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In designing a website we ask lots of questions. In asking these questions we want to better understand your goals, your customers and how you can connect with them and deliver your message.
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In many cases the project manager may wear all of these hats, but in some cases we may bring in specialists or have the client take on some of these responsibilities. It all depends on what will make the best solution for a given client with their specific goals and budget.
Every page of the site should include a simple clear means of navigation.
We also recommend contact information and a link to both the home page and a sitemap on every page.
A front door may aid in search engine directory listing, making a separate homepage that includes more navigational information.
Whiz-bang features such as Flash, animation, Java effects, etc are interesting and visually appealing, but should be used with great restraint because they may alienate visitors that may not have all the compatible plug-ins, slow load times and may distract viewers from your core message.
Fundamental Structure of a Well Designed Site
Like all marketing tools you should ask yourself who is my customer and what is the message I want to give them to meet my business goals. Always look at the message from the viewers perspective.
Keeping this in mind the site should be organized so broader information is easy to find and within each major area more detailed information is accessible. As the user goes deeper into the site the design should become increasingly simple to speed load time. We suggest the metaphor of a book, where major areas are chapter heads, leading to pages within the chapters and paragraphs within each page. Of course you should also have an index (the site map) and a table of contents (the navigational bar on every page).
A basic site may include:
Interest Area 1
Interest Area 2
Interest Area 3
Sub-pages of each area
Depending on the number of "Interest Areas" and the number of sub-pages for each a typical site will start with 10-25 pages and easily can grow to several hundred pages. An important element is to not put too much on any page as the content can become confusing and the load time increases.
Some additional pages that are useful are;
Project Job Flow Example,
Vendor links (when appropriate),
Warranties, Terms, Legal and reference pages,
Awards, Certifications, Licenses, Associations,
Comparative Options with Pros and Cons
Generally when we develop a new website we start with the homepage. The homepage will establish the look and feel of the entire website. The navigation system and the template are determined here and is the most difficult part of the process.
Next is the 1st tier of Sub-Pages. These are the major areas you wish to present to the visitor along with a contact page, a sitemap and possibly a welcome page (front door).
Additional sub-tiers for each of the major areas provide in-depth information and tools for the visitor.
After the core of the website is completed we test and tweak each page to check links and optimize loading time.
With the client's approval the site then goes "live", but the work does not stop there. Additional testing and tweaking is made along with optional search engine listing and regular updates and maintenance.
A site will perform better, maintain it's position on the search engines and attract repeat visitors if it is updated on a frequent and regular bases. Making additions and changes to a website is it's fundamental advantage over printed materials, which due to the cost of printing may be infrequent and quickly outdated.
How to get the most out of your website
The website will likely not produce sales directly on it's own. It should serve as an introduction to your company and the services it offers. Much like a brochure it should present your company with professionalism and offer a few of the benefits of working with you.
Your website can also include lists of products you offer, portfolios of work you've done and perhaps reference lists.
You may wish to entice repeat visits by offering both prospects and current clients tools such as your recommendations for success (particularly when working with you) such as check lists, FAQs (frequently asked questions), cost calculators, various options to consider in advance.
Finally a website is a great place to make accessible to yourself and your customers forms, contracts, permits, warranties, technical details and other paperwork that is otherwise overwhelming to present in printed form.
Some Things We Recommend that you Avoid
In our experience developing and hosting business websites we have learned a few things and currently recommend avoiding the following;
Having a Flash Frontdoor to your website. The code required for a Flash page is many times unreadable by the spiders used by search engines and may result in poor listing position if at all.
Links that take viewers off of your website. While pop-up new windows are not ideal either, they are preferred to off site links because your site is still on their desktop.
We recommend against using forms, particularly for contacting you because visitors are reluctant to fill them out, fearing that they are entering your database and may be subject to unwanted solicitation by you or spammers. You should provide an email address, phone number, mail address and possibly a fax number for prospects to reach you at their convenience.
Additional Services and Options
Optimization of your website for better listing in the search engines is standard with development. You may also choose to have your site both manually and mass listed with the major search engines plus the many thousands of listing sites.
Additionally we can help you set up a pay-per-click keyword service program that can give you top listing on the major search engines as a "sponsored link". Cost for these services is surprisingly affordable and can be tracked and adjusted to give you an improving return on your investment.
|Look at our hosting features:
As of 2008 we have upgraded both of our hosting servers.
use 2 separate hosts leasing dedicated servers from each so only our
sites are on our servers. This allows us to move a site from one server
to another relatively quickly should a problem developed at one of our
hosts (power or hardware problems).
All the standard hosting features are FREE and there are no hidden costs such as additional POP email, ftp, autoresponders, etc. Our servers can be configured to work with a wide variety of proprietary or free shopping carts, data bases, guestbooks, counters, live audio and video extensions, on-line auctions, chat rooms, etc.
You pay only for development, setup, and maintenance. All hosting is fixed. You can fix your costs by setting up a hosting plan with minimal updates. Or you can even do your own updates.
Now all of our hosted sites are on our own dedicated servers!
Our newest RSM Dedicated Server is
completely modern (as of 2009) and offers multi-core processors, RAID
redundant drives and plenty of RAM. Our server uses 4 way bandwidth
providers including AT&T, MCI, Level 3 & Savvis to ensure continual
» Redundant Fiber Entrance
expandable to 1840 Gigabits per second
» Multiple Redundant Gigabit Ethernet links to DC1
» Fully Redundant Cisco 6509 Sup720 Distribution Switches
» Redundant Gigabit Ethernet links to each rack switch
» Cisco 2960 48 Port 10/100 rack switches
» 2500 kVA utility power feed
» ASCO Closed Transistion Transfer Switch
» Multiple Kohler 1250 kVA Diesel Generators
» Kohler Generator Paralleling Switchgear
» Multiple Powerware 9315 500 kVA UPS
» Liebert PDU Units
» Multiple Liebert 20 and 22 Ton Upflow AC Units
» 24x7x365 manned facility
» Multiple cctv security cameras, covering all entrances and datacenter
» Site entrance controlled by electronic perimeter access card system
» Site remotely monitored by 3rd party security company
Structure Costs (Hosting Only) as of 01/09:
Dedicated Server on Shared IP
$24.95/month or $119.95/bi annually or $179.95/yr.
setup- only $25 one time.
Dedicated Server on
Exclusive IP (allows SSL support)
$74.95/month or $359.95/bi annually or $599.95/yr.
setup- only $75 one time.
with Exclusive Drive & IP (VPS)
$899.95/bi annually or $1499.95/yr. setup- only $125
Exclusive Dedicated Server with 4 Exclusive IPs
$3599.95/yr. setup- only $125 one time.
all plans include free email aliasing setup.
setup of up to 50 standard email accounts is a one time fee of $25
All above plans are fully managed. All servers are Windows based.
Self managed plans also available for up to 20% less.
All payments are billed and must be paid in full in
advance of the indicated period. All pricing subject to change without
We can quote hosting after the first year
(the first year is free!)
Call Us Today! 800-317-1026
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