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Building Web Site 101

Why do I need a web site?

  • Get visibility - Future customers can find your company's products and services on the web.
  • Add credibility - A web site builds trust and gives customers the assurance that you have what it takes for them to do business with you.
  • Differentiate your offerings - Show potential customers that your products and services are different from your competitors' and easy to find on your web site.
  • Impress your customers - Share raving reviews from your customers. Use your web site to showcase your expertise and experience.
  • Attract and retain customers - How? By knowing your customers. Understand their actions from buying your product or signing up for your service to joining your mailing list. Build customer loyalty through state-of-the-art customer relationship management tools.
  • Grow your sales - Open up an additional channel for growth. Use your web site to aggressively market your products and services.
  • Redirect and minimize support calls - Your web site can answer many common questions for your customers. Customers can locate your store, generate a map and driving directions to your store, look up your contact information and receive a free quote. Your customers will feel empowered by finding answers to their questions more quickly and efficiently. This also helps reduce your customer support expenditures, improving your bottom line.
  • Enlighten your customers - Provide the educational materials that customers need to make purchase decisions and provide them with the ability to bookmark your site. You know what they need to know - make sure they can easily find this information on your web site.
  • It pays for itself - Your web site pays for itself, often several times over. Your web site will sell your products, generate sales leads and save you significant money on customer support costs.

What will a web site do for my business?
It can do exactly what you want it to do for your business. You need to determine your goals. What do you want your web site to do? It's a critical question. It's okay to accomplish one goal and add capabilities to achieve additional goals over time. Below are examples of goals that you may want to achieve for your business:

  • Establish a professional online presence
  • Promote your business or brand
  • Sell products and services on the web
  • Win new customers and retain existing ones
  • Gather or provide information, or enable discussion
  • Showcase your expertise through a catalog, gallery or portfolio
  • Attract and recruit talent
  • Promote an event

What's involved in creating a web site?
There are several steps including:

  • Registering your domain name
  • Deciding on the look and feel, content, functionality
  • Choosing a hosting services

Register your domain name

  • Your domain name is the name of your web site and oftentimes the name that people type in their web browsers to get to your home page.
  • You can register your domain name at anytime - before, while or after your web site is designed.
  • Purchase a domain name that fits your business:
    • Example: Naming it after your business -
    • Example: Naming it after what you do -
  • Register your name ASAP. You do not want your competitors to choose the better name and have an automatic advantage over you.
  • Keep in mind, some of the places where you buy your domain name also say they design web sites. They don't, or at least it's not their day job. They farm out the work to who knows who and don't stand behind the quality of it. Make sure you get a professionally designed web site from a reputable company like Web Solutions.
  • Need help registering your domain name? We'll be happy to provide guidance when we start your web site design process.

What should my web site say? What content should I include?

  • Browse the Internet and find examples of other web sites you like. Look at your competitors' sites as well as those of companies you admire.
  • Start with the following for each web site:
    • Home - This is critical. It's the first page a visitor will see. Provide a brief background about your business and the key products or services you offer. Differentiate yourself from your competitors.
    • About Us - Provide company background and contact information such as your business name, phone number, location, hours of operation, etc.
    • Management Team - If your team is a key competitive advantage for you, add a brief biography for each team member. Add their pictures for a personal touch.
    • Products or Services - List the key selling points about the products or services you offer.
  • For most people, our Professional WebSite Package is a great start.
  • If you have many products or services and want to explain each one in detail, then our larger Corporate WebSite Package will work better for you.
  • If you need an e-commerce web site, where you can sell products online, we can help you build that as well.

What should my web site look like?
The type of content you have (e.g. a simple brochure site, a basic product site or a large catalog) and your desired business image will determine your design and layout.

  • The colors, images, font and layout all need to reinforce the image of your business (conservative, fun, artistic, etc.).
  • If you already have an existing corporate identity (logo, business cards, stationery and brochure), it's important that the look and feel of your web site is consistent.
  • It's important that a knowledgeable professional in design and branding manage this process for you.

