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Helpful  Hints  &  Ideas

1.  First thing to do is see if the domain name you desire for your website is available.  Let us know what you might be interested in and we'll be glad to check.  

2.  Start thinking about how many email addresses you want.  You can also configure most email programs to allow you to go directly to your website to get your emails.  You get 3 email addresses with your site.  Extra email addresses are available at an additional cost.  Also remember that emails (ie sales @ yourcompany) can be forwarded to more than one location.  We find that Eudora (mail software) is very easy to configure.  Some clients also use Outloook to handle their email.

3.  What size site do you require?  How much do you want to spend?  While we will try to work with you on the larger packages regarding number of pages, special design features, etc., there is only so much we can do to assist.  You can't cram 7 or 8 pages of information into 1 or 2 pages.  It just won't work and we won't design anything like that.  

4.  Start preparing a bio and history of the company.  This always looks nice.

5.  Gather together any advertising material you have.  Much of this can be included in the website, especially if you have copies of the photos that were used.  Remember that a web designer is not an advertising executive.  While we will try to help out and make suggestions, that is not our area of expertise.

6.  We can put a form in your website that people requesting info can fill in.  If you are interested, think of what you want in the form.  The form is sent as an email and can be sent to multiple people.

7.  Prepare a list of those companies or products you represent.  We can put in their logo and also provide a link to their websites.  This is helpful in that your customer can see everything that your suppliers or manufacturers have to offer.  You can also break them down into subgroups.  For instance in the floor covering industry you could break them down into carpet, vinyl, hardwood, laminate, ceramic, etc.

8.  Take some photos of your business (outside and inside), employees, trucks, etc.  If possible use a digital camera and forward via email.

9.  Supply a list of all professional associations you belong to as well as any civic organizations.  Also, if you sponsor a little league, etc. let us know. People enjoy dealing with organizations that give back to the community. 

10.  Begin thinking of how you want your website to be broken down.  How many chapters do you want in your book?  Some examples might include: Home Page, About Us, Our Philosophy, Location (including map and driving directions), Contact Us, Products, Services, Pricing, Monthly Special, Coupons page, FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), Related Links, News & Events, Satisfied Customers, Thank You, Site Map, Terms & Conditions, etc.  These are only a starting point.  You might come across many others that are applicable.  Also, you might want to include a 'Contact' or 'Quote' form that could be filled out on the internet and sent to your email account.

11.  If you have a list of sample websites that you like (whether they be in your industry or not) forward their web address to us in an email, a Microsoft Word, or Word Perfect format.  Check them out on the internet and write comments within the document showing what you liked or disliked about any sites.  Be sure to include the complete web address (cut and paste the web address from your browser into the document). This will help us out greatly. 

12.  As we begin working on your website we will keep you informed every step of the way.  We generally communicate with you via email and will post changes to your website.  This is sort of like watching the construction men build your home one room at a time. 

13.  A few things you might want to stay away from:

  • "Hit Counters" - Egotistical by design.
  • "Too Many Special Effects"  If you want, we will design them for you.  There is certainly nothing wrong with a few, but like anything else, in excess they slow down and minimize the effect of your website.
  •  "Free Web Hosts" - Everyone knows there's no such thing as a free lunch.  Many times these 'free' hosts use outdated or slow servers.  They also might put a 'frame' around your website with their advertising.  Others insert those annoying 'pop-up' windows.  Once you get someone to your website do you really want them to be one click away from leaving?  We will not work with free web hosts. 

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