AMCHO Computer Services Ltd, Tamar Way, Gunnislake, Cornwall, PL18 9DH, UK
|The best way to start off on the road to being a webmaster is to use the free web space provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). This will save you money while you learn the secrets of web mastery.|
|One drawback of the free web site is the long site address (eg:
If you want more than the free sites offer or want someone to set up your web site for you then Click here for our pricelist.
Create Your Web Pages
First you need to create your web pages - quite easy - many word processors will now let you convert your current marketing text to HTML, just save your document as a HTML file. There are many web page authoring packages that will help you create a good page. If you really want to do it the difficult way you could use the windows notepad. It is worth spending some time on creating your web pages, especially if you want images, logos etc. Also check to see what the pages look like in different browsers and different screen settings (size resolution colour) - it is amazing how many pages I have seen where you cannot read the text because of some fancy background that has taken half an hour to download!
If you are planning a commercial web site we are running a workshop on how to make your site sell. The workshop is based on the ebook by the same name written by Ken Evoy. Please have a look and let me have your feedback.
If you want a domain name similar to www.amcho.com then you need an IPP (internet presence provider). You can get a list of IPPs and their charges and other details by going to hostsearch or budgetweb or webhostlist or hostfind . Most IPPs will do the registration for you. For a '.com' domain you will be charged $70 for two years registration, and the IPP will charge you a set up fee and a monthly hosting fee. Prices vary from free to $1000 per year. With the cheaper hosting you will probably find you are hosting ads for the provider, also these services may be more crowded and slower. Before shelling out loads of money to your site provider, run the server test provided at http://www.netmechanic.com - this will show you how well your prospective server really performs - you can now ignore all the bumf about T1 and T3 connections to backbones etc! (If you must know - a T3 is about 10 times better than a T1 - but it won't make any difference if your server is handling a 1000 times more traffic!).
You have now spent lots of money, and time creating your web site (if you are in America at least you are not paying for the telephone calls!). You sit back and wait for the calls to roll in - and keep on waiting - because no one knows your site is there.
You need to publicise you site: tell the world that you have a web site - mention your web site address and your email address on all your published material - letterheads, email, advertising. Give your customers a good reason to go to your web site.
Search engines will probably be your best source of visitors. You need to submit your site to all the search engines. But first are your pages ready to be submitted?. For a very short intro on making your page search engine friendly see see our workshop page on META TAGS. For a small price your site could be submitted to some 500 search engines and directories by Traffic Boost or Website Submit or use one of the free submission service as listed on our tools page at www.amcho.com/tools.htm. After submitting your site to all the search engines use http://www.did-it.com/ to check your ranking in the main search engine - you will get an email telling you exactly where your site ranks on particular keywords - a very useful resource!
If you publicise your site and put something worth seeing or useful on your site you will find that visitors start to trickle in.
Get links from other related sites. If you put a link on your site tell the webmaster of the site you have linked to. Join one of the link exchange schemes - for example Smartclicks or LinkExchange. You create a banner to advertise your site - in exchange you show banners on your site - Have a look at the bottom of this page for examples.
The following sites are worth a visit for more information on promoting your web site:
A page on how to improve your ranking in search engines. Will tell you more than you really want to know about search engines. Provides information on promoting your web site - while you are there subscribe to their excelent newletter. Provides tips and info on promoting your web site. A commercial web site promotion service - will save you a lot of time and effort - and seems reasonably priced. Internet Marketing, Online Advertising & Search Engine Submissions
by Webster Group International
If you are trying to increase the traffic to your web site you need to improve your position with the various search engines.
The following resources should help you achive a better position:
RankThis is an on line tool that will give you your ranking in any one of the most used search engines for a selected list of keywords.
PositionAgent, monitors where your web site is ranked on leading search engines for selected keywords and reports all listings and positions to help you get more hits.
WebPosition is a program that you can download and configure on your machine offline before using it to check your position.
Click here to learn more about WebPosition.
Click here to download a free trial of WebPosition.
|OK - You have created your site - You have set up lots of interesting content - You have added links to other relevant
sites - You have promoted your site with all the search engines. You are now in the maintenance phase of being
a webmaster. You are updating the content on a regular basis. And being human you are accidentally corrupting your
links and putting in invalid HTML code. This is when you need to use a service such as WebSiteGarage
or NetMechanic or SiteInspector.
These sites will allow you to check your site for broken links, check your HTML code, and check the performance
of your server. Also worth a visit is http://www.rankthis.com to check your
rating in various search engines using different key words for searching.
Visit http://www.freecode.com/ and check the FreeCode software archive for programs that are Free for personal and commercial use.
You have now probably spent hundreds of hours setting up your web site and probably as much in telephone bills - You now want to make it pay. Read the story written by Michael Schriner of how MicroVision Computer Products used the internet to make his business grow and become more profitable. If you are aware of any other internet success story then let me know and I'll feature it here.
One way of getting a small income from your site is by subscribing to one of the associates programs - you send people to a site that sells books or software and get paid a commission on anything that is bought. Check the Associate Programs Directory for details.
For the definitive guide on how to make your site sell goto www.sitesell.com/amcho.html - buy the book or join up as a reseller. If you join up as a reseller you will be able to download the reseller manual, this is packed with usefull information on how to make the most of Affiliate Programs. I am slowly implementing some of the ideas and working through the manual. Take a look at our page on how to earn an income from your web site for more ideas on generating an income from your website.
If you know a site with useful content please let me know and I'll keep this page updated - so check back regularly - there is a service that will send you an e-mail whenever a page is updated: check out the details at: http://www.netmind.com/URL-minder/.
For example you can enter your e-mail address below to receive e-mail whenever this page is updated.
There are three reasons for having a web site - you want to tell the world about your company - you want to communicate with your customers and suppliers - you want to sell your products over the net. Most people use their web site to advertise their product; then make the customer deal with them in the traditional manner. But it is now possible to take payments over the net. For details the following are a random selection - If you know of any others please let me know:
www.coulomb.co.uk - accept micropayments - free trial
If you are in the UK check out www.bureau.pipex.com/; Will allow you to take payments using most credit cards, setup cost £5000 then £5000 per annum +5% - check their site for current prices and details.
The Internet Billing Company will allow you to accept most credit cards - no set up fee but they take 15% of each transaction.
Before accepting payment over the internet remember that the supplier as well as the client can be defrauded - Read the article by T.J. Walker Merchants Beware - Fraud is Rampant for some tips on how you can protect yourself from being ripped off. Also have a look at his site http://www.antifraud.com/.
If you want to explore e-commerce in details there is a very good selection of links at Roger Clarke's Electronic Commerce Pages
It can be fun creating your web site and building traffic - the first time you check your logs to find a complete stranger actually visited your site and had a good look around. When you find that someone else has put a link to your site. When someone uses one of your autoresponders for the first time, or fills out your feedback form or leaves an entry in your guestbook. But there is a down side - the time it takes is horrendous - you start to feel that an early night is when you get to bed before 2am. So if you want to do it yourself - good luck and enjoy it - send me an email to let me know how you get on or to ask any questions - I intend to keep this artcle up to date so any feed back would be welcome.
On the other hand - if you decide you want to do something else but still want a web site. We specialise in small business web site site set up and hosting so why not let us do it all for you - take a look at our price list. If you want something different or want to ask any questions just send us an email.
(c) Mike Choroszewski. This article may be reproduced free of charge on the condition that credit is given to the author and a link included to this site. Please send me an email if it is used or if you link to this page.
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