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Getting Your Business Website Online: Basic Concepts

Getting Your Website Online

What Type Of Business Website Do I Want ?

In deciding the function of you business website you will typically choose among 3 types of sites : 

  1. A site set up to promote your business or its brand, with all relevant information about your business. There is little interactivity for the user visiting your site, the website is strictly informational.  The term "Brochureware" - that is, the website serves as a promotional brochure for your business - is often used for this model of website. 
  2. If you are looking to sell directly to your customers through a website, you will want to investigate "E-Commerce" website solutions.  E-Commerce sites involve a much higher degree of sophistication than "brochureware" sites, with issues of customer authentication, payment security and inventory control.   
  3. "Lead Generation" sites are used as a mechanism to get potential customers to submit interest in your business.  These sites would include web forms soliciting visitors to submit their contact information - creating a potential lead for your business. 

When implementing your website, you're going to need to have a model of what site you want. So if you want an "E-Commerce" site, you will need seek out solutions that can offer an E-Commerce platform. 

Important Web Technology Terms to Understand

Domain Name - All websites have unique web addresses and your site will need one, too.  In picking a domain name, you have to chose something that is not in use.  Many web hosting companies will handle this process for you. 

Drag and Drop Web Design - Web Design made "easy" with graphics and pictures instead of code. 

E-Commerce Web Site - A business website set up like a virtual store - a site where a customer can visit and purchase what your business is selling.

HTML / CSS / javascript - The fundamental coding technologies that go into building websites.  You do not need to know how to code to develop a website, but it can be helpful to know these concepts if they are referenced. 

Web Design - The process of imaging how a website should be designed, how it should look and appear.    

Web Development - Everything involving the coding of your website.  There can be a confusing difference between "Design" and "Development" - the designers create the art and appearance of your site, the developers realize the designers' vision with computer code. 

Web Hosting - Finding a web server to "host" or store your website. Web Hosting is not "free" - there are costs involved in storing and serving up your website for requests from the Internet (anytime anyone tries to visit your site).  Today, costs for simple web hosting will be around $5 - $15 a month. 

Web Server - A special type of computer that stores websites.  Any website you view on the Internet was first retrieved from a web server to be delivered to your browser.