Web Design, Managing Your Web Presence

– using paid and free-hosted web platforms –

An effective web presence is primarily about enabling your business/campaign/project to present itself well and to compete in an online environment. Your overall web presence (not just your website) should be devised with certain goals and objectives in mind

The following provides a short checklist of what you should consider before embarking on an online strategy:

    • What kind of audience am I trying to reach?

    • What kind of web presence (e.g. bespoke website, social networking, social media tools, e-mail marketing, e-newsletters, etc) do I need in order to reach my audience?

    • What do I need it to do to make it all happen?

This brings us then to more specific questions of

    • How much can I afford to pay

      • on a once-off basis (e.g. initial costs for design, domain name registration, etc.)

      • for ongoing expenses (e.g. monthly hosting fees, domain name renewals, cost of retaining the services of a professional web designer)?

    • How much time will I be able to invest (cost of hiring a designer on an ongoing basis vs your own personal investment in terms of time, training, etc)?

    • How will my web presence meet and fulfil my primary business objectives (e.g. increase sales)?

    • What about secondary objectives (e.g. lead generation)?

    • Where do I see most of my visitor traffic coming from (e.g. e-mail marketing, blogging, SEO, search engine and pay-per click advertising, social networks, offline advertising, word of mouth, etc)?

Our web design packages are devised to help you to utilise the worldwide web as a platform upon which to build your business online. The major decisions that you will have to make, when starting out, revolve around the key questions of –

    1. Domain

    2. Design

    3. Hosting

Domain refers to your home on the web. This may be nothing more than a profile page on a popular social media website (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc) or, something more bespoke, such as your own personal or business website, with a custom domain name (e.g. www.YourName.com) to which you can direct visitors. Custom domain names are obtained from domain name registrar and typically involve an annual fee that start in the region of €10-€20.

Design relates, not just to the look and feel of your website but also, to its functionality. You want something that is well presented but, also provides for a user-friendly experience – both from the point of view of your visitors as well as for yourself (e.g. when you come to making changes and updates).

Hosting options generally come under two categories of free vs paid hosting.

Free-hosted web solutions (such as those offered by platforms like Google Sites, Blogger, Wordpress, Weebly, Wix, etc.) allow you to build websites from templates, which can then be customised to your own design. They almost always come with easy-to-use web editors, so that you can update frequently and without much fuss. You will not require too much in the way of expertise or coding skills. You learn as you go along and will be an 'expert' yourself in no time!

Websites with more complex requirements (e.g. e-commerce driven sites with a large database back-end) often require paid hosting to function properly and effectively. Both the building and maintaining of such websites require some expertise in web design, with a good working knowledge of languages such as HTML, CSS, etc.

As the name implies, paid hosting involves certain fees that are paid to the host provider on a monthly or annual basis. Usually, the cost is small compared to the overall budget involved for online enterprises on this scale.

Whatever your requirements, we can advise and assist you in building and managing your webs presence. Talk to us today to find out more.

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