Why Have A Website?
How often have you been asked by a customer if you have a website? If all these people keep asking about your website then maybe it is time to rearrange business priorities, and get yourself one.
1. Online Marketing
Building an effective website and developing an online marketing strategy can be some of the highest return-on-investment initiative a company can take. Another marketing advantage is that there is no other medium that is as versatile and responsive to your business as a website. How many of your target customers and clientele are online?
2. Education and Research
People want to know details about your business. One of the main reasons that consumers use the Internet is to learn about products and services. Background information about your company and your products, testimonials from other customers, information about your staff and management, and some helpful and pleasing graphical information will all help to promote your business. Online consumers are typically looking for enough information on which to base a decision. Your website can help to educate people and help to generate trust.
3. Working for you 24/7
Your website is working for you, even when you are not. Your customers have the opportunity to go online at any time, day or night. With today’s analytic tools a business has the opportunity to study peoples activity patterns, which can help you learn more about your business.
4. Provide Important Information
A website can provide customers with information that they just cannot get in any other media. For example, you may want to include a map of your business location, your business hours, contact information, and to give your customers an opportunity to send you a contact message at any time.
5. Customer Communication
Many business owners will tell you that the most important customers are the ones that you have already. There is no easier and more convenient method to maintain customer contact than through the online medium. Through your website, you can maintain a contact database of your customers, distribute newsletters, take surveys, and update customers so that they feel you’re taking the effort to keep them informed. This will help the customer create a favourable and lasting impression about your business.
6. Legitimacy of Your Business
A website can help provide a customer with the impression that a business is legitimate. A professional looking and functioning website demonstrates an investment in a business, increases customer confidence, which can increase sales.
7. Research Your Markets
Many small business owners realise the value of understanding their markets. A website is an excellent way to track customer patterns and preferences. You may also want to set up a survey to figure out what your customer’s impressions are and how you can improve your business.
8. Compete With The Competition
It is very likely that many of your competitors have websites, and almost certain that your larger competitors have a significant online presence. A well-designed website is a way to level the playing field, to present a professional online image, and to expose your business to a wide audience in a way that cannot be done with any other marketing methods.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organisations to provide their own website to be accessible via the World Wide Web. Your website is stored on a web server that is a computer which is constantly switched on and connected to the internet. This computer holds one or more web pages and can be found by typing in a domain name (such as www.minicorp.com.au). When an internet user opens a page on this site, your computer uses various internet systems to find the web server and the server pulls the page from its storage, and sends it to your computer to view.
You need web hosting services when you plan to publish a web site on the Internet.
What Is Email Hosting?
Email Hosting is an email service which allows businesses to use their domain name to create branded email accounts such as
Advantages of using Business Email Hosting is to better promote and brand your business with a email@example.com address. You will never need to change your email address again, even if you change internet service providers. We all know what a time consuming and tedious task that is.
Email redirection is when you require incoming emails that are sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to be delivered to single, or multiple staff members. Any incoming messages to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org will be automatically directed to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
What Is A Domain Name?
A technical term for the ‘address’ of a particular website on the internet, the domain name tells your browser where to look to access the pages you want to see. The domain name for this website, for example, is “minicorp.com.au” and you arrived at this page by clicking through one webpage to another, moving from one domain name to another, or by typing the exact address into the address bar of your browser.
In order to have your website available on the internet, you need to have a registered domain name. If you are looking to register a domain name, you may be confused at the variety of different offers available. There are a large number of domain name registrars available to you world wide, each capable of registering your chosen domain for a fee. This can be a very time consuming and tedious task to try and find the ‘best deal’. But you need to be careful – the cheapest prices, are not always the best package. We can take care of this process for you.
What are Top Level and Second Level Domain Names?
You may have noticed that some domain names end in fewer dots and letters than others. For example, the domain name mysite.com has fewer components than mysite.com.au.
Dot Com domains (.com) was the first domain style to be introduced, and is considered a Top Level Domain as it features only one suffix. Top level domains also cover any other domain name form that only has one suffix – for example .net, .info, .biz, and so on.
Second Level Domains that contain another level of qualification to this. For example .com.au is a second level domain style as it contains an additional suffix after the .com.
Second level domains are no less effective or desirable than top level domains. In some cases they can actually be more desirable as the additional suffix can help to say something about your business, such as where you are located in the world.
