How to get a new web site ...
This BLOG is based on numerous conversations with people about their experiences in acquiring a web site.
It is not a good idea to do a web site just because your competition has one -
that may be a motivating factor, but it won't really yield much success. It
is much more important for you to consider what the "site" or "web application"
needs to do for you! Here are a few "rules" to follow before you start calling
potential vendors about your site:
- Write down what the web site should "do" without using technology terms.
Use ideas you see on other web sites, but be sure to apply those ideas to your
Think about your potential clients ... what will they be looking for when they
come to your site.
As for your home page ... consider this ... if you only have 10 seconds to tell
a potential client what they need to know about you, what would you say?
If one of your clients or potential client come to your site what questions
might they want answered?
- How will people find out about your site?
Can you break down the various requirements and prioritized them so that if
money becomes an issue you know what you can live without.
By clearly mapping out your requirements it is far more likely that you won't be
"sold" on a site that doesn't really meet your needs. It also allows you to
clearly measure differences between vendors based on how they address your
Ownership is Important
There are some things about a web site that you MUST handle yourself ... becasue
it is your site. If you outsource these things the result will probably not be
what you were hoping for.
You should control all of your content - don't let someone else put words in
You need to register your own domain name - setup your own account with a
registrar like GoDaddy.
You need to have your own hosting account - you can't really do this until you
select a developer because there may be requirements for the hosting company to
meet based on the sites functionality.
A few things about vendors
Here are some things you should probably know about vendors and how they might
impact your site. They are not all the same, and some will be better suited to
help you with your needs.
Designers - some vendors are excellent at design the work they do will be
beautiful, but may not be very functional. On the up side your clients will be
quite impressed with your site, but on the down site graphics don't do very well
on search engines, and sometimes what your site does is more important that how
Developers - Web developers are all about function, so your site will end
up very functional, but it may not have the visual appeal you require.
Template Sites and Content Managers - In order to provide sites at a VERY
reasonable rate there are vendors that provide template sites and content
managers. Basically what this means is you pick a pre-done design and then
insert and manage your own content. On the up side this is an extremely
inexpensive way to get a site which is great for some organizations. The down
side is that in the fiercly competetive marketplace you may need to control the
design as well as the content to make sure your site visitors stay with you
SEO & SEM Vendors - these guys are really good at getting your site
exposure on the internet through the various search engines. This one is tricky
because your success with your site may depend on search engines, but a site
optimized for search engines is probably not nearly as appealing to people. You
also have to be careful because it is much easier in this field to make promises
that can't be kept. (SEO - Search Engine Optimization, SEM - Search Engine
Emmaus Road Productions is a group that focuses on Development and Design by
having staff that have strengths in both. We really don't do any template sites,
although we have recommended them numerous times because it was the best fit. As
far as SEO we can help, but bear in mind that this can be a real "money pit" -
so be careful!
Well that should help you get started on your pursuit of a good web site. I hope
this helps ...