A domain name is your business's address on the Internet; it will be used as part of your company's e-mail address and its Web site address (URL). For instance, if your domain name is enkode.com, then your e-mail address might be email@example.com, and your Web site URL would be www.enkode.com.
It is important that your domain name be short, descriptive, and memorable. For instance, IBM's domain name is ibm.com. If you can't be descriptive, then be short and memorable. When Amazon obtained its domain name, it had many choices: AmazonBookstore.com, AmazonBooksandCDs.com, AmazonPrintandMultimedia.com, but they chose the simplest name: amazon.com. Search engines recognize dashes as spaces so if your domain name is not available a dash seperating words is best.
Also note that www.enkode.com and keithfimreite.com are two entirely different domain names. If you own one and a competitor owns another, then your customers may mistakenly go to the wrong site. To avoid this problem, consider registering several domain names.
If you already have a domain name Enkode can help you with hosting and forwarding that domain if necessary. If you need to purchase a domain you can use any of the domain registrar's available. We do recommend NameCheap.com because of the price and the options available once the domain is purchased. It is recommend to purchase the domain for a long term 3+ years. This increases the Google Page Rank.
The Web site you build must be stored on a computer that has a reliable, secure connection to the Internet. Hosting a Web site means providing the technical resources (the computer hardware and operating system, the networking equipment, the Internet connection, etc.) needed to make your Web site available to your customers. You can either host your own web site, hire a web hosting company like
Namecheap.com. Enkode cand host your site for you as we have our own dedicated web server in the Cybertrails data center. To host your site is $250 per year for email and site hosting. Sites with a lot of bandwidth will incur additional bandwidth charges. Those site requiring over 3GB of bandwith will be charged an additional $100 a year.
Type of Website
The type of Web site you need depends on the nature of your business and the goals you have for the site.
A brochure Web site is the easiest to build (www.earlsnyc.com is a good example). These sites combine the roles of brochure, yellow pages ad, and direct mail piece. Brochure sites are used primarily by restaurants and other small businesses that need to drive foot traffic to their physical location. Brochure sites usually have basic information about the business's products or services, location, and the hours it's open. They make heavy use of photographs and marketing copy to entice potential customers to visit.
If you want to sell your company's products directly to customers, you will need a Web site that revolves around a catalog (www.amazon.com is a good example). Each product in the catalog contains a thorough description and often includes a photograph and product review. Catalog sites need e-commerce software that manages the catalog, provides a customer shopping cart, and includes a method for customers to pay. These sites may seem complicated to build, but there are many pre-built software solutions available to get you started.
Once you choose the general type of site you want, you need to decide what features you will offer. The choices are almost unlimited, but some of the most popular additional features are: message boards / blogs, news articles, file downloads, and automated customer service.
Before deciding the type of Web site you need, look at your competitor's sites and position your site accordingly.
Website design is a very personal, Enkode can do a custom design from existing artwork or a more cost effective solution is to use website templates that are customized to your business. You will need to define what logos and colors you want to use. A design will also have to incorporate your applications needs, such as product listings, images, or any other special needs.
After reading the above material you will have answered most of the questions needed to get started on your website. It is now time to talk with Enkode to start putting your ideas and content to the world wide web. The keys things we need you to deliver before starting the process is:
- Your business logo. Preferably in Illustrator format [.ai] or in [.pdf] format with the embedded vector artwork. This allows Enkode to use your logo throughout the site and get the exact colors to match a template design to.
- A list of possible pages that your site will have. The basic site has a Home Page, Contact Page, About Page, Services Page.
- A template if your site is a new site.
- A soft copy of the content for your site: Business name, address and contact information. Then all the content that goes on each individual pages, including images.
- A list of functionality that your site may have, Email Forms, Product Listings, Blog, Flash components...
With these items we can sit down and go over your ideas and give you more feedback and ideas to create an estimate for your website.