Every business needs a web site, that much is known. Billions are spent online every year and a website is way cheaper and more effective than other forms of traditional advertising. This page explains how it all works and how you can maximise your investment.
Getting a website can be very confusing. There are lots of different things involved, and lots of acronyms. Even if you don’t decide to work with us on your website, there is lots of useful information here that may well make your life easier.
Elements that make up a website
This is what people type into their web browser to get to your site, such as www.mycompany.co.uk. There are different endings to domain names, which are intended to be relevant to your business. For example, .com is for companies with a worldwide audience and is short for “Company”. .co.uk is for uk companies, and is short for “Company, UK”. .org is short for “Organisation” such as non-profits or charities.
Your web hosting is where your website actually lives. This is usually a powerful server located in somewhere like London Docklands that has a very fast internet connection. You could host your site on your home PC, but you would get hacked in minutes, it would be very slow, and your website would be unavailable when your PC was turned off!
There are many grades of web hosting, from bargain basement services that are slow, offer few features and are difficult to use, to dedicated servers that cost thousands of pounds a year.
We use green web hosting, which is guaranteed to be powered by renewable sources. This is a great choice for any company wanting to improve the ethical basis of their business.
People will decide within seconds whether they like and trust your company website. It is a public facing part of your business. Therefore, it has to look attractive, feel professional and allow the user to find what they are looking for immediately.
To get such a design usually requires a graphic/web designer. They spend all day every day making beautiful graphics. We can all knock out a quick sketch, but it takes a training and experience to create something special.
Once a suitable design has been arrived at, this needs to be converted into a usable, working website. There are various ways of doing this, from using a visual editor, to coding the whole thing by hand in a text editor. The tools are not important – what is vital is that the site is well coded and will work in all major browsers and operating systems to be visible to the most visitors.
One way of ensuring high quality is to follow the W3C guidelines on coding. All our sites are built to these guidelines. As a handy by-product of this quality coding, our sites look great to search engines too!
On top of the design and layout, websites often need some programming work. This is used when the site connects to a database to send or receive information or when it runs on a content management system like WordPress.
Once a site is built, it needs to be updated regularly and maintained. Out of date sites are bad for business and look neglected. Fresh content such as news, current projects and updated text helps the site look current and interesting. Our content managed websites allow you to change your site whenever you like, without having to pay someone to update your content.
Many businesses still run from a personal email account. You get at least one email address with your domain name and hosting package such as firstname.lastname@example.org, and using this email account comes across as more professional than company532@free_email.com or similar!