Red Carpet Business Services
It is Our Business To Serve YOUR Business
In the 21st Century marketplace it is almost expected that if you are in business you have a website. This is probably an overstatement for some but the principle is there. More every day the Internet is becoming integral and vital to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
We offer complete website services to give you a presence on the Internet. Though applications vary from business to business, most enterprises can benefit from this medium. A website can be anything from a multi-page full-colour brochure at a fraction of the cost; to an information catalogue that clients, prospects, and customers can access; to a functional world-wide store front, complete with cash drawer; to . . . you name it.
A common question is, How much does it cost (or What does it take) to have a website? The answer is as complex as asking the same thing about owning a vehicle. If you just want to get back and forth to the grocery store, it doesnt cost much at all. If you want to get there really fast . . . it costs a little more. If you want to travel from coast to coast, you probably want something more dependable than the beater that will get you to work on time. If the vehicle is part of your business, there are other expenses. The same is true about owning a website. Also just as owning a vehicle involves other expenses, such as fuel, licensing, insurance, a garage to park it in, maintenance . . . there are similar expenses involved in owning a website.
A more pertinent question is, "How much is it costing you to NOT have a website?"
Consulting about a website is like getting help choosing a vehicle. You first have to look at what you want your website to accomplish. A car dealer will tell you whether you need a compact runabout, a 4X4 pick-up, a mini-van, or a luxury sedan, depending on what you want a vehicle for. Likewise, a web consultant will analyze your situation and tailor various web applications to meet your needs. It is best to spend some time charting the course before you commit yourself in other areas. An initial consultation is usually straightforward and simple. At Red Carpet, our initial consult is free and is usually sufficient.
Once you know what you need in a vehicle, you make the purchase. It may have to be tweaked to match your needs or repaired from a previous owner. Similarly if you are going to own a website, someone has to build it for you. Design can run the range from a free do-it-yourself project to an inexpensive simple design to the very complex (and expensive) site that will sell ice cubes in Antarctica and automatically ship them there in various sizes, shapes, and colours.
When you buy a car, two of the first things you need to do is register it and find somewhere to park it. This is comparable to registering a domain name and hosting it on a server connected to the World Wide Web. Registering a domain is a crucial step. For a hobby site www.your-isp~your-username4789.com/whatever-you-want-to-call-it can work and your mother will find it (or say she did) because she loves you. For business applications, you will want a URL (maybe several) that reflects your business. In cases where a website is a major component of your business plan it is even good to search out the domain(s) before you name your business. Many a tale exists about the business whose obvious choices for domain names are already spoken for and in use. In extreme cases, a business may chose to change their business name to fall in line with available domain names. Purchasing a domain name that is already registered to someone else is seldom successful and usually costly.
You can park your beater in the yard, on the street or at a friends house. A more valuable vehicle should be in a carport or a garage. For your website . . . there are some free options out there, but if you value your website at all, professional hosting is a worthwhile investment. A solid benefit of professional hosting is that you can track results with a Statistics Module that will tell you who and how many are visiting your site.
|There are many HOSTING options!!!|
Keeping a car in tune is like keeping a website current. Some sites are static and require little or no maintenance. Others require periodic updating as information changes ~ new prices, new options, new information or if the business is due for a facelift.
If your vehicle is going to move out of the yard it will need some fuel. Likewise, you might have the best website on the block but if people dont visit, it is for naught. A website seldom replaces your current advertising, but rather, enhances it. A ten cent business card is worth a dime. If your web address is on it, for that same price, you have handed a client or prospect a full colour brochure about your business which tells him everything you want him to know. Similarly, you can multiply the effectiveness of an ad or brochure by including your web address in the content.
A link-exchange program can network your business with other sites in your industry. By this means, colleagues can feed each other traffic from one site to another. (carpooling)
Search engines will ultimately find you and send you some visitors. But there are lots of websites out there and surfers seldom get past page one. There are some processes to help those spiders find you on the web. If you are going to rely on search engines to bring people to your website, the process of Search Engine Optimization should begin before design. You will want to consider the search engines in every step of the process.