Wednesday, April 9, 2008

You CAN Get a Web Site Without Breaking the Bank

I'm thrilled to welcome Tiffany Stockton of Eagle Designs to share with us a few ideas to help you market your Writing Business. If you're not ready to make a website now I hope you'll print this material out and save it for when you are.
~Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter





Hi! Thanks for having me here, Tiff. To those reading, the two of us joke all the time about me having the "other half of her brain" since we share the same first name and have partnered together in this wacky world of web design. I'm here today to share with you some tips and suggestions to help guide you along that same path. Feel free to leave a comment with any questions you might have or even if you would like to share from your own experience.

And now, without further ado. Let's get started!

In this world of the Information Superhighway, Internet, World Wide Web, and interconnected technical communities, getting on board with the electronic train is the way to go. Before you even begin thinking about your site, though, you have to answer yourself one question:

Should I build my site myself or should I hire someone else to do it for me?

This isn’t an easy question to answer, but some things to consider are your time, your ability to learn HTML (HyperText Markup Language, the basic language of the Internet), who you hire, how much content you have to put on your site, how much money you have, etc.

If you decide to hire someone, you should always ask for referrals from that person, then interview those referrals to determine the credentials of the person you’re considering. Ask questions about timeliness, professionalism, approachability, cost and what’s included in that cost, satisfaction and if they’d hire that person again.

If you decide to go it on your own, look for WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) programs or pick up a book to help you learn basic HTML. I recommend "HTML for Dummies" or the "Idiot’s Guide to HTML." Ignore the somewhat deprecating titles and get them for their gold mines of knowledge and tips.

For a list of resources and guides and other tips to help you on your web design journey, consult the links page on our web site (http://www.eagle-designs.com/).

Websites are just one marketing tool and are not the end all and be all of your publicity. Most authors do not question if the cost of printing bookmarks or business cards is worthwhile, but most authors I know make or have bookmarks and business cards made.

I know some of you are no doubt reading this and thinking you will break the bank by investing in a web site. I'm here to tell you that's not true. In fact, the majority of my clients have gotten started for under $300, some of them for even less than that when they began on their own and expanded later. That is also a viable option at the onset.

Steps to Building a Web Site

1. Get a Domain or park your web site on a free server.

Domain names (URL – Universal Resource Locator) are easy to get, and many services provide them at low costs. There are well-known services out there, but you can save money by knowing the tricks of the trade.


FREE:
Yahoo/Geocities – http://geocities.yahoo.com/
Bravenet/Bravepages – http://www.bravepages.com/
DotEasy -- http://www.doteasy.com/ (using their web builder services after you've paid for domain registration)

2. Get a web host for your site.

This is separate from a domain. This is the space on the Internet that houses all of your files, images, pages and anything else associated with your website. You will benefit greatly from doing the research, asking others you know which hosts they’ve used, and comparing the features as well as talking to experienced people you know who can offer sound advice.

Here are some reliable web sites we’ve used for our clients:


FREE:
Yahoo/Geocities – http://geocities.yahoo.com/
Bravenet/Bravepages – http://www.bravepages.com/

If you already have a web site, but perhaps are looking to cut the costs or even step up the content a little, the above sites will be a great place to start. And if you have taken the path to start on your own, but you're now looking for a more professional appearance, feel free to contact us through our web site and request a quote. You'll be surprised just how affordable it is to get a site you're proud to call your own. Feel free to view the list of clients and contact them as well to ask how they like our services.

Whether you're just getting started and thinking about a site, or whether you have one and it needs to be updated, don't delay. Every day that you don't have a viable web presence is one more day lost in the span of your career. And let's face it. We can't afford to lose possible clients or interest in this competitive world. We're only successful if people know we exist. And they won't know if we don't advertise.

Tomorrow, I'll be covering content and the quality of your web site, sharing important tips to help you shape your site for optimum navigation and attraction to the average web browser. I hope you'll come back to learn more.

Thanks for coming today.

Tiffany
Eagle Designs
http://www.eagle-designs.com/

5 comments:

Admin said...

Nice post. Really liked it..
Don't forget to update it regularly.
I am looking for new updates dieing to read more stuff from you ..
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JOB-HUNT
Aims at helping the Fresh Graduates, Engineers, MBAs to get jobs in good companies
http://jobgame.blogspot.com

Anna said...

Another fairly reliable webhosting company:
ixwebhosting. (http://www.ixwebhosting.com/index.php/v2/pages.dspmain) Occasionally your website will go down for a few hours, but they are quick to reestablish connection and are very friendly to talk/chat with. Most of the employees seem to be foreigners, but as I've said, they're friendly and helpful! IX's prices range from 3-5 dollars per month (depending on if they're having a special or not) for the lowest option.
My two cents on designing websites:
I've found that a basic design program like iWeb, which comes with a Mac now, works really well. (I used it for this site: www.hartleyfamilybluegrass.com)
One warning: if you want to customize your site, you will definitely be spending hours on it! You don't have to know html or anything complicated...just get ready to sit.
Fortunately, I enjoy that!

Anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

Ahem...I enjoy working on the site, not necessarily SITTING! :)
And that $4.95/month is for both registration and hosting.

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