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Websites - Marketing - Ecommerce - Software
 Introduction - What solution is best - FAQs

Introduction to Websites

If you are new to web sites in general, this brief overview should help you understand the entire process. It is really quite simple and affordable. For this tutorial, we will use the
analogy of the real estate business.

Step 1: Buy some property

This is called a domain name and is your Internet address. This can be any combination of letters/numbers that is available, up to 67 characters. For example, www.johndoe.com is a domain name. You can also piggy back on another domain, which is similar to renting an apartment. Essentially, your web site would be www.sunriseweb.com/johndoe. This is commonly used with free web site services. This is seen as unprofessional for a business and should only be used for personal sites, if at all.

In order to determine if your domain name is available, you must look up the availability. There are many companies that do this, but we recommend the following two companies:

  • www.buydomains.com
  • www.nameboy.com
The cost for buying a domain name varies across companies. You can pay anywhere from $35/yr. to $6/yr. You can purchase a domain name for 1 or more years at a time. You can purchase your domain name by yourself, or we will do it for you. We charge $9.95/yr. to register the domain name and handle any correspondence. Please call or e-mail us if you have any questions regarding this process. Picking a domain name is easy, but if the domain name you want is already registered, there are various ways to be creative.

For example, maybe your business name is Sunrise Web Solutions and you found that sunriseweb.com is taken (our web site!). Well, you could simply change it to www.sunrisewebsol.com. Both web sites above have search results that recommend different domain names automatically, which is very helpful. Please contact us if you would like help in finding the best domain name for your web site. In general, try to be simple and short.

Step 2: Build your house

Staying with the real estate analogy, designing your web site is similar to building a house and/or choosing a property where you would like to live. You can spend thousands of dollars for a deluxe mansion (fancy web site) or you can spend a few hundred dollars and get a simple web site.

This will be based on your budget and reason for getting a web site. Most web sites for small businesses and individuals, should start off with a simple site. This strategy helps you learn about the process and get your feet wet. A web site is a "living" thing that can always be changed or expanded in the future.

Also, consider what you want your web site to accomplish. Here are some ideas:
  • Inform customers of your products/services
  • Post pictures of completed projects, employees, family members, etc.
  • Use in conjunction with advertisements
  • E-commerce/selling your products/services
  • Allow customers to contact you directly
Sunrise Web Solutions can help you develop a web site that is within any budget. Depending on your preferences, experience, and budget, we will help you select the right strategy. You DO NOT need 1000's of dollars to get a web site!  Contact us  for a free phone consultation and we will discuss the different options. You can also choose from one of our packages. In addition, depending on your preferences, we can easily train you how to update your web site on your own. There are several products on the market that we work with and/or can recommend that simplify the web design process. This saves you money in the future should you want to make minor changes.

Step 3: Maintain your house

Now that we have purchased land (domain name) and built a house (web site design/layout), the next step is to maintain your house (web site). Just like a house needs water, electricity, and other services to become "livable," your web site needs to be "hosted." While this analogy doesn't quite fit perfectly, we'll try to explain it better.

Hosting your web site is simply putting the files on a server which allows your web site files to be viewable all over the world from any computer. Without a hosting service, your web site would not exist and no one could view it. Similarly, you have to maintain your home by paying taxes, having electricity, water, and other services. It is also similar to buying land because you have to put your "house" somewhere, but hopefully, this makes it clear.

We offer hosting for all of our clients. The world of web site hosting is constantly changing and pricing plans can be confusing. You can pay anywhere from $0 to $100/month or more, depending on the services you want and the amount of memory/data traffic you need. E-commerce sites usually approach about $50-$100/mo. while more basic sites can be hosted for $8-$20/month. Some services offer free hosting, but usually limit you to basic services. The idea is that eventually, customers will upgrade to a paying account.

Sunrise Web Solutions offers web hosting with all of our design packages. You can also purchase our hosting packages separately if you already have a web site.

Depending on your needs, we will find a hosting package that suits your needs. We will help you understand all of the options and find the hosting solution that meets your needs and is the most affordable.

Step 4: Throw a House Warming Party

This tutorial is almost over. Hang in there. Now that we have a domain name, web site, and hosting service, it is time to promote your web site or in keeping with the analogy, it's time to let people know you're in the neighborhood. This process involves submitting your site to major search engines as well as various aspects of e-mail marketing.

Some simple steps you can take to promote your site are listed below. Put your web site on the following:
  • All advertisements
  • Business cards
  • Your e-mails/e-mail signature
  • Bumperstickers
  • Letterhead
  • Yellow page listings
  • Chamber of Commerce listings
  • Etc.
We will help you develop a promotion strategy, depending on your goals and purpose of your site. For many small businesses, simply putting their web site on all correspondence and other communications is enough. If you are planning to selling lots of products from your site, you will need to pursue other search engine strategies such as pay per click advertising and developing an in-house e-mail list/newsletter.
 
This concludes the Intro to web sites tutorial.
 
Contact us today to set up a free consultation and begin your Internet adventure!

We hope this has helped you understand the world of web sites and the process involved. It may seem slightly complicated or confusing, but benefits far out weigh the risks.

Many companies say they can't afford a web site...we here at Sunrise Web Solutions believe that you Can't Afford Not to Have a Web Site! Simply put, no matter what business you are in, a web site sets you apart from your competition, not to mention the promotional opportunities it brings.

Best of luck in your Internet adventure. There are certainly many companies to choose from and we wish you the best of luck in your search.

Naturally, we would love to offer you our design/consulting services.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

This tutorial does not guarantee to cover every aspect of a web site project. Please consult us with any additional questions you have regarding your web site and/or Internet needs.

Prices subject to change.
 

 

 

 


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