A Guide to ... Website Design by terrypete

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									A Guide to Websites




A Guide to … Website Design

This guide is intended to outline the main aspects of website design and hopefully
will help to translate all the jargon into plain English. …………..




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP           Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                     Page 1 of 26
A Guide to Websites


1 Contents
1     Contents ............................................................................................................ 2

2     Why Have a Website?....................................................................................... 3

    2.1    How do we increase revenue? ..................................................................................... 3
    2.2    How do we reduce expenses? ..................................................................................... 3
    2.3    How do we bring in more customers? .......................................................................... 3
    2.4    How do we get more business out of each existing customer? ................................... 4
    2.5    How do we increase our business value? .................................................................... 4

3     What sort of website do I need? ...................................................................... 5

    3.1    Brochure Websites ....................................................................................................... 5
    3.2    E-Commerce/E-Business Website ............................................................................... 5
    3.3    Online Booking ............................................................................................................. 5

4     The Design Process.......................................................................................... 6

5     Design – List of Points ..................................................................................... 7

6     Core Website Design and Page Issues ........................................................... 8

    6.1    Graphic Design ............................................................................................................. 8
    6.2    Required Pages ............................................................................................................ 9
    6.3    E-Commerce Specific Pages...................................................................................... 11
    6.4    Optional Pages ........................................................................................................... 12
    6.5    Offline Payments ........................................................................................................ 13
    6.6    Online Payments ........................................................................................................ 14

7     Domain Names................................................................................................ 16

8     Hosting ............................................................................................................ 18

    8.1    Web Hosting Service .................................................................................................. 18

9     Search Engine Optimisation .......................................................................... 20

    9.1    Google Web Design Guidelines ................................................................................. 21

10         Website Marketing ..................................................................................... 22

    10.1      Submit Your Site To Search Engines (FREE) ....................................................... 22
    10.2      Current Site Rankings ............................................................................................ 22
    10.3      Keywords Suggestion Tools................................................................................... 22
    10.4      Online Advertising .................................................................................................. 22

11         Customer/Visitor Statistics ....................................................................... 23

12         Content Management ................................................................................ 25

13         Support and Training ................................................................................ 26

    13.1      Quote/Pre-Construction Phase .............................................................................. 26
    13.2      Construction Phase ................................................................................................ 26
    13.3      Post-Live Date........................................................................................................ 26
    13.4      Training .................................................................................................................. 26




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP                                                        Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                                                                  Page 2 of 26
A Guide to Websites

2 Why Have a Website?
Well like it or not the Internet is here to stay and in spite of what you may think your
customers are going to expect you to have a website or they will go to a business
that does. You can also save a lot of money by using your website as an online
brochure and make more profits by generating extra business benefits.


2.1       How do we increase revenue?

A good website will enable you to focus your marketing effort on the core strengths of
your business so that you get the customers that are going to want the services you
have on offer and be prepared to pay for them.
We do this by tailoring the structure and content of your website to reflect those
areas where you excel, examples may be:

      •    Great Food
      •    Outstanding accommodation
      •    Lots of Local activities
      •    Superb Location

Because we can build an individual web page for each of these separate areas of
your business we can bring these strengths out in a far more easy to understand way
than in printed material.

A good website will also give you far more in the way of advance bookings which
means that there is less reliance on Casual bookings which inevitably have to be sold
at a cheaper rate


2.2       How do we reduce expenses?
Your website becomes your online brochure and your strategy with all your marketing
effort is to direct interested customers to look at it. This dramatically reduces the
number of expensive printed brochures required.

Also dealing with customers who are Internet orientated enables you to communicate
regularly by email which saves money and time compared to traditional methods.
Having your own website means you can take entries in online directories and portal
sites which point to your own site, which is far cheaper than print advertising.


2.3       How do we bring in more customers?
Because a website has different pages with content on different subjects it is possible
to segment the appeal of your business into niche markets. Each page can be
optimised for search engine performance on different terms so that one website can
aim at several different markets.

A HotScot website is always optimised for Search Engine Performance. In addition
we have a range of online marketing products to support the website to boost traffic
to the site.

A HotScot website will therefore perform better than any other site to drive customers
to your door!




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP               Tel: 01397 700 924
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A Guide to Websites
2.4    How do we get more business out of each existing customer?
One feature of all our websites is a Newsletter tool. This is a great way of keeping in
touch with customers and enquirers to keep them informed of special offers and off
season deals.

Many existing customers will make regular visits to the website to keep in touch with
the latest news, so a feature we incorporate is a News module to keep the site
updated with all the events and happenings in your business.

Viral marketing techniques are also a useful means of getting existing customers to
tell their friends all about your business. We can add features such as “Tell a Friend”
and “Send a Postcard” that enables your existing customers to spread the word
about you.


