Many people don't realize that just creating a web site won't bring people to it or make people aware or use it. Here is a list of tools to help you get a web site up and running as well as some resources you can explore to make the most of it.
Check out The Web Marketing Checklist: 37 ways to promote your site for some great suggestions. I have been following the advice in this list since way back when they only had 10 suggestions in their list. In fact, many of the extra suggestions I used to give people are now included. Don't worry if you can't implement them all. Do your best and hope for the rest. Just don't be lazy about it.
Here is a super secret tip that I recently discovered that isn't included in the 37 ways to promote your site. Google makes a number of free services available including things like Blog, Calendar and Web sites/Wiki. What's really interesting is that, since these are hosted by Google, they get added to Google's search engine must faster than other methods I have come across. So go out and create a Google supplied Blog, Calendar or web page, even if you don't have a link to it on your web site. Just be sure to include a link from these pages back to your web site so that Google search engine will follow the link.
Remember: If people don't know about you yet, don't give up. With a little work, they will soon.
Web Site Hosting Service Provider
While I am not going to assume that everyone reading this is technically savvy, I have noticed an increasing number of new coaches with a background in IT (Informatics Technology… in other words, computers). If you have some experience, you might also want to take a look at implementing a Content Management System (CMS), which is a tool that allows you to create a web site with virtually no technical knowledge. To try out a CMS, visit OpenSourceCMS. You will find some of the best systems listed and available to try out in the left hand column. Although not the most popular CMS out there, I really like WebsiteBaker for how easy it is to set-up and manage your web pages. It's like WordPress, which is designed to be a blog, but for Websites.
Whether or not you have the ability to create web pages, I highly recommend you consider using a content management system. When shopping around for a web hosting company, be sure to ask them if they have a content management system available for creating a web site. Not only will it be easier to build and manage your web site, but you will be able to focus on creating content without worrying about the technical aspects of a web page.
Contact me if you aren't sure which web hosting provider best fits your needs.
For those starting out with little or no budget available, or just wanting to try their hand at it, the following service providers will allow you to get a blog up on the Internet quickly without a whole lot of expense.
Free Web Site Template Designs
Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS system is a web based application which is part of your web site. The great thing of a CMS is that you a) can update your web site from just about anywhere in the world, b) can update it in a matter of seconds, c) you don't need any special software installed on your computer to do it, d) you need no knowledge of how to create a web page at all. If you can use Google, and can fill in a form on a web site, you can do this too.
If you are ever offered a choice of which CMS you want to use, but are new to the concept, never mind actually using one, Open Source CMS. In the left hand column of the page, you will find many of the most popular CMS systems out there.
These help you keep track of how many people are visiting your site and what they are interested in.
TIP: Some of these sites will have a place for you to enter your IP address (the numeric address of your computer). Entering that number will prevent you from artificially increasing the number of visitors on your web site when you are making changes to web pages or checking your web site for broken links. I highly recommend you look for this option so that your web site statistics reflect the true number of people visiting your web site.
Check for Dead Links Regularly
Next to making it difficult to find information on a web site, the most frustrating thing that can happen to a visitor or potential client is that they click on a link which doesn't work, also known as a dead link. While it's easy to check a few links, it quickly becomes a daunting task to do this on a regular basis as your web site starts to grow. I use a free piece of software called Xenu Link Sleuth to identify invalid links on my web site. It's easy to use. Just start it up, give it the address of your web site and click OK. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, URL stands for Universal Resource Locator… in other words, the address of your web site.
Web Page Editing Software
- KompoZer Nvu (WYSIWYG) -- It's not great. If anyone has a better free alternative, please email me.
- PSPad (Text/HTML)
Other Webmaster tools