People often think when they go to a developer, then get “the full monty”, but nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s break it out into phases.
1. DOMAIN NAME
Your domain name is your unique address, like your home mailing address, that helps route your traffic to your site. You can register a domain name and not actually have a site to go to, in which case you will get some sort of holding or error page. A website is not always included when you register a domain name, so you need to be aware of what you get when you sign up for something. We can register domain names for you, but we can also point any name you may have previously purchased to our site. TIP: give some thought to your name before you register it. A cleverly worded domain name will help you get found in searches!
Hosting is simply physically storing your website information on a server somewhere. You will not have a server to yourself, many sites will be co-hosted on the same physical machine. Data centers should have a state-of-the-art facility in which to host this server, and backups and redundancy should it fail. Sites very rarely go down these days, no matter who you use. The recent outtage of Godaddy was a very rare occurance indeed! Technology is faster and better then it ever has been, but still, the integrity of the data center is of paramount importance: know your hosting facility! Your domain name will point your audience to your space on this hosted server in the hosted facility.
3. WEB DESIGN
Many domain services are offering web templates as part of their hosting offering in an effort to capture your web business completely. Understandably, many people do not want, or do not have the time, to learn how to design a website or pay a developer premium prices to do it for them, so this is a decent solution for most. We have found many of these offerings to be suitable if the person does not need to be “found” or does not need anything complex – but they are terribly cumbersome to work with! Even experienced people get fed up with the user interface – how can the average person be successful?? Many clients have come to us because of that frustration, and we have worked to transfer their site to ours in quick time and relatively short money.
4. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION “SEO”
Getting found is NOT easy!! Now that everyone is web-enabled, you are competing against the many other people in your market segment in your geographic area – how on earth are people going to find you? And, it’s not instantaneous – it’s a process that, once deployed, is tested and tweeked constantly to find new ways to beat the competition. Many companies charge ALOT of money to be “found”, from $500 a month to 10% of internet sales…. I have worked with a client that was being charged $500/mo and when I searched his business information, it did not come up – and he was one of a few people in this industry in this region, there was no excuse really. When I challenged the company, they did not take responsibility. When I asked them what the ROI after their SEO techniques were used, they could not answer me. the response? “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”. Well, they weren’t even leading the horse to water. So, watch out for SEO “EXPERTS” trying to sell you something and not being able to quantify the benefits.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Everyone is professing to be Social Media experts these days too. Just because you tweet here and there does not necessarily attract customers. WHAT are you tweeting? What IS tweeting for that matter – we can help identify strategies that will increase the chances of attracting and engaging clients. Working social media can be a full-time job! We can help you understand it better and learn how to use it most effectively.