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What is a web page?
There are 2 basic elements to the Internet as it affects businesses. First, there is Internet Access and second, there are Web Sites. Some businesses will want both Internet Access and a Web Site, while other businesses may only require one.
This basically means getting a PC (Personal Computer &em; e.g. your office PC or your PC at home) and getting it connected to the World Wide Web. Internet Access gives you email (electronic mail) capability (so you can exchange messages and documents with anyone else with email) as well as giving you access to "surfing" the World Wide Web. To obtain Internet Access you need a PC, a telephone cable, satellite, or DSL (Digital Service Line) connection, a browser, a modem, and an account with an ISP (Internet Service Provider.) An 56k dialup account with an ISP typically costs around $20-$25 per month, plus the cost of each phone call you make whenever you connect to the Internet, unless you have a "local access number", this can inccur additional long distance charges.
If you don't have don't already have an account with a local access number, take a look at myWaverly Internet. We offer local access numbers in most cities across the country for only $9.95 per month!
A web site is a collection of related files containing text, images, and even multimedia content. Each file has its own unique Internet address (URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, e.g. www.yourname.com). The files that make up a web site are downloaded (transferred) to someone else's PC when they type in the URL, or click on a link containing that address with their PC's mouse. Individual companies often have their own web sites. Each web site is unique, serving up different information for a variety of different reasons. Commercial websites will have a variety of goods and services to sell and each will try to come up with different and interesting ways to advertise them and attract your attention.
Shopping around for a web site can be a daunting task at best. It's easy to get lost among all the FTP's, ISP's, URL's and other technobabble.
How much does it cost?
Do you really need someone else to do it, or can you do it yourself?
The answers to these questions are different for each individual and each website. Putting together a website requires a unique blend of desktop publishing, user interface design, technology, programming, creativity, and an understanding of Internet marketing. Publishing the website requires an understanding of Internet science. Different servers require different techniques and considerations.
Whether you want a commercial website for your company or a personal website for yourself, you would typically contact a website design company such as Cyberspace Publishing and discuss with them how they would design a website for you and how much it would cost. They can then build, set up, publish and promote your website for you on the Internet. A website, therefore, does not normally sit on your PC at home. It has to be designed, built and then published onto a special type of computer called a web server that is permanently connected to the World Wide Web.
What are the steps?
What is involved in creating a web site? Customers range from those who do not have a computer, through those who have internet access, to those who already have a web site. Not all customers use all of our services. Here are the basic steps and costs:
Every web site has to be located somewhere. Hosting a Web site on the Internet used to be a very difficult matter, both technically and financially. With start-up costs usually in excess of $30,000 and many extremely complicated technical issues, it was just not a very practical proposition for most businesses. That is no longer the case today, thanks to the dramatic advances in computer technology that made possible the introduction of "Virtual Web Site Hosting". The term "virtual" in this context simply means that while your website appears to be running on your own company's computer, it can actually be running on a remote server (even in another country!), and the only person that ever needs to know that for sure is you. Most of the websites you see today are "hosted" in this way, including those of many major corporations. It simply makes good business sense.
It is by utilizing this technology that Cyberspace Publishing is able to offer you all the advantages of a web presence without any significant financial burden and none of the usual technical headaches. The computer holding the data for your site can be anywhere in the world. It could be on a 486 in someone's basement (not recommended)... or on a series of Sun computers in a power protected, multiple redundancy, secure setting (recommended). Different web space providers (hosts) offer varying levels of functionality, performance, space and service. We use a company in California called NoMonthlyFees that has consistently provided us with excellent service and fast response. We resell and recommend NoMonthlyFee's hosting service. The costs involved are minimal with a $200.00 one time setup fee &em; then afterwards, only $70.00 per year. This gets you 600 MB of space (more than enough for even a large database-driven website,) 25 Gig of monthly bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, FTP accounts, subdomains, mysql databases, domain parking and lots of special options (such as forwarded email addresses for everyone in your company, etc., and Domain Name registration is included free!) Click NoMonthlyFees to see all that they have to offer.
