Welcome back! One of the main ways you’ll reach customers, and the main way they’ll find out more about you, is a company website. We’ll help you design a site in a later lesson, but first, we need to get a domain name for our website and our corporate email.
While there are numerous ways of reserving a web domain and setting up a website, Google offers an integrated service that is easy to navigate and scales well.
Step 1: Head to the GSuite Landing Page and hit ‘Get Started’. Then complete each question.
Step 2: When asked whether or not you have a domain, select ‘No, I need one’ and check to see whether your intended domain name is available. When choosing a domain name, ensure to keep the following in mind:
Make Your Domain Name Short and Easy to Type. Though it might seem self-explanatory, a domain name that is difficult to spell or which is too long is going to lead to trouble
Be Memorable and Unique. Run your proposed domain name past colleagues and friends to ensure it makes sense, and do some research beforehand to ensure you’re not infringing on existing copyrights or associated with anything unpalatable.
Include Keywords in the domain name. Using words related to what you do will improve your ranking in search engine results.
Avoid Numbers and Hyphens. These are often misunderstood. For example ‘5’ might be interpreted as ‘five’ and the dashes in ‘us-cyber-contracting.com’ might be forgotten (clearly we didn’t heed our own advice here…).
Use an Appropriate Extension. “.com” (company) is usually a safe bet, “.co” (community) is gaining popularity but tends to be more expensive, and “.org” (organization) is usually only used by non-commercial and non-profit organizations.
Step 3: Once you’ve picked a domain name, continue until you get to ‘How You’ll Sign In’. When you pick a username, you’ll want to pick something that scales easily, ‘email@example.com’ or some variant thereof.
Step 4: Create your account, and add billing information for your domain name and GSuite. Your domain should cost between $10-$30 a year, and GSuite is $50 annually or $5/month per user. More information on billing options can be found here .
That’s it, you now have a domain name, corporate email, and even some shared storage space!
Ok, time to make your first website and this sounds daunting but these days it is actually incredibly easy. These days you can get a pretty solid website for a couple hundred dollars, but I think that you are going to get WAY more bang for your buck, and actually save time, building it yourself because:
The process is insanely easy: We will be usingSquarespace an intuitive drag and drop website builder that gives you a variety of templates to choose from. They look great, are incredibly easy to customize, and have great customer service
The time it take to get it “just right.” In my experience a professional web developer can make a website faster than you. But:
A) They always use something like WordPress or god forbid write directly in JS or HTML, and that means that every single time you want to make a minor change, like updating the description of a service line you have to send them an email
B) Inevitably your “crystal clear” instructions won’t get followed quite right, and then you are going back and forth spending tons of time explaining what you really meant
If you still want to outsource: While I think you can make your own first website if you’d rather outsource it our partners at Eastern Foundry make a lot of websites for government contractors at a great price
Choose a template: I suggest spending some time looking at templates. They are super easy to modify once you get the hang of it, but the closer the template is to your final design the easier it is. HERE
Recommended templates: All the templates are great, but for a business I’d recommend one of THESE
Then go into each box and fill in your information, seriously, just that easy
Your Home page’s content: In the body of your homepage include:
-The service you provide (very brief on each)
-Your customers (very brief)
-Your contact info
Have links at the top of your webpage for:
1) Your services: Here is where you can give more detail on your services including past performance (don’t be afraid to get into a little detail here)
2) Your customers: Not just the agency but also the offices and some detail on the work you’ve done there
3) About you:
-Photos and mini-bios on each person (downloadable resumes are a nice touch)
-Any set-asides you have/qualify for
-Any contract vehicles you are on
-Other admin gold stars like DCAA or an FCL
Examples: Here are a couple gov con websites that I really like (these were predominantly made in more sophisticated web design platforms, but don’t worry about that, right now lets just focus on their content)
Barbaricum : Note how they’ve captured the work they’ve done for clients
Crossdeck : Great main page, just the right amount of information
Sandboxx : Higher end (not a first website) but great use of video
Qntfy : A little text heavy but clearly communicates what they do and great use of images to engage the reader