How to build an online presence

In the ever-expanding digital world, having an online presence is more important than ever. Think about it — when you hear of a business or brand for the first time, your first instinct is probably to Google, checking out relevant web pages and social media handles. If you don’t find any promising results, your interest is likely to fade.

There are a few reasons for this. Beyond brand awareness and visibility, having a strong online presence helps build trust with prospective customers or followers. Various search results across different kinds of websites and social networks show that people are talking about you a lot, helping to bolster your reputation.

Building a robust online presence takes work, but it isn’t complicated. Key steps and strategies include: 

  • Creating a website
  • Optimizing for search engines
  • Engaging on social media
  • Generating valuable content

It also helps to know what you want to achieve by having a better online presence. Do you want to sell physical or digital products or build an online following? Defining your goals and target audience will help you determine your platform choices and focus your content. 

Let’s take a closer look at how to build an online presence.

Choose the right domain name

When people think about launching an online presence, their first thought is probably to make a website. But the first thing you should do is register a domain. Your domain name is central to your online identity, so picking the right one is crucial. Not only should it represent your brand, but it should also be memorable to users, and be as short as possible to prevent mistyping. 

For the name itself, it should ideally be your business name or something relevant to your niche. There are thousands of TLDs to choose from, so it can be tough to decide on the best choice. To be as professional as possible, .com and .net are always safe options. Geographic TLDs like .us and .uk are ideal if you’re trying to reach a local audience. You can even get hyper-specific with TLDs like .art, .shop, and .salon.

Once you’ve locked down the perfect domain name, It’s time to pick a hosting plan. 

Pick the perfect hosting plan

Choosing where your future website will live is about more than picking the cheapest plan. You should consider the type of website you want to create and the amount of traffic you’re likely to expect. Two popular hosting types are shared hosting and virtual private server (VPS) hosting. 

With shared hosting, multiple websites share server resources. Key settings are handled by the provider, which makes management simple. Whereas VPS hosting uses virtualization technology to utilize a single hardware server as multiple virtual servers. This allows users to have their own private server to host website and application resources. They also have more flexibility and control over resource management.

For most, shared hosting is an ideal option. Factors you should look for when deciding on a plan include:

  • The resources you require
  • Speed and reliability
  • Strong security
  • Easy management

The best shared hosting plan is built into a connected platform with all the tools you need to develop an online presence. This flexibility will let you scale up as your online presence grows. If that sounds good, check out Spaceship’s Shared Hosting plans.

Don’t neglect business email

Growing an online presence requires that people take you seriously. Corresponding with an email that matches your brand or website name plays a key role in achieving that. While free services like Google and Outlook may be fine for personal affairs, using a Gmail address won’t inspire confidence when reaching out to potential clients or collaborators. 

There’s also the issue of security. Many free email providers have courted controversy with how they handle user data. They also tend to have poor spam filtering capabilities. Many paid professional email services will never mine your emails for data to share with advertisers. Instead, they will encrypt your emails while at rest and in transit. In this day and age, it’s also important to have smart spam control that actively monitors for new threats.

But it’s not just your business email that needs to be secure, so choosing a secure email, such as Spacemail, that’s also part of a wider platform that prioritizes security when you build your site, is ideal. 

Secure your site

Cybercrime is an ever-growing problem, so website security is not something you can treat as an afterthought. You can make protecting your site even easier by creating it on a platform built with security at the core. This means choosing a platform that includes:

  • Free SSL – SSL certificates protect data sent to and from your site
  • Strong account protection – prevents threat actors from accessing your account with passkeys, login monitoring, and more
  • Virus and malware monitoring – ensures malicious actors can’t access your site or take it offline

Create your website

Once you’ve chosen the perfect domain, hosting plan, and platform, it’s finally time to start building your website. For many, especially beginners, it may be tempting to go for a website builder. But we’d caution against that. They may seem convenient and easy to use, but you’ll probably regret it in the long term as your online presence grows.

