So, you have done a bit of research about starting a website. You discover that the process of starting an online business is simple and easy.
You can already picture yourself joining highly successful website owners who are earning money from their online ventures.
With just a domain name, hosting service, WordPress installation, along with a selection of essential free plugins, you can have your very own website up and running in no time.
At first glance, it may seem as simple as that. However, there is more to meet the eye. Sometimes, what appears to be easy can be more complex.
So, while it may seem simple at first, let’s explore what nobody tells you about starting a website that you should consider before you start.
We’re an affiliate: This page uses affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. For more info, click here.
The Unexpected Hurdles About Starting A Website
The attraction of entrepreneurship is undeniable with the opportunity of online business is even more.
It seems like everyone, without exception, dreams of the chance to break free from the traditional 9-5 grind and embrace a life filled with freedom with a 4-hour workweek.
The idea of having the time to pursue personal passions and hobbies is nothing short of a dream come true.
It’s hard to ignore the countless success stories of individuals who are earning more than what their regular jobs offer.
Everywhere you turn, there seems to be someone promoting a seemingly effortless and accelerated path to financial prosperity through online businesses.
There’s no denying the appeal of a less stressful lifestyle, where you have the flexibility to work at your own pace and enjoy the comforts of home. It’s a viable option that can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling life.
While this all sounds great, let’s delve into the lesser-known aspects about starting a website that are often overlooked or not commonly discussed.
1. Costs For Maintaining Your Website
There are many ways in which you can start creating a website free but it’s not always the case.
Maintaining a website involves various costs that are essential for its smooth operation and continued success. Understanding these expenses is crucial for budgeting and ensuring the long-term viability of your online presence.
This service allows your website to be hosted on the internet by storing its files on a server. The cost of web hosting can vary depending on factors such as the size of your website, traffic volume, and additional features you may require.
Domain name registration
Your domain name is your website’s unique address, and it needs to be renewed periodically. The cost of domain name registration can vary depending on the chosen domain extension (.com, .org, etc.) and the duration of registration.
An SSL certificate encrypts data transmitted between your website and its visitors, ensuring privacy and security. SSL certificate renewals typically occur annually, with costs varying depending on the level of security required.
As mentioned earlier in the introduction, these are the typical expenses associated with starting a website. These costs cover everything you need to go live.
However, for those who want to ensure optimal performance, there are some additional expenses that many website owners choose to invest in.
Premium WordPress Themes
Theme greatly influences the visual appearance of a website, from the color scheme to the font used.
They determine the layout of every page and post, ensuring a clean and cohesive aesthetic for your website. Ultimately, themes are crucial in creating a website online that is visually appealing.
Many hosting companies provide WordPress installations that include a free theme. However, with many free themes, there are limitations to what you can do according to the styling, font, and layout of your website.
While it’s true that the themes may not be as advanced, it doesn’t mean they are not great.
In fact, if you’re just starting and have limited knowledge of website creation, using free WordPress themes is an excellent choice. They offer simplicity and ease of use for beginners like yourself.
Protecting your website from cyber-attacks is another essential expense nobody tells you about when starting a website.
Every internet-connected electronic device, including your website, is open to potential threats.
By not having proper antivirus services installed on your website, you are putting yourself at risk and leaving yourself vulnerable to these attacks.
Ensure the security of your online presence by taking proactive measures and safeguarding against potential threats. The best wordpress security plugin is Wordfence.
In addition to prioritizing the safety of your website, you should extend the same level of security to your personal computer. If you haven’t done so already, it is highly recommended that you install reliable anti-virus software.
This will protect your PC from potential threats such as bugs and malware. These can infiltrate through downloading files, browsing the internet, and using various online platforms.
As a website owner, it is essential to ensure compliance with various legal obligations.
By implementing these necessary measures, you not only protect your business but also provide transparency and peace of mind to your users.
Rest assured, we will discuss this topic later in this article. However, for now, just understand that this specific expense related to having a website should not be overlooked.
Prioritizing legal protection is of utmost importance, especially when your goal is to generate income through your website.
2. Understanding SEO
Whether you are setting up an e-commerce website, creating a dropshipping website, or creating a website for blogging you will constantly face the challenge of driving traffic to your website.
If you’ve ever researched how to increase website traffic, you probably have read you need to do SEO. Not quite sure or unfamiliar with the term, let me quickly summarize.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This refers to the practice of optimizing a website to improve its visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (eg: Google).
By implementing various techniques, businesses can increase their online presence and drive more organic traffic to their websites.
The following three key strategies have proven to be effective: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. You need to understand SEO before you think about starting a website.
This refers to the practice of optimizing various elements within a webpage. This is to improve its search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic. These elements include:
- Keyword Research – Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant keywords that align with your target audience’s search queries. Incorporate these keywords naturally within your content while avoiding over-optimization or “keyword stuffing,” which can negatively affect user experience.
