Welcome back to launch your online business. By now you've decided what kind of business you're launching. You've created your customer personas, picked your brand name, secured a domain name, developed your brand promise, identity and story. As well as your UVP and tagline. Good work, that was a big job. Now, you're ready to plan your web site launch. In lesson 5, we'll learn about all the elements you need to launch including your domain name, platform, sitemap, design, copywriting, photography, hiring a team or doing it yourself, budget and schedule, banking in e commerce, inventory and shipping. It seems like a lot, but don't worry. I'll break it down for you. As we learned in Lesson One. Every website has a domain name. Your domain name is your web address. You will need to have one when you get started on building your website. We covered best practices for domain names in lesson one. So feel free to loop back to that lesson if you need help. Years ago, when businesses wanted to go online, they hired programmers to build virtual shopping carts and enable online payments. The approach was costly, and often it had a low quality user experience for customers. Today, we have online platforms where businesses can easily and affordably make their own websites. These platforms automate many website features that were daunting years ago, and they allow eCommerce payments. In our next lesson, we'll discuss how to choose a platform. Creating a site map is the best practice when building your site. A site map, designates what is available on your site and where to find it. Think of it as a roadmap that helps you and anyone you have working on your website understand all of the content that's available on the site. You will make a site map for your website in our next lesson. A big element of building your website is design. What it looks like visually will have a big impact on your customer. Customers make all sorts of decisions within the first few seconds of seeing your homepage. Assuming they did a Google search to find you, the first thing they ask themselves is, did this Google link take me to the right place? If your customer doesn't recognize your brand or something about your brand offering right away, they're on to the next link. We've all done it. Your homepage needs to be instantly recognizable as your brand or you may lose customers. We'll cover design in lesson seven. Along with a design style for your website, you'll need to develop a copywriting style. Copy refers to the words your customers read in reference to your business. It includes the language you write to direct customers to your home page in addition to the words on your home page itself. For example, it includes that little blurb that people see on Google when searching for a business like yours. Copy writing is the task of writing all of these words. Websites can include a lot of copy and keeping track of it takes time and effort. In lesson seven, I'll teach you my method for keeping track of copy and you'll also learn about writing styles. Photography makes up a large portion of what your customers will see and interact with when they come to your website. We'll learn about different types of photography, styles of photography and how to set up your photography studio and get photos retouched. By now, you may be feeling overwhelmed with all the work you have to do. It seems impossible but don't worry, it's doable. We'll go over photography in lesson eight. Remember, you don't have to do everything yourself. Part of being a successful business owner is knowing when to bring on help. If you're based in New York City, you have a strong local pool of designers, writers, photographers and videographers to hire from. And hiring online has never been easier regardless of where you are. Or if you already have employees you can see if any of them has one of the skill sets that you're looking for. It pays to ask people maybe there's a budding photographer on your staff. We'll go over hiring and I'll also provide guidance on scheduling these tasks in lesson nine. Also in lesson nine, should you decide to hire help I'll provide you with guidelines on what kinds of expertise you'll need and how much you should expect to pay. If you're considering doing it yourself. You can also use those guidelines to see how much money you would save. In lesson 10, we'll go over some key elements that happened in the background on your website. Things your customers don't exactly see but that impact the success of your site. For instance, to collect payments for sales on your site, you have to set up a bank account for your business and set up your e-commerce on your site. I'll walk you through how to set up a business bank account, your e commerce and your shopping cart. We'll also review considerations for your customers checkout experience. You have to keep track of your inventory to make sure you have products to ship out to customers. I'll show you some inventory tricks. And finally shipping. How to Get your product to your customers. We'll look at shipping from your home or store versus using a fulfillment center. It seems like a lot but you've got this. A great place to start is to research your competitors website. How they set up their website can help you make decisions about what to do with yours. Take 15 minutes to look at your competitors websites. Use the competitive worksheet provided to rate different categories and take notes on things that you liked about their websites and the things that you don't. Why do you like one brand over another? What is it about them? This is research and it's meant to get you more familiar with your competitors. So that you can make your brand the best it can be. If they have a sign up for their newsletter or they're offering special deals or anything like that, just sign up. It'll be helpful to see their email campaigns. And it's also helpful to see how often they send out emails to their mailing list. This activity is going to help you get ready for our next lesson. In lesson six, you're going to choose your platform and create your sitemap. So pay close attention to the way each of your competitors organize their website. It will help you when you're making decisions about your own sitemap.