In this exploratory dialogue, our designers will consult with you via e-mail, phone and/or web form interface to map out your web site design, and, if desired, your entire Internet presence plans. This will allow us to map out your web site hierarchy, search engine optimization and registration, DNS (Digital Name System) requirements, as well as create a ‘wish-list’ of any extra software required, plug-in compatibly issues as well as the theme and focus of your new online home. We can also discuss an integrated marketing plan for your web presence, utilizing the full range of The Logo Factory design services. Here’s some pre-launch things to think about, when it comes to developing your internet presence.
Have you registered the domain associated with this business? The first step in the development of your Internet presence, is the acquisition of your web address, or domain name. In order to own a domain name, you will have to register it with an accredited registrar. Domain names (www.yourcompanyname.com) can be purchased for various time periods, ranging from one to ten years. All domain names are subject to availability restrictions, as well as trademark limitations. Due to the increasing sales of domains (as well as the influx of domain squatters) the availability of popular web domains may be limited. It is advisable to assess the availability of a domain during the naming process of your business, and to register any desired domain once this availability has been established. With the economical price of domain names, it’s highly recommended that you purchase a full set of domain names. The .com, .net and hyphenated versions of your company name. This will cement your corporate identity, and insure that you will not run into cyber-squatters (companies or individuals that will buy variations of your domain name, and then attempt to sell it back to you, often at highly inflated prices). Also, certain search engines are country specific (i.e.: they will only index web sites with a specific country extension) so it’s a good idea to pick up any country levels (.ca) as well as the newer extensions such as .tv, .ws, etc. You may only use one domain, but having the full set keeps them off the market and avoids future confusion with someone else.
Is the site hosted, or parked? Now that you have your sparkling new domain name, you’ll need to make the material at that domain available to Internet users. This is accomplished by selecting a web host, and renting space on one of their computers, also known as a server. You will be assigned this server’s IP number, which in turn, will be aliased to your web address. That way, when someone enters your web address into his or her browser, it finds your assigned IP number through a DNS (Digital Name System) look up and points their browser to the server on which your material is hosted. What does all this mean? In simple terms, when you rent web space from a host, they will configure your DNS, and after your content is loaded onto this computer, everyone that types your company website address into their browser address window will find your site. Web hosts can vary greatly in price and features, so it is highly recommended that you shop around. Cheaper is not necessarily better – you have to concern yourself with access speed, bandwidth restrictions, storage space, uptime and downtime, as well as the features that your web host offers as standard. You’ll want POP (Post Office Protocol) or e-mail aliasing so that your e-mail is redirected to your working account. You may want shopping cart functionality so it’s advisable to check if this is offered directly by your host, or if you can add your own software at a later date. Check your host’s TOS (Terms of Service) paying particular notice to the fine print. Once you’ve selected your host, and their hosting package, we are ready to begin the most important task – the planning of your new web site.
PARKED (Pre-Launch) SPLASH PAGE
Do you wish to utilize a ‘parking page’ with simple information while your web site is under construction (you can utilize your logo beauty shot for this purpose)? If you have selected Search Engine Marketing, this ‘parking page’ can be optimized and registered with many search engines while your site is being created.
DESIGN FLAVOR (Look & Feel)
Does your company have a corporate brand or ‘look-and-feel’ (i.e.: similar font, design and/or color elements) that can be ported from your company logo? Does this web site fit into a ‘unified’ marketing plan, such as present or future brochures, existing material, etc.? Are you a The Logo Factory logo design client? Do you have a logo design in the required formats (i.e. – .eps vector based). Through our logo repair service, we can create any logo file format that our web designers may require, from any digital formats that you can supply.
FUNCTIONS & FEATURES
These are features that apply to the majority of web site design projects. This allows our designers to create a site-map that will fulfill your initial needs, while remaining adaptable to any future expansion plans.
Do you wish to utilize a ‘splash page’ (large graphic, limited type, usually features ‘enter’ button)?
Do you wish to utilize a Flash movie intro (option access button highly recommended) on your opening (home) page?