How is my web site built? What's the next step after the design and layout?

  • Create the actual web pages using a web programming language such as HTML.
  • Now that you have the design look and feel that you want, it's time to build the pages to be viewed by people who browse the Internet.
  • Multiple versions of HTML and web browsers make this a difficult task. If not done correctly, your pages will not look the way you want them to.
  • We can help. Our people are specialists in programming in HTML.
  • Add text and images. Now that your pages have been developed, add the content you want displayed on your site.
  • Test your site in multiple web browsers. After the pages are complete, they should be tested in multiple web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Netscape to make sure the appearance of your site is consistent.
  • Publish your web site. Send it to the web for the world to see.
It sounds like a complicated process but with Web Solutions' help, we will guide you every step of the way. See how we'll work together to create your web site.

Hosting and Maintenance
Your web site needs to be seen on the Internet. There are many places that can host your web site efficiently and cost effectively. Prices range from a few dollars a month to several hundred dollars a month. You pay for what you need. The amount you pay depends on many things like the number of visitors to your site, required disk space or add-on hosting services that you require. However, keep in mind:

  • The web site that you get from Web Solutions can be hosted anywhere.
  • Also we can help you with web hosting services.

How will visitors find my web site?
How do you drive new customers to your web site? You have lots of options including:

  • Search Engines
    • Millions of people use search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Overture.
    • Once a search engine learns about your web site, it will "crawl" the pages in your web site and build an index of the words on your pages.
    • When people use a search engine to search for a phrase - for example, "Los Angeles homes for sale" - search engines will return all the pages that contain that phrase.
    • There may be millions of web pages that are returned.
    • The process of optimizing your site so you show up first or on the first page of search engine results is called "search engine optimization." There are many companies that specialize in search engine optimization. If this is something you're interested in, tell us when we start work on your web site project so that we can create placeholders (meta tags) for this text.
    • You can get started by submitting your web site to a search engine. Most search engines let you do this yourself.
    • Find out more about our search engine optimization services.
  • Online Marketing or Pay-per-Click
    • You can also buy your way into the search results.
    • By buying keywords, you ensure your web site appears when people search different phrases. For example, "real estate agents in New York" could be a keyword you buy so when someone types in that phrase, a link to your web site will appear.
    • In general, the more you're willing to pay for keywords, the higher your ad will appear in the search results.
    • Each pay-per-click program is different. Refer to Google, Yahoo! and Overture for details.
  • Banner Ads
    • Ever see those banner ads floating on top of news articles? You can have that, too.
    • A banner ad gives you a professional presence on well known syndicate sites, such as Yahoo! and MSN. When someone clicks on your ad, they will be taken directly to your web site.
    • Find out more about our banner ads.
  • Word of Mouth
    • One of the best ways to drive traffic to your web site is to get other people to talk about it.
    • Providing educational reference material on your web site can have that effect, getting visitors to refer colleagues to it.
    • Include interesting articles.
    • Provide humorous or entertaining material.
  • Offline Marketing Materials
    • List your web site in your offline marketing materials such as on your business card, stationery and brochure.

What's the difference between a template and a complete web site?
A template is a tool you can use. A web site template is a design and layout for one or more web pages - for example, Home Page (index.html), Product Page, About Us Page, Contact Us Page, etc. Web site templates are the foundation you use to generate your own web pages and build your own web site. The web site template is the skeleton. A complete web site is a template plus all the web pages that get created from it. A web site includes the copy, images and content you want included on every web page. If you are web savvy and want to build your web site yourself, choose our Web Page Templates package. But if you are just starting out, choosing our Professional Web Site Design or Corporate Web Site Design package is recommended.

Now that you know more about what's involved, the next big question is who should build your web site?
Here are the reasons why Web Solutions 123 custom web services are a smart choice.

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