HEART–CENTERED WEBSITE GUIDE
What you really need to know for a feel–good website
Chapter 1: Your Website
I bet you’re wondering why a website guide for heart-centered business owners would be different than a website guide for any business owner. It’s different because you’re different. You’re focused on wanting to make the world a better place by somehow influencing the people in the world. You want to help people. You aren’t in business just to make money. You’re in business with a purpose and you welcome the abundance that being in service brings you.
First, before you get started with this guide… Take a deep breath. If you are someone who doesn’t love technology or even has a little fear of it, don’t worry. While there is a lot of information here, just take in a bit at a time. If you don’t want to read it all at once, just start with a chapter at a time. Technology doesn’t have to be scary!
Why Do You Need a Website?
Websites haven’t even been around for 30 years yet! For many of us, we didn’t grow up with computers in our hands at the age of 3. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself the time and energy to learn what works for you. The World Wide Web (WWW) was created in 1990 by the British CERN physicist Tim Berners-Lee. Three years later, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to use for anyone. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website). Today, websites are integral to your business. It’s become a defacto standard to have a website for your business. It is often the first place that people learn about who you are. If you are a business and serving clients, your clients just expect you to have a website.
The good news is that it isn’t hard with the tools available today to create a stunning website even if you aren’t an expert!
The key is to get one created! In the past, websites were very expensive to build and then often difficult to change. Early websites were created by writing HTML code. While anyone could learn it, it generally required some technical expertise and coding experience if you wanted to build a robust website. That isn’t the case today. The tools available today allow anyone to build a website as long as you can type and have an idea of what you want to share.
How do Websites Work?
There are three main components to understand when it comes to understanding how a website works.
First, you have your domain name reservation, the URL that is typed in the address bar to get to your website. Typically, you want to reserve your business name as your domain name, so that it is easy to refer people to your business. If you haven’t yet named your business, it’s a good idea to see what domain names are available before you name your business so that you find a domain name that works.
The easiest way to think about a domain name is that it is the address for your website. There are DNS (Domain Name Servers) that act as the directories for all the websites that exist on the internet. When you reserve a domain name, you are adding a new entry to the directory so that your website can be found. Once you have a hosting provider, you point your domain name to that hosting provider via an IP address. An IP address is simply a number that is assigned to every server on the internet. If you have internet service at your house, you have an IP address that is assigned to the router in your house. Every machine connected to the internet as an IP address. This is how they all communicate with each other.
When selecting someone to reserve your domain name with, price is typically the most important factor that people look for. I also want to know that the company has been around a while and it’s also nice when the company is well connected, meaning that when you make a change to your domain name, it propagates quickly to the servers throughout the world, so that your changes are available quickly rather than the 24-48 hours it can take for a change to make it everywhere. There are actually 13 root servers operated by 12 independent organizations throughout the world. Those 13 servers are then connected to 1000’s of other servers. (http://root-servers.org)
My experience has shown me that GoDaddy is one of the fastest at distributing updates around the world with domain name changes. I’ve made a change and can see it’s effect within an hour. With several other companies, I’ve experienced many hours to sometimes 24 hours before the change completely takes effect.
Hosting is the server that your website actually resides on. The internet is made up of thousands of servers that all communicate with each other. To have a server on the internet, you have to have a unique IP address that the internet knows about through the root servers mentioned above. While you can host a website on your computer sitting at home, there isn’t really a need. The better and more secure approach is to use a hosting company. Hosting companies provide servers and software that allow your website to run and be visible on the internet.
Web pages are simply the pages where your content resides for your website. Most websites have a Home Page, an About Page, a Contact Page and a Services or Products page. If you are a writer and share information regularly, then you would also have a Blog. Your web pages are files that are stored on the hosting provider’s servers. Depending on what you choose to build your site in, editing pages will be done in some type of Page Editor. Each tool has their own environment for creating and editing pages.
A blog is simply a mechanism where you post content about your speciality. Each blog post becomes a page on your website. Writing a blog is a great way to build authority and serve your clients with information.