With the internet a reality of the 21st Century, any beginner can jump into the fray with no web experience, realizing that a website can be changed almost instantly.
Any business, whether bricks and mortar or super high tech has no excuse for not having a website. The reality is that web design software is relatively inexpensive, easy to use and produces acceptable results.
This article assumes that anyone interested in a web site is interested in probably selling something, a good or service, using the internet as a means to accomplish that goal. The goal of this article is to explore a few of the basic concepts involved in developing a website and getting it into Google, Dogpile, Bing, Lycos, Altavista or any number of other search engines and directories.
Website Registration, Website Hosting
To get started in the web business, a potential web site owner must first purchase a domain from a registrar or an authorized agen” and once it is registered, that domain belongs exclusively to whomever it is registered. Virtually any company hosting web sites, will simplify the process. An online article, Top 10 Web Hosting — Best Web Hosts 2010, has surveyed the field and found that inexpensive web hosting services can be easily found for less than $10 per month with a range of from $1.99 per month to $8.95 per month, depending upon services rendered.
Of course, prior to being registered, the owner in this process would have picked out a name to facilitate the ease for search engines to locate, categorize and index the site. The yearly cost to maintain a domain name is typically about $10 per year.
Basic Web Design
There are numerous, inexpensive web design programs available as well as web hosting firms that will allow average, non technical people to literally fill in the blanks on an online web page template. This will allow a user to develop a basic web site within a few minutes, without ever having to worry about the magic letters http.
It is possible to extend website capabilities, to do more, however, requires a bit more time, study and interest. Most business people would be mostly interested in only a web site’s economic & marketing capabilities. Microsoft provides relatively inexpensive and easy to use web design software.
What is Google, Bing, etc. and Who Cares?
Often those new to the web, wonder about search engines and how they work. Frankly, they exist, they’re important and beyond that, they really don’t matter. What is important is that Google and other search engines are the programs that bring paying customers to someone’s web site.
If a web site is optimized for a search engine with appropriately placed keywords, title, index pages, etc, the chances are much higher that customers will find the site and use it to make purchases. If the web pages are designed with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind, it is more likely that engines will index the pages and make it easier for people to find that web site. SEO seems like an arcane art, however, it is possible for a neophyte to actually make their web site more accessible to search engines. For most however, it’s best to leave this type of marketing up to the experts and merely pay a monthly fee.
eCommerce on the Cheap
Purchases of goods and/or services are typically made through e Commerce software which can be purchased, provided by fee based e Commerce sites or provided free from service providers, such as, Paypal. Paypal provides a fee based service depending upon the transaction value. If the value of the goods that are sold on the site carry a high gross margin, then paying the 3%-3.5% that Paypal charges is well worth it.
One key advantage with Paypal: the web site is not charged any fee unless a transaction has been recorded. A second advantage is that the personal and confidential information of anyone on the web site is guarded by and handled through Paypal, absolving the web site owner of any privacy responsibilities.
Making an eCommerce Web Site Work
Many potential web site owners plan and plan and ultimately lose the impetus to jump in with both feet and just do business. A web site is fluid. It can be changed almost instantly. It can be improved and optimized. It is certainly possible for a business person to register and have an eCommerce web site up and operational within 24 hours. It is inexpensive, but there are costs attached, not the least of which is time. If a business owner has been thinking about this for some time, perhaps it’s best to just jump in and make it happen.