There are many aspects to planning your website. We’ve included discussions of the most critical planning issues here for your consideration. Contact us for further discussions of these issues.
A domain name is your personal address on the internet. Selection of a memorable and meaningful domain name contributes significantly to your website’s success. Additionally, you will want to purchase closely related domain names so that anyone looking for your site or a site concerning your area of expertise can find your website with a similar name. There are a few important points to remember about domain names:
- Make it short
- Make it significant – include your primary keyword if possible
- Make it memorable
- Make it “.com”
- Get it now!
YOU must control your domain. We have seen tragic events unfold when someone else holds control of the domain name – and there is little or no recourse. Do not register your domain with your webhosting company. You may want to change your webhosting at some point and the domain registration then becomes a potential stumbling block. You should be the sole contact for your domain. Virtual Websource will not act as your administrative contact – we will provide full domain services on your behalf, but we insist that you be aware of all changes. Keeping your name and e-mail as administrative contact ensures this. Our preferred domain registrar is NameCheap. It is full service, offers more services than most other registrars and charges less as well. And be sure to Get It Now!
Hours and hours of website preparation become meaningless if the webhost fails to adequately support the website content and make it reliably available. There is much more than price to consider in selecting a webhost. The most critical webhost characteristics are as follows:
- Reliability – 99.9% Uptime as measured by independent monitoring
- Unlimited disk space and data transfer
- Data Backup
- E-Mail hosting
- Raw Log Files
- Custom Error Pages
- ftp support
- MySQL database support
- php support
Our preferred webhosting provider is InMotion Webhosting. They are an award-winning webhosting company with exceptional technical support, but their rates are very reasonable. We will be glad to assist you in acquiring and setting up your webhost solution.
Shopping Cart Provider
Shopping cart services are vital to your success. Many webhosts provide shopping cart software, but as with domain registration you don’t want your shopping cart services tied to your webhost because you need to be able to change webhosts without disrupting your website availability. Independent shopping cart providers also provide much better support than shopping cart software provided with a webhost. Our preferred shopping cart provider, 1ShoppingCart, provides reasonably good shopping cart services combined with e-mail campaign services at a reasonable price. There are better shopping carts available, but at higher prices.
E-mail Campaign Services
E-mail campaign services support newsletters, e-mail broadcasts, and autoresponders. We do not recommend using webhost e-mail campaign services for reasons noted above. E-mail campaigns maintain a database of your subscribers and provide the automatic e-mails sent out when someone subscribes to your newsletter or submits your Contact Us form. As noted above, 1ShoppingCart provides combined shopping cart and e-mail campaign services. While their shopping cart services are average, their e-mail campaign services are excellent, including templates that are certified to work with a broad range of e-mail clients.
Your SEO (Search engine optimization) strategies must be in place before any copy, headings or page titles are written for your website. Your selection of keywords and phrases will be liberally utilized throughout your site – hopefully even your domain name. Virtual Websource offers SEO services.