What IS a website, and why do I need one?
A website is basically like a page of advertising in a huge, international, electronic magazine. Imagine the internet as a big cloud, with millions of rooms full of shelves full of folders with information, like a massive library in the sky. Your website is one folder in one of these shelves. All of these folders contain information that is accessible to anyone in the world. Your website holds the information that you choose to share with the world. That information is called “content”. You can promote anything you like on your website. Mostly it's businesses that have websites, but private people can also have websites, just for the fun of it, or just because they want to share something that they think is important for other people to know. If you are passionate about plants, for example, you can create a website about your favourite plants and then put it online, so that other people can access that information about plants. Usually, a website is used as an advertising tool.
The website address consists of three parts. It usually starts with www. which stands for World Wide Web (the Internet). If you start typing your website address with www, it means that you are looking for an address in the internet (there are other “webs” or “networks”, that are not world wide like the internet, but private, like a government network. They are usually called “intranet”.). After the www. follows the website name. For example, Wild Lubanzi Backpackers has chosen lubanzi as the website name. It is better to have a short name, and uncomplicated; something that is easy to remember. And thirdly, the web country code. For South Africa, that code is .co.za. So the whole website address for Wild Lubanzi Backpackers is www.lubanzi.co.za. The most common country codes you will find are .com (USA, and general website code), .co.uk (England), .co.za (South Africa), .gov.za (South African Government Sites), .org.za (South African Organisations sites). If you search the web (common name for the internet) for information and it gives you a list of pages, you can recognize by the ending of each website address in which country that website is registered, or what country the information on that website is from.
The email address is similar to the website address, but you can easily tell which one is which. A website address starts with www. or with http:// . An email starts with a name or any word/number combination, and after that follows the @ sign, called the “at” sign. If you have a gmail address, imagine it like this: Gmail is a company. That company has a website. Their website address is www.gmail.com. When you want to log into your email account, you first have to go to the gmail website. This means that your email address is registered with the gmail company. So lets say you put in your name as your email address, and your name is “john”. Then your email address would be email@example.com, pronounced “john at gmail dot com”. This simply means that john is registered at gmail. There are other companies that offer free email accounts, like hotmail or yahoo. If you register with one of those, your email address would be firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. When you have your own website registered, you usually get 5 free email addresses with that website name. For example, Wild Lubanzi Backpackers has the website www.lubanzi.co.za. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. They could open 4 more email addresses on that website, maybe email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can always recognize an email address because of the @ sign.
This is how it looks: www.lubanzi.co.za = website, email@example.com = email address
A link is a direct connection from one website to another. On any website, links are depicted as underlined words, usually in a different font color. When you hover your mouse cursor over a link, a hand appears, which means that you can click on that link. When you click on it, a different website or document will open. Links only work when you are online (connected to the internet).
In these modern times, everyone is “online” (connected to the internet) all the time. Information is so easily accessible with just the click of a few buttons. For example, somebody has a business selling solar panels. If you are a customer and want to buy solar panels, you go online and google “solar panels”. That will give you a list of websites that have the words “solar panels” somewhere on the website. So the customer clicks on one of the links, which takes him to the website of our example business. On the website, the different sizes and brands of solar panels are listed, and the prices, and maybe some customer reviews and additional information, and lastly, the contact information (physical address, phone number, email address). If you as the customer like what you see, you can contact that business to buy solar panels from them.
It is very important to have a good “online presence”, a clear website with your company’s information and products displayed. The more professional your website looks, the easier you can attract customers.
A website can have a number of different layouts. Today (as in 2020), most websites are built with a modern bootstrap design that is fully responsive. “Responsive” means that you can open the website on a laptop in a browser, or on your phone, and the format will automatically adjust to the size of the screen on which you are viewing the website.
A single-page website is usually called “landing page”. These are scroll-down websites, that have at the top the Header, and then consist of different “sections”, each one with its own heading. For example, the sections can be “about us” – an introduction to what the website is about, “team” – photos and short descriptions of the people working for that company, “services” or “products” – the services or products that this company offers, “testimonials” – reviews from previous customers, “pricing” – detailed pricing structure for services or products, and “contact” – the actual contact information. You can view a sample single-page website here: Single Page Website
A multi-page website has menu buttons at the top or on the side, which allow you to navigate through the website and look through different pages. Instead of listing all the sections underneath each other, and forcing the user to scroll down, a multi-page website lists the different sections on different pages. One website can have hundreds of pages, but usually it has about 5. The number of pages depends on the size of your business, and how much information you want to display. You can view a sample multi-page website here: Multi Page Website
Get an overview of what is involved in the registering and building of a website.
