Welcome back to part 2 of this 3 part blog aimed at helping you prepare for a new website. In this blog we will look at domain names, hosting, databases and blogs.
1. Domain names and hosting
You may already have a domain name or you are trying to think of the correct one to buy. It is best to buy a domain name that includes your name of your business and if you are based in the uk, buy a .co.uk domain name. Google no longer likes domain names that include your services or key-phrases such as www.wedding-photographer.co.uk it wants to see your actual business name and identify your brand. People will also therefore be familiar with your brand name and easily identify with you. This also looks so much better on your promotional material such as business cards as everything will match up well with the logo.
Domain names should be owed by your business and therefore you should always register your own domain name. This is simple enough to do and you should only need to pay around £10 a year for a .co.uk domain name. There are several companies that offer domain name registration services such as; www.123-reg.co.uk
Hosting is separate to domain names, a domain name is simply a name that is registered on the internet but a website cannot exist without hosting. When a website is built it is made up of several different files such as html files, image files (jpegs, pngs etc), javascrpt files and a website that uses a content management system CMS) such as WordPress websites will need to host a database – which will be explained in point 3. Hosting is where all these files exist and work to form the website. The programming connects all the files together and creates the website.
Hosting comes in all shapes and sizes and costs. Like buying a car, hosting can be cheap and nasty, middle of the road or really good value and high performance. It is always worth investing that little bit extra for hosting and also making sure the hosting is setup well for your type of website and that the support level you will receive if issues occur or you need help is of a high standard and won’t cost you more in the long run.
A database is where all the information that you can control is stored. The database exists within the hosting and is connected to the website files, the database is basically where all the files and content you upload to your content management system such as within WordPress exists. So any website that uses WordPress has to have a database.
4. WordPress, blogs, ProPhoto, WordPress themes
You may think that all of these are different, but they are not! A WordPress website is just the same as a blog, ProPhoto or a theme. WordPress is simply a free platform that has been developed over many years to provide bloggers a platform to blog from. Programmers are now able to modify WordPress and tailor it to create an amazing bespoke website. A WordPress theme is a pre-made website that can be exported as a theme and this can then be imported into WordPress to create a website. ProPhoto is simply a collection of WordPress themes which have been developed for photographers, but essentially it is a wide variety of themes. It is also worth noting you should never have a separate blog to your website and there is also no need to!
5. Existing WordPress/ProPhoto blogs/website
Many old and even new! WordPress websites have been built using none responsive themes (read our why do I need a responsive website here) and use clunky bad design. This year Google made it a criteria for any website to be responsive otherwise it would penalise it’s position, this makes a lot of sense as a responsive website is so that a website can be used well on all devices such as mobile phones. NB. you should never have a separate mobile website to your normal website and there is simply no need for this.
So you may already have a website that is not responsive but contains years and years worth of your blogs. Do not fear! Most blogs are able to export to a new website and into a responsive framework to form a brand new website which is mobile and Google friendly.
Join us soon for part 3 and the final part of this blog to help you with planning for a new photography or creative website.