In my previous set article (Part One) I try to make it clear that building a web site is an investment in time and some money as well. In this article I will just try and lay out the fundamentals required when you go about thinking about building that professional web site. Remember this is not for the one-page web site or blog. This is for a scaled development where you would like to bring some information to the public or to sell some merchandise on the web.
Remember, places like eBay are sometimes much better at selling a few articles or objects. If you want to sell 5 copies of one book then a web-site is not the way to go. However, if you want to sell or bring information that is updated and changed on a constant basis to the public then most definitely you need an internet web site presence.
I am also not going to discuss hypothetical situations in these articles. I will try and involve you in my own real life frustration and experience. This is not trying to hype my web site. The details of my web sites and blogs are in my author signature anyway. However, using a real “live” and real “life” example may bring home to you the problems you will face.
To just bear in mind that I did personally act as a CTO (Chef Technological Officer) for many years at three highly successful technology companies. But it is one hell of a different ball game when you have to almost everything for yourself. So here we go.
- Web Server – Two choices here: Linux or Windows (and it does make a difference)And what else will my provider offer me?
- The Software YOU will use to design your site – Major choices are usually FrontPage or Dreamweaver and fanatics exist about either. There are many other great FREE choices as well.
- The knowledge you have of HTML (and soon of course I will mention PHP and ASP two competing technologies (by the way PHP rocks!)
- The Content which in this case does not only mean text. The content meaning images, text, internal links, navigation, menu structure.
- What you want to accomplish? – On one web site I want to sell Real Estate. On another web site I want to show off my writing publications. Yet on another one, believe it or not I run Virgin Earth Article Submissions which is geared to articles about places in every country in the world and travel. (You cannot publish articles about sports there for instance.) Each one of these sites has a different PURPOSE. Each one has a different agenda. Each one is a place where one may go and visit for different reasons. In other words the Clientele is NOT the same. So they have to be geared totally differently.
- Next on your list (or perhaps first) is who is my clientele? Who do I want to attract? Not HOW (yet) but WHO!
- Time you have to build it and spend nurturing it. There is NO SUCH THING ON THE WEB as “if you build they will come.” Forget it. Don’t even entertain that dream. You will be building your site and nurturing it like it is a new-born baby, and it will frustrate you like a 14 year old daughter about to go out on her first date. Be wary and don’t underestimate here. You need TIME to build and run a web site.
That is the basic cookbook. Soon we will be adding a whole slew of chapters to it. Soon we will be explaining all those nutty terms that drive us crazy. But for now, for this part that is the information you need to consider. In my next article I will explain and try and educate just how important the answers to these questions are down the road. Thinking ahead and long term will save an incredible amount of money and frustration down the road.