Checklist for Taking Your Business Online
There are a few sunk costs when getting your business online. These include
Domain name registration, usually $10-$20 per year. This is the fee paid to the agency for the right to have your domain name for a period of time.
Hosting. Usually $5-$100 per month, depending on usage. This is the fee charged for housing your website files on a web server with a high-speed link to the internet, usually at an ISP.
Website design and development. Anywhere from free to the sky is the limit. This is whatever you pay an individual or agency to create the look and feel of your site, as well as any functionality that it will have.
- Make it short
- Keep it simple
- Keep it easy to remember
- What is the cost of the service?
- Can you get an itemized quote with no hidden charges?
- How much disk space/bandwidth will you receive? (The more the better.)
- What kind of support does the company provide?
- Do they offer a way for you to manage your own email addresses?
- Do they create periodic backups of your website files and databases?
- Do they have multiple backbone connections into the Internet? (Ask how much downtime they have had.) Your provider should have multiple, redundant lines.
- Will you get reports that tell how many visitors you have, and where they came from, and which pages they came to?
- What kind of security do they provide to keep your information safe from hackers?
- How fast is their network? A good provider should keep approximately 50 percent of their lines free in order to handle peak times smoothly.
- Home page
- "About" page or Business Information page
- Contact page
- Clean, uncluttered and easy to navigate through the site
- Fast downloading time (This means that you should not use large photos.)
- Keep the look consistent on each page, so visitors will know they are still on your site when they click from page to page
- In addition to reliable tech support, does the provider offer marketing support in order to help drive traffic to your site? This can also be done through an outside marketing agency.
- After all, a website is the beginning, not the end of your Internet journey. A professional provider should be as interested in your success as they are in designing and/or hosting your site.
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