Depending on your position there will be 2 options for creating a website. Building a new website from scratch or redesigning your current website. For transparency we have highlighted each part of these processes – you will see there are areas that allow you to use different resources if you choose not to use Sapling.

Building Your First Website

Before creating your first website, there are a number of components you need to be aware of first.

Registering a Domain Name

The first task when making a new website is to find your domain name. Domain names generally cost $25.00/year to hold, you can check if your domain name is available here: 1st Domains (we recommend purchasing all possible URL extensions .co.nz, .nz, .com to eliminate competitors capitalising on misspellings).

The domain name is similar to the address of your house with your house being the website, each URL contains records which tell people where your website and servers where your mail should be sent/received.

When you first register a domain name, the address will point to a landing page of the company you purchased the domain from.

Writing Website Content

Regardless of the type of website you are creating, content plays a very important part in communicating to your customers, drawing in traffic through search engines and selling your goods/services.

Content should be unique and useful, copying content from another website can have a negative impact – if you are trying to rank for this content, Google can compare your content to the original source and detect which website created the content first, the website which copied will have a hard time ranking for it’s keywords and in some cases be penalised.

Selecting Web Hosting

You will be presented with a number of hosting options, these are the most common options you will see:

  • Windows (Plesk)
  • Linux (cPanel)
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS)
  • Shared Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • Cloud Hosting

The difference between these options is maintenance, speed, price and security. Dedicated hosting is usually the most expensive and considered the safest while shared hosting is more affordable but shares space with other websites meaning it is important to use provider who knows what they are doing

Selecting your own hosting can save you a small amount of money, however, this means you will be responsible for maintaining the server which includes:

  • Setting up back-ups
  • Restoring back-ups if required (site has been attacked)
  • Creating email accounts and mailboxes
  • Setting up email accounts on mail clients (Outlook, Gmail etc)
  • Resolving mail/hosting issues

Sapling uses Shared Hosting with Linux, maintains all back-ups and keeps all software/web sites up to date. For small business websites and majority of New Zealand traffic this is more than suffice.

Our hosting cost is $15.00/month for developed websites (we do not import sites).

Creating a Domain Email Address

There are 2 types of email hosting; email hosting on the server with your website and a third party hosting such as Microsoft 365 or Google Business Email

Email hosting is a good option for a small amount of email accounts, you can use POP/IMAP settings within a mail client like Outlook to access your emails or use the default Webmail login.

Third party options will have an additional costs, are more reliable and the better option for large amounts of email accounts. One considerable benefit over generic email hosting is that third party accounts do not share hosting with your website – this means if your website was to go down, the email will remain active.

Designing and Developing the Website

Visitors to your website will expect a fast, easy to use and trustworthy website. Creating custom, elaborate designs for small business websites is not always cost effective and quite often does not produce a return on investment to justify the extra cost. Having a well built, user-friendly website with strong SEO is much more effective.

We will discuss designs, example websites and features you would like to include then start working on your new website.

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) which has strong page structure, editing abilities and user-friendly editing. We will create a site using designs that best represent your business and the goals you would like to achieve.

Approval

Once the website is ready to go live and fully functioning, you will have a pre-production version to view.

During this period you will be able to request changes (extensive changes to core parts of the website may incur additional fees).

After your change requests have been made, the site can go live.

Going Live

We test the website across multiple devices and install the following where applicable:

  • Google Analytics Allows you to view activity on your website and see where your traffic comes from.
  • Verifying Search Console Important information about your site and its relationship with Google, see exact terms people use to find you.
  • Registering Google Business Listing Creates strong presence with local search results, mobile search and industry specific competition.

Depending on the ownership for the domain, either we will update the records to the live site or make request to the domain owner to have the records updated. Updating your mail records will also depend on the option you have selected for email hosting.

Once everything has been changed your site will be live.

Once your website is live, you will receive training on using your CMS to make changes to your website, instructions for using email and access to your Analytics. For any future work you would like done to the website can be organised through email.

Redesigning Your Website

Websites which have not been updated, maintained properly, poorly built or infected quite often become expensive to repair leaving the best option to be a rebuild.

When rebuilding your website there are a few areas which need attention and if not taken care of properly, can result in damages to your website rank.

Each website needs to be addressed at individual level for an accurate quote.