2.5    How do we increase our business value?
A website which performs well is a valuable business asset. It is easy to demonstrate
the performance of the site in terms of business generated and therefore to attach a
valuation to it. Many of our clients manage to achieve a significant valuation for the
website alone in any business sale




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP             Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                       Page 4 of 26
A Guide to Websites




3 What sort of website do I need?
The two main types of websites are a brochure website and an e-commerce or e-
business website.

3.1    Brochure Websites
Simply put a brochure website is your online brochure on the Internet. It usually
outlines your company profile, your products/services, contact information and
perhaps customer details. I t can either be static where the pages have to be
changed by a web designer or dynamic where the content can be managed by the
owner without any technical skill. It’s often has simple pages with updates being done
perhaps once a month e.g. the home page and latest news page.


(Example)



3.2    E-Commerce/E-Business Website
The e-commerce site is an extension to the brochure website that enables the
customer to transact with your business online to purchase or book your products
and services.


Simple E-Commerce Site
If you have approx. 1-20 products whose information does not change frequently
then a simple e-commerce addition may be the best option. By listing the products
along with pictures etc. a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Add To Cart’ button can be put alongside the
product which then links to a shopping cart system or directly to a payment
processor.

(Swingler Jewellry)

Full Shopping system
If you have lots of products or products whose information changes on a regular
basis then a dynamic website will be required. This type of site links directly to a
product database and when the database changes the website is automatically
updated.

(Mountain Spirit)


3.3    Online Booking
An online booking system shows the availability of your services and then enables
customers to book for the dates they require. This facility is ideal for accommodation
providers but is also available for other businesses such as events providers,
equipment rentals and courses or activities. The booking system can link in with an
online payment facility and also a sales management system to give information on
enquiry sources

(Birchbrae/Glenmore)




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP              Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                        Page 5 of 26
A Guide to Websites

4 The Design Process
Website design is a complicated process and requires a lot of skill and knowledge to
get right. This is why it is important to deal with an established company like HotScot
so that you can benefit from our hard won experiences. We can often give you a lot
of hints and tips on the design of your website right from the outset that will make
your site more successful.

The Design of a website proceeds in stages and it is vital that we get your approval
at the end of each stage so that we can move on to the next. This is referred to as
“Sign Off” and stage payments may become due at these points depending on the
contractual arrangements.

These are the stages we go through to reach the finished website:

    •    Design Briefing – this is a comprehensive series of questions that we
         request your answers on, these provide the basis for the designer to start
         work

    •    Visual Design – The designer will produce a “flat” graphic design showing
         how your website will look

    •    Site Build – all the pages are built using the template made from the graphic
         design

    •    Content Management and e-commerce modules – the code is added to
         the pages to give the required functionality

    •    Content population - the pages are completed with the required content and
         the shop or booking system populated. You will usually be asked to do this
         yourself through the site control panel

    •    Testing and feedback – you test drive the website and feed back your
         comments for fine tuning

    •    Quality check – we give the site a final once over and make sure any search
         engine optimisation has been carried out

    •    Site Launch – we upload the site to your domain and the site “goes live”

    •    Training and support – we start any ongoing support and training to help
         you get the most from your site




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP             Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                       Page 6 of 26
A Guide to Websites


5 Design Considerations
Listed below are the main points/issues that you will need to think about. They outline
all the main aspects of producing a website, from design to the site going live.


Visual Design
   • Logo
   • Corporate identity – any existing promotional materials
   • Colour scheme
   • Images – these need to be of the highest quality possible
   • Navigation – top or side
   • Liked sites
   • Competitors sites
   • Target audience
   • Style of design – eg traditional, contemporary, funky, cutting edge,
       conservative etc.

Core Website Pages
   • Required Pages
   • Home Page
   • Contact Us
   • Products/Services
   • About Us
   • Latest News
   • E-Commerce Specific Pages
   • Product Search (Optional)
   • Product Details

Secondary pages
   • Delivery Information
   • Payment Options Information
   • Terms and Conditions
   • Site Map
   • Special Offers
   • Web Logs (Blogs)
   • Forum

Other considerations
   • Hosting
   • Domain Name Registration
   • Shopping System
   • Search Engine Optimisation
   • Website Marketing
   • Content Management modules
   • Support and Training

We will issue you with a design briefing sheet to get all this information from you and
will then discuss any issues that you need assistance on.




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP             Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                       Page 7 of 26
A Guide to Websites



6 Core Website Design and Page Issues
6.1       Graphic Design
The graphic design determines the layout of the site template (the theme) and gives
the look and ‘feel’ of your website and includes the following concepts;

      •    Navigation                                          •   Font/text style
      •    Placement of main content                           •   Position of logo and main
      •    Colour                                                  graphics etc.

