"The future is spinning before your eyes"
Getting Your Own Website
You already passed first base - you have become aware of the need. Perhaps you saw the www. names and the @ email addresses and wondered what they are all about, or you have been speaking with colleagues or competitors who have Websites, or read an article about how the web is going to change both society and business.
Either way, you want to find out more about getting your business or organisation on the Internet. OK, This is how we do it.
Forming initial ideas
Checking the details
The draft Project Agreement
Registering your domain name
The final stages
Promoting your website
Forming Initial Ideas
One of the first issues you will need to consider, is what you want to achieve with your website, and whether you want to be able to sell directly from your web page and take money in real-time.
If you do, then see our section on e-commerce for more details about selling direct and taking money over the net.
Our Website Design Checklist raises a number of issues that you will want to consider, like what you want the website to do for you, how big you expect it to be, and so on.
You will probably want to talk to your friends or colleagues about it. You might even want to check some points with us by phone or email, perhaps to get an idea how long it would take, and when we could start.
Having assembled your initial thoughts, you will be able to complete the Website Design Checklist, then send it back to us.
Remember, there is absolutely no commitment to engage us at this stage.
Checking The Details
When we receive your completed Checklist, we will then arrange to discuss your site with you. Depending on your location, this can be in person, by phone, or by email.
This is where we go through your decisions and preferences from the Website Design Checklist, agree the number of pages, how they link to each other, and so on.
We also make sure that we both understand what you want from your site, and decide some of the more technical matters - like checking what domain names are available (if you want your own); the initial site layout; which ISP is going to host the pages for you, and what the best file structure will be for the future.
The Draft Project Agreement
At the end of this process we will be able to prepare a written project plan setting out all the points we have agreed, and advising you of the likely the cost of the work. Two copies of this will be sent to you, and if you want us to undertake the design, you are asked to sign and return them.
You will be asked to enclose a cheque for 50% of the total project cost at this stage, and to begin to send us the text you want to use on each page, or at least a draft what you want to say, (preferably on a floppy disk), together with any other materials that you want included (photographs etc.).
We will sign and return your copy of the agreement. Returning the signed project agreement and part payment to us signifies your decision to engage us, and when you receive your copy, the agreement forms the contract between us.
Registering Your Domain Name
The next stages are:
(If you don't already have an ISP or website host we can advise you which one (s) can best suit your particular needs). We will also work with your ISP and host to make sure that their cgi-bin files, scripts and server settings are suitable for your needs.
We can also offer you the use of a Local Domain name like lancs-web.co.uk or blackpool-web.co.uk or garstang-web.co.uk if you don't want the cost of buying your own, or if the one you want has been taken by someone else.
Now we can begin work to build your website according to the Project Agreement.
When we have something prepared, you will be able to view the draft on screen. At this stage, we can incorporate minor design changes to suit your preference.
You can also begin to plan changes to existing stationery (letterheads, invoices, brochures etc.) to include your new email and www addresses
The Final Stages
In the final stages, your Website construction becomes completed, and is tested off-line. Then we upload the pages to your service provider/website host & test all the links to full working order.
You approve the final site, and provide the final payment
Promoting Your Website
We ask you to provide a short paragraph (about 20 words) as a summary of your site. This will be used as the description that appears under the site name when search engines display your site name the link to your page, and your URL..
We also ask you to provide some keywords that we will embed in the code for the page (unseen by your viewers), but which will be used by robots and spiders that search the web, indexing and cataloguing web pages for the search engines.
We register your site with all the main search engines such as Lycos, Google, Alta Vista, Web Crawler, Yahoo, and so on to publicise it. If you have any special search engines in mind, we can usually register with them as well. It usually takes between a day and several weeks for your site to be indexed and available to the world, depending on the facilities offered by each search engine.
If you have a trade association, or you are affiliated to another organisation with a website, we will email them the code for a link to your site from theirs. We will also put a link from our site to yours.
We will provide you with the linking code so that you can give it to your suppliers or colleagues, enabling their visitors to click on the link to come to your site.
If you require, we will also provide page templates that allow you to make up pages yourself.
If you plan a site launch, we can advise and will assist with press releases and media notification
Finally, if you have a web connection yourself, we provide an on-site introduction to using email and to basic site navigation.
That marks the end of the contract we have with you.
Post Sales Support
We troubleshoot any problems via telephone or email support for the next three months, and will check with you from time to time to see that everything is just as you would wish it.
During this time, any minor changes to your site, (perhaps a change of someone's name, or phone number etc.) will be made without additional charge.
New pages, or more significant alterations will be charged at the rate shown on the current price list.
We are of course, always available to extend, or further develop the site, or to provide other services in the future.
Our aim is to exceed your expectations, and encourage you to suggest us to your colleagues and friends when they are considering having a website made.