Many business owners ask the same questions
when deciding to invest
in a business website. If the information
you are seeking is not found here, please contact us
and we will answer your specific questions directly.
should my business be on the web?
Your website will serve as a virtual customer service representative
for your business 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days
a year. Your current and potential clients and customers can
access your business website at any time to get information about
your company's goods and services, location, contact information,
management team or any other unique aspects of your business you
desire to make available. With an e-commerce site, visitors
can purchase goods and services directly from your site when your
business is normally off-hours. With a company website, the
doors to your business are never closed!
What specific benefits can my business
realize with a website?
There are some very realizable benefits that your
company can achieve with a presence on the web. Some include
number of Internet users has grown by over 336%
2000 to 2008.
1. Increase your client
or customer base. With nearly 247 MILLION people using
the Internet in North America (and over 1.5 BILLION around the world!), the potential for reaching new clients is
nearly limitless. Usage of the Internet grows daily, and
unless you establish a web presence soon, you could be left behind
while your competitors become a familiar face to your client base.
2. Increased customer satisfaction.
Because of its extensive reach and availability, a website can
help your company provide better service, better information,
better support, and help you develop a stronger relationship with
your customers. A presence on the Internet also tells your customers
that you are staying current with technology, which is a reflection
of how well you stay current in your industry.
3. Your company can relay
important information to your client base instantaneously and
in a cost-effective manner. Updates to your website
can be accessed simultaneously by thousands at the click of a
mouse. Posting critical, late-breaking information on your
company website is the most cost-effective way of distributing
information quickly to a large audience. Updates or new
advertising can be made at any time of the day, all at a much
lower cost than traditional advertising methods. If you are an
organization that sends out newsletters by mail, save hundreds
to thousands of dollars a year on mailing costs by making an electronic
version of your newsletter available online.
4. A website that can
answer common questions about your company will increase the effectiveness
of your staff. Rather than spending valuable time on
the phone responding to ordinary informational questions, your
staff can attend to important day-to-day tasks with fewer interruptions.
Now that I've decided to invest in a business
website, how do I get started?
If you are to end up with an effective website that
will meet your needs, there are several areas that will require
some thought and preparation. Most basic is determining your main
objective for having a website. Will it be for informational purposes
only? For selling products online? For disseminating documents to
your customers, clients or members? Once you've determined the main
objective of your website, other major considerations will be:
The web address where your site can be found.
The service provider that will host your website
on the Internet.
Keywords and descriptions hidden on your page that allow
search engines to list and categorize your website.
target audience - industry, income, age
design and theme - logos, colors, feel
domain name - web address
website content - products, services
level of interactivity - forms, feedback
- meta keywords, description - search engines
As a starting point, visit the websites of some of your competitors.
See what they are doing and if their websites appeals to you. If
not, you know what to avoid!
For site content, helpful items include any existing brochures,
flyers and/or advertisements. Also, any electronic versions of logos
and photographs can be incorporated into your site.
If you are interested in evaluating and putting down your
thoughts for a website, be sure to go to our tools
page and fill out the Website Design Interview
document found there. Then you will be prepared to tell us
exactly what you have in mind when you contact
us or submit a request for an estimate.
How much will a new website cost?
If your needs are simple, your costs will correlate.
Informational sites with four or five basic pages can generally be designed for approximately
$550-$700. A domain name (i.e. www.yourcompanyname.com) and
hosting services can generally be procured for an additional
fee of $75.00 to $200.00 per year, depending upon your site
needs. Adding more pages and/or special features, such as
photo galleries, guest books, databases, Flash, animated menus or graphics,
news scrollers, etc., will increase the cost. Also, content
composition, editing and data entry can add to the cost of
your site. To get an estimate for your business website, go
to our estimates
page and submit our online request form for a cost-free estimate.
How can I find out if the domain name I
want is available?
With nearly 30,000,000 domain names already in use,
what are the chances you will get the domain name you want for your
business? The only way to know is to execute a domain search, which
you can find on our tools
page. Once you've determined that a name is available, it is wise
to purchase it right away. Over 900,000 new domain names are registered
every day. (That's 37,500 per hour!) Waiting even one day may
give someone else the opportunity to register the name you want
before you get the chance. Names with top level domain designations
of .com, .net, .org
and .biz can be purchased for the very low rate of $12.95 per year. Small
Web Solutions will be happy to help you secure your domain name
at that price.
Interesting domain name facts:
total active domain names: 107,764,569
(includes .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz and .us)
total active .com domain names: 79,450,534
(74% of all active domain names)
newly registered domain names per day: 109,334
(76 newly registered domain names per minute every day)
Source: Domain Tools, 2009
Once I have a domain name, can I have my
own email address at my domain, such as email@example.com?
Yes! You have two options. POP3 email addresses can
be created, which can be accessed using an email client such as
Outlook, Outlook Express or Eudora; or email aliases can be created,
which will show your domain name in the email address, but will
be forwarded to an already existing email account, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org
could forward to email@example.com.
Where will my site be hosted on the Internet
and how much will it cost?
Small Web Solutions can host your website on our dedicated server which is only for the use of SWS clients. Hosting plans include POP3 email, webmail (so you can check your email online without Outlook), ongoing site backups, and great load up speeds. You may also choose to use any hosting service that you wish to contract with, however we ask that you consult with us first to make sure that the features you buy are appropriate for your website needs.
Depending upon your needs, rates range from approximately
$60.00 per year ($5.00/mo) for standard hosting, while e-commerce
sites with shopping cart capabilities and secure transaction encryption
begin at approximately $360.00 per year ($30.00/mo).
How long will it take to get my site on
The length of design time can vary depending on the
number of pages and features. However, a simple site with 6-7 pages
can be created and on the web in as little as one week with prompt
delivery of professionally written content from you for the site.
If you need editing services for your site content, we can provide
that as well.
I already have a website, but I want to
change its appearance and functionality. Can you use what I already
have and incorporate it into a redesigned site?
Yes! We redesign websites to make them easier to navigate
and much more appealing to the eye. A redesign also gives you the
opportunity to rework the text and content of your site to bring
How do I submit website content to you?
To avoid additional charges for text composition,
editing and data entry, we suggest submitting your content electronically
via email in a professionally written format. If you require copy editing services, we can provide them for you.