A good website is one where it quick and easy to find information from the moment a
customer enters the website, possibly on any page. Therefore your template must
incorporate a navigation structure that is built in such a way that it easy to access the
information that the customer wants within a maximum of about three clicks.

e.g. Navigation (www.framarhealth.com)




The main pages are located on the blue bar i.e. Home, Shop Online, Contact Us etc.
and directly above that is a search feature with links to the shopping basket and help
section.

The colours of the company are also replicated on the website
(blue/purple/green/white). It is often advised to utilise your corporate colours and logo
in the website template if possible as it helps to maintain and build your brand both
offline and online

Your website should not be confusing and a good template will not be cluttered and
not change drastically from page to page. The customer should always know where
the main content should be and how to get to it.

(Example) has its navigation on the left and top of the screen with the main content
(latest news, product information, buy it now buttons etc.) on the right of the screen.

The content will change for each page but the main structure for navigation should
not change much. An example of when the navigation may change is when a
customer selects a product category to be taken to the next page for them to select a
sub-category.

The template can be designed from either one of our “value” packages at £395 for 6
pages, £845 for 15 pages or £1500 for unlimited pages, or a fully bespoke design
tailored to your exact needs.




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP                        Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                                  Page 8 of 26
A Guide to Websites



6.2    Required Pages
The following 5 pages are standard practice in a normal business website, both for a
brochure and e-commerce/e-business website. They are the foundation that the
other pages and features, like buying online, are built on.

Home Page
This is the first page that a customer usually comes to. It acts as an introduction to
the rest of the website, sets the theme and tone, provides clear links to the most
important information you wish to convey and should be updated on a regular basis
(see Content Management Systems)

The home page (or index page) is the most important page on your website as it
must be initially appealing to your potential customers. More often than not visitors to
a website judge whether they stay (and therefore buy) or leave by their impression of
the home page.

Examples of home page content:
- Introduction to your company, products/services
- Special Offers
- Photographs of products/services i.e. one picture can convey what you sell
immediately (a picture is worth a thousand words)
- Latest news items
- Links within the home page content to the rest of your website

TIP! This is also the first page a search engine visits so ensure there is enough
written text for e.g. Google to examine and keep it up to date

Contact Us
The contact page is vital as the whole point of the website is
for the customer to communicate to you the seller whether
they wish to purchase online or offline.

Include:
- Telephone and fax numbers
- Mobile (optional)
- Address
- Email address(es)
- Contact form

The contact form enables you to ask the questions you need
to know from your customers including extra questions like how they found the
website or what specific items they are enquiring about.

TIP! Include your telephone and email on every page on your site in the template

Products/Services
At least one page on the products/services you provide. This page may increase to
dozens of pages depending on what you sell but the main page should outline a
structure for customers to view exactly what it is you do.

TIP! Don’t overcrowd any page. If you sell three types of product that require lots of
pictures and text then have three separate pages with the main products/services
page linking easily to each page


HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP             Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                       Page 9 of 26
A Guide to Websites




About Us
A profile of your company. This section does not have to be too long but should instil
a sense of trust in your business especially if the customer wants to buy online. You
may wish to show some case studies or examples of previous work.

If your offline business is well established then state this on your website. This is your
chance to advertise your strengths to potential customers!



Latest News
The second page that should be updated on a frequent basis is the news page. It can
be in the form of simple paragraphs of information or be more in-depth on e.g.
industry news, new contracts won, press releases, updates to the website.

A news feed may also be implemented. This relatively new technology allows you to
include latest news headlines from another source directly on your website. The
official title is a RSS Feed and is usually provided free e.g.
www.outdoorcapital.co.uk

Also a Web Log (or Blog) can be used if you plan to add latest news information on
an ongoing basis. It acts like an online diary and is extremely popular eg
www.bbchalets.co.uk .



TIP! You can possibly reduce your costs by populating content yourself using
Content Management Software




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP               Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                         Page 10 of 26
A Guide to Websites



6.3    E-Commerce Specific Pages

These pages mark out the e-commerce/e-business website and may link with a
database of information to produce thousands of pages dynamically.

Product Search (Optional)
Most e-commerce websites give the customer the ability to search their products.
The customer can type in one or more words and the website finds the right pages or
products to display and lists them in the order selected e.g. by price

(Mountain Spirit

A search page is extremely useful if you are selling a large number of products online
and if utilising a database of products the search facility can be implemented more
easily.

However, if you sell few items (<20) or items without any detailed information then a
search facility may be a negative feature as customers searching for products may
never find them with the search phrases they use.


