Written by Annette Thomas

Continued from page 1
Take a quick look around at what each company offers to determine possible suitability. If their web site doesn't function correctly, it's wise to look elsewhere. Ensure you review their company profile to get a "vibe" about their practices and ethics. Ifrepparttar company profile only details how good they think they are, run like hell. The rest of your initial enquiries can be handled via email. Letrepparttar 143251 hosting services know that you are approaching a number of companies. You can make this clear by putting allrepparttar 143252 company email addresses inrepparttar 143253 CC field. This strategy will quickly identifyrepparttar 143254 companies who genuinely want your business and also allow you to easily run through an initial cull, saving you valuable hours in research. Not all web hosts are created equal The criteria forrepparttar 143255 first cull is simple - if they don't respond to your enquiry within 24 hours, delete them from your "possibles" list. This also applies if they only send you links to promo material without any personalized message. To really test them out, send your email late on a Saturday night - whereverrepparttar 143256 hosting company is inrepparttar 143257 world, it will berepparttar 143258 weekend. The idea behindrepparttar 143259 24 hour strategy is this - if a company can't respond to pre-sales questions quickly, it may be an indication of what their customer support is like. Also, many web site hosts don't seerepparttar 143260 "big picture". You may be starting out small, but who knows how big you'll become and how many other people you will refer to their service? A forward thinking company recognizes this and communicates appropriately. Don't make it too hard onrepparttar 143261 hosting companies in your email to start off with, you can ask more detailed questions as you reducerepparttar 143262 list of possibilities. . Hosting Service Recommendation: ThinkHost uses a excellent email support service that makes telephone support look positively antiquated. Test it out for yourself and ask them some pre-sales questions! Visit ThinkHost today!


Annette Thomas is a business management and marketing professional.

From Concept to Website

Written by Staff, WebsiteSource.com

Continued from page 1

•A readable font size •Clear contrast betweenrepparttar font color andrepparttar 142880 background •Links torepparttar 142881 main pages that are easy to find from any page •Links throughoutrepparttar 142882 site that take visitors torepparttar 142883 next steps — more details about your products or services, order pages, contact information Put together an e-commerce system

If you sell products or services at your website, you need:

•An online shopping cart program so that people can place orders •A merchant account to handle Internet payment transactions •A payment gateway to connect your shopping cart andrepparttar 142884 financial institutions involved inrepparttar 142885 sale •An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate to establish a secure connection when receiving credit card information

For low-volume sales, PayPal may be more economical than a merchant account, and it doesn’t require a payment gateway or an SSL certificate.

Shopping carts range from basic to those with more advanced options. Some merchant account providers include a payment gateway with their merchant accounts, which simplifies setting up an online store.

3. The online presence Choose a web host

Choosing a good web host is essential to your online presence. If your site is constantly down, or if you can’t get customer support when you need it, your website won’t be able to work as well for you.

Don’t look at price alone when choosing a web host. Consider also these factors:

•Arerepparttar 142886 support people fast and helpful? •Can you reach support easily at any time? •Doesrepparttar 142887 company have a good record of server uptime? •Dorepparttar 142888 hosting packages provide room for your site to grow?

In addition, look for specific features that your website may require, such as website templates or support for specific e-commerce solutions. Website Source’s Hosting (http://www.websitesource.com) includes these features and more:

•Hundreds of templates to choose from using Site Studio — no HTML knowledge required •A shopping cart and shared SSL certificate included with accounts •Free website content that clients can publish at their sites •A marketing control panel with tools to help market and monitor websites

Once you have a web hosting account, you’re ready to go online. Set up your website

You have your domain name, your website template, your content, your e-commerce system, and your web host. Now what?

Put it all together.

•Your domain name When you set up your web hosting account, your web host gave yourepparttar 142889 names of two nameservers. These names need to be inrepparttar 142890 domain name record for your domain name to point to your website.

To addrepparttar 142891 nameservers to your domain name record, log in to your domain name account at your domain name registrar and look forrepparttar 142892 two fields marked “nameservers,” “DNS” (domain name servers), or just “Primary” and “Secondary.” Enterrepparttar 142893 nameserver names that your web host gave you, and click on Update. (The exact steps may vary depending on your domain name registrar.)

While it used to take 24 hours or more for domain names to point to a website, this process often happens within an hour or so now. •Your website content Your web designer can formatrepparttar 142894 content in HTML for you and add it to each web page. If you’re using a pre-made template with a website builder, you can addrepparttar 142895 content yourself.

•Your website You can upload your web pages via an FTP (file transfer protocol) program or viarepparttar 142896 website control panel if your control panel has a file upload feature. If your site has an e-commerce system, you can set it up after you upload your page files.

When you think your website is ready forrepparttar 142897 public, check it, check it, and check it:

•Do allrepparttar 142898 links work? •Can visitors find information easily withrepparttar 142899 minimal number of clicks? •If you have a shopping cart, does it work smoothly? •Did you provide allrepparttar 142900 details that visitors need, including contact information? Market your website

If you build it, they will come — but only if they know about it.

Help people find your site online:

•Submit your site to search engines (http://www.marketingcontrolpanel.com) . •Find relevant online directories and submit your site to them. •Askrepparttar 142901 webmasters of sites with related content if they want to link to your site. •Put your site name and a link to it in your signature line for all outgoing email. •Participate in forums and newsgroups and include your site name and a link to it in your signature line for posts.

Share your site domain name offline too:

•Print it on your business cards and stationery. •Display it in your store or office. •Add it in lettering on your company vehicle. •Put it on any company giveaway items. •Include it with any advertisements.

Keep your website content current, continue adding new content, and give your domain name as much exposure as possible. And watch your business grow.

About the author: Chris K. is a Technical Executive Writer for Website Source, Inc.. His established writing skills coupled with experience in the web hosting industry have provided internet professionals with marketing, product and service ideas for many years. Chris continues to do extensive research in the e-commerce industry.

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