|Website Design & Development
|Domain Name Registrations
You can register your own domain name or have PageMaster's take care of it for you. I prefer to use
Network Solutions for domain name registrations, they were the original registrar and are still the
premier company to deal with. Honest, reliable and with a long history of protecting their customer's
interests and privacy. It's true, they are a little more expensive but I believe that their service is
The best option at Network Solutions when registering your domain name is a 5 year term for
around $100. You can register for only one year if you want, it's $35 per year with a one year term.
One of the most important things to remember is that the domain name ownership should be under your name,
not the name of the developer or hosting company.
Web Site Hosting Account Activation
I've tried several hosting companies over the last few years but I've decided that the best of the best
is Lunarpages. They can't be beat for service, account choices and the incredible benefits you get,
even with a basic hosting package.
It's a distinct possibility that your ISP (internet service provider)
offers some web space for you too. It's a great, cost effective option if you want to build a small family
site to post picture on or to keep in touch. You won't need a domain name for that, it would be your ISP's
domain name with a /~yourname at the end. Definitely a great way to figure out what's, what and decide if
your business would need something more than that.
Web Site Development
This is the part that can get a little
overwhelming. A lot of folks out there have learned how to use web page makers, software that lets you input
the information you want online. There are regular classes at tech schools and even in high schools that teach
people how to build a webpage. Some businesses are quite happy with a webpage developed by a student or by
Aunt Fannie for that matter, some want a more professional approach with a web developer, like PageMaster's, basic,
clean, fast loading and with easy navigation. Some people need an entire staff of professional developers and
programmers for online shopping, content management and publishing.
It's all in what you need, but think about it before you go looking for a developer. Talk to friends and
acquaintances who have a website and have dealt with some of the problems that can come up. Be prepared to pay
any hosting and registrations fees up front and probably a 30% non-refundable deposit for the development part.
When you've checked out all of that, start gathering up your pictures and writing your copy for the website. Don't
expect your developer to write ad copy for you, they know web developing not welding or machinist skills. Describe
your business, your needs, requirements and what you don't do as well.
Basic SEO (search engine optimization) is part of a good developers job and it IS important. That's how the
search engines find your website and can tell at a glance whether someone's search criteria match your content.
Web Site Maintenance
Do you need a calendar? Are you offering events and prizes for participants? Then you may need to consider
maintenance fees for your website. Most developers are finished when the site goes live but a good developer
with be there when you need to change something on your site.
Some people will need a lot of changes, some only
change things rarely. I think the best sites on the web are those who add and change their content on a regular basis.
Search Engine Registrations
PageMaster's offers one search engine registration as part of the original development or refurbishment of your
site. At almost any time you can request a one time registration run for $35. The best option, I think is to
opt for quarterly registrations. They provide back links from as many as 1200 of the smaller search engines, and
with decent optimization can keep your site up in the top 20% of search results relating to your keywords.