A business without a website of its own is like a business of yesteryear, which does not have a signboard, pamphlet, catalogue and advertisements in paper or electronic media. Website performs the function of making your business known to vast population of individuals and companies who access internet to source their requirements. Website is not only the contact point for your customers to access your business, but also, it performs the functions of marketing sales and (in case of e-commerce websites) a medium of transacting payment.
Any website should have certain essential features. The website must be easily accessible to search engines and figure prominently in search results of most commonly used search engines. It must have the requisite information, which your prospective customers would like to have about your business as a prelude to transacting any business with you.
The most important function of a website is to generate customer interest, leading to a business dialogue, en-route to striking a business deal and completing a business transaction. If you want your website to have e-commerce features and receive payments for products or services transacted, your website must have adequate security features to ensure that customer's identity and credit card details are not pirated by hackers, causing loss to customers.
Website hosting on the net is an activity which is separate from design. The quotes which you obtain for building a website for your business should specifically indicate whether hosting is a part of the package or it has to be separately sourced. The same would also apply to other features, such as, logo design, search engine optimization and website maintenance.
Apart from website design, web hosting services may not be a part of design cost. It can happen that your web designer does not provide hosting services and you have to source them from some other company. SEO optimization also, may require to be sourced from some other company in case your web designer does not have in-house expertise for the same.
Content development is an important aspect of building a website, which can only be done in close consultation with you. You may be tempted to take up the job of content development on your own but that may not be the right option for you to choose. Best option is to have a content developer who has the domain knowledge of your business. It may be you or your staff or a hired expert who can work in close cooperation with you and your website designer.
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