As with any other venture you undertake the first step is to do your homework. Depending on your level of experience and knowledge about the internet you may be able to take this first step on your own or you may choose to engage a web developer to assist you. Keep in mind that creating or redesigning your website represents the growth and/or survival of your business. You should give it the same level of thought and planning as if you were buying a new building or opening a new office in a new location.
If you were planning to build a new building or open a new office some of the considerations would be:
- What type of space do I need?
- Do I need warehouse space to store my products?
- Do I need office space for my employees?
- Do I need a store front for my customers?
- How much square footage do I need?
- What kind of location and visibility to the public do I need?
- If you are simply storing product then your concern is mostly having access for receiving and distributing those products.
- If you are opening an office where you will be receiving clients then you would want to be in a business district that is accessible to your clients and offers the amenities they will expect.
- If you are opening a retail store then you need to located in an area that offers good public access for the type of buyers that would be interested in your products.
When planning your website you need to address these same factors.:
- The warehouse concept?
- If your target audience is a finite group that are predefined and you are simply providing them a place to get information about your services or products then your requirements are much like the requirements for a warehouse. A simple point of presence website is all you need and you should concentrate your efforts on designing the website to store and organize your data in a manner that it can be accessed and retrieved quickly and easily.
- The business office concept:
Obtaining a domain name
Domain names are not really expensive but choosing one that fits your needs can be a little challenging. While it may seem as simple as choosing a name and applying it to your site; in reality there is much more to it than that. Domain names are broken into two parts. The first part is the name itself and this is what identifies you specifically (i.e, mydomain). The second part is what is know as the Top Level Domain (TLD). The is the dot extension that follows your domain name (i.e. .com, .net, .org …).
The .com extension is the original TLD and the most widely used. However, it is also the hardest one to find an available name to match your needs. Today there are many TLDs to choose from. They are established in genres that target specific industries and geographical locations. While everyone thinks of the web in terms of dot com it has evolved way beyond this simple limitation. Don’t be alarmed your site can achieve equal visibility and recognition regardless of the TLD you choose.
As significant as the TLD is the domain name itself. Long names are not advisable even though they may seem to most accurately identify your business. The more characters a user has to type the more opportunity for misspelling and frustration. It is better to choose an abbreviated name and associate it with the correct TLD. Your website developer will be able to help you do this. The cost of a domain name can range from $10 to $300 annually depending on your choice of TLDs.’