11 August 2008

Need a Website? Overwhelmed with Where to Begin?

Many solopreneurs are realizing that to make their business thrive, they must get into the Internet Age and have a website. For some, It seems like a big, scary leap from simply passing out business cards and having a listing in a local phone book. Healing arts practitioners, for the most part, have not explore internet marketing much, and the idea of having your own website feels quite daunting.

Let me try to break it down for you, and put it into language that resonates for you.

There are 5 basic pieces to getting a website online. You will need to register a domain name, have a host, design the site, program the functionality, and write the content.

Yikes!! Sounds like a lot of work and except for writing per se, you probably don't have any experience with any of it. That's okay. It's really easier than you are imagining. Let's put these pieces into more familiar terms.

The domain name -- this is your address. Think of it like your office address, except it's on the web.

The web host -- this is the building that is at your address. It's owned by someone else, and lots of people rent offices (have websites) in the building (on that web host).

Web designer -- this is the interior decorator of your specific office suite. It's the decorator's (designer's) job to make the office a pleasant place to visit, to project a visual tone that is warm and inviting, or inspiring, motivating, energizing, healing -- whatever look and emotional feel is appropriate for your work and your clients.

Programmer -- this is the general contractor who installs the electrical wiring, plumbing, moves the walls, puts in doors, takes care of the tenant improvements, etc. It's the contractor you call when there are bugs in the office, or you need to expand the space to take over the whole floor (when links don't work, or you need more pages).

Content Writer -- this is the suite inhabitant who does the work that happens in the office. Ideally, this is you, but freelance writers are doing a lot of website copy these days.

Now here's the good news. Except for the content writer, which must be you or someone else you hire separately, you can get the domain name, host, designer and programmer all in one package. In fact, I would recommend that you do that, and don't buy these functions piecemeal. Here's how to do that:

1. Search the internet for "web hosts" or doman name registrars. Your search results will give you lots of choices to explore. Most companies that are a web host automatically provide the designer function by way of templates to choose from, and the programmer function by way of an online tool called a web editor that takes care of all the programmer functions, often by using a wizard or a tool bar that will look a lot like the toolbar in your Microsoft Word program.

2. Once you find a web host with a web editor tool that feels comfortable for you, buy the package that includes web hosting and registering your domain name.

3. When that purchase is made, you will be able to start using the web editor tool and inserting your content.

I'm currently favoring www.Register.com because their web editor tool, called Site Builder, is easy to use and is the most flexible that I have found for the price.

Other web hosts that have low cost packages and somewhat easy, if limited web editor tools include:
www.GoDaddy.com
www.DiscoverDomains.com
www.MadDogDesigns.com

Happy Websites!

==~== Deah ==~==




1 comment:

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