Creating Your Web Site

Every business needs a web site. And many would like to have their voice heard on the Internet.

Here’s some thoughts on getting started. We look at costs, first questions and what we offer.

Cost

I get asked all the time, how much would it cost to set up a web site for my business?

The short answer is … it depends.

Think about buying a vehicle. How much would it cost? It depends. Do you want just basic transportation or something fancy? Do you need a car, pickup truck, bus, or an 18 wheeler? Do you want it 100% hand crafted or totally generic or somewhere in between?

A web site offers more options than a vehicle. Which is why the cost of a web site can vary so much and is hard to pin down.

The minimum buy in for a customizable web site is about $300. If your budget is less than that, you are probably best served using a simple website builder service like Wix or SquareSpace.

At around $300, you can create a web site using WordPress or another content management system (CMS). WordPress gives you a solid platform that allows you to get your web site up and running today. One that you can manage yourself. And it gives you the option to easily add features like forms, e-commerce and calendars – your own customizations – down the road without having to “start over”.

We can help you sort out your options and which route is best for you given the amount of time and money you would like to invest.

First Questions

Like buying a vehicle, what you want to do with a web site will greatly affect its cost. Will you be doing complex e-commerce  or do you just need to let people know you are there? Here are the questions we start with when assessing someone’s web site needs.

What is the primary purpose of the web site?

The answer should be a simple sentence. Something like…

  • Let people know we exist.
  • Get people to call or visit us.
  • Sell our products.

What is the secondary purpose of the web site?

This should also be a simple sentence.

  • Enhance our standing in the community.
  • Give back with how-to tips.
  • Promote our values.

Who do we want to reach or target with this web site? What do they value?

No web site can be all things to all people. WalMart and Amazon and Macy’s all have their target markets. Who do you want to reach? And what gets them excited?

What information or types of information (content) do we need to achieve our primary purpose?

Now that we know what we want to do and who we want to reach, what do we need to make that happen? What do we say or show to get the desired results? If we’re not sure, let’s run some tests to find out.

What information or types of information do we need to achieve our secondary purpose?

What else do we need to say or show to achieve our secondary purpose?

 
The answers to these five questions can guide you as you create your web site and select your web partners.

Remember this, to paraphrase a popular quote

“It’s the content, stupid.”

You would never think of Google or Facebook as having a pretty web site, but they are very effective. And in the end, that’s what counts.

What We Offer

Web sites is one of the services we offer. Lodestone Systems can help you sort out your options and create a game plan that best meets your needs and your budget.

As noted above, we like WordPress and prefer it for most web sites. It makes high quality web sites that are easy to for you to maintain and easy for us to extend as your needs change.

We run our own web servers, hosted by IBM’s SoftLayer in one of their modern data centers here in the U.S. This allows us to provide the customization and extra features many of our clients require without a lot of extra costs.

Our hosting services include phone support by real people, free SSL certificates for all web sites using Lets Encrypt, e-mail hosting, and domain name management. You provide the web page updates and we will take care of everything else.

We can get you stared for about $300.

Feel free to contact us. We will be glad to go over your needs and give you a range of options.

 

 

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