Getting an Internet Address
Domain name registration
An important consideration is your Internet address (URL). These are the strange looking internet addresses such as http://www.yourname.com or http://www.myclub.org/members/ba/index.html.
There are 2 options to having an Internet address.
If your company was called Acme Widgets, you could try to buy the domain name acmewidgets.com. The good thing about having this as your internet address is that you're really easy to find. This is the most obvious name someone would guess at if trying to find you on the Internet. Buying a domain name like this will initially cost you about $70 for the first two years registration &em; provided that the name is available.
The second option is to have your website positioned underneath someone else's domain, e.g. www.theirname.com/~acmewidgets/ or acmewidgets.theirname.com. This is called a subdomain. Having a URL like this can even be free. The downside of this is that it's unlikely anyone would be able to guess your internet address and it doesn't convey a very "professional" look for your company.
There's an element of prestige attached to domain names. Big companies like to have their own domain name, because one such as www.british-airways.com sounds a lot more impressive and professional than something like www.myclub.org/members/ba. If you like the idea of having your own domain name, then our advice would be to register it now &em; good names are being snapped up fast. Two years from now you may decide you want www.yourname.com only to discover that someone else has already registered it.
We can help you obtain a domain name that is available and suitable. With your approval, we can register this name for you and arrange for it to be linked to your server space. The Internic fee for domain name registration and maintenance is $35 per year with the first two years paid in advance. You are usually billed for this from a company called Network Solutions or VeriSign.
Data collection and Web Page creation
Please be aware that you will need a basic knowledge of HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) access to your files if you intend to do anything by yourself. To make it even easier, we have prepared a worksheet for you to follow. The worksheet is printable as a guide to work from or as a hard copy of what you want us to bid on. As you go through the guide, write down on the worksheet all the options that you think you will want. Once you've finished, we urge you to visit other website design companies and compare our prices.
We accumulate the information that will be used on your website including text, images, sound and video files. This information can come from a variety of sources such as word processor documents, brochures, image files you already have, video tape, photographs, or your existing website.
The quality and appearance of your website has a lot to do with the photos or graphics you choose for your web pages. Clip art can be used, but tends to make the pages look amateurish. Photos are usually the best.
We assemble all the constituent parts and build your web site. We do not use a web site generator for final output. They typically make your site look the same as a thousand others and often add unnecessary code to the page. We do most of the editing and all the "fine tuning" with a text editor.
Once the site is ready, you will be able to view it in a "live staging area" on the internet (we provide the space for this.) When you've seen and approved the results, we publish your site to your registered space and your site is immediately "live" and ready for use.
The final step is registering your site with all the various search engines so that it will be found when someone searches for your product or service in your area. Our packages include this service for six months after it is activated. We promote it to over 400 different search engines and directories. Without promotion like this, your site is like a billboard in the desert.
There are two types of costs associated with owning a web site:
Design fees generally include:
Design fees usually do not include:
Site maintenance fees usually include:
Site maintenance fees usually do not include:
Once the web pages have been produced, it is necessary for these pages to reside or be stored on an Internet Server computer. Websites incur regular costs due to the fact that those servers are connected to high-speed leased lines and they consume resources such as electricity, telecommunications bandwidth, maintenance time etc. To invest in a decent Internet Server would entail an investment of at least $10,000 with ongoing expenses for connection and maintenance time etc. By hosting pages on ready-to-go servers such as at NoMonthlyFees, you reduce the overall cost of ownership and pay only for the resources you consume.
An effective web site is more than an on-line brochure. It is an integral part of an overall marketing strategy. We can develop and implement an effective Internet presence tailored to your specific needs, guided by these principles:
We sincerely hope that you have benefited from the material presented here and have a better understanding of how the World Wide Web works. From here, you can check out our package specials, check our pricing guideline, or proceed directly to the Worksheet to submit your site requirements to us for a free quote. Cyberspace Publishing wishes you the best of luck with your website and looks forward to doing business with you.