- Creating Winning Blog Titles And Meta Tags – Meta tags provide information about your webpage to search engines and potential visitors. By incorporating relevant keywords into your title tag, meta description, and header tags, you can attract more organic traffic as search engines will better understand the content of your site.
- Having Alt-Text Images – Optimizing images by adding alt text with descriptive keywords enhances accessibility for visually impaired users. It also provides additional context for search engines.
- Writing Quality Content – Creating valuable, informative, and engaging content not only appeals to users but also increases the likelihood of attracting backlinks from other reputable websites. High-quality content helps establish your authority in your niche while providing value to readers.
- Internal Links – By interlinking relevant pages using anchor text containing descriptive keywords or phrases, you improve navigation while helping search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your site.
- External Links – Incorporating external links from reputable sources into your content enhances the credibility of your website. It also helps search engines understand the relevance and authority of your content.
- Page URLs – Page URLs are not just random strings of characters. They serve as an essential piece of information for both search engines and users. A well-optimized URL provides valuable context to search engines, helping them understand the content and relevance of your page.
- Schema Markups – These are HTML tags that provide structured data to search engines about the content on a webpage. These tags help search engines understand the context of the information presented. This helps to display it in a more visually appealing format in search results.
Read this article for more information about how on-page SEO can help increase your website rankings.
This refers to the strategies and techniques implemented outside of your website. It improves search engine ranking and increases traffic. These elements include:
- Building Backlinks – A quality backlink comes from a reputable and relevant website. When other high-quality websites link to your content, it shows Google that your website is valuable and worth promoting. These backlinks act as votes of confidence, boosting your website’s credibility in the eyes of both search engines and users.
- Social Media Marketing – This creates a powerful synergy that amplifies your online presence. By sharing valuable content on social media platforms and engaging with your audience regularly, you not only increase brand visibility but also encourage others to share your content organically. Leading to even more exposure.
- Guest Posting – Writing high-quality articles or blog posts that are then published on other websites as a guest author. This allows you to reach a wider audience who may not have been aware of your brand or website before. When done correctly, guest posting can be a highly effective method of attracting new visitors and potential customers.
- Online Forums – Engaging with groups of people in your targeted niche help build a community. This allows you to showcase your expertise, answer questions, and provide valuable insights.
- Podcasting – Unlike written content that requires users’ undivided attention, podcasts can be enjoyed while multitasking – exercising, or doing household chores. By providing valuable insights and engaging conversations through podcasts, you can capture the attention of your target audience wherever they may be.
All of the off-page SEO is beneficial to increase your online presence and help to drive traffic to your website. Keep in mind your niche will determine which strategies are most effective for you.
Making smart choices in implementing these techniques can lead to notable results for your digital visibility and brand awareness.
This involves implementing various technical elements to improve the website’s visibility and performance in search engine rankings.
To effectively execute technical SEO, certain key steps must be taken:
- Website Speed – Slow-loading websites can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings. You need to minimize file sizes, leverage browser caching, and optimize code.
- Mobile Optimization – With the majority of internet users accessing websites through mobile devices, it is imperative to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive across different screen sizes.
- Fixing Errors – Regularly monitoring and fixing any crawl errors or broken links on your website is also essential for effective technical SEO. These issues can negatively impact user experience as well as hinder search engine crawlers from properly indexing your site.
- XML Sitemaps – Regularly submitting an XML sitemap to search engines help them understand the structure of your site better and ensures all pages are indexed correctly.
- Duplicate Content – Make sure you get rid of duplicate content, or update content that is outdated, or doesnt have enough information.
- HTTPS Connection – This stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It adds an extra layer of protection to websites by encrypting the data exchanged between a user’s browser and the website they are visiting. This is known as an SSL Certificate and is seen by the small lock in the search bar before a URL.
3. Legal Obligations
The information provided in this section is not to be taken as legal advice. It is intended for educational purposes only. It’s recommended to seek professional legal advice tailored to your specific situation.
When venturing into other online businesses, like print on demand (POD), you may find it a relief that you don’t need to worry about having legal pages or implementing GDPR. It is not your responsibility to do so as a seller in this type of business model.
However, it’s important to note that when you create your website, you have legal obligations. You need to ensure that you have the necessary policies in place to protect yourself and your customers.
I’m sure you’ve heard the buzzword “GDPR” floating around. In case you’re not familiar with it, here is a short introduction.
GDPR, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation, is a set of regulations designed to protect the privacy and personal data of individuals within the European Union (EU).
It was implemented in May 2018 and applies to all businesses that process or handle the personal data of EU citizens.
The goal of GDPR is to give individuals more control over their personal information and ensure that businesses handle it responsibly.
With hefty fines for non-compliance, GDPR has certainly grabbed the attention of businesses worldwide.
