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Web Smarts: Getting the Most From Your Site
Resource Links

These pages are no longer updated but are maintained as a courtesy. Inclusion on this page does not imply endorsement by Cairril.com.

INTERNET STATISTICS SITES
CyberAtlas
NUA
NetFactual
Internet Retailer
Jupiter Research

WHY YOU NEED A WEB SITE
Does Your Business Need a Web Site?

In most cases, the answer is “yes.” Here’s why.

Web Site Analysis
From Action Plan Marketing. Includes a survey to determine effectiveness of your existing site.

MAKING A STICKY SITE
Need to get noticed?

Quick overview of options to increase stickiness

E-commerce stickiness
MailWerkz focuses on customer needs

Top 10 ways to make your site into a marketing hub
Scroll down to the center of the page for great tips on getting the most out of your site. (Plug: "More Clients" e-zine is highly recommended!)

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Nameboy.com
Domain name generator—great for exploring options

Web hosting
See "Your ISP" for links to local and national web hosting providers

Find the host with the most
Things to look for when shopping for a web server host

EVALUATION
Top 10 signs your site needs an overhaul
Some humorous tips rooted in solid knowledge of what it takes to be taken seriously on the web

Optimize your homepage for first-time visitors
Is your homepage user-friendly for first-time visitors? This article helps you evaluate it.

Jakob Nielson’s Usability Site
The best-known usability guru offers valuable reports and advice on usability issues

TERMINOLOGY
Deciphering Internet jargon
Hits, PPC, PPL, CPA—these and many more explained

E-COMMERCE
Myths and Realities
Written for large corporations in 1998, this article still makes many relevant points

Four myths of online retailing
From making your site sticky to ensuring your product is conducive to web selling

Create a site that makes people want to buy

E-commerce resource hub
About.com’s e-commerce section

HIRING & BUDGETING
Choosing a Web Designer
Our overview of how to hire a web designer, including questions to ask in interviews

Web Price Index
Average fees for a variety of web services

DESIGN: GO WITH A PROFESSIONAL
[Excerpted with permission from "More Clients: Web Sites that Magnetize Clients" by Robert Middleton, Action Plan Marketing]

Good Design
There’s good news and bad news about this area. The good news is that for a fairly reasonable fee you can get someone to design a very attractive site for you. The bad news is that most Independent Professionals aren’t willing to invest that modest amount. They hire their next door neighbor’s teenage son, or worse, themselves to design their sites.

The results are disastrous. It would be better not to have a website at all than to have a poorly designed one. Tell me, would you go to a high-level networking event poorly groomed and
dressed in sloppy clothing? Your prospects would write you off before they even shook your hand. The same goes for a website. Your prospect looks and then clicks off in a matter of seconds.

So where’s the economy in poor design? There isn’t any. A poorly designed site is costing you money every single day.

How much should Independent Professionals pay for a good, attractive site? The ballpark is between $1,500 to $3,000. You might be lucky and get a good one for less, and you certainly could pay a lot more. But that price range should work for most.

By the way, the most expensive site is the one you develop yourself. Usually a colossal mistake. First, unless you’re already a designer, it just isn’t going to have the impact of a professional design. Second, if you do manage to learn design web development, your learning curve will be very high. Several hundreds of hours is what it will take to get a site that really does the job. Can you afford that time?

Cairril.com Design & Marketing. Smart Work. Great Results.