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Web Site: Cost effective or wasted resource? 

A website can cost anything up to a five figure sum and it is difficult to be accurate about the ROI. What you spend will depend on many factors centering on the functionality you expect to provide your website visitors . 

 

Static Brochure Website 

Probably the most common type of site. Usually existing of standard pages - 

  1. Landing page. This is the page displayed when users search for your domain name or click a link from an Internet search. The main content needs to say at a glance what it is that your company does in line with your corporate aims. 

  1. About Us. This page contains details of what your company aims are and, possibly, delivers outlines of the individuals who deliver the products and services. 

  1. Contact us. This page states how you can be contacted and, possibly, where you are geographically. 

  1. Location. A map page to pin point your HQ or outlets. 

  1. Legal. Any legal disclaimers you need to make clear as part of your business and advertising policies. 

There may be additional pages detailing specific products or services, but the whole site should convey a consistent corporate theme with matched colours, styles and fonts. 

Attainment of a unique site 'look and feel' is time consuming. It is therefore well worth looking around the web before deciding on corporate theme and then ensure that the web design echoes that theme as closely as possible. 

 

Content (the words and images on the pages must be clear, concise and carefully considered. Many web site owners employ a specialist web copy writer to provide this. 'Content is King' and websites should never display poor grammar or spelling errors.  

 

Content Managed Website (CMS)  

Informational websites, where content changes regularly, are usually best managed using a content management system. This provides site wide themes, colours, styles and fonts, plus the ability to change words, images and possibly layout on individual existing pages and to insert new pages and/or delete old redundant pages without involving external resources. Having said that, 'Content is still King' so quality assurance on page content becomes very important in order to avoid wording that appears amateurish in any way. 

When opting for CMS you need to avoid deployment of a system that delivers a standard 'boiler plate' site. Changing themes in CMS systems in order to attain a unique site 'look and feel' is time consuming. It is therefore well worth looking around the web before deciding on corporate theme and then ensure that the web design echoes that theme as closely as possible. 

   

eCommerce Site 

If you wish to sell goods or services on line you will need an eCommerce site. This may be the entire website, a part of your website or be entirely separate to your static site. 

eCommerce sites are required to be secure to remain within data protection legislation and, if the capture and storage of customer personal data exists, will need Internet secure certification. This means that the site will be accessible via an HTTPS tag rather than a HTTP tag and use the encryption port 443 rather than the open port 80. Secure certification incurs significant expenditure, which is avoided by many website owners by the use of services such as PayPal or Worldpay to collect payment. However, if the site collects customer personal data (names and addresses) it will still require HTTPS security.  

 

This document is posted free of charge and in good faith. Neither the author nor the publisher is in any way connected to the manufacturer or supplier of the service or product described therein. Neither the author nor the publisher can accept responsibility for issues arising from the use or misuse of any of the content of this document.