Are You Ready for a Website?

When I first started "building websites," I thought it was just a matter of translating a company's existing marketing materials to a format that would work on the "web." Over the years I've discovered there is a lot more to it. I've also learned that most web designers/developers won't bother to tell you these basic things because it might make you think twice about buying our services:

  • A beautiful website without written, keyword rich content is a waste of money.
  • A website with great content that is hard to navigate is a waste of money.
  • A $30,000 website is not going to guarantee any more results than a $1,000 website.
  • Search engines don't care how a website looks.
  • A website without contact information will scare away potential customers.
  • Some of your customers might still be on dial-up which means more considerations in your web development!
  • Anyone with any clue about Search Engine Optimization can guarantee first page listings in Google - especially for your own business name! If you've got $5.000 per month to invest in "guaranteed placement," hire an employee and get them trained to manage your website - you'll get even better results on your own this way.
  • Having a website built is only the beginning - then you have to promote it, nurture it and support it just like any other business.
  • "Build it and they will come" does not hold true with websites.
  • Someone has to keep your website up-to-date or it will fall by the wayside.
  • Someone has to deal with the questions that come from your website.
  • Adding a website for an existing business is like adding another location - you will have more work to do and may need to hire more help.
  • If you are selling something that anyone else can sell it can probably be found cheaper someplace else on the web.
  • You can't sell cheaper than everyone else and stay in business.
  • Shipping costs matter. The web is not a good place to sell heavy items that can't be delivered locally.
  • Accepting online payments costs money - you have to have a merchant account and a payment gateway - even if it is PayPal. They all charge for their services.
  • When someone tells you their merchant services program includes "everything you need to sell online" and it will only cost 1.4% ask them if it includes your payment gateway and how much that costs. When they look at you like a deer in the headlights you'll know they don't know what it takes to sell online. Learn more about E-Commerce here.
  • If you collect personal information and credit card information you are required to operate in a secure environment. SSL Certificates have to be purchased and installed and they expire. Usually people buy them every year but you can buy multiple years. Average price $100 per year.
  • An SSL certificate only insures that the data is safe while it's being typed into your website and being sent over the Internet - it has no bearing on whether or not the data is secure on your server. How much do you know about the people with access to your server (the computer your website is hosted on)?
  • Many merchant companies are requiring you to subscribe to a monitoring service that reports to them each month whether or not your site is hosted in a PCI DSS compliant secure hosting environment - do you know what that means? This monitoring service runs from $130 - $500 per year.
  • No server is 100% secure. Don't store critical information on your server if you can avoid it. A hacker can find a way to get to it and you will be held accountable not the hosting company.
  • You will need to take personal accountability for storing a backup copy of your website.
  • You will need to take personal accountability for your domain name, passwords and all things related to your website.
  • Your webmaster could die.
  • Your hosting company could go out of business.
  • Your Internet connection will go down sometimes.
  • Your email will go down sometimes.
  • You will have to promote your website, either by networking online or in the community or both.
  • It's hard work to have a successful website - just like it's hard work to have a brick and mortar business.
  • You can't expect your web developer to do all the work and you 'just collect the money' unless you are willing to pay them for their time.
  • You will not see an instant return on your investment - any more than you would if you purchased or leased a building and set up your business.
  • People that understand the investment of money, time and effort enjoy the rewards of a successful website.

Contact Us

Harmony Coburn - Founder

Local Vancouver WA: (360) 721-1017

Email: Harmony *at* CoburnEnterprises *dot* Com

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