Start an Online Business Website

Starting an online business is risky and requires time and dedication. In this page we have tried to list and explain all steps you would require to start an online business:

           1.  Design Template

The first step is to design a template for your website. Things to consider here are the theme color, layout of modules, header-footer information, font size and type, logo, paragraph format,  etc. You would require css and html knowledge for this. However these days there are loads of both online and offline software and website builders that generate templates according to your needs; bluevoda, yahoo small business, microsoft small business and artisteer are examples. Do note such services usually require you to make a monetary contribution or require you to host on their server. Also you can always outsource the designing to a third party or buy ready made templates from various websites

           2.  Host your Website

Once you are done with designing the template, and have say created some pages, it's time to upload them on a hosting server. There are two options here: either download a server on your computer and host your website (which is not recommended if you are just starting out since it requires high and dedicated maintenance) or host it with another company. Some famous companies are Godaddy, GreenHosting, HostGator, BlueHost, etc. Note that there are some companies like Freehostia and 000webhost that offer free hosting but be aware that free hosting usually means less bandwidth and space. Additionally remember that dedicated hosting costs more compared to shared hosting.

          3.  Register your Domain Name

Once you host your website (or even before that) you can register your domain name with your hosting server or with some other host and forward your domain name. Domain name is the link of your website, e.g., whereas a sub-domain name is a link within your primary domain name, e.g.

         4.  Manage your Website

Managing static pages is a huge pain especially if there are a lot of pages on your website. People therefore prefer making dynamic pages since its much easier to modify them. Most web hosts these days come with online website builders but there are others which are more famous and have more features than others. Examples are Ning, Weebly, Squidoo, Yola, Webs and Homestead.

Additionally some content management systems are free and can be installed at most server ends or hosts. Examples include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, EZ. All of these are very strong and convenient in terms of the variety of plugins and extensions you can add. Do note however that templates for each of them are usually different and cannot be easily interchanged. Some hosts have also started providing auto installers with which you can install these systems with a click of a button. Two famous installers are Fantastico and Elefante

        5.  Provide Online Service

There are various types of online services you can provide. Some examples are:

     - Information website. You can start your own blog, distribute newsletters or open a directories website about a niche.
    - Online Stores. Sell products or services. Two websites you can take a look at are Freewebstore and Vstore.
    - Start a web community. Connect people around a topic by starting a forum or make a membership website with every user contributing.
    - Auction website. Make something similar to Ebay, LivePerson or Goooose.
    - Company Website. Have a company? Make a website for it and attract more customers.

         6.  Market your website

Once your website is up and running you want an audience. There are various ways you can attract customers:

    - Ads. By placing ads on searches or on other websites you can lure viewers. Google Adwords is very famous in this regard.
   - Social Media. Having a Facebook page, Google FriendConnect or participating in other sites like Scoutle can help your website grow.
   - Exchange Links. Web searches use crawlers to index pages and websites. Having your website being exchanged with another website owner can sometimes be advantageous.

         7.  Generate Revenue from your Online Business

Revenue can be generated through various means. Examples include:

- Ads. Having third part ads on your website can help you earn money. Google Adsense is a very famous tool in this regard
- Affiliate marketing. Supporting and selling third party products is another means of earning money online.  In this regard Amazons associates program is a trusted program.
 - Transactions. If you are selling products or services you need to collect cash. Google Checkout and PayPal are safe and secure in this regard. However some countries like Pakistan don't have access to these. In this regard Plimus is an alternative.
- Membership. You can collect subscription fees from members if your website has unique and valuable  content.

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