David J. Petersen Design -- www.PetersenDesign.com

- How to Plan Your Web Site  -

 

1. Your Domain Name

This is your address. Put some thought into what name(s) would be appropriate for your business and your industry. Send me several suggestions, and I will check their availability. Remember -- you are now able to use up to 65 letters and numbers, but "shorter is better." All lowercase.

A business name is good, and then people who know you can find you. Something like "yourname.com" or "yourcompanyname.com" (if you have named your company).

A "trade name" or a "product name" is another good approach. Build a "brand awareness" that people will find easy to associate with your products, services, company, and web site.

Use a name that no one else can lay legal claim to.... I have counseled my clients who are not incorporated to at least file a fictitious business name registration with their state officials to "legitimize" the business name

 

2. Host the domain on my servers

This is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way for you to get and stay up and running. I have several options available, and will propose a solution that is just right for your needs.

I will handle the initial registration of the site for indexing with the search engines.

You should have a minimum of 5 MB of storage for your site, which will host hundreds of html pages, and/or dozens and dozens of jpeg graphics and PDF files. Other options are available, all the way up to 500 MB and more! Graphics are what take up space on the site, but the goal is to keep them small for quick download times. More space is available when demand requires.

You can also have unlimited email capability to any-name-you-want@yourdomain.com (for instance). Email accounts can be forwarded on an individual basis, say to you@yourisp.com for ease of retrieval.

 

3. Site Design and Maintenance

I can do the initial design with a little guidance from you (or a lot of trust in my judgment). If you have seen a particular web site out there somewhere that you really like the looks, navigation, or functionality of, let me know the URL and I will "mimic" some of these features.

Ongoing maintenance can be handled two ways.

I can make changes & additions on a fee-per-page basis or an hourly basis, as we decide.

We can settle on an html editor that you can learn, then you can make some of the changes as necessary. I can give you password access to your host for uploading changes when we reach that point.

I do not recommend that you "home grow" your site from scratch. I do believe, however, that you can easily learn what is necessary to make occasional or ongoing updates and additions to the site once the look, feel, functionality and initial contents are established.

 

4. Content for Web Site.

The rule for determining a property value in real estate is "Location, Location, Location."

For web sites, the only rule that counts is "Content, Content, Content." 

Your site should consist of several pages with a consistent set of navigational elements (buttons, menu), a few appropriate photos (you supply) and some custom graphics (logos, banners, etc. -- I create).

You will need to provide text for all content, preferably in electronic format (email, word, etc.). Any graphs or graphics you supply to go into the project should be in their native format (tiff, excel, etc.) for me to convert.

  • Define your PURPOSE for the site, and identify your CALL TO ACTION. Why should someone visit your site? What should they find when they get there? What do you want them to do as a result of coming to your site?
      
  • Identify a dozen or so KEYWORDS or phrases that should be effective in indexing your site with the search engines.
      
  • Write a DESCRIPTION of your site, consisting of maybe 25 words. This will be the description a search engine displays you as a result of searching for your site.

 

5. Typical Cost Factors associated with a new Web Site

There are four basic components to the cost of a web site:

Domain Registration and DNS Resolution
As outlined above, the initial step is to register your Domain name.

Initial site design & development -- Quotations available based on complexity and turn-around time.
Several interlinked pages, including graphics, logos, navigation, scanned photos, concept development. (Other options are available for smaller sites, web eZines, and larger sites.)

Additional/ongoing site development and maintenance -- Quotations available based on complexity and turn-around time.
Typically a set fee per page (simple) or per hour (complex -- CGI forms, additional custom graphics, photo retouching, copy writing, creating downloadable PDF files from your original documents, etc.). Long distance telephone charges for conferencing and any shipping charges for source materials are also additional.

Hosting  -- Quotations available based on size, etc.
Options
include monthly maintenance and server statistics. 

The total initial web site cost (design and pre-paid first year of hosting) is typically very affordable -- far less than the price of having color brochures custom designed, printed, and mailed.

These suggestions come from researching top web site design and promotion techniques, and will help insure an effective presence on the World Wide Web.

I have been successful in getting domains registered and resolved to my hosting server within one to three days. Obviously, the determining factor in how quickly we can get started is the length of time required for you to gather together the content for the site.

I recommend the first step is to work with me to select a domain name and have it registered. Your second step should be to plan your objectives and the organizational structure of the site contents, selecting the services and pricing structure that best suits your business needs. This is a great promotional opportunity for you. Let me know how soon we can get started!

 

Best Regards,

David Petersen
david@petersendesign.com

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