Product Details
The search page usually leads to a product details page which provides detailed
information regarding the product. Details can include;

Photograph(s) of product (often leading to larger image if clicked)
Name of product
Main description
Price (in one or more currencies)
Price or other options e.g. colours, sizes
Add To Cart button or link
View Cart button or link
Product codes

Ensure this page makes the whole purchasing online process as simple as possible.
Many customers like the price and options near the top of the page along with the
picture and name so they can browse them quickly and purchase immediately.

(Example)

This example shows the product clearly, the category it is in, the price, options, stock
level and other options




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP             Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                       Page 11 of 26
A Guide to Websites


Returns and Refunds Information
Like any High Street business it is good practice to clearly state to the customer your
policies if things go wrong. Try not to hide this information deep within your website
as it may act as a barrier to buying.

Delivery Information
Where do you deliver to? How long will it take? How much will it cost? These are
questions your customers will ask before buying so make it clear to them both in the
shopping cart and on another page.

Payment Options Information
Clearly state to your customer what forms of
payment you can accept and especially if
they can pay via credit/debit card online.

Issues regarding security may also be addressed here along with how long you hold
their card details and if you are data protection registered
(http://www.ico.gov.uk/eventual.aspx?id=34).

TIP! You can include your returns/refunds policies, delivery information and payment
options on all one page

Terms and Conditions
This page outlines the legal issues regarding your website including but not limited to
liability, payment, security, privacy statements etc.

TIP! Don’t write your policies and terms/conditions from scratch – use the Internet to
your advantage and see what others have done

6.4    Optional Pages

Site Map
A site map is a page dedicated to displaying the full
navigation structure of your website. They are extremely
useful for both for your customers to find information
quickly and also search engines to ‘spider’ your site more
easily.

A dynamic site map is preferred i.e. one that updates
itself as extra pages are added, for if you continually add
content and pages the site map page can become a
chore to update too.

Google has it’s own version of a sitemap that is invisible to website visitors but is
exceptionally visible to the Google spider and is strongly recommended as an
additional feature to a website that will enhance rankings on Google.

Special Offers
Everyone loves special offers and bargains so if your product/service lends itself to a
special offer then make this stand out on a page by itself. This page should be
updated on a frequent basis especially if stock is involved.




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP               Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                         Page 12 of 26
A Guide to Websites


Customer Case Studies
It is often recommended that you share your good-news stories with other potential
customers as it instils confidence and promotes the brand of your business. A
specific page of customer comments or case studies on your website is ideal way to
give you free marketing in a subtle way. Remember to show only the good
comments!!

Web Logs (Blogs)
Blogs are the latest Internet craze and are basically an online diary that you can add
to at any time. They are usually utilised in a personal website rather than a business
website but could add an element of ‘stickiness’ to your site bringing visitors back
again and again with fresh new content and are an ideal way of generating inbound
links to your main business website.

Forums
Forums act like message boards for visitors to post their
own opinions about a range of topics on your website.
However, be warned as forums need a lot of
administrating as many Internet users tend to abuse the
system and leave derogatory remarks – not exactly what
you might intended.



6.5    Offline Payments
Offline payments can include the following:

Cheque
Cash (e.g. cash on delivery/C.O.D.)
Money Orders
Credit Card Terminals

Credit card information can be given by the customer on your website (in a secure
manner, check for the lock symbol at the bottom right of your browser) but
processed offline at e.g. your office using a credit card terminal.

Credit Card Terminals
To utilise a credit card terminal you need to open a Merchant Account, so contact
your bank and also shop around for the best deals on set-up fees, % cost per
transaction (preferably under 3.5% for credit cards), monthly costs and what
credit/debit cards they will accept.

Pros
Ability to check orders thoroughly before shipping them
Process only the orders you want (disregard obvious false orders)
Money usually ends up in your bank account within 24-48 hours
% transaction fee usually reduces over time

Cons
Running fees can start to mount up
Initial % transaction fee can be larger
Cannot handle large amount of orders – each one is processed manually
Not instant and therefore not suitable for certain products e.g. download music files
Can be difficult to convince the bank to set-up a Merchant Account


HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP            Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                      Page 13 of 26
A Guide to Websites



Other Offline Payments
It is good practice to give your customers several payment options and cheques and
money orders can sometimes be used for payment of goods.


6.6    Online Payments
Online payments come in two forms – payment processors and payment gateways.
A payment processor does everything for you as it includes a Merchant Account and
also processes the payment i.e. checks the customer’s funds and transfers them into
your account. A payment gateway enables you to use your own Merchant Account
but instead of using a manual credit card terminal they will process it online.

The two main online payment processors are PayPal and Worldpay. Payment
gateways include Secpay and Protx.




