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Web Identity

walkingWeb Identity deals with actually getting your name out on the web, not Facebook's or Google's. It's about building your brand, your face, your logo, your look your personality into something that your clients and customers can recognize. It's about staking out your Internet territory. It's about telling people why you're different and why they should deal with you. This is where most consultants mistakeningly start. In our crawl-walk-run analogy, it's the walk phase. Now you're starting to get somewhere.

What Should Be in a Basic Website and How Much Does One Cost?

in this video we try to answer two questions: What should be in a basic website? and How much does one cost?

 

What should be in a basic website and how much does one cost?

At minimum a website should be a replacement for the old school Yellow Pages ad. It lets your business get found by potential clients. These days, consumers first look for products and services online.

How Social Media Interacts with Your Website

I see organizations that have a website and some social media presence, but little interaction between the two, so let's look at how websites and social media can interact:

Helping Users Share Your Sites Content on Social Media

If you have unique, interesting content, you'll want to make it easy for people to share it with their friends on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. Yes, people can copy the url of the page and paste it into their social media, but most people don't go to the trouble. Most sites, therefore, will add "share" buttons that can start the post of a link to the article to a social media site with a single click. Here's an example to see how it works. At the bottom of this article you'll see several such buttons, with the icons of several social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Click on one that you have an account on and you'll start the process of sharing a link to this page with others. This will post a link to this page on YOUR timeline. Go ahead and try it, please. How do you get buttons like these on your site? There are three or four outfits that make buttons like this. I'm using the set from AddToAny.com.

Easy Website Builders

You don't have to listen to the radio or watch TV long before you come across an ad for some outfit that claims to allow you to build your own website in a matter of minutes. More seem to pop up every day. Some of these are from hosting companies like GoDaddy.com or 1and1.com, others are independent companies like Wix and Squarespace. We've covered others on this site ike Wordpress.com or Google Sites. For a more complete list of this ever-changing landscape, see the Easy Web Builders List. I wish they'd list the date on their reviews as some seem a bit dated. Also note, they don't exactly practice what they preach, becsue easywebbuilderslist.net site is actually powered by WordPress. Regardless, take a look around and see if their price and features are in line with your needs. Here's homework to help you select a candidate service:

Should My Domain Name end in .com? .org? .co? What's the deal?

The last part of your domain name is called the Top Level Domain (TLD). Some of the original domain names were:

  • .com for US-based for-profit companies
  • .net for network providers (Internet Service Providers)
  • .org for US-based non-profit organizations
  • .edu for US-based accredited post-secondary educational institutions
  • .gov for US-based governmental institutions

and a few others. Also, each country has a TLD that's their two-letter international abbreviation, such as:

WordPress.org

The WordPress site has two faces: WordPress.com (see our article about it) and WordPress.org. The .com version has free and paid versions of the software that the Wordpress folks host and run for you. The .org site allows you to download the WordPress software and install it on your own hosting account and customize it yourself. Is it any cheaper than the .com version? Not really. The software's free but you have to rent space on hosting company's servers. This runs about $8 per month for a descent service. So why run your own copy of WordPress? One word: flexibility. The .com version of WordPress has offers its users limited choices of templates and add-ons. It's limited by what the WordPress.com folks can support. The fewer choices they offer their customers, the easier their support job. Truth be told, they do offer a much larger range of templates and plugins than they used to. But it's still rather limited. If you want to really customize your WordPress-powered site, you'll need to host your own. There are other considerations as well. 

Wordpress.com

Wordpress is one of the easiest and most widly used content management systems (CMS) out there. WordPress was originally software that was used to run Blogs, but has been used in recent years to run entire websites. WordPress comes in two "flavors": commercial and do-it-yourself. The commercial version is what we'll talk about here. You can go do WordPress.com and sign up for a free account in a matter of about two minutes. You can then start blogging away for free. "Free?" I hear you say. "There's no such thing as a free lunch." You're right. WordPress has to pay the bills somehow. How they pay the bills on your free account is that they run ads on your site and pocket the change that Google gives them. It's not such a bad deal, though. You get a free website out of the deal. There may be some downside, however. You have no control over the ads that get run on your site. There's very little chance that the ads may be for inappropriate content, but the ads may be for your competetors.

www or Not?

Should you advertise your site as www.yourdomainname.com or just yourdomainname.com? I've told my clents for years to lose the www. It's really needless, if your web hosting is set up to direct both the www and non-www to your website. The www is just more to type and takes up room on your business card. Look at how businesses advertise themselves. CNN sends you to cnn.com, not www.cnn.com. One of the few holdouts is Google, whose official website address is www.google.com

Homework:

Do you use the www at the front of your website's name or not?

If so, why?

How big a deal would it be to change?