Sunday, August 5, 2007

Website Building and Management - Part 1

Hello fellow mistresses of the universe!

One of my business counselors recently suggested I put together a website in addition to my blog, and the timing couldn't have been better because the Dept. for Small Business Services is sponsoring a three week course which started last week on that same topic, so a few of the Mogulettes and I signed up for it. I was unable to attend the first class so I asked Jen, a fellow Mogulette and creator of the most adorable and scrumptious custom designed cookies (that's her on the right) to share her notes with us. Here's what she sent:

Six Step Process for Planning a Website

It is important to understand the different steps and skills needed to create a website. If you are hiring people to create your website, be sure to get a team of people with the right skills for each step. You can also use templates and content management tools to create your own website. These are discussed below.

1- Planning & Strategy

You’ll need to complete a business plan and a marketing plan before you create your website so that you know what role it will play in your business. Think of your website as an employee - you will have to spend resources on it, but it will help you generate profit.

2- Design

What do you want your website to look like? There are standard templates that can be used (see below). A common mistake people make is spending too much of their budget on the design/look of the website. When hiring a designer, make sure to get a designer who is specifically a web designer and not a print designer since the two mediums are different.

3- Construction

Once the design is completed, it is handed off to constructors for the technical building of the website. A web constructor/developer is different from the designer. There are specific languages developers use, such as HTML coding, Java Script, Pearl, ASP, JSP or PHP. Again it is best to work with a team so that you have people who have technical expertise in many areas.

4- Launch

Make your site visible to everyone.

5- Marketing

Have a plan for how you’ll get people to your site and how you’ll generate profit from it.

6- Maintenance Plan

Include in your business plan how often you will need to update your site (new products, promos, update prices, etc). Decide who will be doing this and how. Be sure to add the cost regular maintenance into your budget.

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On the more technical side we talked about Content Management Tools (CMTs), which is software that allows you to control the content (images and text) on your website. CMT’s provide templates that you can use to create your website without having any technical expertise. Some CMTs sit on your computer and others are on your hosting company’s server. Many hosting companies offer content management tools to help you build a website. Examples of this are DreamWeaver, Joomla!, and Front Page.

Coming up on the next post: ...what should go into your website? ...logos, domain names and much more. Stay tuned!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

CARMINA!

You are totally impressive... am checking out your MITM Site and it's fabulous!!!!

Looking forward to seeing you in class tomorrow evening.

Bernadette D

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