June 22, 2015 - WRITTEN BY GEORGE WANG
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When you first set up your website, many seemingly unimportant decisions can actually have a significant long-term impact on how much business you actually get through the site. Here are some actionable tips related to the initial setup of your website, specifically about your domain name and your hosting.
1) Make sure your domain name isn't too short, too long, or hard to spell.
2) Make sure your domain name doesn't have ambiguity (the "Expert Sex Change" problem) or compliance issues (e.g. law firms with multiple partners).
3) Keep it simple. Most businesses should avoid domains that end in anything other than .com, .org, or .net.
4) If possible, include keywords that potential visitors might search for, such as your city or county.
5) Don't think that you only need one domain name. Some businesses can benefit from multiple ones.
1) Not all hosting is the same. Your choice of self-hosting, dedicated hosting, or cloud hosting should generally depend on who visits your website, how often they visit, and security and compliance considerations.
2) The distance between your host and your visitors can affect how quickly your website loads. In general, choose a host that is geographically close to your visitors. If you have multiple locations or serve visitors in far-flung locations, you may need to use a content distribution network (CDN).
3) High-traffic websites have different hosting needs than low-traffic ones. Make sure you aren't overpaying for unnecessarily advanced hosting. Are you using ultra-secure, ultra-fast web hosting when you just need the cheap, reliable stuff?
4) Your industry might have compliance or security considerations that affect your choice of hosting. Make sure you understand the technical aspects of who can view your data before making a hosting choice.
5) Don't be afraid to change the type of hosting that you use. Oftentimes, changes in the nature of your business will necessitate a change in hosting.