There are a few steps that you will need to take in order to get started with your new website. I hope that these step-by-step instructions will make this easy for you.
Intro to Domain Names
A domain name is also known as a URL or a web address:
It is a unique address for your website - an address that no one else can use while you own it. There is a nominal annual fee to keep the domain registered. Cost varies depending upon the vendor you choose.You first need to think about what domain name you would like to have.
It should be as close to your company name or industry as possible
It should not be too long
It can have NO spaces and NO punctuation, except:
Dashes ( - )
Underscores ( _ )
It is recommended to have a url that will be easy for people to remember. If your company name is very long and abbreviating it causes its meaning to be lost, you may want to try variations on "dyslexia[state].com. Marcia Maust gets top Google rankings for "Dyslexia+PA" searches because she chose to go with "www.dyslexiapa.com" rather than something like "www.laurelhighlands.com."
It is a good idea to jot down some ideas and see what is available. For example, when I was registering New England Dyslexia Solutions, I considered:
As it turns out, I liked the look of "ne-dyslexia.com" and went with that. However, I have since learned that it is better to NOT use dashes or underscores if possible. However, they come in handy if your desired url is already taken.
You can buy your domain name from any domain vendor, but I recommend using DDAI's domain registry, as it is easy and Abigail is fantastic if you need help with anything.
Once you get to the domain registrar page of your choice, type in your first choice for a domain name and search. It will search the internet to see if the domain is available. Go with .com if you can! It may be that ".com" is taken, but they will offer you other extensions if so. Select the domain(s) that you would like to purchase, and go through the steps to register that domain to your business. Hang on to the confirmation email they send you! You will need it down the line.
Please note: You only need one domain name to have a website. Buying alternate extensions (.net, .info, .biz, etc.) will serve to block other companies from having a similar website address, thus avoiding the possibility of confusion. It is a personal choice.
Assuming that you are going through Mind's Eye Marketing for your website, the next step is to figure out what pages you want on your site. You can view the standard options and pricing on our Services Page, but you can see an example of the pages (they can be tweaked and edited to fit your company's messaging - and the look/feel will be determined by the layout you choose.
We used to hand-code each and every facilitator website...but technology has made huge advances and it is no longer necessary (or even recommended for most people) to hand-code websites. In late 2014, Mind's Eye Marketing made the shift to developing our websites using Weebly.com. It is the simplest interface we could find - which makes it nice for facilitators who want to be able to access their websites to make minor edits or updates without having to come back to us each and every time. Weebly has beautiful layouts (not all are shown - below is just a sampling) which can be tweaked for font/color/etc.
Once we have the basics defined (this is usually done over the phone), we will get a project plan in place. We work closely (usually via email), but in manageable chunks. For example, while I am working on getting the layout and structure together, I will assign you the task of getting your logo done (or your bio, etc.). Once that is done, I work with what you sent me and give you the next step. Before you know it, you have a gorgeous new website!
Final step...website launch!
Before going live with your new website, you are given a temporary viewing url. There, you can go through the site with a fine-toothed comb and ensure that everything is just how you want it. In the meantime, I am working on making sure that all of the back-end work is completed (this includes optimizing your keywords for search engines, your title tags, and description meta tags).
Once done and you send along your approval, I will seek approval from DDAI (and make all requested edits, if necessary). With DDAI's approval, your new website link will be happily displayed on the facilitator listing at dyslexia.com and you can begin marketing your site to the masses!