Ready to build a website?

If you want to build a website, this checklist will help.

You want to start a website, but you don’t know where to begin. The number of options and choices can be overwhelming, but it does not have to be complicated. Take time to answer questions before you start to make it a smooth process. This checklist can help you build a website for your smart office:

What’s the purpose? Maybe you want to interact with your customers or highlight a product. Perhaps you want to showcase your family farm or establish a blog to share your insights into working in a farm office. This is a question you must answer before you launch.

Find a service provider. Prices and options vary between web hosting companies. However, one thing is clear – you can leverage discounts when using the same provider for your domain and hosting. You should also check online for coupon codes before you buy.

Pick a name. When selecting a domain name (or website address), think about your brand, how it sounds (avoid homonyms like fishing/phishing), use .com if you can and avoid dashes. Another good tip is to keep your domain as short as possible.

Make an outline. Some basic components could include: Home, Products or Services, Blog or News, About and Contact. Planning ahead will help you with the next step.

Build content. Whether you use a site builder through your service provider, a content management system you install or a local vendor, you need to put content together. You should have at least 350 words on each page and keyword them. Keyword tools can help you if you are marketing a product or service. You will also want to make sure your graphics are sized to web (72 dpi) so your website loads quickly. If you are not familiar with photo editing software to resize, you can use an online image optimizer like Optimizilla.

Integrate social media. If you use social media accounts such as Facebook or Twitter for your farm business, don’t forget to link and integrate them into your website.

Tell the world! Why have a website that no one sees? Share your website with everyone! Add your link to your email signature, to your business cards and all of your smart office materials.

Do you have any tips to help others start a website? Tell me about it in the comments below, on Twitter @nerdsquawk or via email at [email protected].

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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