This is because website builders are very limited in scope and pretty expensive if you ever want to scale up. Once you reach the limits of site customization and growth, you’ll probably have a hard time migrating it to another host (if you can at all, since the companies may own the code.)

Save yourself the hassle by choosing a platform with effortless content management system (CMS) integration. A CMS may initially seem overly complicated compared to popular website builders, but there are ways to simplify the website creation process (plus, they’re a far better choice in the long run.)

Let’s take WordPress, the leading CMS, as an example. It features a vast range of free and paid templates and themes, so making your website can be as easy as dragging and dropping the features you want. And if you want to change anything later or dabble with coding, you’re free to do it without hassle.

Be mindful of branding

Your online identity is more than just matching your email address to your domain name. You need to maintain branding across platforms to cultivate an online presence that is immediately recognizable. 

This includes everything from design considerations like a unified logo and consistent color schemes to copywriting elements like tone of voice. If you use different colored logos or act more jokey on a social media site while sticking to a professional tone of voice on your website’s blog, people will find it difficult to remember you. 

Establishing these branding elements depends on many factors, like your specific niche and audience expectations. You can start by checking out the branding of similar companies. What types of colors do they use? Is their tone of voice more serious or playful? You can then start figuring out the color palettes you like and creating a style guide. 

Grow your reach

Whether you want to build an online presence for business or yourself, you must take steps to grow your reach. Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing are two tried-and-tested ways of doing this.

SEO involves taking specific actions on and off your website so that people can find it in search engines when they search for relevant keywords. Many people think SEO is simply adding specific keywords to content, but it involves far more than that, including:

  • Creating valuable content relevant to your audience
  • Having a logical site structure
  • Submitting a sitemap to search engines
  • Having credible sites link back to your content

Check out this starter guide from Google for more information.

Another critical way to grow your reach is establishing an effective social media strategy. You’ll need to choose specific social media platforms where your target audience hangs out. For example, demographic data shows that younger users spend more time on Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram, while sites like Facebook and LinkedIn skew older. 

Once you choose the relevant social media platforms to focus on, you must produce engaging content and actively build a community through consistent posting and interaction with followers. Research the type of content that is popular on your chosen social media sites, whether that be images, video, or text, and start creating your own, ensuring it all aligns with your branding.

Take complete control of your online presence

This simple guide to create an online presence for business or individuals should be a great starting point for increasing your visibility in no time. Throughout, we’ve highlighted the importance of launching on a digital platform with all the tools and services you need to get online and grow digital visibility.

With great shared hosting plans, security as standard, professional email, and easy CMS integration, Spaceship offers exactly that. Best of all, our revolutionary Unbox™ technology connects everything to your domain, letting you add, remove, and configure products at any time, so you’re always in complete control of your digital presence. 

Frequently asked questions

An online presence refers to how easy it is to find an individual or business online across various search engines and platforms. It matters because if you want to build a following or launch a digital business with success, brand awareness and trust are key. To establish this, you need to create an online presence.

A website is a core element of building an online presence. While social media platforms might seem like enough, you’re squandering your online presence potential if you don’t create a website where you have ownership over your own content. 

A website can serve as the home of your online brand, which all your other online accounts lead back to. It’s the one place where you have complete control over how you present yourself and your business. With a good SEO strategy, you can ensure your site is the first thing people see when they search for your brand.

Building an online presence refers to the different strategies you can implement to increase your visibility online. This includes:

  • Registering a domain
  • Making a website
  • Performing SEO
  • Utilizing social media
  • Creating a digital marketing presence


The three core elements of creating an online presence are:

  • Having a well-designed website that communicates the aims and values your brand
  • A good SEO strategy that boosts your ranking in organic search results
  • Growing your reach on social media by creating compelling content and interacting with followers



Share your thoughts

More than 10 characters required.
Your identity for public display.
Providing your email address is optional. It will not be shared with third parties.