Through one-on-one training or classes, I will teach what you need to know about making an online commitment.
What You Should Know Before You Get Started
What Are Your Goals For a Web Site?
What do you want your web site to do for you or your business? Are your goals realistic? Do you really need one? I will help you find out why you need or don't need a web presence and what your goals should be for it. If you do want to get started with a web site, I am here to make that happen for you.
How Much Will It Cost?
Figure out what it is going to cost you to put a web site online, whether it is built and hosted by me or someone else. How to see through all of the hoopla and figure out what you really need to buy. Find a realistic budget for your internet goals.
How Do You Get a Domain Name?
How to find and buy a Domain Name that makes sense for your web site and that is not already owned by someone else. Why is one name better than another? Why most Domain Names are inexpensive while others are very expensive. What is a Domain Auction?
What Kind of Format is Best Suited for Your Site?
Do you want to be heavily involved in frequent updating of content and media on your web site? Do you think you might want to blog, if not right away, at some point? Then you will want to use a Content Management System (CMS), like WordPress or Drupal. You'll learn what these systems are and what they can do for you and any extra costs that may be involved if you choose specialty functions. If you are comfortable with computers you can install and work on these systems yourself. I can design a system to your specifications and then train you how to use it so that you can then update it as desired.
Are you really comfortable with computers and have the time and patience to work on a DIY web site template? I will show you how to access these various web builder templates on your hosting service, but will not provide training on the individual templates. There are just too many with their own special quirks. I will, however, be available to rescue you from a web builder template once you decide it just is not worth it.
Would you rather have your site professionally designed and built? This choice is very good for people who are too busy to get involved in yet another problem. The process is quite simple. It requires minimal attention on your part, just a couple of meetings to gather your information, preferences, and subsequent approvals, and you can get on with your daily activities. I will install the design on a temporary web platform so that you can access it from anywhere that has an internet connection. You can then see how it will look to users all over the world. If you do not have an internet connection, we can meet in town and I will show you the same thing on my computer. Upon your approval, I will attach your new web site to your chosen domain. Once you provide me with all of the content, I can design and build your site in a matter of days.
How to Make Your Web Site Work for YOU
What is Your Content?
Is your content interesting? Will someone want to stop at your site for more than a minute and actually read it? Do you plan to include images and other media? Is it telling the right story about you and your business? Is it getting your message across? Content is crucial.
How Will Your Web Site Look to the World?
How is your site perceived by viewers? Does your site look "homemade" or does it have a professional look and feel? Is that important? It all depends on what you are going to do with your site and what goals you have set for it. Is the structure and organization easy to understand? Do all of the pages and navigation links function correctly? Are there any grammar or spelling issues? All of these things are important.
What is SEO and Why Do I Need It?
There's a fairly good explanation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on the Learn page. Basically, SEO is how search engines find your site. Then they in turn make it available to people searching or just browsing on the internet. These engines use what are known as "web crawlers" to well, crawl through the internet, page by page. The internet is so vast and there are so many variables, that it may take a couple of weeks for the crawlers to recognize a change in your information. It can also be instantaneous. But, if there is good SEO and updated information, that once-in-a-while visit may be well worth your effort to use good SEO.
What Makes a Web Site Stale and Why Is That a Concern?
A stale web site is pretty much worthless as a business advertisement. Even the Search Engines are bored with it. If your site just sits there and no updates are made to it month after month, the crawlers will know that they shouldn't bother to look again. The simplest explanation on how they do this, is that they stop at your site for a fraction of a second and send out a pulse query looking for bits (as in ones and zeros) that have changed since the last time they visited. No bits out of sorts? They move on, unimpressed. Updating a site at least once a month with a fresh image or content really helps. The crawlers will note that there has been a change and this causes them to look at the whole site again and re-catalog it. This means it is bumped up the search list just a little bit higher, and every bump counts.
What are Google Analytics?
They are a lot of things, but basically ways to help your site get more attention. I will install a special GA code, individually assigned to your specific site, into the meta data (see Services under SEO) that will help Google find and catalog your site. This initial code setup is included in your site design, but the monitoring of results and reports to you are covered only with a hosting package. Of course, you can monitor GA yourself. You will need to setup a gmail account to gain access to GA which will allow me to send you an account connection invitation. Then I remove myself from the account and it is all yours. To find out more about GA, just type in "Google Analytics" into your address bar.