You can start a web presence for zero financial investment. But you probably shouldn’t.
An effective web presence connects you with your audience in many different channels on the web. With your website as the hub of your web presence, your participation on social media creates a connection with people and feeds traffic to your website.
These are ideal for informational sites, but they usually have limited features and limit the interactivity.
Your website content needs to communicate what your audience wants to know about you or your organization. Your content needs to be relevant and unique because search engines give more authority to unique relevant content and this is what your visitors will be looking for.
We recommend that you don’t build your own website. Many websites are focussed on what the owners want to say, instead of focussing on what their audience wants to know.
A third party to help you create your website with a fresh perspective and provide the professional technical expertise you need. This is especially important when your website needs to provide interaction as well as information.
Content Management Systems
Many content management systems are open source and available for free. We use WordPress or TYPO3 for many of our customers. You will need to spend time customizing these and install extensions/plugins to suit your needs. You may need coding skills.
You can register an email account with many webmail service providers (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc.) but piggybacking on another domain is not as professional as having your own.
It is usually easy to set up webmail services to use your own domain name for email.
You can get a free domain name from http://www.freedomain.co.nr.
.nr is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Nauru, a tiny island nation in the Pacific. “co.nr” is not an official hierarchy; it is a domain (www.co.nr) owned by a company who offers free subdomain redirection services.
Free, but only for individuals and so it is not as professional as a top level domain (like .com, .org, .info etc.) or other ccTLD that is easily recognized by your audience.
You could get a free subdomain from a provider, but you are reliant on them continuing to provide the service and again it is less professional.
We recommend that you purchase a good domain name that is relevant to your web presence. It will become part of your online branding.
Securing the communication with your website builds trust not only with your website visitors, but also search engines. You can get free security certificates from Let’s Encrypt, however, these have some limitations.
You can join most social media sites for free and these allow you to create personal profiles as well as pages that you build about your products/services or website.
Many people get social media wrong or miss opportunities by doing it themselves. We recommend working with an experienced web presence agency so you get the maximum benefits from social media.
If you are confident that you can do it yourself and have the time to invest, you can build a web presence for zero or low cost. For a quicker path to success, work with a web presence provider you trust and ask for help where you need it.
Vista Interactive provides a one-stop-shop for your web presence needs. Contact us for help with your project.