We Keep Costs Low with Your Help
You take all the pictures that you want on your site with a good quality digital camera. Pictures should be taken as close up as possible, with adequate lighting (avoid shadows) and a white background. If you are selling something on your site, it's important to remember that it's your pictures that will often sell the product.
The pictures should be submitted to us by email attachments or put on a CD ROM. We prefer email, because it's faster. If necessary we can scan pictures that are not taken with a digital camera. This requires extra hours on our part, and it will reflect in the cost we will charge. Also, scanned pictures tend to lose some detail. It's best to invest in a a good digital camera. Once we have your pictures, we can crop the background, and size them down. We cannot enlarge them because of loss of detail.
IX WEB HOST
You will be asked to set up an account with IX Web Host. The web host is the company that hosts your website. If this is confusing to you, we can do it for you, but will need to get your credit card information to pay for it. Presently IX offers three types of accounts: Unlimited Pro, Business, and Expert. You will need to set up an "Expert" account with them. They have different payment plans and charge based on how much you pay for. Typically we see them charge about $4.95 per month if you pay for two years all at once. If you pay for shorter periods of time, the cost goes up accordingly.
IX Web Host will also help you find a domain name and register it on their site. For example, our domain name is "designsdivine.org" It is our website's address and it's also the name of our business. You can name your website anything you want. IX will check to see if it's available or if it's already taken. They will give you options of the next best thing or something close if it's already owned. Once you have secured a domain name through them, they will register it for you.
If you have a web host that you prefer to use, we may be able to accommodate you. This will need prior approval.
We strongly recommend that you open a special checking account for your business with your bank or credit union. While it may be unlikely, if there is ever a dispute between you and a customer, PayPal can temporarily freeze the account until the dispute is settled. You wouldn't want your personal checking account frozen in a case like this, that's why we recommend your web business be separated. It makes sense to separate them for tax purposes as well.
We recommend that as funds are deposited into your account from sales on your website, that you transfer these funds into another account and keep only a minimum amount of money in your website business account. That way if there ever is a problem and the website business account is frozen, you will still have access to most of your money while waiting for the dispute to settle and your account to be unfrozen.
If you are selling some sort of merchandise on your website, you will be asked to get a PayPal account. PayPal is like the middle man between you and your customers. We've found that PayPal has low costs they will charge you minimal processing fees for payments made with credit cards. It's a nice, easy way of accepting VISA, MasterCard.
Customers do not need to have a PayPal account to make payments on your site using PayPal. Only you need an account with PayPal. Customers can pay using their VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Debit Cards, and Bank Cards. They can even pay over the telephone directly to PayPal if they are reluctant to pay on-line. If they happen to already have a PayPal account, they also have the option of paying from their PayPal account.
PayPal accounts are set up on-line. If this is confusing to you, we can help, but will charge more for doing so. We will need your bank account numbers to do it for you. To set up the account, PayPal will deposit a few cents into your bank account as part of the testing process of setting up the PayPal.
NO BELLS AND WHISTLES
Because we're dedicated to building low cost sites to new home businesses, we don't offer a lot of the flashy extras you'll see in big websites. We offer limited animations, and fancy extras. We will try to design your site with a look you like, and a color scheme you'll approve of. You can hire an outside graphic artist to make you a banner, buttons, menus, and logos, and ads or you can let us do something simple and functional with a sensible price tag. Remember you can always do more in the future when your business gets going well and you are able to afford something fancier. We're dedicated to helping you get started with low costs.
One of the first things you'll be asked is what colors you'd like to see your site theme and any ideas or preferences you have in making a banner and logo for your site. It's often helpful to give us examples of websites you've visited that have features you'd like to see in your site.
Some free or discounted advertising is offered through IX Webhost. Some of this requires extra hidden one-time fees to get registered with some of the largest site engines. We recommend that you take advantage of as many of these as you can. Many offer low sensible fees for their services.
Search engines scan websites for hidden key words that people are likely to enter when searching through them. These hidden words are called Meta tags. We place meta tags in your website to enable search engines to find your site An example of this that a potential customer might enter the words: "Cat toys in Tacoma, WA" into Google. Google will bring up all the websites that have the words "cat, toys, Tacoma, and WA". We may ask your help to include as many meta tags as possible. Typically the meta tags include city, states, county, area names, subject, and merchandise details.
We do not place reverse or non-applicable message meta tags in your website. An example of this is the following: If you want to advertise your Christian church website. We will not include words such satanists, witches, witchcraft, demons, etc. You may want to convert satanists and witches, but this is not the way to do it through meta tags. The meta tag must apply and some how relate and describe your site.
We can help you make a simple brochure for your website for an additional fee.
We will make links to other websites, and try to help you in advertising your site as a link on other sites, but for the most part, advertising is your responsibility. Many cities have websites that will list your business on their site free.