Having a website for your business in 2022 has undeniably become one of the most important aspects of a business. No matter the size of the business, a website will always help you take a step forward, not backwards. In this article, let’s look at some of the most important requirements for making a website in South Africa
What do I require for making a website?
In this article, we will use our own website—Digital Lime Green—as an example as we scoot through the ten main requirements for a website in South Africa. This will help you understand this article better from a practical perspective. Let us begin.
1. Domain Name
A domain name is basically your website address that ends with a .com, .za, or .co.za domain extension. In South Africa, the .co.za domain is very popular and commonly used on private/personal websites in South Africa. The format looks like this:
- HTTPS means Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
- The website’s name—which is the domain name
- The domain extension ‘.co.za’ or ‘.com’.
South Africa uses a Second Level Domain (SLD) structure, so .za does not exist standalone. If you are a small business that wants to go online, the ‘.co.za’ domain name is definitely your go-to option. Not only does it help make your website discoverable easily within South Africa, but it automatically establishes your online identity as a South African business too. This is also why we use the .co.za domain name on our website.
Now, your website’s name would generally be your brand name or your own name if it is a personal website. And .co.za is a domain used by individual entities or companies in South Africa. The best domain hosting agency in South Africa is Xneelo, followed by Afrihost. Digital Lime Green can help you with getting your own domain at affordable prices from a domain provider of your choice.
2. Web Hosting
Continuing with the domain name topic, you will require an actual physical space to host your website, right? A decade ago, hosting your website on a high-speed server would have cost you thousands of rands. But in 2022, hosting a website has become easier and cheaper in South Africa. We use Xneelo as our hosting solution in South Africa and we would highly recommend it to our clients as well.
Depending on your requirements, you can either go for shared hosting or your own private server hosting. Shared hosting is where a website is hosted on a server with a bunch of other websites. This is usually the cheapest option but also not optimal if you expect your website to carry out transactions, load heavy content, or handle heavy traffic.
The dedicated hosting option is the most ideal for any business as you get to utilise all the server resources all by yourself. However, this plan is also very expensive to maintain. Usually big companies or high-level enterprises opt-in for this plan. This is one of the most crucial requirements for making and running an efficient website in South Africa, so choose wisely.
3. Business email address
A Business Email Address definitely adds a sense of professionalism to a business. From appearing professional to engraving your brand name amongst your target audiences, it can go a long way in promoting your business online and offline.
Of course, you can go for a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo, but having a personalised business email is definitely better. For such, you can sign up for G-Suite (which is now called ‘Google Workspace’) to have unlimited customised emails and other benefits for your business. However, in South Africa, you can go for a relatively cheaper option called the KonsoleH webmail service. It’s a service by Xneelo that provides customised emails for businesses.
4. Logo Design
Every brand has a logo that represents the unique identity of a business in an industry. They are important in growing a brand and making it memorable for your target audience.
At Digital Lime Green, we also help with designing a logo for your business. We go deeply into the technicality of a logo to make it appear pleasant to the eye and keep it consistent across all platforms. In fact, our own logo has a great deal of thoughts put behind it. We also have a brand guide that speaks about how we designed the logo and what are the parameters. If you get a logo design from us, you will also get a brand logo guide in which you will find information about your logo’s dimensions, colour codes, fonts, and so on.
Of course, logos do cost separately and depending on your requirements, they can be expensive. However, this will be a once-off payment. Not all businesses consider getting a logo. However, if you are persistent in growing a business, then do consider logo design as one of the crucial requirements for making a website in South Africa.
This may be a simple little thing, but it is equally important. Favicon or Favourite Icon is the little icon that appears on browser tabs or in the bookmarks whenever someone visits or bookmarks your website. Look at your browser tab while reading this article. You will see our logo right there before the text.
Logos and symbols help identification easier than just mere text. With a favicon, the customers and visitors will be able to identify your website or your brand more easily. Digital Lime Green will provide you with a Favicon at no cost.
6. Images & Videos
Images and videos provide engagement and entertainment to your visitors. While not every website goes for video content, image contents are pretty common and are engaging enough to improve the retention rate on your website.
Not only they are entertaining but also they are very informative. Rather, that’s what makes them engaging in the first place. Depending on your business, make sure your multimedia content is professional and informative enough.
7. Text Content
Text Content does not only allow visitors to visually interact and understand the information regarding your business but also does help with getting your SEO right.
Getting this information right is extremely crucial as this is the primary method for your visitors to communicate with your business. Also, you should consider the tone of your content depending on your target audiences. For example, if it is a website made for children, you would use the simplest form of the English language out there. If it is a scientific website, your language will be appropriate, and full of scientific terms… You get the gist.
Text content also includes blogs, like the one you are reading right now. We like to keep our tone conversational with blogs. If you are seeking a content producer for your website, feel free to connect with us today!
8. Web Designer (and Developer)
A web designer is someone who puts your website together to make it representable for your business. Their role is to make your website attractive, SEO friendly, and well-optimised to load content properly. Did you know that your visitors are more prone to leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? Well, a web designer would precisely help you prevent such problems from happening.
Digital Lime Green is a website design agency in South Africa that provides such services. We design all our websites mainly in WordPress but depending on our clients’ requirements, we can also go flexible.
Besides a designer, you may also need a website developer if you want to add some unique functionalities to your website. A developer will write custom codes for your website to make that happen. Hiring a developer is optional, especially if you are making a website for a small business. However, as the business grows, so will your website and this is the stage where you may need to hire a developer to make your website more attractive and sustainable.
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, a form of encryption between a user and the website to encrypt all the traffic. This way even if someone taps the connection between you and the website, the hacker will not be able to see your data or sensitive information.
Digital Lime Green can help your website obtain an SSL certificate at no extra cost. There are plenty of free SSL certificate providers online and we would highly recommend Let’s Encrypt.
When your website is secured, browsers will display a padlock beside your website address. If you click on it, you can view the SSL certificate-related information on your browser for that specific website. And, if your website is not secured, the browsers will often warn visitors to not visit the website as it is unsafe.
We have covered extensively about this topic here. Consider checking our article ‘Do you need an SSL Certificate for Your Website?‘
10. Website Maintenance & Security
After your website goes live, you can definitely take a breather but yes, keeping your website secured is a very important task. It is as important as creating your website. Digital Lime Green takes website maintenance very seriously. Periodic website maintenance allows your website to function properly, avoid unexpected downtimes and prevent potential hacking attempts. Not maintaining your website exposes it to security threats.
The maintenance includes removing residuals, updating all your plugins, taking care of the anti-malware system on the website, optimising content, and more. At Digital Lime Green, we can perform all sorts of maintenance for your website to keep it healthy and up-to-date so all you have to focus on is growing your business!
And so concludes the 10 requirements you have to fulfil for making a website in South Africa. Getting your website right and stable is very important for your business so that your business grows in a safe environment online.
Digital Lime Green can effectively help you in making your own website for any purpose. We mainly provide our services to small and medium businesses in South Africa but we always welcome an international challenge.
For more information, please feel free to connect with us.