How Do I get Started in Creating a Web Site? California Web Hosting and Webmasters Tips
You have an idea for a great web site or just need to get your business an online presence. Before you do so, there are some things you should consider when creating your new web site:
There are millions of web sites on the internet. All shapes and sizes. Products and services can be located by logging on and searching for what you need. But, when you do that Internet search, your search results will include all sorts of web sites. Web sites include individuals with sites about themselves for a number any number of reasons, there are small business and services that need an online presence and then there are the large business with a web site presence that incorporate the newest technology and features that the Internet can provide. Your site will be in competition with all those millions of personal and business web sites.
So, below are some important considerations before any work is done to develop a new web site.
Determining the purpose of the site is the first step. Will the web site just provide information about your company, or will you be selling goods/services online? How will users interact with your web site? Will there be a customer or member-driven section? All of these considerations change the time and cost it will take to get your site operational.
Budget: One of the first questions we get is “How much will my web site cost?” Our response to this question is for the client to first determine a budget and then, when discussing this project with our coordinator or webmaster, they can help you get as much out of your site as possible within your budget. The number of pages, the design, the graphic work needed, programming, and content you need are all part of the components that have to be considered when making a budget.
How Many Pages: In addition to the custom pages addressing your product or service, this is a good time to start thinking about the standard pages found on websites. Do you need an About Us Page, Contact Us page, a Careers page, a listing of the current Staff, or a overview of the your company and a listing of each department?
Domain name: Do you have a domain name for your web site? A domain name is important for a number of reasons; your domain name can consist of your business name, or a service you provide. If you have not purchased a domain, our company recommends purchasing at GoDaddy at affordable prices.
Website Hosting: The hosting of your web site is a very important component. A host for your web site is akin to your landlord, and like any tenant, you need to determine if your landlord offers the residence you desire. You web host should provide customer service in a timely manner. It should supply all the necessary packages to allow your web site to expand, and to support any programming needed to run your site. Your host may also need the ability to provide you with email functions and reports on your web site’s traffic and usage.
Design: the design of your web site is another component. It must reflect your branding and identity. This is often referred to as the “Look and Feel”. In addition, to the “Look and Feel”, a navigation structure must be planned to provide a user friendly experience for your visitors. Users should be able to immediately locate the information about your business or service, to get answers to any questions, to locate your contact information, and to purchase your products and services easily.
Help your webmaster help you. Web masters work with hundreds of businesses and services but can’t possibly be experts in every business and service available. Webmaster know a lot about web sites, but they generally know nothing at all about your business. You, as a client, must be prepared to help your Webmaster help you in developing your web site. You need to be prepared to provide your webmaster with text content and information how your business works. Not only will this make it easier to develop a good web site, it will cost you less in the long run–especially if budget is a consideration. The more content you can supply, the less time it will take to create your new site.
Prepare a spec sheet or outline of your web site. At WebmasterDeveloper, our programmers, web designer and graphic artists work from a client-approved document of specifications, or “spec sheet”. This spec sheet outlines all the components of a new web site, and all of the tasks that must be completed to create the completed site. A spec sheet MUST be created and approved by the client to insure that the site is developed with all of the components the client desires. The project coordinator will help you in preparation of a spec sheet.
Room for growth: Web sites are businesses and may grow depending on your goals, so you need to be sure that you have room to expand in your online business. This is an issue that you should discuss with your project coordinator or webmaster. They will help you to make sure that when your business is ready for expansion or additional services, you have a plan in place to implement with minimum disruption and cost to your current online presence.
Who is your Webmaster? An ideal webmaster can be compared to a general or store manager; someone who you can trust to implement any business decisions, marketing campaigns, or just to be sure that your online business runs smoothly. It is important to select a webmaster that you can rely on. Having a webmaster is SEPERATE from your hosting. A webmaster is a person who will guide you, consult with you, and implement any web site updates. A webmaster may also assist you with online marketing, graphic design, or programming issues. Be sure to select a webmaster who is available to you during business hours, and is timely in responding to any needs you may have.
Support, service and communication: Your web site is your business, you must be able to control it. You have to be sure that your webmaster and web host performs updates and maintenance in a timely manner. You also need to be sure that you OWN your web site. We occasionally see sites hosted by a webmaster on his own server, or contained in the webmaster’s GoDaddy or hosting account. Sometimes, we even see that the domain is owned by the webmaster, not the client. NEVER allow your webmaster to own your domain or hosting account. You should be able to directly access your account administration, hosting control panel, etc. This will allow you to change webmasters if necessary. You webmaster should NEVER control your access to your web site. You should control the webmaster’s access, so you can change or suspend it when you need to.
At webmasterDeveloper.com we offer 24/7 technical support via email for your web site hosting, and the staff answers the phone during business hours to discuss, implement or respond to any issues you have in a in a timely manner.
Marketing: Just creating a web site is not all that it will take to help it become successful and attract customers, especially if you have lots of competition. There are millions of web sites in competition with yours, so merely creating a web site doesn’t mean that you will be noticed among the millions of competing sites. There are a number of marketing techniques available to help your web site gain visibility on the internet, and to attract users to your online business. Online marketing can include advertising, SEO optimization techniques, social networking, blogs, graphic art, promotions and more. You webmaster should be well-versed in these techniques in order to help you determine and implement marketing strategies that help you grow.
The staff at WebmasterDeveloper.Com LLC takes any size web site development or maintenance project seriously. Before we begin any work on development, we need to make sure that a client understands what it will take to create a web site as well.
To begin the process of building your web site, call our project coordinator today to get started.