frequently asked questions
At Lemoneye, we are often asked questions about what is involved in setting up and hosting a web site. We have attempted to explain some of the basic ‘mysteries’ in the questions below.
why should I have a web site?
Plain and simply, having a corporate web site is the most cost-effective marketing medium available today. Compared to most marketing materials (e.g. printed brochures, business cards, flyers), a web site is much more flexible as it can be changed “on the fly”.
If your business changes or you have a special offer, your web site can very easily be changed to reflect these changes. In addition to the flexibility, the marketing exposure your web site can bring is phenomenal. The whole world can view your products or services for a literally pence per day running cost.
my business is regional. will a web site still work?
Yes. We can assist you in developing a marketing strategy that will promote your web site in your local area. What this mainly means is making sure your web site can be found in major search engines (like Google) using local search phrases (eg “greengrocer Heathfield”).
Additionally there are many small search engines that list businesses locally. Some of these we have strong relationships with and can develop a localised marketing campaign for your web site. We also use other local media to promote sites.
What can I do with my web site?
The most important thing to do is promote it. Put your web site address on all your business paperwork, letterheads, business cards, promotional materials and advertising. Add attachments to all of your outgoing emails.
In this way your web site can work most effectively for you as a port of call for your clients to find out all about you.
What is hosting?
The internet is a made up of a massive network of computers that are all permanently connected to each other via cable, satellite and telephone systems spanning the entire globe. Each of these computers holds information about where web sites are stored, so when you go looking for a particular site you get steered to the correct place.
A web site is made up of files that link together via ‘hyperlinks’.
The term ‘hosting’ refers to the computer where the web page files that make up your web site are stored, so that they are accessible via the internet. Without hosting, your web site cannot exist.
Can I use the web space that is supplied with my Internet Service Provider?
Yes you can, although we do not recommend it for commercial web sites. For a start, your web site address would usually include your Internet Service Providers (ISP) name so that they gain more marketing exposure. (e.g. http://homepages.isp.com/yourname).
Secondly, this web space is usually limited in some way, either by capacity or by functions. Some of the web sites that we design require specialised programming in order to make them work, and it is common for ISP web space to deny this type of activity.
Why do I need a domain name?
A domain name can help to increase your brand awareness. Instead of having www.yourisp.com/yourname, your web site address can be www.yourname.com. Firstly, this is easier to remember, plus it repeats your company name or slogan to your prospective visitors and clients.
What domain name should I have?
There are two schools of thought on this. The first, and most common, is to have your company name or brand as your domain name (such as www.lemoneye.com).
The second type of domain name is one that contains keywords that explain about your business. An example of this would be www.webuildwebsites.com. We can help you brainstorm the right domain name for your business.
Will my web site be seen across the world?
Yes. Once your web site has been developed and uploaded to your hosting space, the whole world will be able to see it. Of course, if your web site is selling or promoting a regional product or service, we can assist you in promoting it more locally. If your product or service is an international one, then the Internet is the medium for you.
Which web solution is right for your business?
From a simple 3-page site to a sophisticated e-commerce online store, most businesses now recognise the need for a corporate website.
A quick surf round the world wide web soon throws up a lot of sites that are either badly put together or fail to deliver any commercial benefit back to the business. These are usually the ones that were created because someone said the company ought to have a net presence without really working out what they wanted it to do.
There are really only three types of commercial website – the small ‘business card’ web site, the brochure website and the online store. Before you decide which one to go for you need to decide exactly are you trying to achieve.
3-Page Site This is the online starting point for many companies. It is like putting your business card or flyer on the web. It can be used to keep in touch with existing customers and to attract new ones who are browsing the Internet.
A good site includes the following:
- Business name and logo
- Brief description of your business activity
- A summary of your products or services
- Your business address, including contact telephone number, fax number and email address
- A contact name
- Opening hours
- A photograph of your product, services and business activity
- An opportunity for feedback
This type of website is particularly suitable for companies aiming at local customers and businesses which offer a straightforward range of products and services – a dental practice or cleaning service for example.
Brochure website This is the equivalent of putting your product brochure or catalogue online and will contain much of the same information as a 3-page site, but with more details and pictures on individual products and services. Although it offers greater depth, you should aim to keep it simple as internet users have short attention spans. Don’t try to make navigation too complicated – the fewer number of clicks it takes to find information the better. If you do not want to trade online but you feel your product range or services could benefit from more detailed explanations, then this is the right solution for you.
Online store If you feel that you, and your customers, are ready to do business online then the next step is to set up an online store. Unless you have the sort of product that can be delivered over the internet, this has a number of important business issues. You need to be able to fulfil a customer order, ideally within three days, anywhere in the country. And you need to be able to set up customer service to deal with problems, late deliveries, refunds and exchanges – the details of which must be displayed clearly on the website.
But the most important issue is security. Consumers are still nervous about buying online and stories of credit card fraud abound. So you not only have to be sure that you’ve found a secure way of processing credit and debit card transactions – you also have to communicate this to the customer.
We are experienced at setting up secure payments solutions with a variety of providers, and we can offer you advice as to the best solution to suit your needs.
We can also offer automated solutions that will interface with accounts packages, keeping your admin to a minimum.
Your company and the Internet – an introduction
There are already 47 million internet users in the UK (over three quarters of the population), and with a great many actively buying online, ecommerce now makes up a significant portion of all business conducted in this country.
To take advantage of this opportunity, and to keep your existing customers, it is no longer a question of whether you are going to put your business online, but how and when you’re going to do it.
Lemoneye can take you through the three key stages it takes to get your business online and give you the essential advice you need to help make your business an internet success story.