Archive for November, 2008

Name Your Website

Date Tuesday, 25 November 2008  Posted in Category Domain Name & Web Hosting, Web Applications  Tags , ,   Comment No Comments »

Build a Website Step by Step Part 2 of 6

Through Part 1 – Define Your Website, you know what you’re planning to include on your website. Now that you need to come up with a name for it, a domain name.

So, what makes for a good name on a website? Here are 3 criteria that you should consider:

1. Memorable. Why is a social networking website called Facebook.com and an online bookstore called Amazon.com? Simple because it’s easy to remember. Same thing with a portal called Yahoo.

2. Logical. Select a name that logically ties in with what your website do. Examples: babystore.com for a baby products seller and flowers.com for a florist. Try to make the domain name the same as your company name. Airline AirAsia’s domain name is AirAsia.com. HSBC bank’s domain name is hsbc.com.

3. Short. Some people prefer longer domain names for more descriptive, for instance, one budget shop owner has a website www.2dollarsbudgetshop.com. It gets a message across, but will you really remember that when you are online? Shorter, like www.budgetshop.com, is better. Stick with this idea- think about the website name you can anytime recall from your head without going to your bookmarks.

As for what not to do, just a couple of tips:

1. Try to avoid having the “or”, “and”, “the” words and plurals in a domain name. I can never remember if it’s Johnson&Johnson.com or JohnsonandJohnson.com. I bet lots of other folks can’t either. And is Malaysian Airline System (MAS) website malaysiaairline.com or malaysiaairlines.com? Would it better if use MAS.com? And the same case the StarCruises.com, I entered as StarCruise.com.

2. Having the last letter of your first word the same as the first letter of your last word also creates problems, because people can’t figure out whether to use the letter once or twice. For examples, sportsstore, champssports, babiesstore and professionallawyer.

3. Make sure your website name is easy to say. For example, card4u.com or littleangle.com. Try to avoid using complicated short-form where only you know its means- gssckl.com for Global Shared Service Centre Kuala Lumpur- how many times do you need to practice to remember the name?

4. If possible, try to avoid using the word that has different spelling in American English and International (British) English. For example, colorprinter.com could be colourprinter.com and favouritegame.com could be favoritegame.com. If you have no choice, I would suggest to register 2 of them and redirect one to the other.

The Exclusivity Factor

You can’t copyright, patent or register human names and book titles, which means multiple people can have the same name, and different books can have the same title.

But domain names are unique, it is a globally unique identity. So when in doubt, it pays to register any name you might want and hold it, rather than risk letting it go to someone else.

Register your Internet domain name early. When in doubt about a name, register it anyway. Registration can be as cheap as $10 per year when you get the name from ICANN Accredited Registrars (http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/ or http://www.internic.net/alpha.html) before someone else has.

To check to see if the name you want is available, go to: http://www.internic.net/whois.html and conduct a Whois Search on World Domain Names Database . For Whois information about country-code (two-letter eg. .com.cn /.co.uk) top-level domains, please try Uwhois.com (http://www.uwhois.com/cgi/domains.cgi?User=NoAds.)

The maximum length of a domain name is 255 octets. There are domain names being registered every second, with more than 50 million .com domain names registered to date.

What Are the Valid Characters for a Domain Name and How Long Can It Be?

The only valid characters for a domain name are letters, numbers and a hyphen/dash “-”. Other special characters like the underscore “_” or the exclamation mark “!” are not permitted. A domain name can be up to 63 characters long, plus the characters used to identify the top-level domains (TLDs: .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .cn, .us). Do not include the “http://www.” portion before your domain name when counting characters.

However, I think a domain name shall not exceeded 20 characters as of today. For example, MyDreamCarStudio.com is fine and still available in Whois.

Registering Your Name

Once you’ve identified the name you want and confirmed its availability, and it’s time to register it.

Remember that if you’re taking advantage of a website building tool from the domain name registrar, registering your domain is often handled through that process, which makes getting your website address up and running even easier for you!

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Define Your Website

Date Monday, 24 November 2008  Posted in Category Domain Name & Web Hosting, Web Applications  Tags ,   Comment No Comments »

Build a Website Step by Step Part 1 of 6

Ask youself a question- There’s millions of website on the Internet, for what reason people want to visit yours?

Determine What Prospects Need to Know

Here I assume you are selling products or services on your website. “Information your prospects need to know in order to buy from you” is the product information a serious potential buyer is likely to ask for. This “need to know” stuff includes:

  • An overview of your products or services.
  • Pages on individual products and services.
  • Additional product information – specs, features, options, accessories, models, ratings, upgrades and a comparision if possible.
  • Customers – who buys from you?
  • Projects – what are some of the major projects your business has handled?
  • Applications – what applications is your product used for? What industries do you serve?
  • Testimonials – are customers satisfied? What do they say about you?
  • FAQ – frequently asked questions. The FAQ lists the most common questions visitors ask, along with the answers.

