Technologies we use to build new websites
Deciding, Acquiring and Registering a Domain Name
In order for your website to appear when a user enters ‘brandname.com’ into a web browser, you must ‘own’ this Domain Name. You can purchase and hold the domain name via a domain name registrar, or we can do it for you (we use Gandi.net but there are lots of domain name registrars out there to choose from). Consider whether you want your domain name to be a .co.uk, .com or .org for example.
Preparing your Domain Name to appear on the internet
The next critical part of getting your website to appear is having your domain name pointed at nameservers which tells the internet which servers to look at for your website and email addresses. We use Cloudflare for this purpose, because it also allows us to use their file caching and firewall services. This is a technical but important step that your web developer or domain registrar can do for you.
Hosting your website
Now that the nameservers have told a users browser which server to connect to, we need hosting in place to respond to the request and present your web page. We use cloudways hosting, as it’s scalable, fast and provides other useful tools like Bot Protection and Page Caching using technology called Varnish.
Hosting your emails
At the nameservers level, you’d configure what are called MX records that point to the hosted email solution of your choice. We use Rackspaces email that is provided by Cloudways. But equally Google Workspace or Office 365 are very good options.
You may need to consider how and where you are going to store your emails and for how long eg. if there is a legal requirement. Consider this when choosing your email provider, as cloud storage is often limited and usually not free. For many businesses however, one of the webmail or workspace packages are generally enough and allow you to link email addresses to your domain name.
Building your website
A range of technologies are available to develop the actual website but most typically use a Content Management System such as market-leader WordPress. There are many free and premium themes from which you can choose, which will determine the look and feel of your website and it’s functionality. Custom themes can also be created for more bespoke development projects, and additional functionality can be delivered using plugins (of which there are a huge number of free and premium plugins available).
Populating your website
Content is key to making your website engaging and informative. There are many websites that offer royalty free images, as well as websites such as Shutterstock and Getty, where you can license them for a small fee. The same can be said for written content – you can pay a copywriter or content manager or you can write it yourself. We normally recommend to our clients to use a mix – a professional could actually save you time and money as well as uncovering awesome content in nuggets that you might not have considered.
Testing and launching your website
All of the websites that we develop go through a stringent pre-launch checklist before they are made live. This includes comprehensive testing across all of the most popular browsers on desktop, mac and mobile to ensure that your new website is responsive, looks good and performs well. This is particularly important in ensuring that search engines can find your site, and that you perform well in their rankings. Getting higher rankings on search engines means more people and more business going through your website.