Before we build your website, we need to register a domain. The domain is your website address. Choose a name that is short and can easily be remembered. Let us know what your chosen name is (preferably your company name, or something linked to it) and we will check for you if the domain is still available. If it is, we will register it for you.
There are different domain endings, such as .co.za or .com. Some domain endings are more expensive than others. The cheapest ones are .co.za and .org.za, the South African domains. They cost R79 per year (you will be sent a bill every year by Social Genius for your domain renewal).
To protect your brand name, we recommend to register all the most common domains. For example, if your company is called Cookie, you would want to register www.cookie.co.za, but then somebody could register www.cookie.com and compete with your brand and confuse your customers. Therefore you can register cookie.co.za, cookie.com, cookie.org, and cookie.org.za, to avoid having someone else regsitering the same name with a different domain ending. This is relevant mostly to big companies. If you are a hiking guide and want your own website, one domain registration will be sufficient. The .com, .net and .org domains are also more expensive than the South African ones (R169 a year or R219 a year).
Every website needs a "host". Social Genius uses Xneelo as the host company. Our domains are all registered through Xneelo, and once we built your website, we upload it to the Xneelo server. Hosting is usually billed at a set amount per month, depending on how much data you have on your website, how much "space" your website takes up on the server. At Social Genius, we have a general hosting package with Xneelo, which allows us to offer you the hosting for free. Hosting is usually the biggest cost of your website, but if you buy a website through Social Genius, that cost is carried by us. Like this, we are able to offer cheap websites to start-up companies or single people like hiking guides.
At Social Genius we use generic html website templates that were created by different designers and companies (reference link at the bottom of the website). Then we adapt these templates to our customer's needs. Several customers can choose the same template and still the end product will look quite different, since we can change the background colour, font colour, images, logos, and we can swap/duplicate/delete different sections. The more changes to the template we make, the more unique the end product will look, but also the more expensive your website will be (since it’s more work time for us). This is why we are able to offer very cheap websites: if you choose a generic single page template and give us the content for each section as it is listed, we can have your website done within two days. The timeframe in which we deliver your website, and the quality of it, depends very much on the quality of content and pictures that you send us. If you don’t have good quality pictures, don’t worry – we can also source those online for you. But the content will have to come from you.
The most important part of the website is the content, and this is where YOU come in. Think carefully how you want to present your business to the world. Put yourself into the shoes of the customer. What attracts your customer? What is your customer looking for? That is what you need to display. Imagine being a customer who is looking for your product or your service. What would make you buy that product/service? Some points to consider:
1) Explain clearly the products/services you offer. It is very annoying to be on a website that gives only tidbits of information but no real explanation of what it’s actually about. As the customer, what exactly do I get?
2) Add good quality photos. Photos draw the eye of the customer. Good quality photos make your website look more professional.
3) Decide if you want to add prices. Some companies don’t add the prices, only a button for “request a quote”. If you can, add prices for your services. Some customers might keep on looking elsewhere if you don’t display a price, and find another website that offers the same service, but declares their prices openly.
4) Add a personal touch. Customers like to know that they are dealing with an actual person on the other end. Add photos of your team, or your leadership. Add contact details for each person. Add a section about your ethics or values. (See example here.)
You can simply send us a list of services that you offer, each with a short explanation, and we will structure it on the website in a way that makes sense and is easy to navigate. For example, if you offer business consultations, write a short paragraph about what the customer can expect, like: “You will meet one of our consultants in person. The consultant will explain to you the nature of your business structure, and how to optimise your tax. He will also help you to register your business with CIPC and obtain all necessary legal documentation. The consultant will answer your questions professionally and support you throughout the process of your business registration.” Like this, the customer has a clear idea of what to expect from a “business consultation”.
