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Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.
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Questions You May Have

Who should create my web site?
What is a domain name? Do I need one?
How long does it take to design a web site?
What if I already have a logo I like?
How do I find a 'host' for my web site?
How much is a web site likely to cost me?

Who should create your website?

Your nephew daughter cousin neighbor is an absolute whiz at computers. He/she has created several web sites, you greatly admire the skills they possess, and of course the price is right. This could be the answer then. Very quickly then they have created your web site, loaded it onto a server and things are right in the world. But wait a moment. There is loud music when the page loads and those animations are cute but quickly become annoying. Further, you need to have a major announcement placed on your web site this week, but your n/d/c/n (see above) is involved with finals at college, on vacation, or has some important appointment scheduled.

The bottom line with this approach is that you get what you pay for. Your web site most likely will not be what you had in mind for your business. Just as you would not hire your neighbor to manage the service department of your car dealership just because he needs a job, or have your daughter do your legal work because she plans on going to college to be a lawyer, you should also not have just anyone create your web site. If your advertising budget does not have a lot of extra dollars, then you should be prepared to invest some of your time. Be prepared to do some homework so you or someone in your company is ready to create your web site.

Domain Names

A domain name is your address on the Internet, much like the unique telephone number for your business. An example is the domain for Panhandle Computer Arts - www.PC-Arts.com Anything after the .com is still a part of the domain. Think of the pages of a domain as extensions on a switchboard, and your web host will load those pages in a similar way as transferring a phone call to a single phone extension. Although a domain name is not a necessity for having a web site, it is the 'brand' of your business online, and it is the belief of PC-Arts that a domain name should be considered an essential part of your strategy. Network Solutions is no longer the only registrar. At the current time it costs $70 to register a domain name with Network Solutions, which gives you ownership of your domain for two years. Several other registrars offer domains for as low as $8.95 for one year. Many also have their own control panel for easily making updates.

 

Tip #1 A .com address is the standard for businesses on the Internet, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to find one they like. In choosing a domain name try to pick one people will identify with your business and be easy to remember. This is easier said than done, but hyphenation might be a viable option. A string of words can be difficult for people to remember, and the likelihood of spelling/typing errors increases. Also alternative endings should be considered such as .net or others.

 

How Long will it take?

How long it takes to create your web site will depend largely on how quickly you learn some of the basics, and on the attention you give your planning. Getting a domain name and a web host will only take a small amount of time, usually only a couple of days before you can start to upload your site. As a strict warning though, do not upload your site with any indication it is still under construction. It is better to wait and load it all at once, or not include the incomplete pages in the navigation of the site.

Personality of Your Site

Any of the logos or "personality" of your business can be incorporated into your web site, such as color schemes or typography. If you are a dealer of name-brand products, you may or may not be allowed to use their logo, so you will want to check with the manufacturer for clarification. Many items can be easily scanned and saved in a format for loading onto your site, including photos. There is more about optimizing these files in the "Creating" segment.

 

Tip #2 As with other 'free' things in life, there is usually a catch. There are places where you can have your site hosted for no cost in dollars, but there is still a price. Many free web hosting services require you to have links to their site and banners from their sponsors. Remember that you have NO control over the content in those banners. Also there is some question of ownership of the content of the site. Read the terms of service carefully before reaching your decision.

 

Hosting Services

There are numerous web hosting companies, including possibly your own internet service provider. Compare the features they offer in making your choice, and you may find the monthly cost will vary widely. The amount of storage space you are given on their server, email forwarding, CGI-BIN for using server-side scripts, and tech support are all factors you should consider in making your choice. Our resources segment has several options you can check out for hosting your site.

The Cost of a Web Site

The cost of a web site in dollars can be in the 'affordable' range for any business. However, in order to present a professional image online, you can expect to spend some money. Your approach to this endeavor should match your philosophy with your other marketing plans. At the end of our "Creating" segment, we will give you an idea of the cost of a web site.

 

Last Updated ( Dec 18, 2006 at 11:24 AM )
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