The first thing I always do for my clients in Singapore that are new to this whole Internet thing is to design and develop a website for them. I consider this to be their very first step to getting their digital marketing game on before moving on to other exciting things like Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.
What is a Website?
Before we get to explaining what a website actually is, it is really good get some background to know why and how a website exists. First, let’s get to know about the Internet.
What is the Internet?
The Internet is actually one really, really huge network of networks connecting billions of computers and devices big and small. As long as any device is able to connect to the Internet, it has the potential to communicate with another device on the internet as well. Like humans, Internet devices need to be able to speak the same language in order to communicate. In the networking world, languages are known as protocols.
The Internet was first made available to Singapore in the 90’s via the Teleview service. Back then, there was no such things as a Web Browser.
There are many protocols (or languages) that devices can choose to speak in – one of them is the well-known HTTP, used by the World Wide Web (WWW).
What is the World Wide Web?
The Internet by itself is not a pretty place and not easy to navigate. The World Wide Web (The Web or WWW in short) was created as a layer on top of the Internet to make information much more presentable and easy to navigate. On the WWW, information is presented using special documents called Web pages. Each web page has content (text, images, videos and sound) that can be given the capability to link to other web pages – these sort of linked content are called Hyperlinks.
So again, what is a website?
Web pages are generally being kept and made public from reasonably powerful Internet-connected computers called Servers. When you have a whole set of related web pages being served to the public from the same virtual location with the same virtual address (called a web domain or URL), you have a Website! All publicly accessible websites come together to form the World Wide Web as we know it.
What do I need to get started?
It is not hard to get started on claiming your own piece of online property. Here are the steps to get started:
Register a Web Domain
Most Important Step! Much like the office address of your business, a web domain is your virtual address that represents your business online. For example, if your business name is “Chan Stationery Store”, you can consider registering for a domain like “chanstationerystore.sg” if it is available. There is usually at least a yearly fee for every domain you register.
Get Web Hosting
Now the next step is to find a space on the Internet to store all your web pages which you are going to create later. After getting web hosting space, you will also need to do some work to ensure the web domain you just bought gets pointed to it.
Design your website
Before you actually start creating web pages, you will probably want to work on the look and feel of the entire site before you start developing. This part of the process is called Web Design. You can do this part using plain old paper or Adobe Photoshop if you have decent design skills, if not if might be a good idea to engage a professional Web designer in Singapore to help.
Develop your website
Upload and Launch!
Once you are done, upload the pages, make sure you make the right configurations and your business is online!