Imagine the customer being a layman and having absolutely no idea what you do or what your business is about, so you need to explain it to him/her in very simple, basic terms, and in way that is attractive and makes the customer want to hire your services.
These are the steps for you to get your own website.
First, choose what your budget is, and decide if you want to register multiple domains to protect your brand, or only a single domain. If none of the options we offer is affordable for you, please contact us via email or WhatsApp and we can see if we can make a plan for you.
Domain .co.za - R79/year
Domain .org.za - R79/year
Domain .com - R169/year
Domain .org - R219/year
Choose a template for your website. Each template has a different price, depending on how much content that specific website contains. If you don’t like any of the templates below, we can also custom-source a template for you and send you different options. A fully custom-made website will be more expensive.
Generic Templates: R1000 - R2500
Customized Templates: R2500 - R5000
To provide us with content, click on the "I want this Website" button below your chosen template. This will take you to a form where you can fill in the content step by step. The sections can easily be interchanged, duplicated, or deleted. The colours of the background and the fonts can be changed, and the images can be changed. For each section, if there is an image displayed, you will have to provide us with an image of good quality (at least 1500 x 1000 pixels). You will also need to send us a good working file of your logo. If you don’t have a logo, we can design one for you.
Choose one of the website templates in this list and we will make you a website in no time at all, to an affordable price.
"Imperial" is a clean single page website that gives the customer a good overview of what your business is all about. The fastest way to get your website is to provide us with the content, section by section, as seen on the template website. Simply write your content paragraph by paragraph, and make sure you have some text for every heading, sub-heading, and text field. Where there are photos, send us your photos so we can add them to the website. If you provide all the content, we can have your website ready within two days!
"Education" is a single page, a bit more advanced, website. This layout would work well for an educational institution, but can also serve for any other business type. If you like this layout but prefer a multi-page website, we can turn this template into a multi-page website for you, simply by duplicating the different sections and adding them as extra pages. For a multi-page website the price would be R2500 or more, depending on the amount of pages you want to add.
"Evolo" works well for showcasing a product or a service, like an app that people can download, or a service they can hire. This modern design will definitely make you look professional! The images can be replaced by real photos, as long as the photos have clean white backgrounds, so the image can blend into the site. Note the cool pop-up windows when you click on "read more" under "services".
"Greatness" is a multi-purpose website template than can be adapted to almost any kind of business. This template would work well for organistions or associations. The generic template has 4 pages, but any amount of extra pages can be added to this.
"Groovin" is a buisiness website template, that could also be used for events. It has a drop-down "Frequently Asked Questions" section and a clean, straight layout. This is a no-nonsense website, to provide information and hard facts for the customer.
These are all the websites and domains owned, designed and/or hosted by Social Genius
protocols.co.za - hosting the survey "International Protocol Implementation Feedback"
itravelafrica.org - linking to the iTravelAfrica Facebook page
lubanzi.co.za - Wild Lubanzi Backpackers
theguide.org - linking to a travel website from 15 years ago
mtimabu.co.za - company offering transport and business solutions
wildcoast.org.za - hiking the Wild Coast between Mdumbi - Coffee Bay - Hole in the Wall - Lubanzi - Bulungula
wildsidehiking.co.za - hiking company offering the hike from Port St. Johns to Coffee Bay
wildsouthafrica.co.za - Adventure Package Trips in South Africa (from 10 years ago)
youthtourism.co.za - sample website for a Youth Tourism Training focused on Social Media
youthtourism.org - official website of YTSA
crewassociation.co.za - links to the sign-up form for CREW
dreamnow.co.za - links to the facebook page
followtheparty.co.za - links to the facebook page
freelance.org.za - links to a sign-up form for YTSA affiliate members
indigenous.org.za - nursery and spekboom project at the Wild Coast
listenfromhome.co.za - links to the facebook page
safespaces.africa - links to a facebook page
socialgenius.co.za - you're on this website right now ;)
speakerscorner.co.za - hosts a survey for the Arts
spekboom.info - links to the facebook page
tastesouthafrica.co.za - links to the facebook page
teachenglish.co.za - links to the facebook page
thesortinghat.co.za - links to a WhatsApp group
visa.org.za - links to a visa information page from 15 years ago
wildwine.co.za - landing page for Wild Wine Experience