Web Shui (shway) The Seminar

Web site design, promotion and hosting advice for website owners
"The basics of owning a successful web site"

Basic Internet Trivia / Acronyms
The first time you see the acronyms below they seem like a foreign language,
when you get familiar with them, the web will feel more comfortable to you.
If you know the lingo, it will be easier to research providers and developers.

URL = Uniform Resource Locator
Translation: The name for Internet web addresses
You can chose and purchase a URL long before you actually start your web site, this
is advisable so you will own the name for your business before someone else buys it.

http:// = HyperText Transfer Protocol
Translation: The beginning part of most web addresses
The first part is almost always the same for all URLs, when you are familiar with it, you
will feel more comfortable with URLs and they will stop looking like a foreign language.

HTML = HyperText Markup Language
Translation: The language that web pages are written with.
You do not need to know HTML in order to make web pages, most web page editor
programs work like a word processor program and are easy to learn and use.

ISP = Internet Service Provider
Translation: The company that hosts your web site.
Web site hosting and Internet dialup services are always charged separately, you
do not need to host your site on the same ISP where you have a dialup account.

FTP = File Transfer Protocol
Translation: The program used to upload files to a web site.
When you have web pages or other data files to load on your site you will use a FTP
program to upload to your ISP. FTP is also used to download files from some servers.

You know know more than 95%
of the other web users out there.
Let that knowledge build your confidence by helping you feel more familiar with the Internet.
Even if you know little more that the information above, you will still know more than the
average Internet user and be able to hold your own when it is time to learn more.

Why people delay the start of a site

Time - There is not enough time to do what you need to do already.
Cure: One way to deal with that problem is to try and share as many web chores as possible,
a web site owner is usually more like a project manager than a webmaster.

Knowledge - Most site owners are busy running a business
already and do not have time to learn how to make web sites.
Cure: Hire a professional developer to start a site for you. If possible, keep the option of
maintaining it yourself or at least having access to it if you need to change something.

Money - It is hard to chose to do something new when you
really do not know how much it will eventually cost.
Cure: Know what to expect and be careful to not expect too much.
Many web site owners are paying way too much for monthly web site
hosting because they do not know what makes for a good hosting deal.

Fear that it will be a big waste of time and money
It may be better to fear what happens if you do not have a web site.
The most successful businesses of the next millennium will have active web sites.

The Basics:

Hosting Costs - Monthly hosting fees for virtual web sites range from
$20 to $50. If you have high site traffic or use a shopping cart program or
other special features, it will usually cost more.
Try not to be too thrifty, the lowest price is not always the best hosting deal, be sure to
make use of important options like site statistic reporting, they are well worth the money.

Types of sites - Unix, NT and e-Commerce sites
Basic Unix hosting is $15/Mo., NT $20/Mo., and E-Comm from $35 to $200+
The only other ongoing charge is a domain name fee, currently $35.00 per year.
Hosting fees are based on disk storage, monthly download transfers and optional features,
30 MB of disk storage and 2 GB of monthly transfers (bandwidth) are average examples.

Development costs concerns- Site developers usually charge a
flat rate or an hourly rate. A flat rate may be ok you only have a very set budget
to spend on a site and you can accept what ever site they make for you at that
price. The variable rate is good when you expect to keep adding to your site.
Do not be tempted to accept the lowest price you get, a very low price or a free site offer
usually means you will wind up with an un-successful site that needs renovation right away.

Things To Do and Not To Do:

Things to do often: Updated your site! Daily updates are not for everyone
but if you update your site weekly or monthly, your visitors will really enjoy it.
Promote a different product weekly, make it as easy as "think and buy" to make a purchase.

Promote your site daily. Pretend you get web site visitors one at a time,
because your do!  Search engines are nice, but nothing beats actual promotion.
A good suggestion to all retail stores is to place an inviting sign near the exit of your store to
remind everyone what your URL is, they must know it before they will ever visit your site.

Things to NOT do often: Do not overload your site with annoying distractions
like rapidly flashing images, slow loading images or banner ads for other sites.
Do not do anything to detract from your intended web site purpose.

Try displaying images that would tend to increase enjoyment but not increase blood pressure.

Do not sit back and just "watch the sales roll in", they don't !
You must work for your web customers just as you do for walk-in customers.
Try a new and additional site promotion method each month, they add up.
Use your site as a focus point for all of your other advertising, it then becomes a synergy.

What's Next / Web Visionaries

Anything YOU want !  Everyone can be a web visionary.
There are plenty of new ideas out there just waiting to be needed.
You do NOT have to be a webmaster to have a good idea for your web site.

Anything close to "Think and buy" is a good thing to aim for in the future,
the next big break throughs in retailing will involve ease of purchase concepts.
Build your own network of customers who know they get the best values and quality from you,
By creating your own version of network marketing you can maintain consistant sales volumes.

Webtailing: The new face of retailing. People already shop around
the clock, your business can and should work for you 24 hours a day.
Picture your site as a bunch of fishing hooks in the waters of the web, trolling for sales.

Some things will never change. A good thing about the web is that it will
mirror society, a not so good thing about the web is that it will mirror society
Plan on unexpected good experiences as well as unexpected non-good experiences.

Click here for The Principles of Web Shui
Basic features of successful web sites

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