If you are new to the process, there are some simple bits of information you’ll want to know up front, before getting your website started.
There are several parts to your website: the domain name (e.g. xyz.com), the website files, and the server where the files will be stored, and sometimes email associated with that website (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). Normally these pieces of your website are managed and maintained by different groups who specialize in those areas. This is certainly not ideal for your average website owner, but it’s the result of the short and explosive growth of the web.
If you’re running on a strict budget, on the other hand, and are willing to do a little research, you can build your own website at a one-stop shop such as godaddy.com. Godaddy.com allows you to do all the aforementioned pieces of the website setup in one place — including purchasing the domain name. Domain name/website tools such as Godaddy.com will result in websites with a somewhat generic look, as they’re being generated by templates, but this solution can be an excellent one for a small shop just starting out.
If you’re looking for some basic control, you’re the next level of user, who will choose their domain name, and then hand over the website design to a website designer or developer, who should then be able to help the user find a good reliable host where the files will be stored. Note that both file hosting and domain name are basically being rented to you. You’ll pay an annual fee to lease the domain name, and usually a monthly fee to house the files. When you want changes, you’ll contact your initial web designer or developer.
After this level, comes customers who require additional functionality. These customers might want to be able to update the site daily themselves, sell products through a payment gateway, interact with social media and might want have the site search engine optimized. They might also want to have video edited or uploaded, email names set up with the company name, and send out bulk email. This customer will generally need to hire a web designer for the design portion, and a web developer to enable the functionality. If this is a high volume site, these customers should also be looking for a web team skilled with maintaining transactional security, backups, failover, monitoring the site for security, maintenance updates, analyzing web logs, and monitoring performance and capacity.
If your product is in an aggressive online market, you may find that you also need to hire a search engine optimizer — and search engine optimization is a continuing task so this might be a monthly operations cost. If your product is local or is not in a competitive market, you can probably have your text reviewed and optimized during the startup period, and then occasionally when the need arises.