Planning a New Website - Establish Your Identity
Last time, we discussed strategy and planning. Now we'll look at identity.
Traditionally, establishing business identity involved choosing a name, registering it with the approriate authority, developing a logo, and ordering business cards and stationery. But of course today, there are also some technical considerations.
Make sure you claim your preferred domain name(s) as soon as possible!
I couldn't count how many times I've heard stories where somebody has looked up a domain name and found a good one, gone down the path of registering a business name and getting a logo designed, and then gone back to register the domain and it's GONE!
Some domain registration sites are a bit dodgy - they run collection scripts which record searches, then register anything that looks good. Domain names can be bought and sold, but it will rarely be as cheap as the first time.
Try to choose a domain name that resembles your actual business name as closely as possible. And make sure it is easy to spell and easy to remember.
Once you own a domain name, you can create email addresses to match.
Commit to a naming scheme. Avoid nicknames & numbers. Commonly-used naming schemes for professional organisations include:
- Firstname@ yourdomain.com ie. John@ yourdomain.com
- FirstnameLastinitial@ yourdomain.com ie. JohnS@ yourdomain.com
- FirstinitialLastname@ yourdomain.com ie. JSmith@ yourdomain.com
- FirstnameLastname@ yourdomain.com ie. JohnSmith@ yourdomain.com
Think about the future. If your organisation is large, you may like to avoid the Firstname@ option, in case you hire two people with the same first name. If it is a family organisation, avoid FirstInitialLastName@, in case Bob and Brenda both need an email address.
Also consider generic email addresses to use on your website. These look more professional and are convenient because different people can use them. Examples include:
- info@ yourdomain.com
- accounts@ yourdomain.com
- support@ yourdomain.com
- help@ yourdomain.com
It's easy to set up social media as soon as you have a business name and similarly to the domain name, try to use names that closely resemble your business name. However, it's more difficult to claim a popular name on Facebook or Twitter because there are no domain extensions - so there is only one /WebSolutionZ (whereas with domain names, there are hundreds of different extensions so the chances of getting WebSolutionZ.SOMETHING is easier).
REGISTER - domain name(s) asap (or ask your digital specialist to do it for you).
PLAN - email address naming scheme.
SET UP - social media to claim names.
Next time, we'll go through artwork, content and images.