• The first step to getting your site is getting your address on the web.
• If your company name is short try to get it.
• If not, or if it is not available, try to get a short name that people will remember. Evidently, for a new, internet based business almost any short & catchy name will do. (What does "ebay" really mean? What does "monster" have to do with finding a job?)
• Whatever the name, try to get a ".com" ending. People will try that ending with your name. Other endings, .biz, .us, .org, are really good if you have the same name ending in .com.
• Search for available names or bid on existing names..
• If you are not in a rush, try names that have expired. Sometimes you get better, shorter names but you will have to wait for the name to be released and possibly bid for it at an auction.
• Remember that you will want to personalize your e-mail address to you domain name.
Choose a Registrar who will provide:
• Domain Security - Protection against unauthorized transfers of domain names
• Automatic renewal - Protection against accidental loss of name registrations.
• html Color
• html Validator
• html TIDY
The actual layout of your web pages. Here you have numerous choices.
1. Pre-design - a ready-made site. Only your name and information is added. The fastest way to go but the least flexible. You will be limited in the amount and quality of your graphics, frames, titles and meta descriptions. The pre-design company usually charges you an annual fee and may also want to host your site at a profit.
2. Template - a page layout. You can buy simple or complex templates and customize them to suit your taste and needs. Easy, fast way to get started and you usually own your site.
3. Custom design - a site designed for you. Most of the large sites are custom made. You can have anything you desire and can afford.
4. Do it yourself. You can start with a basic site in HTML and expand it adding graphics, sound and motion as you learn the ropes. Very expensive if you value your time but you will have a site that you can change yourself at any time.
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Good, up to date content is still the most important element of a site. You can advertise your site, optimize, pay per click to attract visitors but, if you don't have good copy, they will immediately hit the back button.
Whether you choose a pre-designed site or a custom site you will be spending a considerable amount of time and money getting your site designed. Make sure that you will be able to update it regularly and that you can
copyright and own the finished site.
"Our life is frittered away by detail.... Simplify, simplify."
Henry David Thoreau
Your "host" is the computer (called the server) your site will reside on.
If your company does not have a sizable IT (Information Technology) department, don't even think of hosting your site.
When choosing a hosting company be aware of the following:
• Server up time - You want your site available 99.9% of the time.
• Customer Service - Insist on 24 hours / seven days a week. (24/7)
• Data storage - How much data storage included in the package.
• Data transfer - How much data transfer allowed in one month
• e-mail - Usually your Web host will provide e-mail addresses linked to your domain name.
• E-commerce tools - Many hosting companies can provide "shopping carts" and credit card processing
• Security - Will you need encrypted online transactions? Site Confirm Seals?
• File Transfer Protocol (FTP) - allows you to upload files from your computer.
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