10 Things You Need to Prepare BEFORE You Build a Website
So you want to build a website to promote your book, product or business.
This post will give you a few ideas on what to think about when begining to think of your own website.
I have friends who have great ideas who are thinking of starting a new business. They have heard that they need a website, but they are not very tech savy. They ask, “Where do you begin to open a website?”
If you have a magic wand it would be as simple as POOF! I WISH it were THAT easy!
But, since building a website is more complicated (than you nor I ever want to know) I’m going to break it down in a digestable parts from my experience for my beginner friends. I was beginner once my self.
(This post is open to the public to feel free to read and glean.)
You have 4 choices:
- Do it all yourself DIY template FREE with a lot of options to choose from.( Remember, you get what you pay for)
- Ask a friend to put together a web site.
- Hire a professional.(Services, fee and prices will vary; so will the results. You do have plently of options. I will focus on my in-house web site builder with predjudice.)
- Enroll in college. Major in Computor Science.Take web designing classes, do your homework and become a professional web builder in a few years.
People often comment on the fact of the use of the internet being FREE so why do they have to pay to have a website built? After all “Facebook is FREE.” ( My answer is given at the bottom of this post.)
- Facebook, social network, IS FREE to the public to use like the city park is free to the public. ( The city pays for a maintance crew.)
- Facebook is a FREE SOCIAL NETWORK site for profit business owned by someone other that we the people who complain about all the ads and restrictions on why we can’t say or do some things on Facebook
- You can use Facebook to integrate a business like I did with my e-commerce store through Shopify.com
- You can open a business page on Facebook and pay to BOOST your posts reach to your website to build a larger target market…(annoy other people with your ads.) (Your website can have SHARE buttons that will allow your website to be social shared.)
Someone has to pay for all the expences of running a social network or a website. There are far more expenses to a mega social network and government restrictions than we really want to know when LIKE or SHARE on any social network. ( A WEB SITE is generally NOT a social network.).
- the employees, we never see, need to be paid.
- the servers cost money: the more the traffic the bigger servers are needed..
- domain names cost money and are renewed every year.
- overhead for all the develoment equipment and people who run the sites behind the scene.*
I am getting ahead of myself….
You want a website that will
- tell the world that you have something to offer
- you can post images of what you have to offer
- describe what exactly you offer that will solve a problem for your visitors
- promote how much the “product” you offer will cost
- how and where to buy your “product”
- be an easy to find website
- easy to navigate for busy users.
- you want traffic that will send visitors that potentially convert into results you want
- your Terms of Service and policies
- about you and your mission (business)
A web builder, whether it is you, a friend, or professional, can not move forward with even the first steps of building a website site for any one unless he/ she has the basic goal information from the owner of the proposed project.
10 things to have prepared before your website is constructed:
- Name of your book, business or product. Have you googled it to determine how unique it it? If you find search results for that exact term, title, name, products, serveice reveals 976 or a million and one other results you may want to re-think how to make your idea better than all the competition or make a change of plan.
- How much money do have on hand to put towards that website to have it work optimally? (See list below for the behind the scene expences.)
- Do you have unique professional logo? ( A logo should be included on your website.)
- Elevator pitch in 2 sentences. (You want to use descriptive words that a person would use when they potentially do a SEARCH to find what you and your compettiors offer.)
- Do you have a Colors-Scheme picked out? ( Your favorite colors may or may not be marketable for you. So don’t be so stuborn when a web builder directs you to information on the pyschology of colors.)
- How much original content do you have written and and edited ready to go on Libre Office or Micro Soft Word? (If you only have wheels turning in your head then start getting those original ideas in written form. It is NOT the web builders job to transcribe it for you from your verbalizations. When the site is ready you will be able to easily copy and paste.)
- Do you have prepared unique professional images you own the copy rights to of products or related to content that? ( Most people look at the pictures rather than reading verbose content like I tned to write.)
- Do you have the legal authority to proceed with your idea? Permits; licences; registratons; tittles; degrees etc? Do you own the copyright on your proposed content and images?
- What is you Goal or Business Plan for what functions you want the website to do… at the very least scribble the goal on a napkin? ( Maybe you only want to have a blog for a family reunion versus a business to make a profit.)
- Are you prepared to full fill “orders” or respond to enquiries from readers/ potential customers/ folllowers? Who will cover your admin duties when you are on vacation?
Q & A
Q.Why do it right in the beginning when publishing a website?
A. You can’t take back mistakes like having to change the name of your business. You lose time, money and costumers by trying to cut corners.
Q. Why can’t you just put up a website and have throngs of people come throwing money at you?
A. No body knows your idea, services, product, business exists to solve their problem unless you make it easy for the people ( who need what you offer) to find you.
Do you remember the line from The Field of Dreams, “if you build it they will come.”.?
FORGET IT! That line does not apply to your website.
Q. How do any content appear on-line?
A. Don’t ask me. All I know is that there are codes and connections that a way above most of the people’s heads in the world.
