to Keep Content Updated

After creating your website, here are a few things you can do.

A website needs to be kept fresh through regular update
Just like everything else in life, a website should be kept fresh through updates

Update Old Content

If you have content that has been sitting on your website for a long time, you can consider giving it a fresh lease of life. This could involve checking to ensure that all information is correct and has not been outdated, or also adding new information that has been ‘discovered’ recently.

For example, if you had created a guide on how to do something in 2016, you can update this to reflect the current year or any situation that has changed. People will appreciate it more when they see that whatever information you are putting across is recent and this really matters a lot. No one wants to read an archaic guide.

Share Industry Information

One reason why people never add new content to their websites is because they do not know what to write.

The best content you can create is the one related to the industry which you are in. The world is full of information that many people can appreciate. Sharing information relevant to your brand can help you raise your brand awareness and get people to know you. It will also help build your authority in the specific field, something good for your business or brand.

To get this information, you need to know information that is related to your industry. It helps if you keep trying to gain more information for such purpose

Write About Current Affairs

What is happening in your line of business or profession?

You may be surprised most people outside that field have no idea. The little they know is what finds itself in the news. But even news depends on sources in the industry to update them and this source could be you!

One thing you can do is try and keep up with trends and news that relates to your blog. This you can then share it out through your website. This way, people will know that they can always come to your website when they need to know what is happening in the industry.

Write Interesting Information

You don’t need to keep it all professional. In many cases, people are looking for information that will raise their dopamine levels and just be happy.

To do this you will need to be creative and know what can interest your potential audience. You also need to draw the line between becoming a tabloid and being professional. Other information that can interest people would be something like job offers.

Get a Professional Content Creator

You do not need to to kill yourself of you are not able to generate content for your website. One approach you can take is to hire somebody to be doing it for you. There are many agencies that offer web design and can also maintain a website for a fee. These can take the pressure off you so that you focus on your core business. If you need a website and you do not have the time to keep the content afresh, you can always pay somebody to find it.

Conclusion

Whatever you plan to do to achieve this, it is important to keep your website updated all the time.  Failure to do so might make you irrelevant online. It is as good as not having a website.

Guidelines to Creating a Successful Website

It is likely that you will need a website in the course of your life. If you are reading this, that time could be now.

Most people who are not familiar with websites usually start without a clear goal, or look at the website as the end goal itself. This should not be the case because a website should be a tool to help you achieve a specific goal. You therefore need to plan diligently and ensure that you have a formula for success, and the parameters that will define that success.

Once you have established that you really need a website, here are the specific things to consider.

Start with an Objective

A website for the sake of a website is likely a waste of resources. One needs to clearly define the end goal so that everything will be designed to fit that end goal

The objective could be raising awareness about your brand, creating publicity about your products, selling online, sharing useful information, creating a community or even protecting your brand online.

Once you have that information you are better placed to decide what will work for you, and it will inform the type of content that you are going to create.

Your cutomers are online. DO yuo have a website to reach them??
Most people are online and having a website is the best way to reach them

Prepare your content 

One of the most important steps is preparing content that can go into your website. Remember that you are the person who is best placed to provide the relevant content that you need, even before you seek external help.

What kind of content do you need to prepare?

First, think about all the information about your business or the entity that needs a website and put it into writing. Any bit of information that you think somebody should know ought to be written down.  From there, go ahead and search online to see what similar businesses and competitors have put online.

The second part involves the more technical work such as identifying keywords that you want your website to rank on and organizing your content in a way that is appealing to both people and search engines. If you are not familiar with this, get an expert to help you with this. Most web designers can also help you with this.

It is important to have this content ready before you engage someone to develop your website. This is because you are the best placed to know what you need, and when you engage a third party it will be about enhancing what you already have and covering the gaps.

Get a Domain Name and Hosting Service

You definitely will need a domain name and web hosting service. This can also serve as your email service.

There are many web hosting and email service provider you can choose from, and I will leave this for you to decide. If you need help with this, kindly contact us through our chat platform at the bottom of the page.

Get a good web designer

From there you need to have a web designer or a developer who will make your website become a reality.

