If you are thinking about creating a website for your company it is best to do some research first. While a website (or web) developer should know about search engine optimization, chances are that they do not understand your market as well as you do. Make sure that you are prepared to give them all the information they need.
Imagine that you are the client, what terms or keywords would you enter into a search engine to find your product? How are your competitors found on the internet? Mark these words down as they will become your keywords for the site. Check the Chamber of Commerce Members Directory for a listing of local web developers.
The look and feel of a website should be suited to its purpose. For example, a site that sells cars might spend a great deal of time on presentation, where as, a web site that sells parts would focus more on general information. How important is the look and feel to your audience? Do they expect knock-out graphics, or are they just looking for information? Take a look at your competitors, how have they addressed the same questions? Mark down the web sites that you like and bring this list to your developer.
There are two typical recurring costs for web sites, domain name registration, and hosting. If you are looking for an e-commerce site there are other considerations.
A domain name is the address of your website. It will also be the prefix to any email address you create. There are different types of domain names such as .com, .net, .info, .org, .ca, and more. These extensions have meanings and different requirements. For example .com and .net, the most common extensions, require basic contact information. Where as .org and .ca require proof that your organization is non-for-profit, or based in Canada.
Make sure that the domain name is registered under your business or name, and make sure that when you create your domain your keep a copy of administration login information on file. Your domain name is the public access point for your web site. All of your marketing and SEO add to its value, which is why it is important for you to keep control over it. Also your developer will need the administration login to point the domain name to a specific server. See Network Solutions for more information.
When you open up an Internet browser and then type in a domain name, a call is sent out to a name controller. This name controller looks at the domain name you have entered and performs a cross-reference to retrieve its physical address. The physical address corresponds to a server (computer) that hosts the web pages. What makes a server different that any other computer connected to the internet is its security, network capacity, and applications. The final decision on which server to use is best done with your developer. However, if you are creating the web site yourself a basic package should be more than enough.
For more information see: