(Edited to note, my Business Card Website is no more, I changed to a more advanced site. I also no longer recommend GoDaddy as a host. Last, I suggest use of WordPress to create even the most basic site. It works quite well.)
Following up on my post from yesterday, I thought I would provide basic information on how to get yourself up and running with a professional email address and a business card Website.
How Quickly Can You Make a Simple Website?
In order to express how easily and quickly the Email Address/Website process can be completed, I’ll share with you that I created this blog last weekend and created a Website and email address two days ago. I put up a very simple Webpage yesterday after the domain name was set up (it can take 24-48 hours for a newly registered domain to be available.)
I will admit to having created my Blog and Website backwards in a way. Since I simply wanted to create a blog, I didn’t worry about a domain name. To my surprise, rather quickly a good number of people started following me/contacting me and I realized I had best set up a proper email address and domain name. (Thank you for the support everyone!) When I have time I will add more information to my site, but it will never become extremely complicated unless I have a reason for it to be so.
If you just want to create a simple Website you can literally have it up in running as quickly as in a few minutes to 48 hours. The limitations are, generally speaking, how quickly your domain name becomes available and how quickly you can create whatever content you want to put on the site. You can have an email address ready in minutes.
First you need to find a domain registrar. In my case I used GoDaddy.com, yes the one with the silly/offensive Super Bowl commercials. Leaving aside the commercials, Go Daddy is a good domain registrar with good Customer Support; that is why I chose to use them. You can use any domain registrar you want. Simply search online for domain registrar and you will find many from which to choose. Make sure you choose one with a good reputation. You can look around for reviews to find more information about a particular registrar.
Next you need to pick an address. Back in the early days of the Web it was quite easy to pick an address. Not so any more. Try to go with .com or .net. If you cannot find a reasonable address with .com or .net you can then look at other options. Every domain registrar offers you the ability to try different names to see what is available. Be sure you pick an easy to remember name and be as concise as you can. Shorter is better.
The third step is to “buy” the address. Be aware you are actually renting, not purchasing the address. You can choose to rent an address for a long or short period. Minimum is one year. You can purchase various services as well, look the options over and decide what you want.
The fourth step is to pick out a hosting agreement. Start small, you can always add services later. You can find hosting that is as inexpensive as $4-$5 per month that will work for a simple Website. If you aren’t concerned about having a Website and just want an email address you can skip this part.
Fifth, pick out an email address, or several addresses depending on your needs. If you didn’t pick out a hosting agreement you will most likely just be able to pick one address. If you did purchase a hosting agreement you will be able to set up quite a few addresses. These days most providers have a Web-based solution for checking email. Many also have Android, iPhone and Blackberry apps. Look for instructions on how to check your email in Outlook or whatever software you use on your computer as well.
The next step is setting up the actual Website. If you didn’t purchase a hosting agreement you can probably set up a free parking page. The problem here is most free parking pages have advertising on them. I feel such pages don’t look particularly professional and don’t recommend these free pages. Once your hosting agreement is set as in step four, you can now design a simple Website. If you are not conversant in html, don’t have the time and don’t want to hire someone, look for free templates or look for a hosting agreement that includes templates.
My hosting agreement included something called Website Tonight. It enabled me to quickly set up a basic Website until I have a chance to make something more complicated.
The final step is to actually upload your Website. Most providers will enable you to quickly upload a Website from within your account. Others will require use of an ftp address. A good provider will be able to walk you through the process, which generally speaking is not particularly difficult.
Creating a Business Card Website?
I suggest you include the following:
Name of Firm/Business
Name of Attorneys/Individuals in Firm/Business
Additional items you might want to incldue:
Pictures of the attorneys/business people
Specific areas of practice/type of business (make sure you obey ethical rules in listing/explaining what you practice.)
You Are Done!
And that’s it. You now have a professional email address and a business card Website. In the next few days search engines will begin to pick up your site. Your site won’t be on the top of the search results, but people will be able to find you. Be sure to list your site in your Social Media accounts. You now also have a place to send potential clients should you choose to advertise on Social Media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.