The Design Process
Ever wonder how this whole ‘building a web site’ works? Here it is step by step:
1. You will need to get a Domain Name. This will allow other computers on the net to have an address to find you. If you already have one and are paying more than $18.00 a year, you are paying to much.
2. You will need to find Web Hosting. This is the place that stores the files that make up your web site and delivers it up to your visitors. If you are looking for hosting for your business the $3.99 a month hosting is not what you need. Think of it like rent and location of your business. If you are looking for a business location you do not go looking for the cheapest rent because it will not serve your needs, Hosting is much like that, get a good hosting plan that is scale-able to grow with you as your business grows. For business hosting, we recommend VPS, Dedicated, or Private Label Cloud Hosting. You can not afford to have your business closed at your physical location, nor on the world wide web.
3. You will need to find a designer. This can be freelance or a firm, but be choosy. If they are too agreeable or too cheap, you will get what you pay for and you will not like it. Get a contract, make sure it is all spelled out — what you get and what is extra. You can use a site builder, however unless you know HTML and other web programming languages you are better to get a professional. Expect to pay around $1500.00. This is an acceptable rate to pay a designer for most basic 5 page web sites. Any more than $1500 and you either have a lot of code, e-commerce (shopping cart), or you are paying too much. Don’t skimp here either, building your site is like building your building. You do not want your site to be buggy.You want it to work and for your customers to have a error free, smooth purchasing experience.
4. You need to get the public to your site. Search engines all have their own algorithms and they change almost daily. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or SEO (Search Engine Optimization ) are web terms for marketing your web site, you will need to do this if you want to be found on the web. You can drive traffic to your site by telling people the URL (Universal Resource Locator), but without a high search engine ranking it will be hard to drive traffic to your site. Having a knowledgeable and experienced firm manage your site can give your site the edge it needs.
5. You need to keep your site up-to-date. If you want your web site to be successful you will need to work at it. If you are familiar with how to update your own site it will save you money in the long run, however you may find that your time is better spent doing other things, such as running your business. It may be worth paying someone to do the updates for you. Having a firm behind you gives your more options. A firm will have many people with different strengths for you to leverage, and unlike a single employee who can get sick or go on vacation, they are always there.