Web Page Buyer's Guide from Sacto.com´´
What kind of page do I need?
- What kind of page do I need?
- What kind of page do I want?
- How much will it cost?
- If I hire someone, what should I ask about?
Customers today expect a business to have a web page. Many
customers use the Web the way they used to use a phone book.
At the very least, a business should have a page that explains
who they are, what they do, where they are, when they're open,
and how to contact them (i.e. phone number, FAX number, address).
That minimum type of page, can be accomplished in a number of different
ways. If you learn HTML, you can do it yourself and
host your page on your own ISP. In fact, if you really wanted
to, you could do it for free.
But maybe you don't care to learn HTML or deal with the computer, then
you'll have to hire someone.
What kind of page do I want?
After that mimimum type of page, everything else is just like options on a
car, as you add in the options, the price goes up, so decide what you want
and find your best deal. So what are the options?
- Domain Name Registration
- Having your own domain name is like
having vanity plates on a car. It's easier to remember the site's URL,
but it doesn't make things work any differently other than that. If the
domain name you want is still available, it will cost you $35 per year to
register it with the Internic. If you
hire an ISP to deal with the Internic for you, then you can expect to pay
about $150 for two years. If you do register your own domain name, you
will also expect to pay for a business account
from your ISP rather than a personal account, because your ISP will now
be handling Domain Name Services (DNS) on your behalf. The minimum business
is generally about double the cost of a personal account. If you don't
register your own domain name, then your web page address (URL) will include
the name of your ISP. It would probably look something like:
But if you register your own domain name (provided it's still available)
your URL will look like
The obvious benefit of registering your own domain name is that it
will be easier for you to remember, and easier for your customers to
type. The oft overlooked benefit is that registering your own domain
name leaves you with the flexibility of changing ISP's should you become
dissatisfied with your ISP. Over time your customers will get used to your
URL, it will get placed in search engines, you'll have it on your business
cards, there will be an investment in your URL. If your URL is
based on an ISP, then you'll lose that investment should you decide
to change ISP's. If you have your
own domain name, then you move DNS processing to the new ISP, and your
URL stays the same.
- If you're planning to sell things online, you have
to think about security. You can either get your customer to contact you
by phone, FAX or mail, or you can set up a secure website capable
of e-commerce and secure http. You can expect to pay a premium for the ISP
to handle e-commerce for you. If you're trying to get on the web for cheap,
you'll want to try to entice your customers to contact you directly in the
traditional manner (phone, mail, FAX), rather than the e-commerce route.
How much will it cost?
How much does a car cost? It all depends on what you want. Do you want
a used Yugo that won't pass smog, or do you want a Rolls Royce? They're both
cars. Like I said
before, you can do it for free, but unless
you're just doing it for fun, you probably don't want to go that route. You
could write your own HTML and serve it from your local ISP, but then you
get a URL you might not like, and you start making an investment into a
URL that you might outgrow, but the cost isn't any more than what you already
pay for ISP service. Getting your own domain name would be the next step.
At this point you are making a significant commitment to your web presence,
you really should have someone on staff who understands the Internet, or be
willing to pay for the expertise of someone who does.
If I hire someone, what should I ask about?
In addition to the questions about the logo, text, background, and
layout of pages, you should also ask the following:
Who owns the pages?
If you pay someone an hourly wage to generate web pages, then
the source code that is generated should belong to you.
If you own the source code, then you can take your
web "site" and move it to another service provider if you ever
want to. The danger of not owning the source code
is that you could be stuck paying for minimal updates at a
higher than market rate, or risk copyright infringement.
Where are the pages hosted?
Web pages are hosted on a machine connected to the internet.
Who owns that machine? What's the monthly charge to have your
page hosted there? Is *that* charge included?
What will the URL (uniform resource locator) be?
Who can access the source?
If you decide to learn HTML, can you update your pages yourself?
Can you move the pages to another ISP if you decide to learn HTML?
Sacto.com mailing address
Back to Sacto.com