You need someone who will help you present your content in an appealing way and make it presentable on the web. It is a similar thing to painting a house and working on the landscape to make a piece of real estate look attractive.

This is where you will determine what content appears on specific location of the website, as well as getting good graphics to accompany your content. A web developer should use their expertise to present the content the way it is designed, and this is quite a hard task that take time.

Publicize your Website

Once the website is ready, it is necessary to publicize the content and put a word out there.  What is the purpose of having a website that no one knows about?

There are several ways to achieve this.

Start with listing the website in directories, and adding it to your social media pages. Let your clients know about it and put it in all your publications and branding materials.

You could also consider promoting it using online ads. This would help put the word out there but in most cases it may not be necessary. With time, you will see your site start to show on search engines.

Keep it alive with content

A good website is alive, and need regular content and working on to keep it relevant. How can one achieve this?

For a website, you need to keep adding content that your users might need. This is because no one will keep coming back to see the old content. The best way to do that is to have regular posts, and you can consider having a blog section where you will be sharing this content.

Try to keep up with trend and any new information that could be useful for your website. If you cannot do this yourself, you can consider getting someone to do this for you.

Do You Really Need a Website?

Everything is going digital in South Africa and for you to survive online you need to have a website!

That has been the story over and over, especially since the outbreak of Covid-19. Consequently, everyone is rushing to set up their online shop, to share their recipes online and to give an opinion on how the world will be post Covid-19.

But is that the whole truth? Is it necessary for one to have a website in South Africa today? Isn’t social media enough?

What Matters

For a start, one needs to understand that the need for a website is similar to the need for a physical presence. You will have walk in clients, referrals, repeat visitors, accidental visitors, and of course associated bills

The major difference is that a website has no geographical barriers, although that has a limitation on its own. Whereas you can

Here are a few things to consider:

Would you benefit from increased publicity?

If you think you can benefit from increased online presence, then you need a website. A well done website is able to attract visitors from all the corners of the internet and make your brand more prominent.

This is useful for businesses and brands that would thrive with increased publicity. If you are running a village coffee shop that does not need to be known by anyone else except the current clients, you may not need a website.

Do you need to consolidate your content on social media?

You might be using social media already, but that is not good enough if you are in it for a long term. Having a website ensures that your content is consolidated in one place, and you do not risk losing it in case you lose access to your social media account.

It is also a central place where users can find, as opposed to many social media accounts which keep evolving. Yesterday it was Facebook and today it is Tiktok.

Do you have information that you need to share?

In the information age, having information worth sharing is a golden opportunity. This could be in the form of a blog, telling people about your products, sharing information for fun or even curating information that people need to know.

All these would be best done in the form of a website. It is also important that you find a way of sharing and publicizing this content so that it can get readers.

Can you sell online?

If you are selling goods and services that can be offered online, it is important to have a website. This is because you increase your potential reach and get more customers. Already, South Africa has millions of people online and having a website will help you target that.

When considering selling online, one thing that is needed is to figure out the logistics part because you will still need to do the delivery services. For this you can partner with the various delivery service providers that are present in your location.

Do you have the skill and expertise?

The question of skills is not a very strong point today. While creating a website is a complex affair, recent development in content management systems and website builders have made it easy for any person to come up with a website.

If you possess enough skills to effectively use social media and applications such as powerpoint, then you should be good enough to use the available tools to create your own website.

However, advanced features and making a top notch professional website may require one to have professional developers helping with your website. This could include functions like integrating payments and effective Search Engine Optimization.

Are your competitors online?

If your competitors are online, you have no business being offline. You need at least to match their web presence for you to keep up with them, and even outdo them if you are to stay ahead. This calls for you to constantly review their strategies and figure out what to do in order not to be out-competed.

What Next?

If you are convinced that you need a website, here are the steps that you need to take.

  1. Decide on a domain name that you can use for your online presence
  2. Find a suitable web hosting service provider who will host your website and emails.
  3. Create the content for your website. This includes the necessary information, the images and everything you need to include.
  4. Start building your website, or get a web developer to do it for you.
  5. Once you have your website ready, start publicizing it.
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