Your domain name can reflect the type of business you are targeting. If you are plumber it is worth considering placing the word plumber in your domain name. This gives you a better chance of being found by people using search engines.
If your name is Smith and you are a plumber you may want to consider something like
The cost of Broadband connections is now not that much more than a dial-up connection. If you use the Internet regularly Broadband is well worth considering. Once you have used Broadband a dial-up connection is just not an option.
When considering putting your business online with your own website remember to allow for search engine optimisation charges in your budget. If your website is just a basic, online brochure and you are unconcerned about your site being found this will not be important. However, if you are relying on your site being found to generate business this is critical and it can be expensive.
Contact me for free advice.
Be careful when looking for a domain name. Some companies grossly overcharge for this. You should be paying no more than £10 per annum for your domain name registration and some companies do it for two or three pounds or less.
Don't ask someone to build your website without first preparing or deciding what content you want to include. Web designers do not appreciate being kept waiting for information for weeks at a time.
Please be aware that your web designer normally knows nothing about your business. You are the only one that can provide the basic content.
When thinking about your new website you should consider the cost of upgrades and maintenance. Make sure that you know what the proposed web designer will be charging you for this.
Also, don't underestimate the extent of any changes you will require to your site after it has been created. Think about how often you will need to go back to your website designers and ensure you know what they will charge you for this.
If you don't want to learn how to fully maintain your own site an easy way of regularly inserting up to date content yourself is with a "news letter". This can be written on a word processor then all you have to learn is how to upload a new document to your site each time you change it. Talk to us about this and we can explain further.
We can also create your website with a content management system if required.
Call us for a free, no obligation 15 minute web design consultation on your WEBSITE SETUP REQUIREMENTS
01389 758245 (UK 9-5)
I don't intend to bore you with all the details here. I've tried to keep things to the point and to explain the main processes involved in the very plainest of English but if you can't be bothered reading all the information below on how to set up a website just call us and I'll explain it to you personally.
The simplest way to define the Internet is that it is "just" a few million computers connected together worldwide and sharing their information.
Essentially this is what it is. However it would not be very reliable if all these computers were just home PC's. No sooner would you start to look at something on someone's website when they would perhaps switch it off.
For this reason anyone who wants to have a web site should make it available through an Internet "hosting" company. This is a company that allows you to upload your web site information to their powerful computers or "servers", which are kept running 24/7/365.
If you run a business today a web site is much more important than an entry in yellow pages. Almost all real businesses are now online. If you don't have a website people will look at your business the way they may once have looked at a business without a phone.
With the numbers of PCs available at home or at work and with the proliferation of Internet access through mobile telephones and tablets people are using the Internet to look for services, book accommodation, book flight tickets, check out restaurants and to buy just about anything online.
Example: let's say you're from the USA and you're going on a touring holiday to the UK. You'll want to find out about the accommodation options, restaurants, car hire, transport, etc. before traveling.
Where is the major repository for all this information? That's right - the Internet! Let's say that you're going to visit the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland, all you need to do is go to Google and type in a relevant search term such as Loch Lomond hotel and within a few seconds you'll have at your disposal a wealth of information about hotel accommodation in the locality.
And guess what - if you ain't on the Internet your US friends ain't gonna be staying at your place!
Before you can set up a web site you should be able to access it with your own PC or mobile device. There are several ways of doing this including the use of your domestic telephone line on a dial-up connection. This method is OK providing that you are willing to accept your phone is engaged while you are "on line". It can also be painfully slow meaning that web pages could take some time to download.
The most popular popular method is known as a High Speed Internet (HSI) connection or "Broadband". This has quickly made dial-up effectively obsolete due to its faster performance (typically 20 times faster than dial-up). It is however more costly (typically twice the cost of a dial-up connection), but if you need a fast connection this is the way to go.
Decide what you are willing to pay and then talk to you telephone company or Internet Service Provider (ISP) about their charges. Broadband prices are quickly coming down so it's worth shopping around for the best deal.
It is worth mentioning that you don't need an Internet connection to have a web site but most people want to be able to see their own site and to use e-mail to answer the enquiries that will be generated by your web presence.
It is important that you get a domain name relevant to your business and/or your business name where possible. A domain name is the unique address that identifies your web site's location on the Internet. This is often referred to as your URL.
