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Establishing a Web Presence

Establishing a web presence is a key component of setting up any new business endeavor. In fact, you should make every effort to correlate your registration of a domain name with the naming of your new business venture. This is not always easy given the number of domain name "squatters" who reserve domain names in the hope that some business owner will eventually pay top dollar to repurchase it.  Read our report on Forming a Business for more information about how you can setup a business entity in conjunction with your web presence.

So, the first step in establishing your web presence is selecting and reserving an available domain name.  Most recognizable English words and easy combinations of those words are already registered, but don't be discouraged. Yahoo, Google, and Amazon are only loosely associated with the underlying business of their registrants, and they are all major brands today!

Not only can you use creative naming to select a unique and available domain name, you also have the choice of multiple qualified extensions. While ".com" is the most popular, you can also register your domain as any of (".org",".net",".biz",".tv",".info",".bz") and there are others available depending on your country of residence. The best way to research available names is to use Network Solutions Multiple Domain Name Search interface. If you simply HAVE to have an unavailable name, they'll even let you back-order it!

Once you've selected an available domain name on which to build your site, you need to register it in your or your company's name. While you can use Network Solutions to register it directly, it generally is easiest and more cost efficient to register your domain name in conjunction with your selected web-hosting service. There are hundreds of web-hosting services available, but the host we've found that offers the most features at a rock-bottom price for small to medium sized websites is LunarPages. The site you're reading now is hosted by them, and you'll find that their service and features can not be beat. We recommend you purchase a hosting plan with them and register your new domain name as part of the same order. Simply click here to begin: Register Name with Hosting Service.

Now you have the basic building blocks with which to build an online presence for you or your small business. The final step is to construct the content of your web site. This can be a very time consuming process, and it takes considerable technical and artistic skill to develop a professional looking website that you'll be proud to display to your friends and associates. Keep in mind that even if you have the ability to quickly  throw together your own set of web pages, you'll still spend considerable time testing the look and feel of your site with the various Web Browsers and on the multiple OS platforms that define today's Internet user-base. That's why Upstart Raising recommends you outsource your website construction by taking advantage of the services of Template Monster. On their site, you'll find hundreds of prefabricated websites complete with special effects, royalty-free art, and customization services.

If you're interested in customizing your templates, consider purchasing the same software the Professionals use. The templates you purchase from Template Monster can be edited in their existing formats with tools like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft FrontPage. Once you've got some initial content ready, upload it to your hosted account and read our report on how to develop a user-base for your new site!