With a lot time and work behind the scenes it all works.
You have choices on how to get your website put together functionally:
- You can build a free website for personal use all on your own with templates. This cheap enough for fun when you don;t expect a flood visitors. You may not need a domain name.( But you may be using some one else’s domain name without thinking. That can be very confusing leading to possilble legal issues. I’m not a lawyer. But you can research the subject to find an acceptable explanation.)
- When you want to be taken seriously as in a legit business you can hire an experienced professional to build a professionally functioning website that is easy for your prospective client to navigate.
A professonal web builder makes it LOOK easy!
But, behind the scene are there codes , data bases, domain registraton, hosting, placement of buttons; fomats; servers, fees administration parts the public never sees and ways to get more traffic….
You may be able to pull all that stuff together yourself. But, will it work well enough to effective results you want?
My son who is the founder and operations manager of The Edge of Eternity Networks and I came up with an easy to understand anology about a websites. We use a TACO STAND to make a point versus techie words most people don’t have in their vocabulary..
. Most of us have no idea what we want other than to just have a website becasue some one told us we need one. But, the web builder can help you with that when and only when you can answer some of those 10 points I listed above. Being prepared saves time and frustrations from unrealistic expectations.
A Website is Like Unto a Taco Stand: Analogy
Let’s pretend you are known are making the Best Tacos EVER!
All your friends say, ” You should sell your tacos because your secret recipe is worth a million dollars. Build a TACO STAND!”
You get $$$$$ in your eyes with this encouragement.
Do you think you can maybe set up a taco stand in your garage or sell tacos out of your trench coat on the street with out facing some…shall I use the word CHALLENGES?
If you are smart you will make a TO DO LIST that includes someone to build your TACO STAND along with what the legal requirements in order to prepare and sell food that is safe to eat. ( You already have the secret recipe.)
The web builder is like unto a Taco Stand builder who will…
- build the taco stand frame, foundation, wall, roof, parking spaces and arrows pointing to your tacos stand from the street access… but, how big or small? (see below)
- install wiring
- fit the plumbing pieces together and connect to a water and sewer source.
- hang the taco stand sign before you open
- hook you up to advertising ( you pay the costs)
- has the knowledge base required to meet building standards
How big of or small to build the Taco Shop?
The most important piece of information to know when drawing up the plans to build the taco stand is just how many people do you plan to serve? Will the taco stand be Take Out or full meal with beans and rice on the side with free chips and salsa while customer wait for the tacos to cook?
There is a HUGE difference between a lemonade stand size taco stand in the back yard for an annual family reunion pot luck and a 2 story restaurant with a seating capacty of 500 that serves wine and beer located in the proper commercial ZONE.
- The cost of using scrap wood and a bed sheet for a party decoration and the brick and mortar building is vastly misproportate to each other…
- The legal paper work is also different.
So when you ask a web builder for a quote on how much it will set you back.. the answer is it ALL DEPENDS on your goal! ( Refer to my 10 points above to start preparing.)
If you want to profit either monetarily or in following you WILL HAVE to Show up with the MONEY!
What is YOUR JOB Running the Taco Stand?
- Obtain all proper food code permits and business licences
- Buy or rent the land the the taco stand is to be build on
- Set up an account to pay the electric and water bills
- Hire and train help/ workers depending on the number of people you plan to serve
- Know all the laws of infection control in food prep
- Buy food supplies from a whole sale supplier
- Have the equipment to prepare food with
- Plan and print the menus- you can’t borrow a TACO BELL menu.
- Cook your secret taco meat: you can’t serve a bag of burriots from Del Taco dirive thru’ and pass it off as you own. You need your own original content.
- Chop the lettuce, grate the cheese
- Dine in or carry out options?
- Will you need table and chairs ( how many?) or make people stand over a trash can?
- Will you use all disposables to serve or will your dishes be re-used and washed in between?
- How will taco eaters pay for your tacos? Will you give all your tacos away for free? Credit card, cash or have customers wash dishes?
- Got a business bank account or will you use pocket change?
- Will you need to collect sales taxes?
- How will you advertise your location? Sign, word of mouth; fliers, a guy in chicken suit, social net working…
- Will there be an age restriction? If you have a Margaritta bar in the other room, kids aren’t allowed.
That’s a lot of work, isn’t it and I only scratched the surface of a pretend Taco Stand.
House keeping list:
Things a web builder may do for you for a fee should not be assumed to automatically appear. Web builder need to charge something for their hours and hours of time.
Both parties must communicate.
- When the builder asks a question; have answer ready or right it down to remind you to promptly get an answer.
- Jot down question to ask the builder.
- Have a written contract and required payment up front before the work begins.
- Re-view the work in progress so you can have the builder make corrections before the site is published. ( Is you name spelled correctly? Is the address right?)
- Test the site.
