Checklist: Establishing a Web Site

Thu Apr 2, 2009 11:14am EDT

Today's information technologies are expanding at an astounding rate, with everyone going online. Establishing and maintaining a Web site for your business can be very useful to the future success of your business. The following guide provides basic procedural information and helpful hints for establishing a web site for your business.

* Choose an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

An ISP will provide you with an Internet account. Your Internet account should include e-mail access, the ability to access other computers, the ability to transfer files between networks, and server space for a Web site. Your ISP will charge you a monthly fee for its services.

* Select and Register a Domain Name or Universal Resource Locator (URL).

You should choose a name that represents your product and/or services and is easy to remember. The InterNIC Registration Services through Network Solutions, Inc. (800-779-1710) administers domain names. Before you decide on a name, a full trademark search should be done. On its Web site, www.uspto.gov, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a free search tool for making limited searches of the federal register of trademarks. You can then search Network Solutions Web site, www.networksolutions.com, to determine whether your desired URL is available.

* Design Your Web Site.

Think about what you want to accomplish with your site. You can obtain ideas for your site by looking at the Web sites of your competitors. You can then design your site yourself or hire a Web design service or Internet consultant to design the site for you.

* Register Your Site With Different Search Engines.

* Inform Others About Your Site.

Include your URL on your letterhead, business cards, in all advertisements for the company, and in the Yellow Pages.

* Track the Visits to Your Site.

Log data software is available to record the number of hits your site receives. In addition, some ISPs provide access logs. You can ask visitors to your site to complete a questionnaire or to provide input as to your product or services.

* Keep Your Site Current.

No one likes outdated information. Make sure your site is updated.