Not many entrepreneurs like to discuss this because it can prevent people like you from thinking about starting a website.
While some may argue that it’s not their duty to ensure you comply with the law, it’s only fair for them to provide you with the necessary knowledge. After all, how can you implement something if you are unaware of it?
Luckily, there is a lot of information available about what your legal requirements are as a website owner.
Regardless of the type of website you own, whether it’s a blog, an online store, or any other kind, there are at least 3 important legal elements that you must have in place:
Terms And Conditions Page
This often-overlooked page serves as a legally binding agreement between you as the business owner and your customers or users.
Having an effective terms and conditions page also helps in managing customer or user expectations.
By clearly defining refund policies, cancellation procedures, intellectual property rights, or any other relevant information specific to your website, both parties have a clear understanding of what they can expect throughout their interaction with your website.
While it may seem like a tedious task to create this document, there are many online resources available. From templates to wordpress plugins or legal professionals who specialize in drafting terms and conditions pages tailored to different industries.
A disclaimers page is similar to a terms and conditions page except for the fact that it focuses on limiting liability and providing important information to users.
A terms and conditions page outlines the rules and regulations of using a website or service. While a disclaimers page specifically addresses any potential risks or limitations associated with using the website or its content.
A well-crafted disclaimers page is crucial for any business or organization as it helps protect them from legal disputes and potential liabilities.
By clearly stating what users can expect from the website, what information is provided for informational purposes only, and any limitations on warranties or guarantees, businesses can mitigate their risks while also providing transparency to their users.
Not only does a disclaimers page serve as an effective legal safeguard, but it also builds trust with users.
By openly communicating the limitations of the website’s content or services, businesses demonstrate their commitment to honesty and integrity.
Users appreciate this level of transparency and are more likely to engage with a platform that prioritizes their safety and provides clear guidelines.
It’s becoming quite common and for good reason.
These cookie policies ensure that visitors are aware of the site’s data collection practices and give them the option to either accept or decline.
It’s all about prioritizing transparency and empowering users to make informed decisions about their privacy preferences.
If you intend to generate income from affiliate links on your website, it’s important to maintain transparency.
This means disclosing that the links on your pages or posts might be affiliate links. Also, include an affiliate disclosure in your disclaimers page.
Being transparent with your visitors builds trust and ensures they are aware of any potential financial incentives behind the links you provide.
Make sure to carefully review the affiliation policies and guidelines of every company you join. Each one may have slight variations in how they expect you to utilize the links they provide.
Familiarizing yourself with these details will help you maximize your partnership opportunities and ensure compliance with each company’s specific requirements.
Ensuring compliance with legal requirements when operating a website is essential for a successful online presence.
Failure to comply can result in penalties or fines.
I strongly advise you to prioritize understanding and fulfilling these obligations. By doing so, you will not only protect your business from potential legal issues but also build trust with your audience and establish a professional reputation in the digital space.
This section is not intended to scare you out of being a website owner. Rather give you helpful information that not many mention when you search about starting a website.
4. Your Expectations
Managing your expectations is another crucial aspect when it comes to building a successful website.
There are indeed entrepreneurs out there who claim quick and easy success with their courses and e-book strategies.
However, it’s important to recognize that these results are not the norm for most website owners, especially those who are just starting.
Making a website for money and building website traffic takes time and effort. It’s not something that happens overnight or within a few months.
While it can be tempting to expect instant results, the reality is that achieving substantial traffic often requires months or even years of consistent effort.
Having patience is key in this journey. You need to understand that building an online presence takes time, perseverance, and persistence.
It involves consistently creating valuable content, optimizing your website for search engines, engaging with your audience through social media and other channels, and continuously improving your overall online strategy.
Success rarely happens overnight in any endeavor. Building a successful website is no different and requires dedication and a long-term approach.
So, while it’s important to set goals for yourself and work towards them diligently, be prepared for the time commitment and upfront money involved in growing your online presence.
Hopefully, you understand and have taken note of all the additional things you need to be aware of when you think about starting a website.
It is a lot of work especially if you have a small budget and are preparing to do it all yourself. Luckily, much of the softwares is drag-and-drop like when you designing your website.
There are also many step-by-step guides about starting a website.
But if you just stay focused on providing value to your audience, stay up-to-date with industry trends, adapt as needed along the way, and remain committed to consistently putting in the effort required for long-term success.
With patience and persistence as your guiding principles throughout your journey, you’ll be well on your way toward building a successful website with significant traffic over time.
- 10 Different Types Of Video Marketing Content For Businesses
- 4 Important Facts Nobody Tells You About Starting A Website
- What Is Print On Demand (POD)? Top 10 Print On Demand Companies
- The Best Website Themes (Top 12 Free and Paid)
- Vlog v Blog: Which One Is The Best And Why?