Because your business is unique there is no one answer. You may simply need a permanent email address for you business card like Kathryn Reimann. You may want to have an online brochure for trade shows like Finishes by Friday. Or you may want a complete e-commerce solution like Elegant Illusions.
How much does a web site cost?
There are three distinct charges for a web site: domain name registration, web site hosting and design.
Your domain name is your “address” on the internet, i.e. virtualsilk.com or google.com. Think of this annual registration fee like the unique license plate on your car, but instead of paying the DMV you are paying a company like networksolutions.com. Domain name registration companies are accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) or by a “national country-code top-level domains” (ccTLD) authority to register internet domain names.
Web site hosting is a charge for providing space for your files on the actual internet. We suggest you choose Stormer Hosting, www.stormerhosting.com because of the reasonable price (starting at $62.76 a year for 300 MB) and excellent customer support.
Your web site development costs with Virtual Silk depend on your unique needs.
Why does my web site look so different on my friend's computer?
Unlike the print media, a web site is “fluid”. Your website appearance depends on the users browser, monitor size and resolution, operating system and pre-selected internet preferences such as font size. We design your pages to the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international consortium where member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop web standards. By complying with the W3C standards, your web site won't need adjustments when all of the browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, eventually meet these standards and it will be much more “accessible”.
How can I get into the search engines?
There are no secret tricks to being found in the search engines. All you need is common sense, honesty and an awareness of current search engine guidance. Never forget, the success of your business doesn't come from one million hits in Google. It comes from attracting and keeping your ideal customer. Your priorities should be:
Google's first suggestion is “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”
Add a short but unique title metatag accurately describing each page's contents and possibly your physical location.
Add a “description” metatag of a sentence or two about that page.
Use a relevant “name” (URL) such as faq-web-design.php for your pages and images.
How can I keep my web design costs as low as possible?
Know what you want your site to do for you.
Have a good idea of how many pages you will have, what your images will be, what your text will say and what colors you like. (Hint: Find web sites you like as inspiration.)
Consider any special features you need/want, like a Flash presentation, videos, page translations, etc.
Send as many of your files to us in “electronic format”, i.e. text sent as an email with images as an attachment, as possible.
Why hire Virtual Silk?
Your business will save money because we have been in business since 1997. You're not paying us for on-the-job training while we learn web development at your expense.
We use PHP and CSS, saving you design and development time, esp. for updates. PHP and CSS also makes you web site more accessible for the handicapped.
We have experience with many shopping carts for your e-commerce like volusion.com, which charges a monthly fee based on the number of products you are selling; the Zen Cart, which is free and easy for you to maintain, but time-consuming for us to set up for you, and the Dansie Cart, which is free with Stormer Hosting and easy to set up but not truly compatible with CSS.
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Virtual Silk® Website Creations ⇒ E-mail: email@example.com ⇐ Phone: 831.521.5989
Virtual Silk is a Registered TradeMark #2233824, 1996