What Do I Need To Set Up A Web Site?
Your own domain name (www.mycompany.com) We can assist you in attaining a Domain Name if you do not have one.
A professional Web designer (That of course, we would hope to be us.)
Why Do I Need A Web Site?
What is a Domain Name?
A "domain name" is a unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have two or more parts, separated by a dot. The part on the left is your unique name (the complete name of your business is always best), and the part on the right identifies you as commercial (.com), an organization (.org), etc. You can own as many domain names as you like, and you can have all of them point to your main domain name where you web site is located. This gives you more exposure on the Internet. No one else will have your exact domain name because all domain names are recorded in a central database, and each record in the database must be unique. However, if yourcompany.com is taken, you will have to move to another extension in order to get the exact domain name you may want (such as yourcompany.net).
What is a Domain Name Extension?
There are many different types of domain names. By far the most popular is a domain name ending in .com. These dot-com domain names are used by the vast majority of large companies. In fact, many people don't know that other domain extensions exist. For that reason, if at all possible, you will want to set up your web site address with a .com domain name. Many organizations register their domain name as .org, then also register the .com name so that people can find them more easily.
A .com domain is considered the equivalent of prime real-estate on the Web. Most companies will place a premium on owning a .com name over any other domain extension.
Two other international top domains, .net and .org, are also popular. Although .net is officially reserved for network associations such as Internet Service Providers, anyone can register a .net name.
Another extension, .org, is supposed to be for non-profit organizations, but again the rule is not enforced and anyone can buy .org names. The .net and .org names are less desirable, but sometimes they are the only options if the .com domain name you want is already taken.
Most countries now have their own top domains, such as .uk for the United Kingdom or .fr for France. The rules for buying domain names under each country top domain vary from country to country.
Does your business need a Web site?
How Do I Market My Web Site?
Building a Web site and not promoting it is like posting a billboard in your basement! You're just not going to get a lot of traffic. To get your Web site visited and appreciated, you need to let people know that you've arrived. You must market it! And, remember, keep it current and fresh.
- Use web address stickers... Not ready to reprint your stationery? Print small, coordinating labels that feature your online address and a note inviting people to visit. Stick them on outgoing envelopes, on seminar folders, on the backs of your business cards, and more.
Put your URL (web address) in your print ads... This extends the use of a small print ad since more wired readers can get more details about your offerings instantly, 24 hours a day. But, include your phone number and street address in your print ads, too.
- Include your URL in answering machine messages... For those who call your office outside of office hours, why not spell out your web address in your message so they can immediately help themselves to the information they need?
- Utilize your on-hold message as well... Instead of playing "Disco Fever" for customers while they wait on the line for a representative, you can tell them that if they're calling for directions, prices, return policies, your FAX number, and such, they can surf on over to your web site.
- Ask for links... Visit non-competing informational sites in your area of expertise and ask the owners to add links to your site. This works best when your site includes useful informational resources rather than strictly promotional material.
- Exchange links... Before requesting links, add a section to your site that contains links to related businesses. Then, contact the webmasters of those sites to request a return link.
- Start an e-mail newsletter... Some say showing up in your customers' mailboxes every week or month with updates, schedules, sale prices, or industry news is even more valuable than the web site itself. Somewhere in the newsletter, tell readers to check out your web site for more information on related subjects.
- Host a giveaway... Announce a drawing for a free something-or-other once a week or once a month. Those who register at your site during that month (and people can re-register every month) are eligible.
- Consider outside signage... Conventional signs can be very effective. Having your web site address on the side of your building is a great way to publicize your site. Or, consider bumper stickers on your vehicles.
- Encourage people to bookmark your site... Remind visitors to your site to bookmark your site (add it to their favorites' list).
- Use your e-mail signature option... At the end of every e-mail message you send, include your URL with your signature.
- Print T-shirts... Order custom-made shirts and wear your web address on your back. Or, sponsor a softball or soccer team who will wear them, or use them as giveaways for a special promotion.
How Do I Tell People to Bookmark My Site?
You can add the page to your browser's Favorites or Bookmarks list, but you can also add a shortcut to the page on your desktop so that you can visit it with just a double-click.
1. In your Web browser, right-click a blank area of the Web page you want to save.
2. Choose Create Shortcut from the shortcut menu.
3. Click OK in the confirmation box that appears.
A shortcut icon appears on your desktop. Next time you want to get to this page, just double-click the icon. Windows opens your browser, initiates your Internet connection (if necessary), and takes you to the page.
Once My Site is Online, Who Owns It?We work for you. Once the site is up and all bills are paid, you own your site. I will be happy to maintain it for you so that is retains its professional appearance, or we can give you some basic instruction to help you make updates to your site yourself. Many clients have us update their sites weekly, monthly, or just on an "as needed" basis. We accumulate minutes and only bill them at the end of the month if sufficient time has been spent on a site to warrant a bill. If not, we carry the minutes over to the next month.