First Steps to the Web

Your Steps to a Web Presence that Actually Works for You

Choose Your Web Coordinator

Designate someone within your firm to coordinate your web site project. One point of contact.

This is important to give the process continuity and consistency.

Though not mandatory this person should be someone with at least a basic understanding of how the internet works.

The technical information behind a web presence is not critical to know, however there are some associated costs with certain features such as hosting.

Other issues such as back end databases and connectivity can crop up as well so it is important to have only one specific team member coordinating to keep communication and understanding optimal.

Choose your domain name:

This is the ubiquitous that points to the web site files that make up your web site also known as your URL.

Your domain name is your first line of introduction to consumers. Sometimes availability is an issue.

Domains entail annual cost and possibly some hourly costs for management depending on your web developer.

Your domain name at best should be a brief description of your products or ideas.

There are no real rules here but it helps to have a domain that is part of your business brand identity.

If you can’t find a short domain name that is descriptive enough don’t worry. The site content is more important than the name.

Choose your web developer:

Decide on a web developer to do the design and construction of the web site based on your vision.

Here it is important that you find a firm or individual skilled at translating your business, product or idea into a web site in a way that accurately reflects who you are and what you do.

This should incorporate brand identity using existing materials or creating new material.

You may choose to be more involved or less involved but your goal is to create accurate targeted content that fulfills the purpose in creating a web presence in the first place, namely quality branded exposure.

When completed the web developer will provide for you the visual layout and the digital files and code that make up the web site. This process entails hourly or bid package costs and concludes with the first iteration of your web site in final proof ready for your approval. Final proof is the finished site and once approved will be posted to the server space you are renting which is known as “going live”.

Choose your web host:

The web host provides digital space on a computer with a web server that acts as the “filing cabinet” where your site is stored. This is a special computer that is visible, by address, to the internet.

This Internet connected server handles the files that make up web sites. The server sends the web site files to the person browsing the web when they type in or click on your domain name.

These files are assembled on the browser’s computer and make the site appear. These files take up space on the web server that entail perpetual costs, usually a monthly or yearly fee. The digital data flowing from one computer to another is also metered and costs perpetually. The amount of flow is known as bandwidth. The bottom line is dollars and cents per month or year along with reliability and consistency. Be sure you choose a host with good support.

Choose your web master:

The web master gets the job of making sure your site works, sometimes known as the web slave.

This person or business is in charge of maintaining and updating your web site. Web sites should be dynamic to be most effective. This entails hourly or monthly fees.

Go Live!

Once all the pieces are in place you are ready to go live, broadcast your site to the internet.

After you are live not much happens until you drive traffic to your site.

You must “work” the site to get the most out of the internet.

Be sure to include your new web URL or domain name in all of your advertising.

Talk about your web presence.

Trade links with as many other quality sites as you can, with relevance.

You may also elect to pay for clicks. This means you pay to be a sponsored result when certain searches are made by consumers at sites like Yahoo!, Google and MSN.

Search engine optimization is also recommended to further make your site visible to targeted consumers.

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