Developing & Maintaining Your
Own Website
Every day it becomes clearer that the Net is
taking its place alongside the other great
transformational technologies that first
challenged, and then fundamentally
changed, the way things are done in the
- Louis Gerstner, Chairman & CEO of IBM
How do you decide whether to create a
business website?
How do you decide whether to create a
business website?
Do your competitors have websites?
Where are your customers located?
What questions are commonly asked?
What we’ll cover
• Website development
Domain names
• Website maintenance
– Monitoring use
– Updating
Website Development
• Requires a plan
• Takes time
• Will cost money
• Hire help or professional assistance if
Domain Names
• Domain name is your internet address/identity
• Typically the business name
– Ex. Mercer Vu Farms –
• Can be a product name
– Ex. Mountain Dew – product of PepsiCo, Inc
Domain Names
• Two parts
Domain Name Registrars
– Label
– Extension
The popular registrars:
• Possible extensions
– .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov, .info, .biz
Domain Names
• Two options
– Stand alone website
• Ex.
– Your website is part of a larger website
• Ex.
• Can register a domain name without
creating a website
Website Content
• Only include pertinent information
• Get input & feedback from people familiar
with your business
• Start simple
– Can always add content and features
What content should a business’s website
Website Content
Content Musts
• Business name
• Contact information
Phone number
Fax number
Email address
• Business description
• Product descriptions and/or photos
• Service descriptions
Website Content
Possible content
Company logo
Company vision and/or mission statement
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Purchasing Information
Special project info
Calendar of events
Product use ideas/suggestions
Forms/links for sending email
Website Content
• Content must be accurate, clear, and explicit
– Don’t assume people know what you mean or
understand what you’re telling them
• Must abide by information presented on the
– Updating is essential when things change
• Ex. Product prices increase
Website Design
• Develop content before designing the site
• People form instant opinions
– Designs should
• Be eye-catching, appealing, not too busy
• Encourage people to stay & explore
• Clean & Professional
• Use flow charts or storyboards
Website Design
• Check out other websites for design
elements that you do and don’t like.
Building the Website
• Two choices
– You
• Saves money
• Takes time away from other activities
• May take longer depending on ability/knowledge
– Lose potential sales
– Someone else
• May be costly
• Already possesses the skills/knowledge
• Website can be finished more quickly
Website Hosting
• Websites need a home – called a server
• Internal or External hosting
– Internal
• You house and maintain the server
• Typically more expensive
• Requires experienced technical knowledge
– External
• Someone else owns and maintains the server
• Multiple websites on the same server
• Most internet service providers (ISPs) offer hosting
services. Also local hosting businesses.
Website Hosting
• Hosting Service Considerations
– Support for the software and programming
language used to design your website
– Web space or storage space needed
– Bandwidth – speed and amount of data you can
– Back-up services
– Other software offered
• Shopping carts, email, forums, blogs, etc.
Brief Review
Steps to Build a Website
Register a domain name
Develop content
Develop a design
Build the site
Find someplace to host the site
Website Maintenance
• Need to keep your website up to date and
error free
– You can do this yourself or hire it to be done
• People stop visiting websites with incorrect,
out of date, or old information
Monitoring Use
• Monitoring methods
• Utilize website monitoring software
– Provided by hosting services
– Purchase your own
Monitoring Use
• Use information from web monitoring to
decide on necessary updates
– Is the website being found?
• What are you best sources of traffic?
– Are people leaving quickly?
• No hits on sub-pages
How do you know when and
what to update?
Updating a website
• How do you know when and what to
– Dependent on content
• New, Seasonal products?
• Monthly newsletter?
– Get feedback from visitors
• Feedback forms
• Email
Section Wrap-Up
• Website development takes time
• Process involved
Register a domain name
Develop content
Develop design
Build the site
Find hosting
• Regularly monitor use
• Maintain and update as needed
• Get assistance!

Developing & Maintaining Your Own Website