While many solopreneurs do come from a web design background, that’s not true for everyone.
For people who aren’t particularly technical, creating a website is something that can have a bit of a learning curve to it.
To start, you’ll need a domain name and web hosting.
These are places where it’s all too easy to make mistakes that could harm your business in the long run.
Subpar web hosting, a clunky domain name, and other issues are things you really don’t want to deal with while your business grows.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to hone in on which hosting services are good.
A lot of those companies have affiliate programs that pay well, so when you Google it and a blog recommends a particular hosting service, that might not mean it’s the best.
Plus, there are a bunch of little technical details, like http:// versus https://, that can make a disproportionately big difference for your success.
A recent article on Copyblogger lists some of the most common website mistakes that small businesses make, and how to avoid them and circumvent the major headaches they can cause.
1. Hosting with a company that prevents or punishes your success
This one will catch you by surprise at the worst moment.
You get your 15 minutes (or 15,000 visitors) of fame, only for your host to tell you … nope! Not on their watch.
They shut you down.
There it is, in the fine print of your hosting contract … you’re only allowed a certain number of visitors or so much bandwidth … which means all your new prospects land on a page that says your website is down.
It’s smart to keep your costs manageable when you’re starting out, but losing potential customers because of penny-pinching isn’t so smart.
If you currently have cheap “hobby” hosting, you need to ask yourself:
How many clients or customers can I afford to lose to a bad web experience?
2. Building your business website on a platform you don’t own
Digital sharecropping is even worse than a bad domain.
With this mistake, you’re always at risk of losing the web presence you’re working so hard to build.
3. Keeping “http,” instead of upgrading to “https”
I was late to this party, but get your site on SSL.
4. Choosing a domain nobody can spell or remember
You said “awesome-and-amazing-dot-com?” Was it “theawesome,” “the-awesome,” or just “awesome?”
Sure, many people are going to discover your site through links or search. But having a memorable (and easy-to-spell) domain does help you attract and retain visitors.
You can’t bank on them bookmarking your site during their first visit.
You can read more about common mistakes, and how to avoid them, over at Copyblogger.