Factors To Consider When Starting A Website
The discussion at my business networking group this morning was about how we could set up a website to promote the group and give us more of a dynamic on-line presence.
It was agreed that the web designer in the group should be the person responsible for building the site and then the opportunity was given for everyone to ask questions.
What was really interesting was that this turned into a serious interrogation of the web designer and his business and clearly demonstrated that those who had already had experience of building a website in this sort of environment had certainly had their fingers burned.
The main point was around the domain name, who would own it and what would happen as members of the group come and go.
For example, if the current web designer built the site and decided to leave the business, what would be the process for transfer of the domain name to another web designer.
It was apparent that in another business networking group, this was the case and there was also some "unfinished business" that was hindering the transfer.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure why this was such a big issue because should the web designers change, I'm not sure that they would see this need to transfer as a golden egg of business, more a pain in the arm. A lot of work for very little reward.
The critical point to make from this example is how important within your own business it is to own the domain name, don't leave the purchase and upkeep of the domain name to your web developer, do this yourself.
In this way, should you have any disagreement with your web developer or your web developer gets into financial trouble, your domain name is yours and no-one can take that away from you.
The argument then went the other way to "keep it simple" (and possibly keep it cheap) by using a Facebook page and this can be a very quick and easy way to get yourself a web presence but the critical point with this approach still remains that the domain for your page rests with Facebook and the Facebook team can take it down at a moments notice without having to justify their actions.
Would you want to spend a lot of time and effort building a web following only to have your presence removed from the internet without consultation? This might sound far-fetched but I do know someone who had this problem.
Fortunately the issue was resolved and their page was re-instated but the experience was upsetting.
It might sound minor in comparison but the other point that created the other storm at my business networking meeting was who should be responsible for updating the website.
It was agreed that there was nothing worse than not having a website other than having a website that's not fresh and updated regularly.
To be honest, out of my experience I think that this is going to be the biggest issue and it will be ongoing, everybody is extremely busy and soon people will lose interest - especially when they find that the website is not high up the search engine results page for their chosen keywords.
Let's face it, you don't get a website high up the results pages without a lot of hard work and don't let anyone tell you different.