Basic Website Requirements
There are four basic requirements for getting and keeping your business up and running on the Internet. You will need a domain name, website hosting, website development and a webmaster. Although some people view these as a single package, you should be aware that they are independent services.
1. Domain Name
The domain name is the address name you will have on the Internet such as http://www.yourdomainname.com/ or yourdomainname.com. You should choose this as carefully as you chose the name for your business. It should be easy to remember and at the same time say who you are and what your website or business is about.
A domain name is a possession owned by you or your company and you should be sure that you have clear ownership and control over it. The best way to do this is to make the purchase yourself.
2. Website Hosting
Hosting is the electronic "space" you rent so that your website and email are accessible over the Internet. There are many companies offering many service packages and it can be difficult to figure out which is the best solution. Although you may find an attractive price for a lot of features, the underlying services might not be what you expect once your site is up and running. Certainly, you don't want to overpay for features or service you don't need.
Talk with your web developer. Once you define what you want for your website and how you will use it in the future, they will be able to recommend the correct solution for you.
3. Website Development
A website developer is the person that builds your website property at your hosting provider so it is available on the Internet. He or she is a software developer who is specifically engaged in the development of World Wide Web applications, or applications that are run over the Internet from a web server to a client, a web browser.
We define web development as the entire process from website design through implementation. We work with many different clients in different scenarios of development. In some cases we provide all website design and development services from concept to completion and in others we provide portions of the process. We cater our services to the specific needs of each client.
In terms of a completed small business site, the webmaster is the technical person responsible for administration and maintenance of the website. You can perform this duty yourself or hire a professional. Depending on the scope of work, your webmaster might be responsible for any or all of the following:
- coordination and renewal of domain name and hosting services
- making sure that the hosting service is always running properly
- ensuring website functions are always operating properly
- control of email accounts including SPAM and virus filtering systems
- monitoring site traffic and correcting errors
- collection and analysis of statistics
- creating and updating website pages or databases
- backing-up website files and databases
- replying to general user feedback
- monitoring commerce operations
In most cases the Webmaster is the same person you hired for website development. They are the person that will be available for you whenever you need advice or changes. You should trust this person. They are essentially the person responsible for managing the web portion of your entire business and you should be comfortable that they are "watching the store."