Thinking of your project as a process will allow you to
relax, make better decisions, and create a valuable centerpiece
for your overall marketing strategy. Seeing your project
as an event, however, can lead to emotional snap decisions
that must be corrected later, or unnecessary delays while
you wait for the "perfect" time to launch your
site. Both of these can be very costly in terms of lost
marketing and public relations opportunities.
next choice you'll need to make is an important one: whether
to go it alone or to bring in a consultant. For most people,
bringing in a professional web consultant will pay for
itself many times over. But if you're the do-it-yourself
type, save yourself a lot of time and frustration by taking
some classes in HTML, Photoshop, and Internet Marketing.
The days of "my nephew Johnny can build me one"
are over; your web site is your marketing centerpiece,
and the competition is increasing every day. Even if you
eventually decide against actually building the site yourself,
you'll feel good about knowing what's going on and being
able to do your own updates.
you decide to work with a consultant, look for one who
will not only give you good advice, but will also provide
the technical abilities and/or resources to get you through
the process at the pace necessary to reach your goals.
The consultant or firm you're looking for is part coach,
part graphic artist, and part engineer - with a flair
for marketing. Becoming a serious builder on the World
Wide Web takes financial and personal commitment; just
anybody with a laptop won't do.
Basic Ingredients of the Web Publishing Process
access - provided by an Internet Service Provider,
or ISP. This is what allows you to view web sites on your
computer. Average cost is $15-20/month. Not absolutely
necessary in order to have a web site of your own, but
if you don't have it, everyone can see your site but you.
Highstream, AOL, and NetZero are among the largest ISPs.
address - 3 main types: 1) Internet Service Provider
accounts, such as "firstname.lastname@example.org".
2) Free web-based email, such as that offered by hotmail.com,
yahoo.com, mail.com, and others. An example would be "email@example.com".
3) Host email accounts, which are a part of your site
and show your company name in the address, such as "firstname.lastname@example.org".
name registration - you can reserve your domain name,
or site address, for anywhere from 1 to 10 years. Expect
to pay about $35/year, with discounts for multiple years.
This is first-come, first-served, though; you may have
to do some hunting to find a name that's available. Your
consultant can be valuable here - just make sure the domain
name is registered with you as the owner, not the consultant.
and Development - a business web site is not an art
project, unless you're running an art gallery. Look for
a designer that understands the marketing needs of your
business. You want a site that works correctly, is easy
to navigate, and sells your stuff. A pleasant viewing
experience is important, but it takes a lot more than
just a pretty site to make a successful e-venture. In
fact, a site that's too fancy can even work against you
by attracting more attention than your products do. Bottom
line: If people are talking about your site instead of
your products, it's time for a new design.
and Launch - putting your site on a special computer,
called a hosting server, allows other people to see it
on the Web. Good deals can be had for under $20/month
these days, but don't be fooled by hosts offering you
incredible amounts of space you'll never use. For example,
2 gigabytes of server space will hold over 80,000 pages.
Unless you're making lots of video movies available for
download from your site, that much space is just an extra
expense to you. Anybody can offer a deal on space they
know you won't be actually using; customer service and
site performance under heavy traffic load are much more
the right guidance and information, bringing your business
to the Internet can be a very enjoyable experience. The
most important thing is to get started today.
SkyVault Web Design provides marketing consulting,
web development, and Internet business services to small
and medium sized businesses. They have been developing
income-producing online properties since 1998. Contact
the development team at: www.skyvaultwebdesign.com.
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