What Is A URL?
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and forms the entire address used to access a particular website, including the domain name. URL's were devised as an easier form of internet navigation over IP addresses that traditionally identify the host server for a website through a series of numbers. A URL uses easy to remember words and letters to replace the impractical IP Address method. Therefore, a URL for the Raid 7 website would be ‘http://www.raid7.com.au’ and will contain the Hypertext Transfer protocol” (http) allowing you to use words instead of an IP Address, and the domain name itself (www.raid7.com.au) identifying the server and the particular files on that server to be accessed.
What Do I Need To Know When Registering a Domain Name?
In Australia a .com.au domain name can serve as a good URL for your business, however globally registering of a .com is the best solution. Depending on your market strategy, you may find it advantageous to register your International, as well as your Australian domain names.
.com.au & .net.au
To own a .com.au or .net.au you must be an Australian registered company, or business with a registered business number (ABN, BRN, BN).
(The licence requirements for a .com.au and .net.au domain name require your business to be registered for business in Australia, this means registering your business or company name with one of the official Government Authorities, eg ASIC, State Dept. of Fair Trading, or alternatively by obtaining an Australian Business Number (ABN) from the ATO.
The domain name you order should have either be an exact match, acronym or abbreviation of the supplied business registration, or it should bear a close and substantial connection to the domain name:
Domains can be 2 to 63 letters, and words can be separated by hyphens, but not spaces
.au.com, .com, .biz, .net, .info, .org
These domain names are not restricted or regulated by .au Policy Rules. They are therefore policy free and anyone can register any domain name. If you own a company name, or a trademark, register an .au.com domain name to prevent anyone else registering that name.
.org.au & .asn.au
To qualify for these domains your organisation must be a "non-commercial organisation".
The domain name you register should have a solid relationship to the organisation to which it represents.
Especially designed for individuals, who reside in Australia. You may register any personal name by which you are known.
What Do I Need To Know When Choosing a Web Host Provider?
Make sure you read the fine print when choosing your provider. Many hosting providers offer to register your domain for free and they will let you keep the domain if you choose to move to another hosting provider. Be careful, as there are some hosting companies that will keep your domain name if they registered it for you.
Don't make price your only priority. The old saying "you get what you pay for" applies to most things in life, and hosting is certainly one of those things. When you overprioritise price, you run the risk of ending up with a host that will provide you with a connection to the Internet and little else in terms of support (and even that connection may be running at maximum capacity or have uptime issues). The initial price may be cheap but you may end up having to add additional features for additional costs for your website to be fully functional.
You need to consider setup fees, monthly fees, plan discounts and optional extras in your calculations. Don’t let price be the primary factor in your decision. For e-commerce, businesses and organisations, the quality of the service is more important. Some companies offer you no monthly fees, but check the fine print before agreeing to anything. Free sites almost always have popups or require space invasive banners. Don’t simply look for the lowest price. You need to know how much the prices will grow as you expand your services and customer base. Think for the future!
Don't confuse size with stability. Just because a Web hosting company is big doesn't mean it's stable and secure. In fact, many of the biggest filed for bankruptcy protection or were saved by being sold to some other company - in some cases causing uncomfortable transitions in service for their clients.
Make sure the host is flexible. It's important that the hoster understands how important quality servers are to their clients’ businesses. Even most managed dedicated hosts will not go near supporting applications that are not part of their initial server setup. Find a hoster that has a vast amount of experience to support a wide variety of applications, and one that can bring that expertise to you through their services.
Many hosts care little about who is actually hosting on their networks, as long as the clients pay their bill. That means many hosters will allow porn sites, spammers, and servers that create security issues on their network for the sake of the dollar. Even if you place ethical issues aside, this does have a negative impact on customers in general, however, when a network gets blackholed for spamming, for example. Getting blackholed means that other networks will refuse e-mail originated from IPS that are blacklisted. Some hosts have a number of entire class C (up to 256 IPS) networks blackholed, and they redistribute these tainted IPS to new clients. That means if your business relies on legitimate closed loop opt-in e-mail marketing to drive sales, being on such a network can severely cut response to your campaign because your e-mail may never get to its destination.
Make sure your web hosting provider has a phone number that you can call and speak to a person. Don't go with a hosting company that you can only email. This can make it very difficult in assistance should you encounter any problems.