I hosted a well received presentation this week about creating your own website for freelance translators. Due to the time limit, there was not enough time to go deep into detail or to answer all the questions. I promised to post the questions and answers on my blog. Part one will cover hosting sites, domain name registration, templates and system requirements.
1. The hosting services included in the presentation:
http://www.webs.com/ (this is the one I used before I moved my website over to a self hosted WordPress account).
http://www.squarespace.com/ (this one was recommended by one of the webinar attendants)
The above mentioned sites can host your website and they include templates. You can also add a lot of extra functions, such as contact forms, search function, reference plug in etc. for free. You do not need any other applications or systems other than an Internet connection. For a low annual cost you can upgrade to premium accounts with more services and functions. All of the services are easy to use and no html-knowledge is required.
If you are a paying member of ProZ, you can use their web hosting service and their web creator service for free. WordPress has a blog/website creator, where you download their program and host the website through another hosting service. Microsoft Publisher provides templates for creating your own webpages to put up on a hosting platform. However, I have no experience of creating websites through Microsoft Publisher and cannot say how easy or hard it is. There are probably other hosts that I am not aware of, but the above mentioned should at least get you started easily.
2. Domain name registration
The website creation sites above can also provide a domain name registration service, which means that you pay a small amount of money so that they can find a domain name for you, and register it for you. GoDaddy also provides a website hosting service for $3-5 per month, and you can register your own domain name through them for around $10 per year. On GoDaddy you can participate in domain name auctions if the name you want is taken, but usually you can just change to another “category”, such as from .com, to .biz or .org. Which “category” you choose is up to you, most businesses in the US use .com. If you live in another country, you can also use the category of that country, for example .se for Sweden.
Visit these pages and pick the service you like the best. You can do a search on the service providers and see what other people think about them. Make sure they can offer enough bandwidth and space for your pages and traffic and that they have systems in place to guarantee minimal to no downtime.
3. Before you create your website – think about content and keywords
Before you create your website you should make sure you know the purpose for your website, what you want the content of your website to be, and what keywords you want to use. Keywords are the words you write in a search engine when you want to find something on the web. Keywords are important as they can be used successfully in conjunction with the search engines to provide you with a free source of targeted traffic to your web site. For example, for me some of the keywords could be “Swedish translator” or “Swedish translations”. To find out which keywords would be suitable for your site, go to Google AdWords – Keyword Tool, put in some suggestions for keywords and get many more similar keywords to consider, based on popularity, competition etc.
This post is already very long so bear with me if I have not answered your question yet. In the coming posts I will discuss how to create a bilingual website, websites in combination with social media and useful content or tools for your website.