(I won't even tell you what that means - see the glossary link at the bottom of this page if you're interested.)
WWW domain names are formed using a series of alphanumeric characters followed by your unique name and an extension, e.g. www.bbc.co.uk. The "uk" part signifies a UK website.
All countries have a unique identifier such as ".de" for Germany and ".au" for Australia. Other general extensions are also available such as .com for commercial sites, .biz for business sites, .info for information based sites, etc.
Domain names must be registered through an authorised domain name registrar. These are companies that have been set up to deal in domain names. You must use a registrar for this, there is no other way of getting a domain name. (Registration is controlled by an organisation called InterNIC whose web site is at WWW.INTERNIC.NET.)
After selecting your registrar you can check to see if your chosen name is still available. Someone may have registered this before. For example if your business is called Big Bob's Café don't even think about looking for bbc.co.uk.
When you have registered your domain name you pay a low annual fee for the right to use it. Typically this will be from about £4 per annum upwards for a .co.uk domain name. Your chosen registrar holds the registration, you don't really own it but it is registered to you and effectively it is yours for as long as you want to pay the fee.
You should put some thought into the construction of your name. If you have a business called "The Loch Lomond View Bed and Breakfast" you could go for www.lochlomondviewbedandbreakfast.co.uk. You would probably find that a name like that would still be available but it is a bit too long to expect people to take the time to type it in (unless they are really keen).
It is however worth pointing out that having words that people may search for on the search engines within your domain name can you a better chance of being found. If someone was searching for "Loch Lomond" you would probably rank higher on the search engine indices with the above domain name.
More recently EMDs (Exact Match Domains) have been penalised by search engines like Google because it associates them with people trying to game the system and to rank their websites unfairly in their search engine.
We can advise you on this.
Email me with the name you would like and I'll check any domain name's availability for you. If it's not available I'll find and suggest an alternative free of charge!
CONTENT, CONTENT ... and yet more ... CONTENT
The first thing you'll need to think about is what information you want to put on your site. What are you trying to sell or what message are you trying to convey? Don't lose sight of the fact that this is the world's doorway to your business. There has to be interesting, relevant content and information inside or you'll just chase people away - and quickly.
If you have a restaurant you should have menus available to view. If you are selling something there must be good information about this along with suitable images.
If you provide a service tell people what they want to know about the service you provide and consider offering them additional, value added information.
Think if a good "hook". This is a prominent statement or offering that catches your website visitor's eye when they land on your website. Use words like "cheapest", "best", "special offer", "reduced rates", "FREE", etc. These are all hooks or attention grabbers.
That's what people want to see and, dependent on your type of business, you should display your prices (assuming you've got nothing to hide). Visitors to your site won't hang around unless they know the bottom line, i.e. what's coming off their credit cards.
Images are probably going to be a necessity. Like magazines, Internet sites get boring when they consist of just text, which is why we shall move swiftly on to the next item.
Hang on in there - we're almost done! After your web site has been constructed it must be uploaded to a server. A server is one of these very powerful computers used by the ISPs or hosting companies that we spoke about earlier. Basically this involves renting space on one of these computers. The deal is that the ISP provides the space and ensures that the service is up and running constantly. You pay a monthly or annual fee to the ISP for the use of the space.
It's up to you to get your site uploaded onto this space and to update and maintain it from then onwards. The process used to actually upload the files from a desktop PC to this space is called FTP (File Transfer Protocol). When your site has been uploaded it can be accessed immediately via the Internet. (We'll do all this for you.)
In conclusion, unless you are highly PC literate, it is difficult to handle all these procedures yourself. Most people agree that it is better to get a web designer to do it for them. All they then have to do is provide the content for their website. I can provide a complete website design service so contact me today and I'll put your business on the Internet!
If you are reasonably PC literate it is possible to build your own website. There are many low cost solutions on offer that make it easier for you to do this. Some of them can used to produce reasonably attractive websites but it's not all as simple as it seems. Be ready to face the problems.
All of the above points are very important. Clearly I have a vested interest but there really is much more to website design than what meets the eye. Be very careful if you decide to build your own website. The very existence of your business could depend on it. You may also visit the links page, which will direct you to independent advice, resources about business and websites and what you should be paying for these.
A full glossary of Internet terms and Jargon can be found at this link:
University of California, Berkeley Library
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