So you're thinking about a website ??
- but not sure how to begin - follow
our strategies listed below for guiding your through the process.
Much You Intend to Invest on Your Website
A website is a business
investment. The primary reasons you may be thinking about this
investment is to gain the returns on:
- Exposure of your sales / services
to the huge numbers of potential customers on the Internet
- Sales from on-line stores
Knowing what costs you are likely to incur prior to
making this decision and knowing how much you intend to invest to receive your 'return on
investment' should be key factors before you begin. Use our
guide to help you determine costs you may incur.
Check Domain Name Availability
The domain name refers to a reference to your website by
name. An example of a domain name would be www.yourdomain.com.
Domain names make it easy for potential customers to find and remember your website.
The Internic organization registers leases and monitors
the majority of .com and .net domain names. The Internic has
outsourced the management and registration of domain named to
'accredited registrars'. One good registrar is www.gkg.net.
Initial registration of a brand new domain name will
reserve your domain name (www.yourdomain.com) for a one (1) year period, this cost is
$9.99 and payable to the registrar. After the year you will
be required to renew your domain name (www.yourdomain.com).
You will also need technical
information that can be provided to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or you may
request them to register the domain name for you.
Select an Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) can host your website.
You place your developed HTML/DHTML (website) pages on their computer to allow Internet
access to your website.
Factors to consider for
web hosting include:
- Customer Service: If there is a problem -
will I be able to talk to a human and get the problem resolved?
- Reliability: Reliability factors can
include, types of computers they use for their web servers, firewall protection, redundant
routing and sufficient bandwidth to allow traffic to your website. For a detailed
comparisons of bandwidth capabilities see our Bandwidth Table.
- Costs: Does your website need a high
percentage of uptime or can you sacrifice the risk of some uptime for costs? Fees vary
anywhere from FREE (you get what you pay for be careful) to $100.00 per
One thing you dont want if you are a business, is
for visitors to come to your site and not be able to view it how many times do you return to a website that wont display??
Beware of FREE You
get what you pay for. Reliability factors and services supported will
vary. Free hosting would not be a recommendation for a business website. My
home page is on a free service, but its a personal home page. Search engines will
often times not register a site with a domain name of
Design Your Website
Use our guide 'Design' to
learn tips & strategies
for the design of your website. The more responsibility you take in
planning your website the less time you will spend in the development of the
website. You will have already developed a business strategy all that needs to be
done is to put the pieces together.
Develop Your Website
Website development refers to the creation of your
website in an HTML/DHTML format. If you chose not to take on the challenge of creating
your website, or really don't want your brother-in-law or cousin to create it for you, you
can have it professionally developed. Prices and services vary see our price comparisons in 'Budgeting'
for examples of
rates. Please request references prior to
contracting with any website development firm. There are several horror stories about
unethical, unscrupulous web development companies and individuals. A recent horror story I
heard was a site developed for $600,000 and the site was broken. The site was for a city
with high visibility and caused much embarrassment for all involved.
This is one area that paying
a premium price does not guarantee quality of service or end product,
please shop around, check references, read your contract (some web developers are actually
copyrighting a website as theirs if you decide to find a new developer, you may not
be able to take your current website with you !)
Development time should not
run over three (3) months, unless there are extenuating factors. If
your site is not up and running within this time period, you may want to consider another
developer - because they 1) either have too many clients to give you the time you deserve
for your investment or 2) something is not going as planned. The more responsibility
you take for planning out the content of your site, the easier it will be to monitor and
ensure you are receiving value for your development costs. See our guide 'Design' for Tips & Strategies for Designing
and Developing your website.
Additional considerations would be website maintenance. How much will modifications and
changes to your site for future enhancements cost you? Finding a good website development
company and establishing a good working relationship will provide you with the ability to
present an effective web presence for your company for now and in the future.
Uploading Files / Testing / Go Live
Once your website has been developed it will be 'uploaded'
the ISP host computer. Testing should be done to ensure the site functions as
expected. After all the 'glitches' are worked out you are ready to Go Live !!!