The Steps You Need To Take To Get Your Company Online
Determine Your Purpose: First you must determine the purpose of your web site. Is it just Internet Presence for your Brick and Morter company, will you be an exclusive Internet based company selling services, an informational or news site, or all of the above? You need to determine the purpose of your Web Site before deciding on what you will need or how much you will spend. This way, you can take the steps necessary to ensure that you do not end up spending too much. Many online businesses are failing today because of this. They are running low on cash and heavy in debt because of false expectations. Do not let this happen to your company.
Regular Hosting or E-commerce?: After you have determined the purpose of your web site, and have a solid business plan in hand, then you are ready to search for the equipment and people you will need to get started. If you are going to be selling products on your site, you will need an e-commerce hosting account. These cost more than regular hosting accounts because they operate via a back-end database. E-commerce hosting plans can range anywhere from $29.99/mo - $99.00/mo depending on the features you need and where you go. If you are going to be maintaining a large database with hundreds to thousands of products, then you will need an interface designed for you to easily upload images and input text. These are sometimes called Manager Sections or Site Control Panels. Some E-commerce companies can customize your Control Panel to meet your needs. E-commerce accounts also allow you to sell your products on-line very easily by allowing people to use credit cards to buy your merchandise - a definite must-have for any Internet retailer.
Carefully Choose Your Web Developer/Designer: You must be careful in choosing the company that will develop and/or host your web site. Some web service companies are created overnight for quick revenues and may not offer you quality service, and some have been around for years and have a solid client base. If this web site is going to represent you, you must make sure that you get something that you like. If you decide to go with the company that gave you the lowest quote, just because you wanted to save money, then you could end up with something you hate and you will end up spending more on a redesign 6 months down the road anyway. As the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for." Make sure you look at how long the company has been in existence, look for awards they may have won, and look at their portfolio if possible. Go with the company that has the most appealing sites. Chances are, if you like most of their other sites, you will like the one they create for you. And look around for a mid-range price that isn't too expensive, but that you know will be able to meet your needs. If your site is created with the passion that you have for your business, then the money will be paid back to you as your site prospers.
Market, Market, Market: If you don't market your web site, then it will probably only amount to wasted bandwidth. As sad as it is, some people have the misconception that if their site is on the Web, people will automatically see it. This is not true. You must market your site. There are many resources on the internet that can guide you through this. You need a strong marketing campaign to get your site noticed, and you will also need to submit your site to the major search engines. Try to avoid those "Submit Your Site to 200 Search Engies at Once" deals. There have been many complaints about these types of services and there is no proof that they actually work. The best way to submit to search engines is to do it yourself. AceHosts.com has created a Search Engine Submission Page which links the major search engines and their submission pages so that you can submit from here after your site is ready. Before submitting your site, make sure that you have meta tags in your code. Some search engines, such as AltaVista, use the keywords and descriptions in meta tags to index a web site. You should contact your web developer and make sure that these meta tags are implemented before you submit your site. For other ways to market your site, please see our 6 Ways to Market Your Site Article.
If you take the proper steps, your site could someday be as big as Amazon.com or Ebay.com. So good luck to you and your business!