Pros                                                           Cons
Send money to anyone with an email                             If customer does not have a PayPal
address                                                        account they have to sign up on the
Accept credit and debit cards online                           spot and this can be a barrier to
PayPal to PayPal money transfers are                           completing the sale and the cause of
free                                                           abandoned baskets.
No set-up costs                                                Reports of poor customer service
No monthly costs                                               (www.paypalsucks.com)
Payments are processed and enter                               Chargebacks are not in your control
your online account immediately                                Sometimes higher % transaction
Ties with eBay                                                 charges than payment
Contains its own shopping cart                                 gateways/merchant accounts
software (FREE)                                                Anyone can open a PayPal account …
Protection and security                                        including rogue traders
Multi-currency                                                 Receive funds 5-7 working days after
Merchant tools including invoice and                           withdrawal
package slip creator, reporting tools
etc. (FREE)
Withdrawal of funds is free if
withdrawing £50+




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP                          Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                                    Page 14 of 26
Pros
Accept credit and debit cards online
Payments are processed and enter your online account immediately
Advanced protection and security
Multi-currency (extra expense)
Charities get very good deals on application


Cons
Set-up fees and annual fees are expensive
28 day delay in receiving funds
% transaction fees are as much as 4.5% for credit cards
A vetting process is set-in place to ensure quality merchants but it can be difficult to
‘get in the door’
A new account must be set-up for each website you own


Useful Links:
www.paypal.co.uk
www.worldpay.co.uk



Payment Gateways
Payment gateways process credit card details in real time so the payment is fully
verified and processed before the booking is made to minimise the risk of fraud. No
credit card details are held on the system but you get access to a control panel to
enable you to make refunds. You can also use the gateway as a “virtual terminal”
which in some cases means you can get rid of your POS terminal.

To use a payment gateway you will need an Internet Merchant Account number.
Although internet-based transactions fall into the same category as mail-
order/telephone-order sales (i.e. "cardholder not present"), you need a special
Internet Merchant Account rather than a "standard" merchant account to accept
internet payments.

If you already have a merchant account from your bank, you should request them to
upgrade your account to give an Internet Merchant Account number to allow you to
accept transactions across the internet. Some banks will need to carry out a risk
analysis of your business activities before authorising you to accept Internet
transactions and new businesses can find this a challenge. This can take a few
weeks so the earlier the application is made the better. Your bank will issue you with
an internet merchant account number after setting up your account.

The gateway uses your internet merchant account number to direct the payments
into your standard merchant account, where the payments are subject to your
standard merchant account charges. In addition there is a fee to the gateway:
HotScot



How much will it cost? There is a set up charge of £195 to enable your website to
direct payments into your merchant account, and then monthly fees in addition to
your standard merchant account charges




                           With Protx (www.protx.com) there is a fixed monthly fee of £20
                           paid direct to Protx to cover the transaction processing charges.




                            With SecPay (www.secpay.com) there is a monthly fee of £10
                            per month and 39p per transaction paid direct to Secpay.




7 Domain Names
A domain name lets your customers find your website immediately without having to
search for it. It is also called a web address.

Think of the design of the website as building a house.

House                                            Website
Rent Plot of Land                      =         Hosting
Construction                           =         Web design
Foundation and Structure               =         Core pages
House Address                          =         Domain Name
Continual decorating                   =         Updates to the site

A domain name is therefore your address i.e. how customers will find you, and
follows some simple rules:

www.mywebsitename.com

www stands for World Wide Web and tells the customer it is a website they are
visiting

mywebsitename                the main part of your domain name (see below for tips)

com                          the extension to the domain name, usually denoting location


The main part of the domain name should be unique to you and may be either your
business name or product/service you sell or something else entirely. Good domain
names are memorable, as short as possible and ‘phone friendly’ – if you have to
keep repeating your web address to someone on the telephone then it’s not a great
domain name.




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP                  Tel: 01397 700 924
W: www.hotscot.net, E: sales@hotscot.net                                            Page 16 of 26
HotScot



No spaces are allowed, lower case or UPPER CASE doesn’t matter, hyphens are
sometimes difficult to explain on the phone, numbers can be sometimes confusing
e.g. four or for or the number 4

The extension e.g. .com, .co.uk, .ie, .biz lets the customer have a guess as to where
your business is located.

.com is utilised worldwide but originated in USA and is recommended if you wish to
sell in several countries Price: approx. £35for x2 years

.co.uk is for the United Kingdom and can actively give confidence to a customer if
they know they are dealing with a more ‘local’ website Price: approx. £25 for x2 years

.eu is the new domain name released in April 2006 for European companies. Price
approx £35 for one year

If both .co.uk and .com extensions are available and your budget allows, buy both as
competitors may buy the other one and point it to their own website!

WARNING! Some website designers will register the domain name in their own name
and not use your details so if disputes arrive later on and you are not the legal
registrant of the domain name you will have an extremely difficult time resolving the
problem of transferring the domain to another web designer or hosting company. To
avoid this you need the support of a reputable web agency.

