So you want a web site.

10 things you need to know...

How long's a piece of string?
The real cost
The real cost (2)
Can I have it by Monday?
Do it once, do it right
Be aware. Be very aware...
Do your homework
Get organised
What's in a name?
Where to from here?

The real cost (2)

You know what your site will cost you—if you do it right? About twice the length of that piece of string.

Remember—it's not costing you anything. You're making an investment. But to maximise your return on that investment, you're going to have to spend quite a bit more than just what I bill you for the site itself. You're going to have to promote its presence; and that costs money. Exactly how you do that is up to you—although I can give some pointers to get you started—but don't make the mistake of simply relying on search engines to do the job for you.

There are now tens of millions of Web sites. The top ten search engines collectively have less than 50% of those sites indexed. The Web has grown by almost one hundred pages, eight hundred links, and around twelve users in the time it's taken you to read this sentence. It's big.

Of course, your site will be optimised for search engines, so people will be able to find it. But would you open a shop in a little back alley somewhere, and expect the customers to just arrive, without advertising its presence?

For your site to make a difference to the success of your business, you're going to have to do some specifically targeted marketing—at least initially. That may be by direct mail, or email, or press advertising, or whatever. Down the track, if your site gains a reputation, word of mouth (and links from other sites) will have a positive effect. In the short term, you're going to need to give it a helping hand.

One thing's for sure. If you launch a site, and no-one knows it's there, it could very quickly become the most expensive, and pointless, marketing exercise you'll ever undertake.

Next: Can I have my site by Monday?

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