So you are looking to get a website designed, or even try to design one yourself, and you have no clue where to start? What are the costs? What do I need? Read our tips on what to do to get started and finished! Whether you chose the best option (Multiple Streams Media :) or go elsewhere, here are some important things you will have to think about. Please note that this is advice, and not legal council. Feel free to contact us for more information, tips or help!
This is your Business plan. What do you wish to accomplish? Selling a product(s), getting more customers, promoting your idea or self, this should be clearly defined. What is the name of your idea/business?
Once you have figured the out your business name, think of all the possible domain names you would like to have. You need to find out if those domain names are taken. This is your address in the web world. Think of it like your street address! This should be no more then $10 a year. We offer that service here.
You will need to figure out where your website will be hosted. Think about it as your monthly "rent". Considering that renting a space in your city could be anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars each month, a monthly hosting fee between $3-15 is nothing! Depending on how much size you need will determine the monthly fees. We offer that service here.
HIRE A WEB DESIGNER
Whether you hire someone to design your site or do it yourself, you will need to have a Web Designer. These costs are separate from the domain and hosting expenses. This is the interior decorator of your online business. Costs vary based on amount of pages, special features (i.e. flash, forms, links etc). The Web Designer should be able to give you an estimate of what your project will cost. The time taken to design your site will vary on many factors, so please discuss this with your designer (hopefully us!). Optional costs and features of Web Design are listed below.
Is your website going to stay the same from month to month or will you need changes done? Do you want to do the changes yourself or send the information to your web designer? Maintenance packages (monthly, weekly, yearly) are additional fees to the initial design of the site. These fees can be based on hourly rates or a package deal (like us!). Imagine going to the hairdresser to give you a cut, color or style. Each time you go, they have to charge you for maintaining that awesome hairdo!
If you haven't already done so, it is a good idea to register your business. This can be done online or at your specific state/provincial office. There are fees that apply. Depending on the type f business (sole proprietorship, LLC, C-Corp etc, will determine the costs.
TAX ID #
If you are making money, you will need a TAX ID number (the Social security number of your business). These are free and may take a few months to obtain.
Do you want to sell things online? If so, you will need an commerce site. These fees are additional and do not go into the web designers pocket. You will need a shopping cart, form of payment (i.e. paypal, google payments or your separate merchant account) to accept payments. These costs can add up depending on what you need, how many products you are selling etc. At MSM, we take care of all this for you and can include this in the quote.
Would you like flash animation or a photo album? A logo or banner designed? You can either design the logo/banner yourself and give to your web designer or pay additional fees for it to be designed for you. This adds to the flare, look and feel of your site. A good tip however is not to have too much animation on your site as it may become annoying for visitors.
If you chose to work with Multiple Streams Media we can guarantee your satisfaction! We can include all of the above in our quote and do the leg work for you (you would have to register your business and get a TAX ID name but we could tell you a reputable company to get this at). If you chose us, all you would have to worry about is getting the content to us and we would do the rest! Once an agreement is arranged, we would give you 2-4 design samples (depending on which package you chose) within a week and from there we start designing your vision!
Do you have content that needs to be written or edited by your designer? Additional fees would also apply. A cheaper solution would be to do all this yourself and send your web designer the final product via email.
Having a great website means nothing if you cannot get visitors to your site...and stay there! Think about what marketing plans you may put in place. Getting at the top of search engines with key words, tracking your visitors, email marketing, customer specials and promotions, advertising online and in print, creating multiple networking pages (such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Linked In) are just some of the ways to get you noticed!