Here’s the thing – before launching a website with an online store, you often find yourself in that bitter-sweet spot that rests right in the middle of exciting and daunting. Now, if you are finding yourself in that very spot: 1) you aren’t alone and, 2) we’ve got you covered, with the six must-knows of starting a website. And we have GoDaddy to thank for it.

Frankly, if you’ve so much as thought about digitizing your business you obviously are familiar with GoDaddy. But just in case you are that one-off case who doesn’t, GoDaddy is a place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers, sell their products and services, and manage their work. From free trials and easy setup, to built-in SEO tools to digital marketing, they have everything to keep your online business healthy and happy.

We got in touch with the experts at GoDaddy to find out how to set up a new website for success. The result: this 6-point guide of things you absolutely need to know before starting a website.

Image via GoDaddy

1. Grab the right domain name

You know those website names with an additional letter or two, hyphenated words or numbers replacing words (‘2’ instead of ‘to’). Yeah, those are the kind of names you want to avoid. The primary consideration when picking a domain name is that it should be easy for people to remember. And you don’t need to fixate on .com because Canadian’s love a .ca too. FYI, you can grab a .ca domain name on GoDaddy, which currently starts at only $2.99 for your first year (on a 2 year term!)

2. Make sure your website design is responsive

A responsive design is one that does not get all messed up irrespective of what device it’s being seen on. It is adaptive to multiple screen sizes- desktop, laptop, tablet, phone. Before you go into a full-blown panic over how to make a website design responsive, let us tell you that you don’t actually have to do anything. You just use GoDaddy Website Builder which has easy-to-use, over 100 responsive templates to choose from!

Image via GoDaddy

3. Get your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) straight

It is no news to anyone that for a website to even survive, let alone cut through the gazillion others, it needs to be optimized. Simply put, SEO is what’ll make your website discoverable. Now, you could spend several hours and money to become an SEO expert or hire one. Or, you could take the easy way out by familiarizing yourself with SEO and using GoDaddy Website Builder that has built-in SEO tools. GoDaddy keeps your website optimized without much effort on your part.

4. Layout a simple yet effective Digital Marketing strategy

No, we aren’t talking about shelling out thousands of dollars on executing an elaborate digital marketing strategy. But you should have a basic plan in place, nonetheless. You can start with email marketing to connect with your customers on a personal level and establish a strong social media presence. The best part is, it doesn’t have to be a painstakingly difficult task. Not with GoDaddy’s integrated marketing suite, at least. It’s easy to use even if you are a digital marketing virgin. And if you’re stuck, you can reach out to a friendly GoDaddy Guide for help.

Image via GoDaddy

5. Take your website back-up seriously

You’d think it’s common sense to back-up something you’ve poured your heart and soul creating. But you’d be surprised by how often people don’t do it. To save your website from being wiped out due to crashes, viruses or any other unprecedented errors, it is important to back-up your website regularly. And if something is so crucial to your website, of course, GoDaddy has the solution for it. 

6. Stay on top of analytics

Okay, you’ve spent all that time, effort and resources building that perfect website. But you also need to find out if your readers/customers are finding your website just as perfect. And how do you do that? With analytics. And GoDaddy made that easy too. You can easily add Google Analytics to your website to track its performance.

That was our list. Hopefully, this will get you started. Yes, it will still be stressful to launch a new website. But with the knowledge, tools, support and convenience GoDaddy provides, it will be easier. To get you inspired, check out other Toronto businesses, like The Underline or Pizza Hub, who have used GoDaddy for their website!