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Website Setup

Do you need to set up a website for your business?  Websites can serve as a way to sell your products or they can act as an online brochure.  They allow you to present more information about your company than you can provide in a 30 second elevator speech.  They can be updated to provide current information in less time than it takes to update printed materials.

There are several major areas that you need to address when setting up a website.  All of these areas have separate costs involved with them.  

  • Domain name registration
  • Hosting
  • Content
  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Email addresses

DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION

Your website needs to have name that is hopefully related to your company name.  For example, if your company name is John’s Shoes, hopefully your website name is johnsshoes.com.  Website names are assigned by domain name registrars who charge an annual fee for the registration.  The fee varies from one registrar to another.  There are many accredited registrars; they include Network Solutions, Dotster and GoDaddy.

HOSTING

After you have a name for your website, you need to have a place for it to reside.  Web hosts are computers on the Internet where the content of your website can be viewed by anyone who types in your website name (www.johnsshoes.com).  The company that provides your domain name registration may also provide hosting or hosting can be obtained from a separate company.  Regardless of who provides hosting, there is an additional charge (either monthly or annually) for hosting.  

CONTENT

The content of your website is how you present your company to the world.  Content includes text and pictures and can include music and videos.  Whether you plan to create your website yourself or you work with a web designer, it is helpful if the content is in electronic format, e.g., text in a word processing file and pictures in a digital format (jpeg or gif).  If you choose to work with a web designer, you will find that this is usually the largest upfront cost in setting up a website.  

ONGOING MAINTENANCE

After your website has a name, a place to live, and content, you are not totally finished.  You should review your website on a regular basis and have it updated as needed.  Your business will undergo changes and your website should be reflective of these changes.  If you choose to have someone else maintain your website, they may charge a flat monthly fee or charge for updates as they are completed.   

EMAIL ADDRESSES

Once you have a domain name, you can have multiple email addresses associated with the domain name, e.g., john@johnsshoes.com, info@johnsshoes.com, webmaster@johnsshoes.com.  Generally, these email addresses are set up with the hosting company and they provide blocks of email addresses for a set fee.  Email addresses associated with your domain name are generally considered more professional than johnsshoes@yahoo.com or johnsshoes@aol.com.