Have you ever tried to explain the website building process but didn’t know the simplest way to do so? I was pondering how to explain this to my boss a couple of years ago. We had a staff meeting the next day and I wanted to propose a move of our site but I knew the only way to get his attention was to relate it to an area of business of which I knew he had expertise: real estate. Boom. That was it. That was the answer. I realized a website is really just a house and all of the elements equate to real estate in a practical way. So, with that being said here are the four elements of a website broken down in “real estate terms” to explain to your future clients. You have an address, land, the house, and your fence. Let’s dive in.
1. address = domain
Before you build a house you have an address. This is where the house will be located. “186 such and such blvd” is the location of your future home before you lay a single brick on the foundation. This is how people will find your house as it’s what they enter in their map or gps. This is how they find where they want to go. For websites this is your “domain” or “web address”. Before you build a site on anything you need to purchase a domain. This tells people where to find your website. This is what they enter into their browser and it takes them where they want to go. Easy translation right?
2. Land = Hosting
Now that you’ve got your address (domain) you need land to build on. Just like you can’t build a house with no land, you can’t build a site with no hosting. The host you choose is equivalent the land that you choose to build your house on. This is where you’ll lay your foundation. This is highly important! Choose wisely as once you begin building your site -like a house it’ll be for the long term, so you want to be satisfied with the hosting provider you choose. Check things like the host providers reputation, the pricing, their hosting speeds and if their packages fit your website needs. You wouldn’t want to build a house on land you haven’t inspected thoroughly. Similar to house taxes, there are yearly domain and hosting fees that you’ll need to pay to ensure that your site remains yours and in tact.
3. The house = your website
Okay now we get to the fun stuff: your site. This is the actual house/structure that you’ll house all of that great content you want to publish! You want to make sure that it’s housed the right way. Similar to a house you want to have blueprints or in this case a site plan. You’ll want users to be able to easily navigate your home to find where they want to go and what they’d like to see. When you have company at your house you want them to feel comfortable staying awhile so your website needs to be aesthetically pleasing. Choose fun layouts, colors and fonts that make your content stand out without obstructing the practical structure that users are accustomed to. Update your look from time to time as you feel comfortable to give users a fresh experience. Most importantly, make sure your content is always easily accessible. No one wants to come visit your house just to find out everything that they thought was in one place has now been moved to another.
4. security = the fences
When people come visit your home they want to feel safe. They like to know that doors are locked, and the neighborhood is good. If it’s a gated community that’s always a plus. Take this same theme with your websites. You want the best security to make your clients feel safe. Allow them to see that as you build their site you value protecting their content and brand. Firewalls, SSL’s, virus protection and the like can be pretty confusing, however relating these to the locked doors, fences and gates of your clients houses that protect their privacy is a great way to help them understand the priority of these.
There you have it! Four simple ways to explain the website building process to your future clients. I hope this helps!