What Will My Site Do?
This is the first of eight articles about website design. Our discussion will deal with some of the issues which need to be considered when developing a new online presence. You may have already thought of some of these, but perhaps there are may be things which you haven't yet considered.
The Great American Widget Company is a manufacturer of widgets, that common household item that many find indispensable. Until now, however, Great American has been a 'brick and mortar' business. With the founder's son just out of college, he is looking forward to expanding the company's business on the Internet.
What is the new website expected to do?
Before doing anything else, before you even consider finding a hosting company, or a designer, or even before you register a domain name, or before putting pen to paper to begin writing content, take time to consider what the site will be about. Is your new site to be an eCommerce site, or will it be an online 'image' site that displays the image of your business?
Will you want to show an online catalog and take orders over the Internet, or just have prospective customers call you for more information? Will your customers be able to contact you only by email? (Not a good idea!) Will you accept credit cards online?
Will you have an online search for products or services? What keywords apply to your business and the way you wish to present it? Why are you better than the competition. What are your strongest virtues in your existing brick and mortar business?
How much money are you willing to spend on your Internet presence? Most assuredly, it will be more than you initially estimate.
Also, now is a good time to consider a budget - even a ballpark figure which you think you can afford on registering a domain, design and hosting. This budget can greatly affect what your site will be. For example, if you want an e-commerce enabled website, the costs will be much greater to develop and maintain than a straight HTML site.
Next week we look at how important a domain name can be. And in future articles we will discuss some of the hosting considerations, how to research the competition and some tips for writing for search engines.
Copyright 2005 - Richard F. Hill - All Rights reserved
Richard Hill is the author of the popular, and free, eBook
"Autoresponder Cash Flow NOW!" which is available at