Determine What You Want Prospects to Know

Your website should not only contain everything the prospect wants to know about you – but also everything you want to tell them. These are items that establish credibility and expertise.

For example, posting useful information such as white papers or How-To articles (knowledge-base) – is another more subtle way of convincing potential customers that you are the qualified source. After all, if they read and are impressed with your article, they’re more likely to buy from you than another seller. Beside that, you may also consider to put up your awards or road shows photos that makes your customer feel you are agreesive one and serious in the business.

So spend some time thinking about ways you can effectively communicate key points about your business – traditional (product information) and not-so-traditional (anything else that establishes your credibility and expertise). Once you’ve done this, it’s time to review the complete list of steps to follow to define your Web site in its entirety.

Eight Steps to Defining Your Web Site

  1. Write down your marketing objective. Is it to generate leads? Build a database of names with e-mail addresses? Give your business a storefront on the Web? Put your product catalog online to eliminate the time and expense of mailing print catalogs?
  2. Now quantify your objectives. Do you think having a presence on the Web can increase your sales 10% to 15%? Are you looking to attract a million visitors a month? If you don’t know what these numbers should be, make your best guess.
  3. Make sure your Web site has the information your visitors need to make a decision and take the action you want them to take. If you are selling a product, the prospect won’t buy unless there’s a clear description of each product along with its features and benefits. If you are selling a service, the prospect must be able to get a price on the site or at least be given the contact – e-mail to enquire or phone number to call for an estimate.
  4. The prospect must be able to get all his questions answered while on your site. The easiest way to do this is with an FAQ, or “Frequently Asked Questions” page. The FAQ lists the most common questions visitors ask, along with the answers. A number of software products now allow visitors to interact with a customer service rep while viewing sites either via e-mail or on the telephone.
  5. Create your content inventory. Organize the content for your site and define the basis for your site’s structure. Start out simply – creating basic pages and define the relationships between each. For example, organize all your company background, executive profiles and press releases into an About Us section. Sketch out your site structure to keep you organised and focused when you begin building your pages.
  6. Add strategic hyperlinks and site maps to guide visitors to where they want to go and also to where you want them to go. For instance, if you sell mixers and have an articles library on mixing, you might put links on the articles about particular applications to the description of the particular model mixer that handles each application best. Don’t be afraid to aggressively lead the visitor toward the solution you want to sell, not just the nice free stuff you give away.
  7. Study competitive sites carefully. Creatively plagiarize site features and Web techniques they are using to sell products similar to yours. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. This is particularly useful for structure and content suggestions.
  8. Take a tip from the Yellow Pages. When people open the Yellow Pages, they have an immediate need and are looking for a solution. So the ads are heavy on content, light on fancy design or marketing fluff. Your site visitor may not have as immediate a need as the Yellow Pages user, but he/she still has some interest or wouldn’t have come to your website. So while prize-winning Web design is fine, copy and content that sell are even more important.

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Build a Website Step by Step

Date Monday, 24 November 2008  Posted in Category Domain Name & Web Hosting, Web Applications  Tags , , ,   Comment No Comments »

You’ve probably visited a lot of other websites and already have some ideas about what you want to have with your own website. In fact, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or invest a tremendous amount of time to find great resources to help you build your website.

Here I will share with you how to get the website started without the hassle of conducting a search on the Internet.

1. Define your website. What it will include, how it will be organised, what it’s meant to accomplish. It’s critical that you understand your goals and objectives and work to ensure that the website you plan for can deliver the desired results.

2. Name your website. Websites are accessed by an online address (IP) or Domain Name. You need to come up with one domain name for your website that’s easy to say, spell and remember. (You need a name that isn’t already being used, to check the domain name availability, you may visit http://www.internic.net/whois.html).

3. Build your website. Creating content and coming up with a design that works well for your website. You will learn what right tools to use and useful ideas for building the right website, from posting useful content to processing credit card orders online, everything you need to consider is included here.

4. Publish your website. You have the domain name you’ve set up and ready to publish your pages. Here you’ll get the basic insight into how your pages and files go from your computer to your Internet space.

5. Market your website. Once your website is up and running, it’s time to get the promotional machine in gear. From registering with Search Engines like Google to direct e-mail marketing campaigns and adding a guest book to help you create marketing lists and programs, you need to come up with an effective marketing plan to drive traffic to your website.

6. Evaluate your website. Website change and grow as you learn what works and what doesn’t, here will brief you on what to do post-launch to ensure your site remain effective.

Remember, understand your website’s goals and objectives is vitally important to its success. There’s no point building a website that you don’t even know what to communicate and how it will be used.

Good luck! :)

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