Internet Web Design Whitepaper:
"What are the first steps?"
The first step is simple. You simply need to make the decision that your business will benefit from having an Internet presence. The second step is to review your current advertising information to insure that it is up-to-date, and extract or prepare a few paragraphs of information about your business. Since your potential audience needs to quickly evaluate whether or not your company offers anything of interest to them, make sure this overview is brief and effective.
It is important that the "look-and-feel" of your Internet site reflects your print and media advertising and reinforces your "Brand Recognition". Your marketing department may want to avoid the "ready-fire-aim" approach of getting started on the Internet. If this is the case, you should ask that they provide the target, and then move forward quickly. You will also need to determine if it is important to have your company name "registered" as your domain name e.g. www.yourcompany.com -- or if a "non-virtual" domain name such as www.designmaker.com/web/yourcompany makes sense for your business. The difference is about $200 per year and about $150 additional start-up costs.
One important reason to start immediately is the fast rate at which "Domain Names" are being assigned. If yourcompany.com is currently available, our recommendation is to reserve the domain name today, even if you want to wait to develop your site. In order to do this you will need to order a "Virtual" domain account. Design Maker can register yourcompany.com for you if you don't want to fill out the form. Check for availability of yourcompany.com: Internic.net/whois?
What does it cost for an Internet Web Site? Today's "High - Profile" web-sites can average about $3 Million, compared to $1 Million two years ago -- but a very effective site can be created for the cost of a single print advertisement. Design Maker can post a "Starter Page" for your business (w/ Email forwarding) at a current cost of only $69 / year. This can be added to at a later time if desired. Remember that the best place to start is with your current advertising material. You must have copyright ownership to materials (including photographs) prior to publishing them on the Internet.