After purchasing a domain name you have the following options

Holding Page (Free) – create a very simple one-page website for free and activate it
within 5 minutes to 1 hour after purchasing the domain name. Include who you are,
what you do and contact information.

Email Forwarding
 (Free) – if you have an existing email address that you use on a regular basis then
email forwarding will enable you to have all emails coming to e.g.
info@yourcompany.co.uk to automatically redirect behind the scenes to your e.g.
Hotmail address.

The benefit of this is all your customers know your email address from your business
cards etc. but if you decide to move from Hotmail to Yahoo! then the redirect can be
changed to point to Yahoo! without you having to tell your customers a thing about it!

Email accounts (Free) - You can have a professional looking email account on your
domain at any time

Full website - You can discuss commissioning a professionally designed website to
be hosted on your domain with us at any time before or after purchasing your domain


Useful Links:

www.domainguru.com
www.whois.net




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP            Tel: 01397 700 924
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8 Hosting
Hosting can be defined as

“Web hosting is a service that provides Internet users with online systems for storing
information, images, video, or any content accessible via the web. Web hosts are
companies that provide space on a server they own for use by their clients as well as
providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data centre” (www.wikipedia.org)

As in the house metaphor, hosting is where your website
will be ‘located’ on the Internet so everyone in the world
can access it. You can in theory host your own website on
your own computer but the costs and other requirements
really prohibit you from doing this. So you must utilise a
web hosting service


8.1       Web Hosting Service
If you search for “web hosts” on Google you get over 200 million results so which one
do you choose? Below is a checklist of the main criteria that you need to consider

Space
Each web page and image that your site contains all use up ‘space’ in a computer’s
memory so the more space you can get the better. We provide unlimited space for
your annual hosting fee


Bandwidth
Every time a visitor comes to your website each page and image is transmitted from
the web host to their computer and the amount of information that travels ‘down the
line’ is called bandwidth or traffic. Some web hosts put a cap on the bandwidth per
month but we offer unlimited bandwidth for your annual hosting fee.


Statistics
A simple counter is not enough, and what you are interested in is not “hits” (which is
registered every time a file is called for, including images) but “Unique visitors” who
can obviously cause lots of “hits”. It is essential you know who has been visiting your
website, what pages they looked at and where they came from along with what
phrases they searched for to find you in the search engines. Our comprehensive
website statistics show all this information in both text and tabular form and are
available at £35 plus vat per year.

Email Boxes
If you have several members of staff you can assign each one their own email
account. We offer 20 email accounts with webmail (ability to access email from any
computer) as standard and offer the following additional features for £35 a year per
account:

Anti-Virus filters
Anti-Spam filters
Roaming SMTP




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP             Tel: 01397 700 924
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Windows
This ‘techie’ phrase refers to Microsoft’s operating system that is used to power the
server hosting your website. If you plan to use Microsoft FrontPage to update your
site a Windows host is essential.

Shared vs Dedicated
The most economical type of hosting is ‘shared’ hosting were your website is located
on the same web host’s computer (or server) as many other people’s websites. This
should be the case for most websites, however if you need extra performance due to
an avalanche of visitors then either a “load balanced” or a ‘dedicated’ solution may
be required. Load balanced shares your website over several severs whereas
dedicated means your site is the only one on the server and you have full control
over it.

Support
If things go wrong you will need to get them fixed quickly!

With HotScot you do not just get a website, you get a partner to support you with
your internet presence and advise you all the way. We will get in touch with you from
time to time to discuss your changing needs and let you know how changes in
technology may be able to give your business that edge over the competition.

We are always at the end of the telephone to give advice on amendments and
changes to your website. Minor amendments to text and images can often be done
free, or we can come to an arrangement for a maintenance contract if you need to
make more substantial regular changes. From time to time we will send you a
Newsletter with hints and tips for using your website to maximum effect.

Telephone Support
Telephone support is provided to regular and new clients to assist with website
issues and domain related email problems. Issues that are resolved within the first 10
minutes are FREE. Otherwise support is charged at £60 per hour in 15 minute
intervals unless a support contract is in place.