Do you plan to use your web site to outline your products and services, using linear description and/or graphics (text based, with photography)? This is the simplest (and most popular type of web site). This web site can be launched fairly quickly, and then updated on the ‘fly’.
DEMO(s) & SLIDE SHOWS(s)
Will your web site feature interactive demos (i.e.: Flash) with step-by-step animation, screenshots and/or images?
Will your company benefit from downloadable .PDF documents, brochures and/or price lists? Free downloads area great method of marketing your site to new, and potential clients. The Logo Factory can provide desktop pictures and wallpaper (created from your logo Beauty Shot) as well as animated screensavers. We can also design your corporate material and convert to .PDF files for web download.
Will you method be e-mail text links and/or interactive form mail handlers?
Will your site require shopping cart, bulletin board or other third-party software driven features? For many of our clients, a small form-driven order system will suffice without the expense and admin. charges of a larger commercial shopping cart solution.
Have you located a host for your web site? Can they fulfill ALL your future web design plans? Will you require regular graphic and content maintenance? Are you planning to administer this site yourself? If not, have you selected a System administrator or will a member of your staff be responsible for the content update. Are they familiar with basic web site maintenance protocols (i.e. HTML, CGI scripting, FTP, etc.)?
THIRD PARTY PROGRAMMING
(Also – see TECHNICAL) do you have a programmer/programming firm that we will be working with? Will we be dealing with them directly, or through your company?
INTEGRATED WEB SITE MARKETING
“Build it and they will come” may work for baseball movies, but it terms of your web site it simply isn’t true. In order to generate traffic to your site, it has to benefit from an integrated marketing plan that advertises your site to as wide an audience as possible. Your web site will become a pivotal part of your overall marketing program, generating core sales and providing information to both potential and current clients. It is however, an area that is often misunderstood, and requires careful attention to every aspect.
Will your site be ‘search engine friendly’ i.e.: do you plan to use a search engine campaign to generate traffic? Will you be utilizing PPC (Paid Per Click) advertising? Do you plan to submit to paid search engine directories (Yahoo) etc.? Are you planning to use accelerated submission services? There are disadvantages to utilizing FFA (Free For All) and many other listing directories. With our add-on Search Engine services, The Logo Factory can make sure you optimize your efforts and funds.
For a successful web presence, you will still need to advertise your site through traditional advertising techniques and media. What material should feature your web address? All of them. Every scrap of paper that leaves your office should feature your web address. See our suggestions on new logo usagel.
BANNERS and/or BUTTONS
A standard advertising medium on the Internet is banner and button advertising. These can be quite effective if used as part of an overall marketing campaign. There are free ‘banner swap’ services, as well as paid inclusion on key word searches on some of the bigger search engines. Buttons can be created and used as a link swap with sites related to your business (this can also improve performance on certain search engines and directories). Your banners can be created as part of your ‘look and feel’ web presence or as an add-on product after your site has launched.
DESKTOPS and/or SCREENSAVERS
These are a great way to market your site (and make available for download from your site – check with your ISP or hosting company for bandwidth restrictions). Slapping your logo on a wallpaper texture or as a simple screensaver will not convince people to advertise your site on their computer. You need to make it dynamic, or fulfill some need. Conversion charts, color swatches and other reference materials can be quite effective. These can be created as part of a premium logo design package from The Logo Factory or as an add-on to your web design plans.
The Acrobat Reader from Adobe is the must widely distributed plug-in on the Internet today, and allows a multitude of platforms, software and OS to view documents complete with graphics, text and web friendly hyper links. These documents are relatively small in file size, so can be created and stored on your server for download from your web site. The Logo Factory can show you how to maximize your .PDF marketing, from a small 1-page sell sheet, to a full-blown catalog.
The information we gain from this initial consultation can help our designers to plan the subsequent Phases of your web design development, and implement certain selected features immediately (i.e. Search Engine and Parked Splash Pages). This also allows us to begin the planning of your web site development in Phase 2.
Our web design packages start at $995.00.
See here for a full description of pricing, packages and design options.