email, hosting, domains, e-commerce, search engines, head spinning?

emailEmail: fast, cheap and powerful. It is little wonder that email has become so popular. Together with your domain name and hosting (explained below) you will have at least one email address. This will be independent of the email address and service offered by your internet service provider (ISP).

Webmail allows you to access your email, receive and send, from anywhere - you just need to be able to get online.
You can send and receive email in either plain text or rich text (HTML).
This can be set in your email client. eg. Outlook (Express) - open 'Tools' >'Options' > 'Send'. Click radio button 'Plain Text'. See how to set up your email.
Website owners can readily collect email addresses of visitors by asking them to join a list.
This can soon build into a useful and readily accessible list of customers and potential customers. But people will not sign up for the fun of it! You need to offer an incentive for your site visitors to join your mailing list,

Hosting

You need somewhere to put your website so that the world can view it. This is on a server and is called 'hosting'. A server is essentially a computer without a screen housed in a secure place connected to the web.
We recommend that you use hosting as near as possible to your customers so that you will rank beter in the local search engines.


Domains

All websites need a domain name - for example 'www.yourcompanyname.com'. We are happy make suggestions and recommendations for your domain name and arrange the purchase. For your security we ensure that you are the owner of the domain. Annual costs are relatively low and vary according to the TLD type (top level domain .com/ .co.uk/ .ch etc.) Expect to pay annually between US$20/ £10/ CHF 20 for a domain name.
(A URL is a domain address. It actually stands for Universal Resource Locator. So you could say your domain name is your house and your URL is the address of your house - which can be the same. )


Search Engines (SEs)

We ensure that your website is maximized for search engine recognition and include submissions to all major search engine within our prices.
There are 1000s of search engine and directories (Yahoo is a directory), but there are only five important ones and Google is by far the most import to be listed with. You will see all sorts of claims by 'specialists' promising putting sites into the number one position in Google - beware. There can only be one number one. See our search engine optimisation pages.


Content

Good content is vital.
It is essential that you website gives visitors something that they can't find elsewhere, that it gives them useful, original information. Visitors to your site don't want to read your advertising 'spiel'. Don't be afraid of giving away something that you would rather sell to attract and hold visitors. Everyone like something free.
Also the content needs to be renewed and updated regularly, otherwise there is no reason for revisiting your site. However well-designed your site is, if you do not offer original, useful content - you will not get visitors. Search engines like fresh content too.


Content Management Systems

Known as CMS, this system requires hosting with a database. Whole sites can be build to operate 'dynamically'. That is to say the site pages do not exist in static form, but are generated from various files dependent on the visitor's requirements. This allows site owners without knowledge of how site functions to readily update and expand their sites just as easily as writing a Word document.


e-Commerce

Sell your products to a massive global market 24/7. While the potential of online sales is massive, be aware that it is not magic. People buy online for many reasons - the biggest one is because they perceive online prices to be lower. Thus, trying to sell over-priced or merchandise or items that are available elsewhere will simply not work. We have considerable experience with ecommerce and have built over 50 online stores.


Website Promotion

Without promotion nobody will visit your site because they won't know it is there. Before planning your website you should have a clear idea how you are going to promote it.
You should include your domain name and email address on ALL literature, correspondence, advertisements etc.


Why?

You need a website to inform and advise customers and potential customers of your products and services in an extremely cost-effective way. You should aim to make your website a unique online representation of your business - more than just a copy of your existing brochure.


What

What do expect your website to do?
To increase your profits by obtaining new business.
To advise existing customers in a new, smart and convenient way and thus further cement your relationship with them. Do you want you site to sell - as in ecommerce? Do you want you site to be a showcase?
It is vital to know what you website is supposed to achieve before you start.


Finally Don't...

Don't have unreasonable expectations.
Your website will only be as effective as the effort you put into it. Without fresh, interesting, lively and informative content, not available elsewhere, and without promotion your website will not attract and keep many visitors.
On the other hand, with the right content and promotion your website will develop into a valuable asset.



[ TOP ]