So you're thinking about a website ?? -   but not sure how to begin - follow our strategies listed below for guiding your through the process. 

Decide How Much You Intend to Invest on Your Website

A website is a business investment.  The primary reasons you may be thinking about this investment is to gain the returns on:

  • Exposure of your sales / services to the huge numbers of potential customers on the Internet
  • Sales from on-line stores (e-commerce)

Knowing what costs you are likely to incur prior to making this decision and knowing how much you intend to invest to receive your 'return on investment' should be key factors before you begin.  Use our 'Budgeting' guide to help you determine costs you may incur.

Check Domain Name Availability

The domain name refers to a reference to your website by name.  An example of a domain name would be  Domain names make it easy for potential customers to find and remember your website.

The Internic organization registers leases and monitors the majority of .com and .net domain names. The Internic has outsourced the management and registration of domain named to 'accredited registrars'.  One good registrar is

Initial registration of a brand new domain name will reserve your domain name ( for a one (1) year period, this cost is $9.99 and payable to the registrar. After the year you will be required to renew your domain name (

You will also need technical information that can be provided to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or you may request them to register the domain name for you. 

Select an Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) can host your website. You place your developed HTML/DHTML (website) pages on their computer to allow Internet access to your website.

Factors to consider for web hosting include:

  • Customer Service: If there is a problem - will I be able to talk to a human and get the problem resolved?
  • Reliability: Reliability factors can include, types of computers they use for their web servers, firewall protection, redundant routing and sufficient bandwidth to allow traffic to your website. For a detailed comparisons of bandwidth capabilities see our Bandwidth Table.
  • Costs: Does your website need a high percentage of uptime or can you sacrifice the risk of some uptime for costs? Fees vary anywhere from ‘FREE’ (you get what you pay for – be careful) to $100.00 per month.

One thing you don’t want if you are a business, is for visitors to come to your site and not be able to view it – how many times do you return to a website that won’t display??

Beware of FREE – You get what you pay for. Reliability factors and services supported will vary. Free hosting would not be a recommendation for a ‘business’ website. My home page is on a free service, but it’s a personal home page. Search engines will often times not register a site with a domain name of

Design Your Website

Use our guide 'Design' to learn tips & strategies for the design of your website. The more responsibility you take in planning your website the less time you will spend in the development of the website.  You will have already developed a business strategy all that needs to be done is to put the pieces together.

Develop Your Website

Website development refers to the creation of your website in an HTML/DHTML format. If you chose not to take on the challenge of creating your website, or really don't want your brother-in-law or cousin to create it for you, you can have it professionally developed.  Prices and services vary see our price comparisons in 'Budgeting' for examples of rates. Please request references prior to contracting with any website development firm. There are several horror stories about unethical, unscrupulous web development companies and individuals. A recent horror story I heard was a site developed for $600,000 and the site was broken. The site was for a city with high visibility and caused much embarrassment for all involved.

This is one area that paying a premium price does not guarantee quality of service or end product, please shop around, check references, read your contract (some web developers are actually copyrighting a website as theirs – if you decide to find a new developer, you may not be able to take your current website with you !)

Development time should not run over three (3) months, unless there are extenuating factors.  If your site is not up and running within this time period, you may want to consider another developer - because they 1) either have too many clients to give you the time you deserve for your investment or 2) something is not going as planned.  The more responsibility you take for planning out the content of your site, the easier it will be to monitor and ensure you are receiving value for your development costs. See our guide 'Design' for Tips & Strategies for Designing and Developing your website.

Additional considerations would be website maintenance. How much will modifications and changes to your site for future enhancements cost you? Finding a good website development company and establishing a good working relationship will provide you with the ability to present an effective web presence for your company for now and in the future.

Uploading Files / Testing / Go Live

Once your website has been developed it will be 'uploaded' the ISP host computer.  Testing should be done to ensure the site functions as expected.  After all the 'glitches' are worked out you are ready to Go Live !!!

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