I have been asked a number of times to explain what is needed to launch a website. It is easy to be an expert when you know the basics but it is another thing to beable to explain the basics so that others understand the necessities to get going on the Internet… A website is like a shop in the desert, without a place to reside and address to find it noone will ever come.
Three basic things are required to launch any website…
- Domain Name
- Website page or pages
Let’s discuss each in turn.
This is the name that you want customers and surfers to find you as..
Your letter box in Internet land…you can not purchase a Domain Name, you lease it.
Each country has a 2 letter identifier but you are not restricted to using only your countries suffix.eg: New Zealand is .nz, Australia is .au Even with this identifier you can be found worldwide.you can not isolate your domain name so that only one country can visit you.it is their for all and sundry. Some countries restrict who can purchase their web address, eg: In Australia you have to own a registered company to beable to get a .au address and in Germany you have to have a physical address in Germany to able to get a .de address.
You can add security to your website eg: a password, to limit your visitors but this will not stop the initial location of your domain name.
The place where you will store your Website so that it is available to the www world 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Like the land you would build your house on..but you can not buy this land, it can only be leased.
There are millions of companies out there wanting to be your host..often your web designer has spent hours searching for a reliable and safe host.ask their advice but feel free to request the host that you would prefer.
Check pricing too, the Internet is a huge sea and has it’s fair share of sharks and fly by nighters.
This comes in 2 parts.
Look and Feel
The pages that provide the look and feel of your company or venture that you wish to showcase. Design, Logo, Photos, Graphics, Galleries, Blogs and many other ways of presenting information are used. This is where your shopping cart or auction software is placed.. there are many ways to do this structurally, some more search engine friendly than others. Many hours of work can go into building your Internet house (Website).this you DO own. Look for an initial fixed price so you know what the up front cost will be to get you started.
Behind The Scenes
The behind the scenes information that allows search engines to find you and therefore makes it easier for your customers and other visitors to find you. There is an art form to creating and maintaining your website’s internet profile. Many hours of research go into finding the best ways to present a website…you could call it a science but it is inexact as it depends on how many others have the similar sites to yours and also how well known your business is..if people don’t know to search for you..guess what!!! You will never be found no matter how good you think your site is.
Your Website is like a glossy magazine advert but instead of being limited to one or two copies, it is live and available for as long as you keep leasing your Domain Name and Hosting. It needs regular upkeep to match what is happening in your business and market. A stale website will drift along miss informing potential customers and visitors. If your website has pricing and products, you can be held accountable for the information being incorrectly advertised. Beware.it is your responsibility to have your website information correct, your design is only as good as the information that your provide.
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need a computer to have Website representation, you just need access to a great designer and someone who is prepared to field email messages on your behalf. However, it does help.
The internet is vast and can provide information on almost anything that you can imagine and a whole lot more that you never dreamed of! There are large portions that are unsavoury and down right dangerous. Make sure you have a good security program running on your computer at all times. There are a number of excellent products available for your safety.
The ethical business portion is rather a lot smaller but is very legitimate. You can level the playing field somewhat with a good website, big business does not necessarily have user friendly websites, they are large and cumbersome. Giving many opportunities for customers to leave without making a purchase or even an enquiry. Many large businesses do not sell on the internet but instead prefer to list their retail outlet stores..a very backward move in my opinion as often the punter has come to buy.why not make the most of wanting customer!
Smaller businesses websites are often very inviting and simple to use. They are there to make the sale and make the buying process easy. Don’t let your size stop you, large or small you can make an excellent impact with a well designed and managed Website.