To be or not to be…on the Web
Do we all agree that if you have a business you should have a Web site?
Don't say that you only have a small business so you don't need one. The beauty of the Internet is it levels the playing field.
You may be working out of your garage or spare bedroom but if your Web site looks and reads professionally, your target audience will think you do business from a high rise.
It's possible that you hesitate to go forth and get a Web site because you have no clue whom to call and how to begin.
Cyber-babble is scary. Don't panic, those are realistic feelings.
Ten Do and Don'ts to Consider before Getting a Web Site
1. Do shop around.
Start surfing and write down the URLs (Web site addresses) of sites you like and don't like and why. A good Web designer should ask for this information just to get a clue about your expectations.
2. Do register your own domain name
(yourbusiness.com) or if the Web designer does, be sure you or your company is listed as "administrator". It's similar to owning a car and having your name on the pink slip. You don't want anyone else to own your Web site.
3. Do request the Web host or Web designer provide you with
the FTP host name, log-in, and password. If you don't have this information and the host or designer dies or runs off to Hollywood, you have no way of ever accessing your site again.
4. Do read the contract carefully
and know up front how much it costs to add additional pages and update information. Are you paying a maintenance fee and if so, what does it include? Be sure you understand the procedure (and get it in writing) if you decide to change hosts or designers. How is it handled and how long does the process take?
5. Do focus on content. Web users want immediate gratification without sensationalism, grasping content-rich sites quickly.
6. Don't get carried away by graphics.
Most people use a 28.8 modem and unless the graphic is well, graphic, they don't care to wait around for the suspense. Remember less is more with graphics.
7. Don't believe it if you're offered a free
Web site, the deal of a lifetime or that a Web site will get a million "hits" tomorrow. Realize that a Web site is another form of marketing with the best reach for the money.
8. Don't hire your neighbor's son to design
your Web site. He might be a Web whiz but is he designing the site with your target audience in mind?
9. Don't be held captive by cyber-babble gibberish.
Ask questions and if your host or designer doesn't communicate in terminology you understand, find one who will.
10. Do update your site often.
If you posted an event that happened in April and it's now May, your information is stale. Lack of updating content sends a message to customers that you don't care.
To be or not to be is Copyright © BridgeMarketing.com 1998
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