If you are lucky, you can find some one who will be a good friend who volunteers their time only asking for the costs he/ she has no control over. It is possbible…
You will need to discuss the need and cost to add on optional functions
( A free DIY website will not offer these things for free. They will added on for a price at the time you need to update to a better plan)
- Designing function for ease of navigation: user friendly
- Designing for customer appeal
- Coding for SEO
- Register domain name: there is a fee paid to the REGISTRAR. Your choice of domain names may already be registered. In that case the web builder may brainstorm another available option.
- Provide web hosting
- Search engine submission
- Setting up payment portals if planning to sell
- Mobile friendly ( More are using mobile phones. The design is different in order to be responsive. Not all website or free blogs are mobile friendly.)
- Enable or disable comments from followers or members
- Spam filter
- Server size and band width ( This is critical to how fast or slow your website will open. The more visitors you have on the site at the same time, the larger the server is needed.
- Large Servers cost money that is not included in a starter hosting plan designed for low volume of traffic. ( Ever go to a site that took so long to load that you got tired of waiting … you left.. feeling disgusted, didn’t you. What if your sites takes for ever to load? That means you need a larger server or no one will bother visting you site.
- ID protection
- Will there be tech support for the website if something stops functioning or you mess up?
- Do you know how many websties there where in 2001? I forget, but I can ask Cortona or google it? I have a more relevent question: How many websites will there be in 2018? I forget that enourmous number, too!
I know I left you hanging ( if you actually read this far). I want to make some important points with that cilf hanger…
- The internet is exeriencing a massive growth from its inception.
- The world wide web has become for complicated every year and more sofisticated for better and worse.
- Business that got on-line in the begining are well established. They will out do you EVEYTIME unless you are unique.
- When people do a SEARCH they normally only look on the first page of results.
- Most internet users are LAZY. They want to look an pictures not read long informational post, unless they are really digging in for specfic subject matter like I just typ-oed for you, my networking friends.
- Unless you already have a built in following no one will know you exist unless you implement the proper tools. (That is another lesson on SEO and marketing.)
Who knew there was so much to a website?
New flash! There is far more than I list here that we never see happening when you access the internet.. But that is why your hire a professional when you want to look professional. It is too much to learn over night when you really want to focus on the content on your website and business, too.
- delegate tasks
I added clickable links to take you directly to the Edge of Eternity Networks dot net for more detailed explanations for you to research if you wish. This verbose post is my more simplied version of things on the how and why to have prepared before you build a website.
I don’t build websites. I hire TEO to build for me because I would rather be typ-o-ing my opinion and my expertise versus being precise in coding like my “room mate” the owner of TEOE does..
.How much to expect to pay a web builders or desinger per hour?
This answer is not as simple as asking ” How much for a Grande Taco?” The ingredients, prep time, an dover head are so-o-o different.
It all depends. Packages are common with a specified number of pages and functions.. Sometimes the charge is per hour. On average $50 to $100 per hour or an hourly rate combined with functions.
Click the links for a sample of “prices” are figured.
Fees for your Web Site Builder…
.I can’t quote anyone even The Edge of Etenity Networks whom I personally compensate for my work, because I have different needs from the next guy.
When researching I learned that designers figure their rates from a combination of the complexity of the tasks, number of pages and an hourly rate.
Therefore I googled to refer you to a ballpark figure.
Disclaimer: I wrote this post with my personal networking friends in mind that I have referred to my “room mate” a professonal web side builder for their websites. I live with the founder and operation manager of The Edge of Eternity Networks, who built this website… of course I will use my blog to promote TEO. ( The public is more than welcome to glean from this post as well.)
Why build a web site right the first time?
You will end up saving time and money if you don’t have to start all over. That can happen when you choose to go cheap and free with the DIY…
…and I don’t blame you. Most of us have a budget.
I have several old DIY blogs out there in cyber space from years past when I got a novle published.I did not even know any tech lingo. I can’t remember how to find them to delete. Only 3 people ever read them any way. ( That is a hazard of free blogs for a business owner wanting to attract a lot of traffic. It may be perfect for a personal blogger, though.)
**Once you put something out on the internet it is there to stay. The search engines will take a first impression snap shot to put out in front and you may never recover from that snap shot first impression..
My typ-os are testimony of that.
Example: if you just open a blank website with nothing , you should be OK. But, if you are playing around and type out “potty mouth words” just for the heck of and hit publish…YIKES you are stuck with looking like you sell are selling a “sewage swamp” instead of the BEST TACOS EVER!.
When people are surfing the web for TACOS you don;t want to spoil their appettites with a foul tasting first impression now do you? So do it right the first time. Then tweak improvements along the way.
*The vast majority of social sites, blogs and website are monitized with ads so they can try to cover expences of the site or hope to make money as they give away free information to their readers.
The Edge of Eternity Networks offers an extensive selection of web hosting services in our American data center – cloud plans, VPS plans, semi-dedicated hosting plans, and dedicated web hosting plans. You can effortlessly upgrade from one service to another if your web sites or applications surpass the usage limits of your current web hosting package.