Support Contracts
Clients can cut the cost of support by taking out an annual support contract which
also bundles in a range of additional value-added services at significant cost savings
for a one off annual payment:
                                           BronzeSilver Gold One-off £
         Email account initial
         configuration                     √      √      √       £25
         Email telephone support 30
         mins/month                        √      √      √       £150
         Text content changes
         once/month                                      √       £120
         Image changes 5 per month                       √       £150
         Submission to 10 search
         engines/directories                      √      √       £50
         Quarterly marketing tips
         newsletter                                      √       £50
         Annual site review report                       √       £50
         Matrixstats with monthly report          √      √       £35
         Spam and virus filtering on 1
         email account                      √     √      √       £35
         Annual charge                     £149 £249 £349 £665

HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP            Tel: 01397 700 924
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HotScot




9 Search Engine Optimisation
“The term used to describe the marketing technique of preparing a website to
enhance its chances of being ranked in the top results of a search engine once a
relevant search is undertaken” (www.websearchworkshop.co.uk)

Below are several factors which will lead to higher page ranking in the major search
engines – Google, Yahoo! and MSN. At HotScot this is all included in your design:

Page Title
The text on the blue bar at the top-left of the screen. Ensure you include your key
phrases (see below) in the title along with your business name and preferably have a
different title for each page of your website

Text Content
If your website (specifically your home page) has no text then the search engines
have nothing to look at and judge what your site is about! List x5 phrases that your
customers may search to find you (called key phrases) and include them in your text
content

Position of Text Content
Ensure your important text is further up the page as some search engines go down a
longer page so far then stop. Get the important key phrases in special H1 tags at the
start of the content.

Links
Links to the rest of your website should be accessible from every page especially the
home page. These are internal links and they let the search engine ‘crawl’ through
every page on your site. External links are important too e.g. let your customers visit
other websites with useful, relevant information to your own. But the most important
links are inbound links i.e. links from other websites to yours. Try to contact relevant
websites to yours (not competitors) and get them to link to your site and vice-versa.
Remember to ask them nicely!

Links should also be made of your key phrases and not the words ‘click here’ e.g.
Visit our Scottish bed and breakfast section for further details


Image ALT/Description Tags
Every image on your site should have a description tag (the text that appears in a
yellow box when moving the mouse over it) which describes the image and also
includes your key phrases. Ensure your website is not only made of images. Also, if
the site is animated in Flash many search engines will not be able to crawl it.

Meta Tags
Meta tags are the hidden information given to search engines, although Google
perversely ignores them! The two most important ones are the Description and
Keywords meta tags. Write a few sentences for your description tag which include
your key phrases and for the Keywords tag make a list of about 12 key
words/phrases separated by a comma. NB: although some search engines use this
information when displaying results keywords are not really used to increase search
engine rankings.




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP             Tel: 01397 700 924
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9.1       Google Web Design Guidelines

Google is by far the most important search engine at
the moment for businesses, although MSN and Yahoo
are growing in popularity.

Google uses complex algorithms to rank website pages
and the rules change regularly so it is important to
keep up to date with requirements.

Here are some of the basic rules which we always follow:

:
      •    Make pages for users, not for search engines

      •    Don't deceive your users, or present different content to search engines than
           you display to users.

      •    Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of
           thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a
           website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help
           my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"

      •    Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or
           PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad
           neighbourhoods" on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely
           by those links.

      •    Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings,
           etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our terms of
           service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as
           WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.

      •    Avoid hidden text or hidden links.

      •    Don't employ cloaking or sneaky redirects.

      •    Don't send automated queries to Google, register manually

      •    Don't load pages with irrelevant words.

      •    Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially
           duplicate content.

      •    Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie
           cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP                  Tel: 01397 700 924
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HotScot




10 Website Marketing
Below are some useful links to learn more about search engine marketing which can
help you to promote yourself via search engines. If you find this a bit daunting then
contact us to find out about our marketing packages.

10.1 Submit Your Site To Search Engines (FREE)
Search            Notes                                        URL
Engine
Google            FAQs at                                      http://www.google.com/addurl
                  http://www.google.com/webmaster
                  s
                  Will take from 3 weeks to 3 months (in
                  reality up to 12 months)
Yahoo!            Requires Yahoo! registration (free)          http://submit.search.yahoo.co
                  Other options available at a cost            m/free/request
                  http://submit.search.yahoo.com/
MSN               Site Owner Help at                           http://search.msn.co.in/docs/s
                  http://beta.search.msn.co.uk/docs/s          ubmit.aspx
                  iteowner.aspx?FORM=WMDD2
                  NB: description Meta tag preferred
Altavista         Yahoo! now feeds Altavista                   See Yahoo!
AlltheWeb         Yahoo! now feeds AlltheWeb                   See Yahoo!
Alexa             At bottom of page                            http://pages.alexa.com/help/w
                                                               ebmasters/index.html#crawl_s
                                                               ite


10.2 Current Site Rankings

http://www.exactseek.com/srank.html
Google PageRank (download Google Toolbar) – http://toolbar.google.com

Google Webmaster Guidelines -
http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html

Site Pro News (current SEO/SEM articles – www.sitepronews.com)


10.3 Keywords Suggestion Tools

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordSandbox
http://inventory.uk.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ (show number
of searches done during the past month for a key phrase!)


