Here’s everything you need to start your new digital business.
Starting a Digital Business
Whether it be cloud-based tools, communication or marketing, business today is predominantly digital.
If you want to start a digital business, there are 4 things you need to get started: A domain name, website builder, web hosting, and digital marketing tools.
Here’s your guide to starting a digital business.
Rather than using an expensive web developer to build your site, you can use a website building tool. Some tools specialise in eCommerce websites, such as the popular platform Shopify, whilst others are best for informational sites. Compare website builders to find what’s best for your digital business.
Digital Marketing Tools
Once your website is live, how do customers find your business? Digital marketing is essential for your business to be found. Whether it be social media advertising, search engine optimisation or email marketing, digital marketing tools can help make sure you do things right.
A domain name is an essential item for a digital business. Without a domain name, your website will effectively be unreachable.
A domain name or URL (Unique Resource Locator) is essentially a website address. An example is www.digitalsupermarket.com.
The www. Represents the underlying system – the World Wide Web. The middle section i.e. digitalsupermarket is a unique identifier that typically reflects the business name or what it does. Lastly, .com represents the level of the domain name. In this instance, .com is a top-level domain and was originally created to mean commercial – for commercial businesses.
A website must have a domain name. Without a domain name, you would have to find and type in the IP address of the hosting server where the website files were stored to access a website. This is impractical. Hence why domain names were created.
When you type in www.digitalsupermarket.com this is automatically linked to the IP address of the hosting server and thus directs you to the website.
Domain names can be purchased through domain name vendors. These companies buy, sell, and manage domain names and usually charge a monthly or annual fee for renting the domain name. Alternatively, you can pay a larger one-off lump-sum payment to purchase a domain name outright.
Careful consideration should be given to your domain name as it can help boost SEO. For example, it is a common practice to include an important keyword in your domain name. As a bare minimum, it should include your business name, and what your business does if possible.
As mentioned, a domain name points the user towards a specific location. This is where your website files are stored. This is known as web hosting. When purchasing web hosting, you are essentially purchasing space on a server.
In that space, you are given an allotted amount of storage space for your files. You can then upload your website pages, images, and other files there. As a result, when someone types in your domain name in a web browser, the relevant files are retrieved from the server and displayed.
Without web hosting, your domain name will essentially point to nothing and users will get a 404 error.
There are two common types of web hosting – standalone web hosting, or web hosting via a website builder.
There are many web hosting companies that provide standalone hosting packages. These typically include a set amount of storage space, a set amount of bandwidth, and other features like SSL certificates and hosting management tools. These are better if you want more control and have more knowledge of web hosting technologies.
Alternatively, many website builders also provide hosting. This is a simpler solution and means you do not have to use multiple companies. However, the control and features are often limited.
Once you have a domain name, you need to build a website. Contrary to popular belief, you do not necessarily have to pay a web designer to create one for you!
Today, we have an amazing selection of the best website builders that anyone can use. A website builder is a platform on which you can create a website. These platforms usually do not require any coding knowledge. Instead, they have simple no code drag and drop tools that create the underlying website code for you. Common elements of website builders include:
- Pre-built website templates or landing pages
- Editor where you can create single website pages
- A range of different elements such as navigation, and image galleries
- Analysis tools to check website performance and traffic
- SEO tools to improve search engine visibility
These are incredibly comprehensive platforms that usually have everything you need to build a professional business website. Most have a range of pre-built templates that you can use and modify. This means you can add your own colors, images, and logos, for example. This is a great starting point if you don’t have any idea of current website design styles and trends.
Most website builders have a monthly subscription plan. This can sometimes include a domain name and website hosting too.
Digital Marketing Tools
Once you have a domain, and hosting, and have built your website, you then need to market it! There is a superb range of digital marketing tools and platforms available. Some examples include:
- Social media management and integration
- Website optimisation and improvement with SEO tools
- Email marketing and email newsletters
- Pop-ups and on-page marketing
- CRM systems
- Chatbots and customer support software
These tools essentially allow you to boost the visibility and efficiency of your website and social media platforms. This, in turn, should result in more customers and more business.
Digital marketing tools are vital if you want to keep up with the competition and improve your visibility. For example, SEO optimization helps you improve your ranking on search engines like Google.
Which digital marketing tools you use depends on the scope of your digital business, what you do, and what platforms you use. Regardless, once you have established your web presence, this is something you should spend time researching.
We hope you have found this guide on everything you need to create a digital business useful. These are the essential, core tools and items if you want to get your online business up and running.
The first three – a domain name, website builder, and web hosting are essential for launching a website. From there, you can then use digital marketing tools to promote your website and business to attract more customers.