10.4 Online Advertising
Google AdWords – http://adwords.google.com (Pay Per Click (PPC) scheme
where you only pay when a customer clicks your advert. You can also control your
daily budget)
Overture – www.overture.co.uk (like Google AdWords but for Yahoo!, MSN etc.)


HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP                   Tel: 01397 700 924
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HotScot




11 Customer/Visitor Statistics
One of the most under-rated aspects of any Website business is in its statistical data,
or more accurately, it's owner's ability to interpret that data.

The following are important areas to watch

    •     Usage




          This shows the trends with site visitors over time and is useful to detect
          seasonal trends and overall increases/decreases in site traffic that may give
          rise to a need to take some action to increase traffic at specific times of year.




    •     Phrases




    This shows the important phrases that visitors are using to find your site and this
    needs to be measured against the phrases that you want to be found under. If
    you are not getting business from your preferred phrases then maybe your
    content needs to be reviewed, on the other hand are the phrases that are actually
    working for you better to compete on than the ones you thought would work?




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP                 Tel: 01397 700 924
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    •     Referers




          This show the domains that are referring traffic to your home page. A lot of
          the higher traffic links will be from within your own site but it is the other
          domains that send you visitors that you will be interested in as these need
          looking after to ensure the continue to perform.

    •     Tracking

          You can monitor traffic to specific pages, see how many times downloads
          from your site have been used and see traffic from specific Pages on other
          websites - ideal for monitoring advertising campaigns

    •     Entry/Exit/Viewed Once

          This enables you to watch the progress of visitors on your site:

              o    Do all your visitors come in to your home page or is one of your other
                   pages more popular – is this because it is performing better that your
                   home page on the search engines or is it a very popular link

              o    Is there one page that when visitors get to they loose interest and click
                   away from your site, if so the content needs to be changed to keep
                   visitors on the site

              o    Do visitors land on your site at a particular page and instantly click
                   away – this indicates your “bounce” rate and anything over 10% needs
                   some corrective action.




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP                 Tel: 01397 700 924
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HotScot




12 Content Management
A Content Management System (or CMS) enables you to update and add content to
your website. If you wish to control your site as much as possible and not have to rely
on us to update it then it is essential that a CMS be incorporated into the website
design..

For customers with limited technical ability we have our own CMS software:

    •     Add extra pages

    •     Add text and images to existing pages

    •     Range of preconfigured modules
             o News
             o Events
             o Menu
             o Tariff
             o Availability Calendar
             o FAQ
             o Links
             o Newsletter
             o Competitions
             o Image galleries


If you have some ability you may prefer to utilise a specific website management
programme of your own. Ensure you let us know which one you will use.

Macromedia Contribute
www.macromedia.com/software/contribute
Free 30 day trial
Cost: £75-£125

Microsoft FrontPage
www.microsoft.com/Frontpage
Free trial available
Cost: £145+

For skilled website designers you can use your own design software such as
Dreamweaver and we will give you full FTP access to your website domain.




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP            Tel: 01397 700 924
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HotScot




13 Support and Training
During and after the website construction you will require help and support. Such
issues as the layout of your page templates, shopping cart selection, payment
processing etc. will require our expert knowledge and the following tips will help you
identify what type of support you will require.

13.1 Quote/Pre-Construction Phase
Before the work begins we will require the following information:

    •     Who your customer base is/will be – includes geographic and demographic
          information especially for e-commerce (UK, Europe, USA etc.)
    •     What actions do your customers want to do on your site – i.e. purchase
          product/service, contact you, request more information, send their customers,
          view your items online
    •     What your products/services are, how many you want online and amount of
          information, to link with an existing or new database of products
    •     How often you want to update your website
    •     If you require a domain name registered and suggestions
    •     How many pages of information approx. do you require
    •     How do you want to differ from other websites
    •     Are there any website templates that you like
    •     Your logo and colour schemes – also useful are letterheads, business cards,
          brochures etc.
    •     Time deadlines for each phase of the website

13.2 Construction Phase
As the website is designed it is useful to plan out a communication system with the
designer so you can check their progress along the way. Remember that at the early
stages the site will look very empty as ‘the shell’ is developed

    •     Pre-design brief completed with all above information plus any new
          requirements
    •     Visual review of design
    •     Completed website review
    •     Date for going live
    •     Training
    •     3 month review

13.3 Post-Live Date
Once the website goes live you will possibly need someone to ‘hold your hand’ for
the initial period especially for e-commerce websites. Make sure that we are aware of
any need for after sales support so that it can be included in the quote or separately
and you know exactly what you are entitled to.


13.4 Training
Our quote will state exactly what training is included free, but you must let us know if
this is not enough for you so that we can schedule in some additional time in the
quotation.




HotScot, Suite 3, North Rd, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 6PP              Tel: 01397 700 924
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